Category Archives: Anniversary

Groundhog’s Day, 1990.

I was 19 when I first began to wonder if I should marry Lj. We were living together, we did nearly everything together… but I knew I was young. Neither of us had a job. We had no way to even pay for a wedding. And I took the idea of a sacred vow to put someone else before and above myself, forever, very seriously.
I thought about it for months. Lj knew I was thinking about it. We’d looked at rings. I knew what she liked. She waited. I wrestled with what I saw as the most important decision of my life.
It was.
In the end, this one thing decided me. When I fantasized about a perfect future for myself, when I let myself dream about the best world I could think of…
Lj was always in it. Always.
I was just a few days into being 20 when I proposed…. on Halloween.
We got married on Groundhog’s Day.
One-quarter century ago.
Smartest decision I ever made.
I love you, Lj. Happy Anniversary.
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More Than Two Decades

Twenty-four years ago today, I married Lj Hamilton, who opted to stick my last name onto the end of hers and become Lj Stephens.

Lj was already my best friend. She was also already a bad-ass gamer chick, an artist, a writer in her own right, she had a lot more going on than I did. I knew it was a big step and it scared me, but since we’d been living together for more than a year, and dating on-and-off for a while before that, I thought I knew what being married to her would be like. In many ways I was right. In the crucial ones, I was wrong. Being married is different than living together, in the same way camping is different than sleeping in a tent in your backyard.

I’ve been married to my wife for more than half my life. We have had ups and down, both together and in regards to one another, but I have never regretted getting down on one knee and asking her to be a permanent part of my life. But make no mistake, marriage is work. Having someone be part of your life means they are there for your good and bad, and for their own, and you promised to never leave, which can make you feel stuck. We did the work a marriage takes, and we love each other enough to keep doing the work. The results are worth it.

Everything good I have done in 24 years she suggested, helped with, or encouraged me to do. Every bad habit I have gotten rid of she helped me fight. Every sorrow has been comforted by her, and every victory celebrated. I have no doubt she has helped me be a better man, and that’s just a small part of why I love her.

Twenty-four years ago today, I made the best decision I have ever made. Later this week (Wednesday, at 6pm) she and I invite you all to come join us in celebrating this accomplishment (along with her birthday). The moment deserves commemorating, and our circle of friends and acquaintances is part of the environment that has made our marriage so great for more than two decades.

Then the next day, we’ll wake up to an alarm again, groan and moan as we get up and get to work again, and smile when we hold hands in the car again. That’s what marriage is. A joining, but a joining that has to move forward with real life.

I plan for many more milestones with my wife, and many more celebrations of that one really good decision.

Twenty Three Years and Counting

Twenty three years ago Lj Hamilton did me the honor of marrying me and taking my last name. It was a decision I had taken more than a year to make, because I took it very seriously. It was also, bar none, the best decision I ever made.

Lj and I are a partnership, so we both get at least partial credit for anything either of us have ever accomplished. My writing career is a spectacular example of this, as without Lj’s encouragement, support, and help (especially in the first few years, when she took the time to edit my every magazine submission before it went in to the staff). It was her idea to submit  articles to Dragon and Pyramid, go to the TSR RPG Writer’s Work in Seattle, and apply for the job I got at WotC in 2000.

Together we’ve faced the deaths of family and friends, moved across the country and back, put in hundreds of hours of road trips (generally playing solo rpgs for half the time as we ground through the miles), screamed a few times, laughed a lot, cried an few times, and learned that while we cannot always guarantee our partner’s success, we can create an environment where it’s safe to try and fail.

Once we’d been married about a decade, we started being asked from time to time, what our secret for success was. Lj encapsulated it once, and it’s a great bit of wisdom I will never forget.

“If you love someone, act like it.”

Love you, sweetie. Happy anniversary.

Anniversary of a Great Decision

Twenty-two years ago today, I married Lj Hamilton, who opted to stick my last name onto the end of hers and become Lj Stephens.

Lj was already my best friend. She was also already a bad-ass gamer chick, an artist, a writer in her own right, she had a lot more going on than I did. I knew it was a big step and it scared me, but since we’d been living together for more than a year, and dating on-and-off for a while before that, I thought I knew what being married to her would be like. In many ways I was right. In the crucial ones, I was wrong. Being married is different than living together, in the same way camping is different than sleeping in a tent in your backyard.

I’ve now been married to my wife for more than half my life. We have had ups and down, both together and in regards to one another, but I have never regretted getting down on one knee and asking her to be a permanent part of my life. But make no mistake, marriage is work. Having someone be part of your life means they are there for your good and bad, and for their own, and you promised to never elave, which can make you feel stuck. We did the work a marriage takes, and we love each other enough to keep doing the work. The results are worth it.

Everything good I have done in 22 years she suggested, helped with, or encouraged me to do. Every bad habit I have gotten rid of she helped me fight. Every sorrow has been comforted by her, and every victory celebrated. I have no doubt she has helped me be a better man, and that’s just a small part of why I love her.

Twenty-two years ago today, I made the best decision I have ever made. Once Lj gets done with work, she and I are going to spend the day together, celebrating this milestone. Tomorrow, we’ll wake up to an alarm again, groan and moan as we get up and get to work again, and smile when we hold hands in the car again. That’s what marriage is. A joining, but a joining that has to move forward with real life.

I plan for many more milestones with my wife, and many more celebrations of that one really good decision.