Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The 1st Ninth

Andrew and I have two anniversaries every year. The first is our justice of the peace anniversary, which coincides with the first day of summer, today, June 21st. The second is our church wedding anniversary. (You can read about our 2nd Eighth (the church wedding one) by clicking here.)

Our first anniversary of the year, the justice of the peace one, came about for a good reason.

This was early 2002. Because we were both in the Air Force at the time, and because I was about to get orders for a new assignment, and because we were in the beginning stages of planning a church wedding (which was scheduled for mid-December 2002), we needed to do the justice of the peace thing before I got my orders.


Well, Andrew still had a couple years left at his assignment in North Carolina, while I was going to get a new assignment and need to leave Tucson by the end of Summer 2002. There would be no guarantee that he'd ever make it to my new installation anytime while I was still there. We would have probably kept missing each other each time one of us got a new assignment, simply because we were not married yet. Planning a wedding and actually being married already are obviously two different things. So, in order to be put on the same assignment schedule, we needed to already be married (before my orders were cut), with the official paperwork (the legal marriage certificate) already in hand.

By the end of February '02, we'd already gotten the church (Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, IL) reserved for 4 PM on December 14th, and had completed our marriage-prep classes in Raleigh, NC not far from where Andrew was stationed (yes, I'd taken leave for a week and flew to NC, so we could take the classes).

But that still left the issue of our not yet having a marriage license/certificate, my getting a new assignment by summer's end, and his assignment's remaining two years. After talking to the priest who'd be performing our wedding ceremony in December, he'd suggested we do a justice of the peace ceremony soon, and we'd still go ahead with the wedding ceremony in December. Since the justice of the peace ceremony was a "civil" ceremony, it wouldn't conflict (so to speak) with our plans for our December church ceremony.

So in June '02, I headed back to NC for a week, so we could do a justice of the peace ceremony. That would make us officially married and giving us the marriage certificate. The certificate would then go to the personnel/assignment folks who'd get us a "join spouse" assignment - we'd be on the same assignment schedule, going to the same installation at the same time.

I think I'd gotten to NC at the beginning of the week, but for some reason, we ended up not getting to the court house 'til Thursday, June 20th (we had to get the license at least one day before the ceremony). Then on Friday the 21st, we headed to the court house with three of Andrew's buddies from his office, as witnesses.  They seemed excited about the whole thing.

It was a hot, humid North Carolina summer day. Blech. I remember getting dressed up a bit. I had nice slacks and blouse, and a black blazer, plus nice shoes. I'd done my hair and makeup. Andrew? He was in jeans and a t-shirt, and sneakers.

He seemed a little nervous. I wasn't nervous at all . . . until the justice of the peace walked into the room and began the ceremony. Then the butterflies found their way to my stomach.

It was a pretty quick ceremony. The justice of the peace said some nice words about marriage. We signed the appropriate documents, and that was it. Back we went, out into the hot summer day. Andrew's office mates gave us a card, which everyone in the office had signed. They also included some gift cards for a steak place (knowing, I'm sure, that we're both carnivores).

And then we had the rest of the weekend before I had to head back to Tucson.

I remember calling my commander to tell him we'd done the justice of the peace ceremony, and that I'd be dropping off the appropriate paperwork to personnel when I got back to Tucson. He gave me a "Congrats!" and a "We'll talk about assignment stuff when you get back" before reminding me and Andrew to do something fun to celebrate before I had to head back.

Andrew and I ended up seeing Lilo and Stitch, in Fayetteville that night, since it had just come out in theaters.

We then spent the rest of the weekend in the Raleigh/Durham area. I remember that we'd headed to Maggiano's, an Italian restaurant, and we got stuffed on pasta and dessert.

I think we also went to a museum in Raleigh, and saw a U.S. Presidents exhibit, including portraits of many (if not all) the presidents up to that point, and even a Lincoln death mask.

The weekend went very quickly, and the next thing I knew, I was heading back to Tucson.

For some reason, I didn't have my camera with me the day we did the justice of the peace ceremony. But I had it the rest of the weekend. 

Here's Andrew, either later that day or the next day. Actually, I think this was outside the museum (don't ask me the name, because I don't remember) in Raleigh, the day after the justice of the peace ceremony.

 And here's me . . . I think this was February '02, in Petersburg, VA (at a Civil War battle site). (I don't have a photo of me from the day we did the justice of the peace ceremony, because like I said, I didn't think to bring my camera.) I had to absolutely insist that Andrew take my picture here (or else I would've never had the chance to have my picture taken - I'm always the one behind the camera). Anyway, this was taken after we'd finished our marriage prep classes, and we had some time to do fun stuff before I headed back to Tucson.

So, "Happy 1st Ninth Anniversary, Andrew!!"

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