I was sitting at dinner with my parents when my dad said:
“I am enchanted by her [Jodi], I get dizzy sometimes. The woman cast a spell on me that I’ll always be under.”
25 years ago today, a young, dapper Will Short married the beautiful, Jodi Stangl. Less than two years later I surprised them and joined their love story. Though I wasn’t there the day they tied the knot, I can only imagine it was a day filled with so much love. Today I’m celebrating more than just a day 25 years ago, though. Today I’m celebrating a love that is timeless, that is extraordinary, a love that is truly mesmerizing. I am not celebrating just a wedding day, I am celebrating a wonderful love, and an incredibly strong marriage.
Growing up with parents like mine was the greatest blessing I think I ever could have asked for. Their love is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Their love makes my heart sing. They have both taught me so much about love and relationships, sometimes I hear it through them sharing anecdotes or advice from their experiences, and sometimes I see it through simply sitting back and observing them. They make me believe that there may actually be someone out there for me, that happily-ever-after’s don’t just occur in chick flicks or fairy tales.
My mom is something else. She’s the most genuine, kind-hearted person I know. She will ask a complete stranger how their day is going, and truly care about hearing their answer. She gets her energy from being around people. She always sees the best in people and in situations. If you are hurting, she will show such extreme empathy and find the right words or take the right actions to help you.
My dad will do anything for those he loves. He truly puts his family first. He’s somehow always the life of the party even though at the end of the day he’d rather be working on something at the house or retreating to his bedroom to watch sports. You will never hear him complain about anything, and he’s truly the hardest working man I know.
I’m so excited to continue watching their love grow. They are my best friends and my favorite love. So Mom and Dad, here’s to you. I can only hope that someday I find someone 1/2 as perfect for me as you two are for each other. Thank you for teaching me so much about love and relationships. This blog contains only a handful of love lessons I have gained from watching you and listening to you – there are so many more.
- Find someone who will continue to make you laugh for your entire life.
- Don’t ever settle for anything less than you deserve.
- There is no such thing as a “perfect relationship”, it is the hard moments that make your relationship stronger.
- You don’t need to have a lot of things, if you have a lot of love.
- Be adventurous together – decide at a moment’s notice to pack your bags and go to the ocean.
- There is nothing more important than family.
- Little acts of love and kindness make your relationship stronger.
- Fall in love over and over with the same person.
- Never apologize for being exactly who you are in a relationship.
- Surround yourself with other supportive couples who continue to grow and build their own relationships.
- Be selfless.
- Point out each other’s strengths often, compliment each other.
- Express your gratitude for each other frequently, say I love you, and always kiss goodbye.
- Keep God and faith at the center of your relationship.
- Do things you both love to do – see live music, go golfing, see movies, cheer on your favorite sports team, find your favorite restaurant and deem it the place you go for special occasions (I’m guessing they’ll be celebrating at Axel’s tonight!)
- Being competitive is healthy as long as you continue to build each other up.
- Talk philosophy, talk religion, talk politics, explore your partner’s mind by talking about the hard stuff, never stop learning about one another.
- Be patient with each other and forgive quickly.
- Support each other’s passions.
- Never pass up the opportunity to sport a cute couple’s costume – seriously though, enthusiasm and positivity is contagious, be the most excited pair at an event.
- Choose each other – every single day, never stop choosing each other.
- Keep each other healthy – physically, emotionally and mentally.
- “When you’re both ‘all in’ it makes for success. If you both put each other’s needs first, it’s helpful. Wake up thinking…what can I do to make my honey’s life better today? The best pleasure comes from seeing the other person happy.” -Jodi
- “Always be thinking of your partner. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh as much as you can. Always have each other’s back. Finally, be there for each other because in the end that’s all relationships are – being there when you need each other the most.” – Will (Note: That last sentence was paraphrased from the movie “That Awkward Moment” because it’s my dad and he never turns down a moment to quote a movie, lol.”
- And finally when you know, you know, even when you’re only 20 years old.
Happy 25th Anniversary Mom and Dad. Thank you for everything you have taught me, Jake and Taylor. Thank you for loving each other the way you do. Thank you for showing us the kind of love each one of us deserves someday. Thank you for being exceptional parents. I am so fortunate to have been raised by two people who love each other so deeply. I love you both so much and I love your love.
Thank you for this beautiful life. All because two people fell in love ❤