12 Years Young

About 13-14 years ago I was a hospital pharmacy technician, putting myself through school, getting a second bachelor’s degree, this time in nursing. todd & michelle pharmacy 1996

I got sick of taking orders from Todd, so I turned the tables and married him. 

wedding gazebo

When we got engaged, many people warned us about marriage. We worked with a lot of married people, and most of them basically said, it sucks. We would shake our heads, incredulous. How could it suck? We were so happy! We fit perfectly together. We were riding off into the sunset! Nothing they said could kill our buzz.

It has not sucked, but it’s been harder than we expected.

Our lives together have taken very different turns from where we thought we were headed.

Looking back, I did not have a clue about marriage.

Todd did though. The day I walked down the aisle, I could see it in his face. After all my rush, rush, rush to get engaged and get married, he was the one who was steadfast. He was the one who was sure.  

He’s never wavered in his love for me. He has never wavered in his belief in me, or in Riley, or in Seth.

Today is our 12 year anniversary. Over the years, there have been many challenges. Despite his steadfastness, my knight has on occasion fallen off the very high pedestal I had him on while we were dating. Today, I ask him to forgive me for ever putting him up there in the first place.


 He’s human, like he always said he was.

12 4

In some ways it feels like we are just getting started. Just getting real. Beginning a new, grown-up kind of love. One where I don’t hold him responsible for my happiness. One where he is safe to express how he really feels. It is exciting.

There is so much of him I still don’t know.

13 2

I do know this, you are my family Todd O’Neil. 

We’re in this together.

I love you, and I’m very glad to have married you.

Thank you for loving me.

Happy anniversary.

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22 Responses to 12 Years Young

  1. Jess Wilson says:

    Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids!


  2. pixiemama says:

    What a gorgeous couple.
    Happy anniversary, you lovebirds.


  3. Happy Anniversary! An After-Christmas wedding!

  4. -e- says:

    There you go again… being tender and wise and funny all at once…

    It’s official. You are one of my favorite people that I don’t actually know.


  5. Niksmom says:

    Happy anniversary! You two are just getting started! 🙂 Wishing you many, many, MANY more years ahead to discover the wonders within yourselves and each other.

  6. Wanda says:

    Happy anniversary to a very handsome couple. The mature getting to know you is the best part…each stage just gets better and better if we rise to the occasion. Your story and pictures make my heart sing. Love.

  7. Jenny R says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  8. drama mama says:

    Aw. Here’s to many, many more happy years.

  9. Carrie Link says:

    I love this: “I got sick of taking orders from Todd, so I turned the tables and married him.”

    We’re celebrating 18 in 4 days. I agree with what you wrote, in some ways we’re just getting started on a mature, “real” marriage. Those of us that didn’t have a good one to model after, it’s a wonder we bumble along as well as we do.




    And many, many more.

  10. Chloes Mom Mary says:

    Happy Anniversary!!

  11. Courtney says:

    Wishing you all the happiness in the world

  12. Amanda says:

    Happy anniversary!! 1997 was a good year – our Scrumpy was born in September.

  13. Mercurious says:

    Congratulations, you two. You’re almost unbearably cute.

    Ourselves, we passed 30 years this summer, which is quite stunning, since it feels like yesterday we were 17, going to the prom together.

    I hadn’t thought of it before, but putting our spouses on a pedestal is truly something we should apologize for. You’re indeed a wise woman.

  14. Kristen says:

    Yay for 12 years! You are totally right that a romantic relationship with another human being does not suck. Those people may have not found their soul mate! Glad you find yours and I’m glad I found mine =)

  15. naomi says:

    Happy Anniversary beautiful people! XO

  16. amber says:

    Oh wow! Happy, Happy, Long Life to both of you. You look soooo cute together!! No wonder your kids are so adorable.

    Hey! Our wedding dresses are like the EXACT same style! Gawd we have good taste. (different material. I love yours, though! You look like sleeping beauty.)


  17. Betty says:

    Happy Anniversary! It’s harder than I expected, but it definitely doesn’t suck. May you have many more discoveries!

  18. Many blessings to both of you! You just look so right together. Love!

  19. Sally says:

    Ahhh, Happy anniversary, young people! That first picture, all I could think of was Flash Dance! As in everything, marriage is what you make it.

    Many more

  20. kyra says:

    happy anniversary, dear! i love those pictures. you are such a beautiful couple. in all ways.

  21. kario says:

    I love it when it’s your anniversary! You always say such lovely things about HT and it warms my heart and makes me look at Bubba in a more tender way, too.

    Hope you celebrated in style! (Thai food, anyone?)

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