June 5, 2012 |  Category:   family life

1992, Oregon Coast


2002, Hawaii


2012, New York

10 years ago today Mark and I were in Hawaii getting married. 20 years ago we met in Olympia, Washington. 1992 was a huge year for me. I moved out of NY and started a new life, much of which I chronicled on this post here. I’ve been keenly aware that this personal anniversary of sorts was coming up. The 10 year wedding anniversary is big, certainly, but when you’ve been with someone for 20 years, the 10 years is sort of inconsequential in a way. I’ve written enough in the past about what it might mean to know someone for so long and to have met someone so young, so I don’t really have more to add.
But 20 years. It is a long time. What does that even mean? I was talking with someone this morning, a parent from C’s kindergarten class, and I was sort of thinking out loud that a 20 year relationship is like having a few different relationships back to back, only with the same person. The first 5 or so years you’re just barely adults; life is fun. The second 7 years might be a little more turbulent – you’re trying to figure out your life, your career, maybe questioning if it’s still working at all. The last 8 years is all about this family that you created.
And the next 7 or 10 years?

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  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag June 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Happy Anniversary Miss Jenna! What a beautiful family you guys have created. I think it’s so wild to look back at old photos of my husband and I and see how YOUNG we look! You and Mark look like high schoolers in that first photo :)

  • tamerajane June 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    20 years! Amazing. Happy anniversary!!

  • joy June 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Congrats to the both of you! All the best.

  • Lakshmi June 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    You are so right. It’s about falling in love with the same person, as they change avatars. For me, a chance encounter with a senior in engineering college (1997) led to a relationship, then a few years apart (long-distance), then marriage.

    Feels like an eternity with the same person, yet everything feels so fresh and vibrant. Sign of a healthy relationship, touchwood!

    When I think back to our initial years, I cringe at the naivete, innocence, earnestness… :)

  • Jill June 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Happy anniversary to you and Mark, Jenna. What a lovely post, and hope you both have a nice opportunity to celebrate!

    A couple of things that need to be addressed: is that first photo an outtake promo from the Singles movie? Mark needs to bring that hair back. Also: whoa, killer lady looks in the last photo! Are you sure you two aren’t starting a Brooklyn/hipster/foodie/lifestyle modeling career in 2012?! ME-OW.

  • Summer June 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    This is so sweet! How cute are you guys, and how is it possible that yall look better now than ever. Inspiring! It’s funny how tough life is, no matter what route you take. At least you’ve had someone to share the ups and downs with. Happy Anniversary, Jenna and Mark!

  • Kate June 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    This makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside, a little teary. That first photo is the BEST. Babies.

  • Sora June 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Happy Anniversary! 10 and 20 years are big milestones! Thank you for posting the old photos of you two. My husband and I met 21 years ago in college and will celebrate our 11 year wedding anniversary in the Fall, so I completely get where you’re coming from. It is an evolution of a relationship. Honestly, I am so glad that I met my husband so early on b/c we were able to share so much of our “growing up” years together and now that we are parents, I think it is easier in some ways for us to be on the same page with the kids. Well, you know. You guys are a great team and I’m so happy for your wonderful relationship as parents, business partners and friends!

  • Mary June 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Congratulations. I love the pictures of you smiling!

  • nichole June 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    The photos are great! So cool to see you at the different stages.

    Happy Anniversary. And MANY more!

  • RJ June 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Jen June 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Congratulations. Our 20 years is coming up at the end of August. We’ve been talking about that one more than our recent 12 year wedding one. 20 years… It blows my mind. The years went by so fast and yet, I can look back and see how long it’s been.

    Congrats again!

    PS Mark’s rocking both the flannel and the ‘do in that first pic. Oh the 90s.

  • Justine June 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Congrats. You guys are at your best now. Here’s to getting even better!

  • K. Thor Jensen June 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Congrats you two. Long may you reign.

  • Tragic Sandwich June 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Happy anniversary! Mr. Sandwich and I have been married for 8 years and together for 11, and the 11 seems more representative to me, too–even though we dated cross-country for all three of those first years.

  • Karen June 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    What an apt description of what 20 years of knowing your partner is like, especially when you meet at such a young age. We will come up on 10 years of marriage and 20 years since meeting each other next year, and I completely agree with your assessment.

    Happy anniversary, and warmest wishes for your next 10 and 20 years!

  • elizabeth June 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Congratulations to you for 20 years! My husband and I are about to hit 21/11 so I know what you mean about how weird and normal and wonderful it is to have been with the same person for so long. We have had the luxury of practically growing up together, making for a true partnership, and working our way into a comfort level that I still have trouble fathoming sometimes – that this person knows me this well and still likes me this much. It’s amazing!

    I also know how frustrating it is to not get “credit” for those first 10 years, which were the hardest/easiest, right? So congratulations again, especially for the first ten :)

  • jen June 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    awww. you guys look exactly the same except with different hairstyles!
    congrats to number 10!

  • Ashley June 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I just hit the first 7 years and started to feel a bit crazy when over a one month period everything sort of rocked and then my relationship was in a new place. It was so comforting to hear that this is normal. Thank you for that.
    You both look great in your most recent photo!

  • hollie June 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    20 years is amazing. congratulations.

  • Atsuko June 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Happy universally! You both look great.

  • kalie June 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    happy anniversary! “The first 5 or so years you’re just barely adults; life is fun. The second 7 years might be a little more turbulent – you’re trying to figure out your life, your career, maybe questioning if it’s still working at all. The last 8 years is all about this family that you created.” this is very accurate, i love this. thank you.

  • Nancy June 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to marry and have kids with someone that you basically grew up with. My husband and I have only been together for 6 years (married for 5) and have two kids. Sometimes, I wish we had a longer history but I guess someday we will have a long history to look back on.
    Congratulations on 20 years and 10 years! Here’s to many more.

  • M June 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Happy Anniversary!
    You all look great :)
    It’s fun to see the differences compared to you guys in your 20s /in the 90s (basically when I was just born!).
    I hope you enjoy your time today :)

  • Ashley June 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Happy 10 year anniversary and 20 years of being together! My husband and I just celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary together yesterday and in October we will have been together 6 years. 6 isn’t near as long as 20, but even this feels pretty crazy to have known him so long.

  • Loren June 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Congratulations to you both! It’s adorable to see the progression of style and life. I hope to have a similar marking in my life a decade from now!

  • CHICKYTHING June 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    True love inspires.

  • Pink Ronnie June 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Congratulations guys. That is awesome.
    (I love the way you described it as a few different relationships but with the same person.)
    By the way, these photos are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing them!
    Ronnie xo

  • unha engels June 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    congrats lady + dude.
    it’s amazing that you guys’ve been together 20 years!

  • Charlane Brady June 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Such a beautiful family. So happy to have found your site. Thanks for sharing and keep sharing… :)

  • Meghann @ Fuzzy.Little.Wishballs June 6, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I love this post.

  • Mau June 6, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Happy anniversary! You guys just keep getting better with age. 😉

  • Renita June 6, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Awesome … what would you like to see in the next 10 years? I treasure my friendships that I’ve had since my 20’s (now approaching 40) and we are constantly amazed by the world, our body and relationship changes. You and Mark are very lucky to have rich experiences with each other … memories will be fun to recall as you grow older 😉 …

  • caroline June 6, 2012 at 6:41 am

    congratulations! your writing always amazes me.

  • Faith @ Ordinary Mommy Design June 6, 2012 at 8:45 am

    What an awesome milestone! Our 10 year anniversary is on Friday; we’ve known each other for 12 years. I hope you make lots of wonderful memories today! And what lovely weather we have in the northeast to help you celebrate.

  • Nerissa June 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Congratulations! May I just say that you 2 have aged very well. I clicked on that pic of you with Claudine (the podcast one) and I literally said outloud “Oh my god (Claudine) is so cute.” My husband and I are not that different from you 2, and I hope when we grow up (haha we are in our 30s), we are like you guys.

  • Sharon @ Currently Coveting June 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Holy wow, 20 years together? So inspiring and wonderful! Many congratulations and wishes for continued happiness and transformation together.

  • Lois June 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Congrats Jenna and Mark on this milestone, wishing you many more beautiful years to come. Thanks for sharing the stories of your life with us :-)

  • Jenna June 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you so much for all your sweet comments!

  • Susan June 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Incredible…happy anniversary!!

  • Caddy June 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

    AWW! This is SO SWEET! Happy Anniversary! It’s heartwarming to read about the evolution of a relationship. I’m in my early 20s now and it’s nice to read about what lies ahead.

  • Selkie June 8, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Wishing you many more years together, dancing the Good Dance. You write so well from your heart, you make us all feel a bit more deeply, more tears all around. Be Grateful, with ‘no strings attached’. Onward …

  • l o v e l y t h i n g s June 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Your are so right…we are just about to celebrate 25 years. We met and married in 3 months. Together is together. Congratulations to you both!

  • anna wooten June 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Oh my gosh! Why oh why did you guys stop smiling along the way? I think this is the first time I’ve seen anyone smile. You look SO pretty!!!

    Congratulations!! To another 20. And another 20. And another… !!

    Happy Anniversary!!

  • Anna June 11, 2012 at 1:40 am

    I can absolutely relate – my husband and I got together when I was 18 and he was 19, and now, 12 years later, we are finding things tough for the first time. We can’t imagine a life without each other but when you get together so young, you will both inevitably grow and change as you get older, which means adjusting and compromising. Congratulations on making it to 20 years and having two beautiful children to show for it! I hope we get there one day, too!

  • Nancy July 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I remember reading this blog entry and saw this today:

    Perhaps you can find deals from NYC or drive up to Montreal (where I am from) to catch a flight!
    Congrats again on your anniversary!

  • mika April 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    holy cow. i remember you, jenna.
    i never forgot mark, as i was a downtown kid in high school.
    (it was following sheila’s links that brought me here)

    but i remember you from evergreen.

    so, hi.
    mika who used to be michelle or sometimes pablo.