Our Latest Anniversary: Eight is Great

Before I begin, one special note: Today we celebrate more than our wedding anniversary; we also celebrate the baptismal anniversary of our godson, Noble Andrade. A year ago today we were given the blessing of becoming godparents. Thank you for choosing us, Allyson and Ryan. We love you, Noble!

It was an ego-booster for sure. Just last month, someone who Sidney and I recently met approached us with an observation. With complete confidence and conviction, he told us that I (yes, ME!) looked exactly like Jake Gyllenhaal. You know, the guy who plays Ken in the “Barbie” movie?

I was elated. Not since the mid-2010s when several people told me I resembled Russell Wilson had I received such a flattering comparison.

Well, Sidney brought me down to earth real quick. She proceeded to tell this guy that he was out of his mind! A text to my family text thread for their assessment of the comparison resulted in the resounding opinion that he must be blind and that my wife was right.

But Sid wasn’t going to let the reality check burn too harshly. She conveyed that it didn’t matter if I looked like Jake Gyllenhaal or Jake the Snake, she married me for me. Looks be damned.

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Today Sidney and I celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary. It is another one of those anniversaries that doesn’t seem to carry much significance, at least at its surface. However, an anniversary is an anniversary and should be recognized and celebrated as such.

Sidney and I celebrate our eighth anniversary today.

When it all comes down to it, today marks another achievement in our marriage. We receive another tally mark in the “Sid and Brent” column. The two people who are total opposites with communication styles as different as their accents continue to add up the years.

Sidney and I got married at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach, SC, on June 11, 2016.

But for as different as we are, the fact that our marriage grows stronger every year doesn’t surprise me. You see, besides the genuine love we share for each other, the three things I highlight every year continue to be relevant in our marital relationship: A dependence on God’s grace, the solid examples of strong marriages from our own parents, and the special way our children enhance our relationship.

Sidney and I enjoyed another year of marriage together in large part to God, our parents, and our kids.

When I look back on the past year of marriage, two things stick out that truly define it.

It was a beautiful feeling walking back up the aisle with Sidney after we were married.

The first was moving into our own house this past August. Finding a home of our own was a dream of Sid’s and we finally made it a reality after realizing we have everything we need in Spokane. It wasn’t lost on us that the abode I currently type this blog post from will be the spot where many, many more years of our marriage will transpire.

This past year of marriage was defined by moving into our new home.

Then there was the opportunity that Sidney and I had to help lead two retreats for engaged couples. While Sid and I do Pre-Cana marriage counseling for individual couples, the Engaged Encounter retreats we led provided an entirely new level of intensity. During these weekend retreats, Sid and I worked as a team to deliver multiple marital-based presentations over the course of three days.

Sidney and I at our first Engaged Encounter weekend retreat in March. After months of preparing, we got to present and would do it again in May, too!

These presentations took a lot of prep work as we spent many late nights practicing and perfecting them. It was labor intensive but so worth it! We felt like we were able to connect with the 13-14 couples present at each retreat while also re-connecting with just the two of us. When we volunteered to do these retreats we definitely put ourselves out there but it paid off. I think all marriages can use a challenge every now and then.

This was our March 1-3, 2024 Engaged Encounter weekend team. What a pleasure it was to present with the Shroeders and Fr. Pat Kearst.

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Sidney and I do something that is quite elementary. Whenever we make a big decision together, we always “shake on it” like we are car salesmen making a deal. We made some big deals over the last year and I can’t wait to see what else we will be shaking hands over in the future.

A photo taken of us from just a couple days ago. Okay, I admit it, I don’t think I look like Jake Gyllenhaal.

Whether I look like Jake Gyllenhaal or not, I am lucky that Sid still wants me in her corner shaking hands and making deals. Thanks be to God for his abundant grace in our special marriage. Don’t Blink.

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