Day 24: Happy Anniversary to Us

One of our adventures. Lucca, Italy -November 2008. Literally the first day I felt Scout move in my belly.


Gabe and I spent our 9th wedding anniversary in the hospital with Scout while she got her tendons in her ankles sliced in half so that she could someday be able to walk like a pro and dance like a maniac. We spent our 10th anniversary trying to get Scout’s insurance back because of a paperwork oversight. Her cleft palate surgery was supposed to be happening then, so she could one day say words with D’s and B’s in them and eat all she cares to at Western Sizzlin’. Now here we are, the big one and one. Celebrating another big milestone. Scout got herself a new aortic root for our 11th year of matrimony…24 days earlier, but I think it still counts since we are still here.

We’ve had ourselves some great adventures in our 11 years. We hope to have 11 more…adventures. But like, maybe 111 more years of togetherness. Like, remember that one time when we got married?! Oh, man that was great. Or remember that time we bought a house in a steadily declining neighborhood ten years ago with a 30 year payment plan?! Hilarious. What about that one time we had a baby?! Oh man…classic Gabe and Mandy.

As much as Gabe would love to be feasting at Medieval Times then enjoying a night at Cirque du Soleil and practicing card tricks – and as much as I would love to take a peaceful bubble bath, watch a dumb movie, eat an entire watermelon at home and not have to talk to anyone all day – We know that sometimes when life gives you sugar, you’ve got to get IV fluid and produce some wet diapers.

We’ve had great anniversary celebrations in the past, but really when you look at it, it doesn’t matter what we do. The last three years we’ve spent doing what we’ve been doing on the anniversary of the day we happened to have a party and say “I Do”, are totally and undeniably worth it. Our baby is alive. And that alone is worth giving up “Lobster Fest” for the rest of our lives if necessary.



Today Scout is pretty puny. We ask that you pray that her body gets stronger, that she has the will to eat, that the drug weening process continues to go well or even better that it has already, that her body can stay strong through all of this. We also ask you all to pray for our marriage today. That these trials only strengthen our bond more.

Today we are thankful for our marriage. Today we celebrate. Period.




Here is a little treat for your eyes and ears today.  This was made as an announcement that Scout was coming to the world soon.  I know a lot of you have already seen this, but let’s be honest, you probably want to see it again.

38 Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    Love all of you…tears in my eyes and prayers on my lips. Wishing the three of you 111 more andentures at least…

  2. Cristi Cheney says:

    Happy Anniversary Gabe & Mandy! Wishing you many more years of happiness. Praying for you all.

  3. Cathi Lykins says:

    Happy Anniversary! Prayers for you and for Scout. Wishing only good things

  4. Becca says:

    You’re right. I did want to see it again. I was even thinking the other day of creeping around on pleonast to find it. Happy anniversary.

  5. Crystal Smith Wilson says:

    Happy Anniversary! You are obviously a very strong couple and will make it through whatever comes your way : )
    I truly enjoyed the video.

  6. the Johnsons from DC says:

    My husband and I have gotten teary-eyed several times reading this blog over the past few weeks, but this video was so beautiful and touching…what a gift you have–your love for each other and for little Scout. So many blessings. We’ll continue to keep Scout (and you and all of her friends) in our prayers always, and we’ll also pray you two stay as in love as you look in this little film :)

    As for Miss Scout’s appetite, try putting butter on everything she eats. or cream cheese. helped us get through a slow-weight-gaining period with our Georgia Bea.


  7. Tresa says:

    Happy Anniversary and many more years. Continuing to pray for Scout. Friends of Jon and Lauren’s, now I understand where Jon gets his humor. Loved the video.

  8. Erica Hilden says:

    Happy anniversary! You two are a wonderful example to all of us of counting your blessings. I know that you can celebrate your “togetherness” in whatever room you happen to be. At least you are together. May you always lean on the Lord first and each other second. We continue to pray.

  9. Peyton-Leigh says:

    Wow, has it really been 11 years already?! Happy Anniversary and continued prayers for your sweet baby girl and for your marriage. I hope you get plenty of smiles from Scout today!!

  10. Stephanie Moody says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that video announcement! You both make me laugh so much! I am happy you are celebrating 11 years. Your wedding is a memorable one for me. :) I am proud of the parents and the people that you are. May God bless you with many, many more years. As always, praying.

  11. Fred and Alicia Miller says:

    I love this post! Praying for Scout to get stronger and spunkier :-)

  12. Laura put the pencil down says:

    stop making me cry every day. actually don’t because it’s good to cry and laugh with you. love you both. thank you for being such amazing examples to me. can’t wait to throw socks at the fan with you guys someday soon, Lord willing.

  13. JT Ess says:

    You’re right. I probably wanted to see it again.

  14. Warren & Amy says:

    Thinking about you guys a lot. We keep praying. Happy 11th!

  15. Alicia says:

    Love the video! So glad you reposted. I t was the first time for me to see. I wish you and Gabe many more anniversaries!! You all are in our prayers. Happy Anniversary!

  16. Alicia Crawford says:

    Happy anniversary! We’ll soon be able to relate as we will more than likely be spending our 7th anniversary in the hospital with Kenzie. I hope we have the same attitude and spirit that you both do. So glad Scout continues in the right direction! We continue to pray!

  17. Aunt Mary Ann says:

    Happy Anniversary! Boy, do you guys know how to have fun or what! Kids really change your life…some more than others. I know what a great blessing Scout has been to y’all. I can see it in both of you. Having a seriously ill child puts a great strain on a marriage. Just be patient with each other & overlook a lot of junk.

  18. Mary McDanal says:

    I’m pretty sure I won’t forget talking to Mandy at FCNCMC 08 about yall’s story. I have always admired one unique thing about Gabe and Mandy: the way you both have determined to enjoy the blessings that God has given you.
    Before Scout was born, I saw this in your music.
    A couple years later, I saw your excitement to begin a family with this little video.

    I’m sure Satan has been trying to attack that joy, that determination to be excited about God’s blessings. And I am tearfully rejoicing that you continue to REJOICE about your marriage, and Scout’s birth, despite the obstancles and the trials you have encountered. Praise be to God! I could pretty much cite the entire book of philipians here, but I’ll just encourage you to read it soon.

    Prayers continue for your endurance and wellbeing. Thank you for being you.

  19. Happy Anniversary! I’ll be praying for you all, for your marriage, for strength, and of course for little Scout.

  20. Melissa Shell says:

    That was a treat! Happy Anniversary and many, many more! Of course we will keep praying for you all, love the Shells

  21. Emily Truncellito says:

    The movie is brilliant. Scout is brilliant. We pray for her constantly, so thank you for the faithful updates.

  22. Amanda Iwanciw says:

    That’s awesome…Carter loved it too! Happy anniversary! Praying for Scout and all listed above :)

  23. Patty Norford says:

    I remember My daughter P-L giving me all the details of you wedding. My how time flies. I wish you a Happy Anniversary and prayers for your little one to get stronger, kick the drugs and get out of there.

  24. Shannon and Rachael says:

    Happy Anniversary! Shannon still talks about how fun your wedding was- “when I was at Gabe and Mandy’s wedding….” You’re doing so great. God bless you two, and the precious one from this blessed union.

  25. Terri McMurray says:

    Willow wants to type. hhhhhhhh hkhhkkkkkkhh hhkhkhkh h khkhkhkhhjhhjjh hkh kkhkk hkkhk hkkhoh nfoofngnbcbb n (Says Willow). Genius. She laughed at your Scout preview and that doesn’t just happen every day. Just tell Scout “Butter up that bacon boy” (Simpsons if you don’t remember)

  26. Melissa Skinner says:

    Yes- I did want to see that video again. Actually, I watched it 3 times. Mandy- I love that you are looking at “The Joy of Signing” book in the video. Who knew you would become so proficient at signing. Thinking of you both today on your anniversary. Sending prayers your way…

  27. Allison Matthews says:

    11 years! Yeehaw!! I just held a mental celebration for y’all. It was a quiet, modest affair, but very sincere. Still praying for Miss Scout!

  28. Heather Collins says:

    How fun!! Thank you for posting the video- you guys are great.
    Great perspective on your anniversary- I will pray God gives you many more years together and continued strength through this experience with Scout. You have already been made stronger through this- we can all see it in your thoughts that you post. Stay strong in the Lord and He will bless you for it!

  29. Stephanie McGee says:

    *sigh*… I love you guys.

  30. Starlet Wright says:

    Such a fun/great video! Continuing to pray for all 3 of you! Happy Anniversary!

  31. Janelle Cooke says:

    Happy Anniversary! I had never seen the video before and was extremely impressed to say the least. Your blog entries are very well written and heart warming, yes, Mandy, I said heart warming. :) Prayers are still going up for little Scout. Before lunch today, I said a quick prayer with my boys and my son Caleb said, Mom you “forgot” about Scout. Of course I did not forget about Scout, but I was reminded again how precious a child’s heart is and how blessed we are that God allows us to experinece this. Continuing to pray. Love you guys!

  32. Kate Jurgens says:

    Hope the day had some peace for you. Hoping Scout is eating a little bit more. Love the movie trailer! So fun! Here’s to steady upward and onward out of JHU, onto life, for at least 111 more years:)

  33. Gina B says:

    Why is it that you both have a perfect way of words? i love it. keep writing and i will keep reading. happy 11th anniversary! love and hugs to scout..

  34. Thinking of you today and praying for all of you. May you be showered with blessings as you begin your 12th year together.

    Asking God to give Scout a happy day!
    Love from New Mexico…

  35. Karen Morgan says:

    LOVE THE VIDEO. I had heard about it from Nancy, but never seen it. You all are really talented.

  36. Becky Boyer says:

    Happy Anniversary! You two seem like such the perfect match! And I agree with Gina so good with words! Glad for the progress but know Scout is still fighting. Still praying for your sweet girl.

  37. Angie Price says:

    Happy Anniversary! We love you all so much….

  38. Sharon Davis says:

    God bless your marriage and blessings for Scout today. When my husband and I were very young, like you are now we faced hospital trials, just as you are. Today he is an elder and we’ve been married 43 years soon. I check your blog and continue to pray. Keep strong, continue to lean on each other.

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