The Gift of Togetherness…

Today I attain the milestone of 39 years.  Over the past four decades I have received many gifts; but none have been more precious than the gift of togetherness that I have been blessed with each day for the last twenty one years.

I met my favorite farmer on Halloween night, 1993, at a fraternity party on the Dartmouth College campus.  He was in the middle of his senior year football season and I was a freshman newbie on the swim team.  We had our first date Thanksgiving weekend when we were both required to be on campus for athletic practice.

A younger Anne and Matt...

A younger Anne and Matt…

It didn’t take long for us to become basically inseparable.  We got engaged on my twentieth birthday and were married a little over a year later.  Our first baby was a black Labrador retriever named Taylor who ended up going to class with Matt and attaining her master’s degree in engineering business.

Just a few years ago with Taylor...


When Matt completed his master’s and I attained my undergraduate degree in June of 1997, we moved back to the farm in Nebraska.  Our lives were no longer filled with classes and college life, but the togetherness remained constant as we transitioned to life on the prairie.annemattsdakota

There is a tremendous sense of security that comes from the knowledge that you are never alone. 

Although I do not spend every hour of every day with Matt, I take a piece of him with me wherever I go.  Both my heart and my mind know that I have his unconditional love and support — this gives me confidence and motivation as I make my way through life.

Our 10 year wedding anniversary...

Our 10 year wedding anniversary — June 2006

Although I am proud of many things that I have done in my first 39 years, I am most proud of what Matt and I have accomplished together.  From our three beautiful daughters to the farm that we tend to with love and dedication — I know that no matter what we could likely accomplish alone, we are better together.  DSC06166

There is tremendous joy to be found in the act of sharing.

There is tremendous strength to be found in the act of loving.

Today, as I count my blessings, my favorite farmer tops the list.  I remember the look on his face the night that we first met.  I picture in my mind the twinkle in his eye when he held each of our girls for the first time.  I think of the smile that he gets on his face each morning as he tells me that he loves me.

I recognize the infinite beauty of this gift of togetherness…


Filed under Family, General

26 responses to “The Gift of Togetherness…

  1. Kathy Bottrell

    It is so nice to hear from a young person who understands what is really of value in life. Value every minute you have together, make the most of every day, so that, in the end-and hopefully that end won’t come for many, many years, you can look back with no regrets knowing you made the most of the wonderful gift you were given, time together. Happy birthday.

    • Thank you, Kathy. Yes, I agree so much with what you said. I am truly blessed and hope that we have many more years of “togetherness”! It is great to hear from you — I so much appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.


  2. Ann

    Happy Birthday! Well written appreciation of Matt and your family! (as always)

    • Thank you, Ann. Cozad is a great community and Matt and I feel very lucky to be able to make our lives within that “rural family”. We had a great birthday evening last night at the high school basketball games 🙂


  3. Jim Tomek

    Happy Birthday Anne! I didn’t realize Taylor was so well educated. Have a great day!

    • Yes, Taylor was very highly educated 🙂 My grandparents actually got a diploma made for her when Matt graduated with his masters. In the mid-90’s and before, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth allowed the students to bring their dogs to class. Matt had a great group of guys who all had “well educated dogs”! Unfortunately times have changed, and they no longer allow dogs in the engineering building — I think that it is a really a shame because it takes away from the culture of the school.

      I assume that you are warmer in Texas than we are…We’ve been at zero or below for lows since Tuesday night.


  4. What a great story-similar to ours in that we met one night when I was 19, married by 20 and our first baby was a black lab named Midget, who yes went to day care when we worked 🙂 26 years and 6 kids later, I feel the things that you expressed, only you are a much better writer with a gift for words. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

    • Thank you so much for your kindness, Tonja. I am so glad that you can identify with my words. It is a beautiful life — and one to be celebrated! I stopped at 3 kids, but our house still seems pretty lively 🙂


  5. Stephanie Rush

    What a beautiful way to start the day. You guys are a great family!

    • Thank you, Stephanie! The basketball games last night were a great way to end my day 🙂 The kids make me proud to be a part of such a great community.

      Good luck to your kids at both volleyball and basketball this weekend —

  6. Katheryn

    As always your words are inspiring and exceptional!

    • Thank you, Katheryn. I appreciate your positive reinforcement! This post was a special one for me to write — the writing brought just as much joy as the sharing. It is not hard for me to find God’s hand in my life. I have many blessings to be thankful for.


  7. Happy Birthday, Anne! I hope you have had a fabulous day. It is a blessing to find someone who can be your friend, co-worker and partner all at the same time. I hope you continue to embrace and share the love and blessings you have.

    • Good to hear from you, Robyn! I hope that you all are having some success of fending off the bitter cold. February has been quote a weather month so far…

      Yes, I agree that it is something very special and I look forward to many more years of “togetherness”!


  8. What a beautiful post and tribute to the life you two have built together. those photos of the younger two of you are priceless. Have a blessed and peaceful birthday 🙂

    • The old photos were fun to look at as I searched for ones that I could use. It was a great way to relive some great memories! Megan went through them with me and seemed to find quite a bit of laughter in some of the images 🙂

      Thank you for the birthday wishes — yesterday was a good day.

  9. Rex

    We are very glad you were born. May God’s blessings continue to flow through you.

  10. Happy Birthday Anne, I can just read the happiness in your blog, everything seems to be falling in place year to year. A happy marriage makes the years fly by. Have a great year.

    • Thank you, Ellie! I have found that when you look for the light that it is easy to find. I try to live my life looking for that light — Yes, a good marriage makes the years fly by and be filled with joy.

      I appreciate the best wishes. It is good to hear from you!

  11. Happy Birthday Anne,
    Great post. Time together with spouses, family, church, or industry are all important. Having people especially that spouse to always be able to lean on, and keep grounded with, and get fired up with, and continue on with is a very special part of life. I had the pleasure of being around Robin last week in Lincoln, NE before her passing this week. Even in the toughest of moments togetherness with our family and friends helps us push forward toward accomplishing our purpose during life. Thanks for all you do, and don’t feel too old while you are a year older than me for a little while anyway.

    • Thank you, John. Robin’s death is a difficult challenge, and I regret that our paths did not cross more frequently. Her passing leaves a hole in many hearts.

      I am glad to be just enough older that you can still feel young! I hope that NCBA convention went well last week.


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