Celebrating 20 years of marriage

Nov 4, 2021 | Life in Progress

It was the summer of 1998 in Florida. I was 24 years old, had just graduated with my MSW,  and I was dating someone – nothing too serious.  One evening, John, (who I had heard and known about since we were 14, but never met), came to my boyfriend’s house with his beautiful Golden Retriever named Terrapin.

The crush was instant. He was so kind, sooooo laid back. One thing I immediately noticed about him was that he asked really thoughtful questions, his attention and interest sincere.  Sadly, we were both in relationships. It wasn’t the right time.

Fast forward to April 1999. I’m finishing up my first year as an MSW at the local hospital (I worked on the Infection Disease Unit) with plans to move to the Pacific Northwest that summer. John was working at the same hospital (ER nurse),  getting ready to graduate with his BSN. Although we worked at the same hospital, it was rare to run into one another. One time I ran into him at the coffee cart and my heart dropped with nervous, butterfly energy.

By this time, I was single again and spending the afternoon at my friend Josh’s house when the phone rang (an actual landline!) and I answered it. It was John on the other end of the line calling to see if Josh wanted to grab lunch.  I was invited, too, and the three of us headed up to lunch at the local bistro. I can remember exactly what I was wearing: cropped skinny jeans that zipped on the side, a white collared sleeveless shirt, and some wedge sandals (I went through a tiny preppy phase).

Over lunch, after learning that he was single, too, I casually invited him to come to a concert with me that evening – nothing crazy, just a local band at a local pub.  He said yes. He said yes!!!

And the rest is history.

We fell in love. Everything that was wrong or hard or annoying in my life simply disappeared. I was high on love. I remember walking the halls of the hospital with my intensely stressful job with a huge smile on my face and not a care in the world. I was in love. Nothing else mattered.  I had never felt anything like that before. I remember thinking, “I want everyone I know to feel this kind of love.

About 12 weeks after meeting and without ever having been to the Pacific Northwest, John moved with me to Portland from Florida. We took several weeks, traveling across the country to get there, camping and adventuring along the way. When we landed in Portland that summer of 1999, we began to build our life together. We’ve never looked back.

Have there been years of uncertainty? Yes. Have we worked really hard on our marriage. Hell yes. I’m so proud of us. So proud of both of us for being willing to do the work to keep that spark and fire alive.

And now here we are, 46 ad 47 years old. With an 11-year-old named True. Life is precious. Messy at times. But always beautiful.

Big love, Kelly Rae

 

 

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (44 comments)
44 Comments
  1. norma ruiz

    Such a beautiful love story. Not the initial love struck moments but the commitment and perseverance. Congrats to both of you.

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      THanks, Norma!

      Reply
  2. Deanna

    You are an absolute angel. Thank you for sharing so generously of yourself and reminding me that people are good.

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      People are good 🙂

      Reply
  3. Laura Jones

    Kelly and John,
    Congratulations on your love story. I really enjoyed reading it and remembering those feelings of joy. It’s a beautiful thing to have a happy family, it’s a rare find. You should be proud of yourselves! On another note. I just want to thank you for all you have offered of yourself to others. You have inspired me so much. I met you when you were teaching at Art and Soul-Portland @ Vendor night. You were so kind and generous. I took your Flying Lessons course, loved it, but I wasn’t ready to fly yet. Watching you all these years, I always loved how you have followed your heart and made the hard decisions to be true to yourself. I have always thought if you can do it , so can I ! And, I finally did. This year I launched my art business and I’m learning my way. Thanks for all your inspiration!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Laura, I’m a deep believer in divine timing, that when we leap and/or retreat, the timing is always perfection. Congrats on launching. I peeked over, and your work is STUNNING! Bravo! Thank you, too, for your kindness. It was received with a full heart. Xo

      Reply
  4. Cherie

    I love reading love stories!!! Especially true ones! That was awesome. Wishing you both a happily ever after together!!! ❤️

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thanks, Cherie!

      Reply
  5. Maria Teresa

    Happy Anniversary! Blessings always!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you, Maria!

      Reply
  6. Laurie

    How lovely! Happy Anniversary !💕💕

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you, Laurie!

      Reply
  7. Elizabeth

    Your love, loving and bright Light are beautiful to behold. Your art makes my heart sing~ I am truly inspired by you and wish you continued goodness, grace, tears and cheers along the way~
    sending my lovexo

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you for your kindness, Elizabeth. I appreciate you!

      Reply
  8. Heather

    Hi Kelly Rae,

    Just finishing a productive and joyful Saturday with a cup of tea before starting dinner. I opened up your email and there was this lovely story about you and John celebrating 20 years of marriage. I always love hearing about how people have met and fell in love. Call me a romantic I guess. Thank you for sharing your story! It was a delightful way to wind down my day!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      I’m so glad our story accompanied you with your tea and dinner :)). Thanks for the love!

      Reply
  9. Ginger

    I have always loved you Kelly Rae❤️You are just a beam of Sunshine!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Awe, thanks, Ginger. Sometimes my friends call me “Kelly Rae of Sunshine” which is so sweet. Here’s to cultivating our inner lights :). xo

      Reply
  10. Cherie Phillips

    I loved reading your story!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you, Cherie!

      Reply
  11. Bonnie

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I love it!!!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hey thanks, Bonnie!

      Reply
  12. Jane

    John is no longer a nurse right?

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Jane, Yes, he’s no longer practicing, but he’s still very much a wellness/health advocate, but in a different way I’d say. For many years he was a trauma nurse and then a nurse anesthetist, but he decided long ago to get out of the hospital setting :).

      Reply
  13. Amy Lake

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Love is so GRAND!!! Now, I want to hear the rest of the story!! How two Floridians became PNW-ians and what jobs you found and how did you start this business? You know, the rest of your life! Your sharing INSPIRES and makes others feel like they CAN DO IT too!!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Amy! Hmmm, those are some crazy stories! Thanks for the nudge to share some more. It might be a fun little blog series to write about those early days :). So love your enthusiasm. Thank you!

      Reply
      • Barb Chartier Raudonis

        YES, Kelly!!!! I’ve also SO enjoyed reading your stories because you always share from the heart and put into words what I (we) sometimes struggle to do. You and John obviously have a wonderful love story and as ALL awesome love stories go, there are definitely times when it’s not always a “bed of roses.” Which is PERFECTLY “normal.” But nowadays it’s so rare to actually not only HEAR about those specific times, but the opportunity for lessons that they can teach US gets lost. People can easily set themselves up for failure while admiring anyone that’s had the amount of success you’ve had (including authors, athletes, social media influencers, Dr.’s, entrepreneurs, etc) when all we’re usually exposed to is where they started (struggling) and where they are now (successful). We WANT to hear about all the “messy & real” parts because THAT then teaches us all what The Journey of Life is TRULY about. It’s ALL about the middle…….just like in an Oreo cookie!! hahaha!! Anyhow, I didn’t mean to ramble, but you ARE in a situation in which you can have a VERY positive impact on people’s lives in helping them achieve – and DO THE WORK that having a loving, committed, and successful marriage or ANY meaningful relationship REQUIRES. Afterall, it’s NOT “a bed of roses.” There’s plenty of thorns you NEED to deal with, otherwise people will just keep looking for that next beautiful/handsome/whatever ROSE that’s out there, and never find happiness and true love. And lastly……THANK YOU for embracing your creative self, nurturing it, and sharing it with us!!! I can’t imagine a world without Kelly Rae Art!

        Reply
        • Kelly Rae Roberts

          Thank you, Barb. Yes, the messy bits are where the real devotional love resides. It’s where we get to see mirrors of ourselves, look inward, do the work, and begin repair in our relationships, which of course creates deeper love, intimacy, and understanding in the partnership. I’m very grateful and fortunate to have a partner who has been willing to do his work. Thank you for your encouragement and kindness. Means the world.

          Reply
  14. Gail Jackson

    Happiest 20 year anniversary Kelly and John!!!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you, Gail!

      Reply
  15. Patti

    Aww Kelly ~loving gratitude for sharing your Journey with us. I absolutely love your brutal honesty of the challenges on your Path. You are an inspiration sharing your love and wisdoms with your followers. Loving Kindness 💞

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thanks, Patti. Here’s to love and truth and more love.

      Reply
  16. Nancy McClendon

    We love that you share your life! Love the details!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Oh thanks, Nancy!

      Reply
  17. Chris Kaitlyn

    Congratulations to both of you!❣️❣️❣️

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thanks, Chris!

      Reply
  18. Marylyn Barnett

    Congratulations on your 20th Wedding Anniversary! Thank you for sharing the wonderful journey you and John experienced.
    Happiness and love for you both throughout your lives.

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      THanks so much, Marylyn!

      Reply
  19. Kristin Blankenship

    I love hearing each other’s stories of “how we met!” Congratulations on 20 years of marriage!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Me, too. I’m always asking other people this question. Love to hear the stories 🙂

      Reply
  20. Rachel

    Such a beautiful story! Congratulations on 20 years! 🙂

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you, Rachel!

      Reply
  21. Mary Beth Shaw

    Beautiful story! Congratulations.

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thanks, Mary Beth!

      Reply

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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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