8 Years and Counting…

Ben and I celebrated 8 years of marriage yesterday. We were lucky to spend the whole day together, just the two of us, being a couple, doing all of our favorite things…eating, relaxing, talking. It was the perfect way to celebrate, and I’m so happy we both still enjoy being together.


So much has changed in the last 8 years. I think back to our wedding weekend and swell with love and pride. We have the best friends and family a couple could ask for; they came from far and wide to spend the most beautiful October day with us in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Over time, we’ve lost family members and gained new ones, grown apart from some and welcomed new friends into our lives.

One priceless element of our wedding day was the completion of our wedding certificate…a handmade piece of art on which our family and friends committed themselves to us, to assisting us in our journey of marriage and friendship, to guide us on a path which never promises to be easy or smooth or even charted, for that matter. I pass by this promise every day, as it hangs in our dining room, in plain sight to all who enter our home…it’s a wonderful reminder of our day, our commitment and the support system which keeps us strong.

In honor of our anniversary, I’d like to share with you our wedding certificate and it’s words…


Blessed by family and friends on this fifteenth day of October in the year two thousand and five

Jill Marie Bratland, daughter of Leo and Deborah Bratland and Benjamin Joel Weinberger, son of Donald and Linda Weinberger

were united in marriage on Dataw Island, Beaufort, South Carolina.

With love that deepens through the years may we better learn its mysteries, truly one in sharing ourselves with one another, yet remaining two in our uniqueness.

May our home be a place of happiness for all who enter it, a place where old and young are renewed in each others company, a place for growth, music, and laughter. And when shadows fall within its rooms may it still be a place of hope and strength for all entrusted to our care.

May our family be enriched by the beauty and energy of our love of each for one another.

As family and friends we celebrate the love that has brought Jill and Ben to this day.



The certificate was custom-made (by Susan Miller, Pennsylvania) to include artwork with personal images which reflect our character and relationship…the strong oaks draped in Spanish moss to represent the Lowcountry, where we were engaged and married; a Saluki dog to honor our alma mater, the place we first met; music notes for our love of live music and concerts; a sweet grey kitty for my boy Apollo; and grape vines for our affection for wine and early dates at Southern Illinois wine festivals/wineries. There are several other small images hidden throughout the artwork but those are the major elements. It really is such a special piece, my most treasured piece of art!!


Miss Hannah signing her name, October 2005

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