Photo Essay: Celebrating 15 Years of Marriage

Just last week, my husband Jun and I marked a major milestone in our marriage. Fifteen years ago on July 26, we stood before a government representative in Shanghai, promising to spend the rest of our lives together. It’s hard to believe that 15 years have passed since that moment, yet I love Jun just as much as the first time I stood before him and said, “Wo yuanyi!” (“I do” in Chinese — and yes, like most of us in China, I did it more than once for reasons explained in this post).

To commemorate those 15 incredible years I’ve enjoyed with the love of my life, a guy who still makes me swoon after all this time together, I’m sharing one of our marriage registration photos from 2004 plus 15 photos of us together (one from each year of our marriage)!

2004

IMG_0012

This photo was taken just moments after we took our vows in a civil ceremony in Shanghai and signed our official little red marriage books. Can’t you just see that newly-registered glow in our faces? (Or maybe it’s the red we both wore that day!) 😉

2005

IMG_2109

As part of our Huangshan Honeymoon in 2005 (which I wrote about in an essay for the new anthology How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit) we visited a couple of traditional Huizhou-style villages in the foothills of Huangshan. Here we pose before a reflecting pool in Hongcun.

2006

IMG_2698

We visited friends in Chicago in February 2006 and ended up strolling beside Lake Michigan, despite the freezing winter temperatures. Who needs to worry about cold weather when you have the love of your life beside you to keep you warm? 😉

2007

Jocelyn and Jun in the park near Fenshui River.

The summer of 2007, we returned to John’s hometown to make our marriage official (in the eyes of his family and friends) with a big Chinese wedding ceremony.

2008

IMG_4773

Late in the summer of 2008, John and I took off for one last camping trip deep in the Rocky Mountains. What views!

2009

IMG_6056

When John and I went to China for the summer of 2009, we indulged in a month-long trip across the country to take in all of the sights we never visited years before — from Xi’an and Chengdu to Changsha and Kaifeng.

2010

IMG_5743-1

John and I welcomed the year of the tiger in 2010 as the emcees of a Chinese New Year celebration. What a night!

2011

IMG_0537

Here we are in 2011 celebrating John’s birthday over Thai curries. John never used to think much of his birthday until I came along — but if the smile on his face is any measure, he loves the change!

2012

IMG_1272

To commemorate our wedding anniversary in 2012, we enjoyed a relaxing evening of classical music performed by the Cleveland Orchestra. But before heading out, we posed before the flower garden to remember the evening.

2013

102_2242

For Chinese New Year in 2013, John and I whipped up a traditional Chinese feast for the family — from roast goose and ribs to ginger-garlic green beans and stir-fried matchstick potatoes. We’re smiling, but there’s exhaustion behind those eyes because we spent the entire morning in the kitchen! Still, it was worth the effort.

2014

IMG_2145

There’s nothing like finally spending Chinese New Year at the family home in China for the first time in years. In 2014, Jun and I reunited with his family and the country we love.

2015

On my birthday in 2015, Jun and I visited the West Lake, snapping this photo by our beloved corner of the lake near Qu Yuan Feng He (曲院风荷).

2016

Jun and I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Washington DC with family in the summer of 2016, where we had the chance to look upon all the iconic landmarks.

2017

Jun and I took this shot just after moving from Hangzhou to Beijing.

2018

As spring arrived in the park near our home in Beijing, Jun and I took the time to take a walk and appreciate the flowers.

2019

Jun and I are taking a stroll through a park in Beijing on a gorgeous summer afternoon.

Here’s hoping for many more incredible years to come together!

Celebrating 10 Years Together With My Husband

John and I at our wedding ceremony in ChinaTen years ago on July 26, I spent an evening beside the West Lake with a young man from rural Hangzhou, a man whose kiss transformed us into something far beyond friends. Two years later, on the very same day, we made things a little more official — we registered our marriage in Shanghai. And three years after that, we finally said “I do” in China with all the pomp and circumstance a bride could ever hope for in a wedding ceremony.

Even after all this time together, John still makes me swoon. 😉

And, I should add, he was the one who inspired me to launch this site, and the one always encouraged me to keep writing.

John, thank you so much for 10 wonderful years together.

P.S.: I’ve been busy celebrating this weekend — and through this week — so my apologies for this short entry. I’ll be back again with a full entry on Friday.