Plenty in Twenty

It’s our 20th wedding anniversary this week and we’ve been reminiscing over some of the highlights of the last twenty years – and there have been plenty!

I’ve written previously the rapid start to both our personal and business partnership back in 1998, but if I had to pick my favorite moments of the past twenty years together they’d be as follows.

Our Wedding Day

I can still clearly remember what a perfect day this was. The sun was shining, although I had so much happiness and excitement about the day that I suspect it would have felt like the sun was out regardless of the actual weather! The ceremony went without a hitch, nearly all of our friends and family where there, and we had a great party to celebrate.

Sascha and Sam joining our family

I suspect these two days feature even more highly in my rating than they do in Stuart’s, only because they both signalled not only the safe arrival of healthy babies, but the end of two torturous pregnancies that saw me vomit pretty much from the day of conception to the day they were born. Combined that with pre-eclampsia that saw me puffed up like a blowfish and peeing in jars to check my protein levels every day, it’s fair to say the birth day’s were both very welcome events in my life!

In spite of the challenges that pregnancy posed, I would never make light of the fact that we are so fortunate to have been blessed with two healthy babies, who have grown up into great kids that we love spending time with.

Baby Sascha in 2001, with my puffy pre-eclampsia face clearly visible!
Baby Sam a few years later, when digital cameras with date stamps had also arrived

Our third baby

It’s fair to say that the business has been the third baby that we’ve birthed together, and it’s definitely been the one that’s given us more grey hairs over the years than either of the two actual kids!

We’ve worked together literally since the day we got engaged, and while I know it’s not a scenario that works for every couple, the opportunity to build a business together has definitely been a highlight of our relationship. I genuinely believe we’ve been able to do what we’ve done because we’ve done it together, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. The 20th anniversary of our business partnership fell last year, and I shared the Top 20 Tips we’d learned on that journey in a post then, linked here.

Plenty of Costumes

It’s fair to say that over the years there’s been no shortage of costumes, both at work and outside of work. They’ve created plenty of laughs – and a few tears at times when the kids have been less than willing participants! – but we keep telling them they are creating memories that will last a lifetime, and they’ll always remember this as part of growing up in our family.

Plenty of Experiences

We work hard and are away from home a lot during the course of the year, so from the time the kids have been old enough to travel we’ve committed to them that whenever possible we’ll take them on adventures during school holidays. Ideally that’s to another time zone, where work commitments are able to be condensed into the hours early in the morning or late at night, and we can guarantee that the majority of our time is fully focused on family time while Australia sleeps.

That’s seen us enjoy some amazing experiences as a family and as a couple, that definitely rate up there in my 20 year highlights.

Plenty of Challenges

It’s easy, particularly in this social media day and age to only see the happy shiny parts of people’s lives, but no one’s life is without it’s share of challenges and ours is no different.

Just before Sascha was born we received the devastating news that my dad had been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a consequence of exposure to asbestos in his workplace some 30 years prior, and that the diagnosis was terminal. Dad passed away when Sascha was only six months old, and it’s been a source of sadness that he hasn’t been here to see our family grow and expand with the arrival of Sam, and his cousins, over the years.

There’s also been no shortage of challenges on the business front over the years, and while you might think that would also create challenges in our personal relationship, the opposite has actually been the case there. The strength of our personal partnership has been a major contributor in enabling us to survive the numerous tough times that we, like all business owners, have had to navigate our way through over the years. When things have got tough we’ve been in it together, had each other’s backs and the strength that we’ve drawn from that has allowed us to pick ourselves up, dust each other off, and keep going.

Plenty of Love and Laughter

The one great constant of the 20 years has been the love that we have for each other and for the kids. Sure we’ve had our share of cross words and disagreements, but they’re pretty few and far between and generally at the minor end of the scale. We spend a lot of time laughing together, often at things no one else would likely find funny, and it’s definitely part of the glue that binds us.

Love, laughter and matching outfits – incredible!

Stuart and I have been embarrassing the kids with Parent PDA’s for years now, but at least they are never in doubt about how much their parents love each other.

After twenty years together, we’re still each other’s favorite person to spend time with, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon – bring on the next twenty, the first twenty have been epic!

Newer Story:

20th Anniversaries in Venice

June 16, 2019

2 comments on “Plenty in Twenty

  1. That’s awesome Cathie! I have just applied for a job vacancy as Pharmacist at the Northern Beaches Hospital. I have had my vision set to transition from my previous entrepreneurial efforts to a part time (or full time) role at this hospital. I was unable to apply at the opening of the hospital, as my mother was in and out of hospital and I was helping my dad as primary carer. This was a privilege and now that she has passed away, I reflect on all the precious moments I was blessed to have with her. I feel a connection with you already, even though I may not meet you for a little while….from the mesothelioma that my cousin’s husband has just been diagnosed with in NZ, to the Incredible PJ’s top my two (now adult) sons gave me last year for Mother’s Day…creation of family memories (we love to do that too!)…to your pioneering spirit to embrace digital health improving patient well-being through voice assistants for the elderly, Google glass and Epic Good Foundation, among others….you are a true inspiration and I am so happy to have spent this evening learning about your passions, your family and Icon Group. All of your endeavours, values and the importance you place on family relationships, resonate with me in a very genuine and authentic way. I just wanted to let you know that and regardless of whether I am granted an interview or not (I pray that I am!) – keep flying your Epic & Iconic Flag! – Kerryn

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