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Why renew your vows?  They don’t expire!  They sure don’t expire, but sometimes they tend to get forgotten during the crazy, busy hustle of life or when trying to load an unruly animal into a trailer.  I brought up the idea to Rob a little over a year ago and he went along with it so I knew he thought it was something neat, too!

Here’s is what I will tell you about renewing your wedding vows.  It feels different! Like totally different!  When we said the words to each other at our wedding, I was also worried about if the cake got delivered, if the DJ was setting up, and the list goes on.

While renewing our vows my mind wasn’t cluttered with any of that.  In fact, my mind was replaying the last 15 years of our married life like it was one of those reels of film that we used to watch in elementary school.  You see, our marriage hasn’t been easy, truthfully has any marriage ever been easy? There have been many nights where Rob has had to sleep on a cot or in a chair while dealing with my various health issues over the years. He has literally been my nurse as I have thrown up on him, wiped things up off of the floor for me that I couldn’t probably look at, and has been my rock when things have literally gone shitty. Pun intended. 😉  He has stood beside me while dealing with anxiety attacks, held my hand when I have felt overwhelmed, and has been the voice of reason when I couldn’t see a reason.

So while marriage vows don’t expire it doesn’t hurt to remind each other about all of those promises that you made on your wedding day and it doesn’t hurt to take the time to look into each other’s eyes and renew those promises.

Here are my top tips for making your vow renewal special:

  1. Dress up!  Make it an event.  I bought a dress that I would typically never wear and Rob wore the cowboy hat that he has had for our entire marriage (actually before we were married).
  2. Write something to each other.  We didn’t write our vows when we got married, but we did write a little something to each other this time and I will cherish those handwritten words for years to come.
  3. Involve people if you want or do it in private, the choice is yours. We chose to renew our vows in front of our children and a few family members and friends. I felt like it was extremely important for our girls to see that even though there may be raised voices from time to time Mom and Dad still love each other deeply and are committed to each other
  4. Involve your family (if you want) When we decided that we wanted to renew our vows my nephew offered to get ordained, while you don't have to have someone ordained lead your ceremony it sure was special to have Jackson conduct the ceremony and my niece read. Our girls were also involved by "walking" me to Rob.
  5. Incorporate something from your wedding. We chose to bring our cross that was passed around at our wedding. The cross was passed around at our wedding and people prayed over it and offered prayers for our marriage. We did it again at our vow renewal!
  6. .Celebrate!  We celebrated with our immediate family and friends by having a party at our house.  It was so fun and fun to relive some of the funny things that happened with our wedding day and celebrate with those that we love.

Have you considered renewing your vows? What things might you do differently?

From the gravel road-


I absolutely love to preserve foods! Do I love them mess? No, but it is so worth it in the dead of winter when the temperatures are below zero. I stayed home with our girls for a few years when they were little and I did a ton of canning during that season of life. I remember timing things out perfectly so that I could handle the blazing hot jars during nap time so that I didn't have to worry about them getting burnt.

My mom taught me how to can, as a first-year 4-H'er in 4th grade I took strawberry jam to the fair. 🙂 Ellie and I talked her into helping with almond peach jam and peaches this year. This was mainly because Ellie did not believe me that Grandma knew how to can and definitely didn't believe that she taught me everything I know. (While canning peaches that day my mom said she quit canning when she experienced a year when every jar didn't seal. She had gotten a bad batch of seals and even wrote the company about her frustration. It sounded like many people had the same experience that year. ) I can't imagine putting all of that hard work into your bounty to find that nothing sealed. I now realize why she threw in the towel. 🙂

I love making almond peach jam as it is a favorite with many of our family members and friends! It is adapted from the Sure-Jell recipe insert. I bought a lug of peaches from our local Mennonite store and then ended up buying another box at Fareway. It's very simple to make and is a great recipe to gather your kids to help with since there are lots of steps with the peeling, etc. I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as we do!

Almond Peach Jam

I absolutely love making this sweet jam. I tend to give it away to family and friends at Christmas! This recipe is adapted from the surejell box insert.
Servings: 7 jelly jars


  • Hot water canner
  • Jars, seals, rings


  • 4 cups Chopped Peaches
  • 1 box Sure-jell
  • 5 ½ cups Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Almond flavoring


  • Use a pot of boiling water to blanch peaches. Blanching is dipping the peaches into the boiling water for about 30 seconds then transfer to cold water. This will make the peaches very easy to peel.
  • Bring boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

  • Peel and pit peaches. Sprinkle with lemon juice while cutting to prevent browning. Finely chop fruit. Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in box of sure jell. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.

  • Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Add almond flavoring and stir.

  • Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars in canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

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