This week Christopher and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. I have a tradition that I started on my Rockin” Granola blog years ago. Every anniversary I add a bit to this post, my annual love letter to my husband.
Rockin” Granola is mostly about knitting and crafting these days, but I thought it seemed fitting, if a bit of a break from my usual content here, to share this year”s update here on the Simple Kids blog.
After all, without this man of mine, things would certainly be different around this space (I”d never find the time between diaper changes to write it, for one thing).
… 13 years, four kids, and after a season of life that finds the for worse, sickness, and poorer part of our marriage vows put to the test, here we are: together, in love, committed.
Dare I say it? We are, I think, happier than we”ve ever been. It may not be a forty acre farm and it certainly isn”t sophisticated city living, but life in this small town with you is the stuff that dreams are made of.
You asked me the other day what I wanted for our anniversary. Truly, there is nothing I would like more than another year with you and a happy, healthy family. That, my love, is everything.
… One year ago, life was hard. Really hard. There were times where it seemed like we had forgotten how to talk to each other. There were ruts we fell into, dark places, hurt feelings. Yet, with work and patience and love, we bridged the gap, one conversation at a time. I think we”re both stronger for it.
Thank you for being strong when I am weak. Thank you for having faith when I can”t find any hope. When I feel like I am drowning, you keep swimming out to save me.
Hawaii, May 2011
… Two years ago, with three kids, a fourth due any day, and all the ups and downs of life (some lower than I ever feared and some higher than I ever dreamed). I can still say that I”m married to my best friend. I look at you, I look at our children, and I know that where the five of you are is home to me.
… Three years ago We celebrated a decade of marriage. You told me the best was yet to come. The challenges haven”t disappeared, but they matter less and less. I feel like anything is possible! Thank you for encouraging me to dream big and for always being on my side.
… Four years ago We reached a turning point in our lives, and we”ve been working side by side toward our goal ever since. There aren”t enough words to say what it means to me to know that you are on my side, working with me, taking up the yoke and making sacrifices, and (perhaps most importantly) helping me to keep perspective about it all.
… Five years ago our little Lucy Cupcake was just a few months old. It was an adjustment, becoming this family of five, but you made me feel like a princess, taking on so much extra work around the house so I could rest and lie in with the baby. Chris, you became Max”s constant companion, helping him ease into big brotherhood, even though he was still a baby in many ways himself. Thank you.
… Six years ago we had just returned from my brother”s wedding, Max had just turned one, and we were weeks away from the one of the most wonderful SURPRISES of our lives – oh, Lucy!
Sometimes you get exactly what you wanted, even though you didn”t even know you had that wish.
… Seven years ago Max was born. He came along at a time when we needed a miracle in our lives. Nearly four long years of prayers were answered in this amazing little boy with big blue eyes and little blonde curls. It was a time of extreme happiness and extreme sadness all together.
You were so proud of your new son but so sad that you could not introduce him to his Grandpa John. Still, we sat on the swing and talked and hoped and dreamed about the future.
… Eight years ago, your Dad was losing his battle with lung cancer, only we didn”t know it at the time. John seemed so alive and solid and filled up any room that he was in. He did not seem sick, he seemed vibrant. He was just a bald version of his loud, joking, laughing, high spirited self.
I wish I could bottle that last summer with your Dad up in a jar and give it to you over and over.
Before he passed away we were able to tell your Dad that we were expecting a son. He couldn”t speak at that point, but I”ll never forget how his eyes twinkled.
… Nine years ago, we were getting ready to move into our house. We were nervous, scared, excited, and incredibly silly about the whole thing. Jillian was not quite three and you were getting ready to turn 30 and I”m not sure who was more excited about trading in our apartment for our own backyard.
To this day it amazes me that you actually like mowing the yard.
… Ten years ago, we lived in an apartment in the city and you worked across the street. You used to come home for lunch every day and Jillian would watch out the window, nose pressed against the glass, waiting for your car to pull into the complex.
I”m not sure who was happier, the toddler excited to see her daddy, or the wife who needed that mid-day break. Looking back, I can see how inconvenient that must have been for you, but you never once complained.
… Eleven years ago, we were packing up to move from our shoebox apartment to a larger 2 bedroom apartment. We were getting ready to celebrate Jillian”s first birthday.
We were exhausted. I was the most nervous, sleep-deprived new mom, but you still took the time to kiss me each day before you left for work and tell me that you loved me. If it bothered you that our lives changed from parties and concerts on the weekend to diapers and arguing over whose turn it was to sleep in, you never showed it.
I think that year was the first year I finally understood what it means to really love someone for better or for worse.
… Twelve years ago, I was pregnant and we lived on the first floor in a teeny, tiny shoebox apartment. I grew sunflowers on the tiny patio in the dirt.
Somehow, we crammed a swing set into the small space and we used to sit out there at night and talk for hours, dreaming and planning our future.
… Thirteen years ago, I was a nervous bride who focused too much on the wedding and not on the marriage, until the wedding march began and I looked at your face waiting for me at the end of the room. I knew, surrounded by all our friends and family, I knew with all my heart that I was about the be married to the man that God had picked for me, my best friend, my soul mate.
Not the flowers, not who sat next to whom, not the food, not the music, not the weather.
Just you and I starting our lives together.
On Feb. 13, 1995, shortly after we met, I started my journal entry “He has the most incredible blue eyes” … those eyes that still make my heart flip-flop, that still take my breath away, that I can”t believe I”m lucky enough to gaze into until death do us part.
The first time I saw you, I knew.
You were my opposite in just about every way but it was right.
Happy Anniversary, my love!
Well if I don”t win, I”m a gonna break even
Rescue me, should I go wrong
If I dig too deep, if I stay too long
Oh, yeah, you wreck me, baby
You break me in two
But you move me, honey
Yes, you do
- Tom Petty