What 12 Years Gets You

It has taken many years to get where we are today. The learning curve was steep. We were newlyweds learning how to be married. How to be husband and wife. And now 12 years later, here we are. Wiser. Slightly more crazy. More in love today than we were 12 years ago.

Wiser

We learned to work as a team. Mostly, I learned to listen and follow instruction. To test how well a couple teams up give them a brand new BBQ in 50 pieces and poorly written instructions. The good ones will have it together in an hour laughing along the way. The ones who are still learning? Both will argue that their way is right. Both will give instructions. Neither will listen. The marriage will dissolve and someone will be threatened to be beaten to death with the unbuilt BBQ. It’s the same with furniture assembly and vacation planning.

Twelve years has taught us (me) that listening, not just hearing, is as important as doing. Of course, being weak to her Mind Tricks helps.

Crazier

Twelve years is a long time to be with the same person. You learn to find your own version of normal. It’s buying your own anniversary present because your wife is sick with the flu and can’t get out. It’s playing with said present (Bop It) and dancing like a drunk June bug to make her laugh. It’s knowing who is going to jump on the trampoline with the kids and who is going to plan the birthday party.

Kids have a tendency to make you a bit crazier than usual, too. Whether they entice you onto the kitchen dance floor, adorn you with macaroni jewels, or just plain refuse to go to sleep, you will find your own crazy and you will embrace it. Wear it proudly as if it were a crown.

Love

We have learned what sacrifices the other has made to help the family. Whether it was a move or using birthday money to pay a bill or going without sleep because of a sick kid, hungry infant, or worry. We learn to see what we do for each other. Whether it’s simple things like cooking, cleaning, or entertaining the kids. Or it’s big like planning a big party, support through a tough time, or a surprise outing. Also, having kids gives us a common enemy goal.

Though all we have learned over the past 12 years (14 if you count when we first met), I have learned the most. Some how I have hunch I’m not yet done learning.

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42

A city girl from Pennsylvania.

A farm boy from Maryland. 

They met in college at the boy’s birthday party. The rest, as they say, is history.

The girl’s mother asked the boy, “Why do you want to marry my daughter?”
“Why not?” the boy responds.

I laughed when I heard this story. I used to think it was smartass remark. But thinking on it, perhaps he had no reasons why not to marry her. Perhaps, he knew all the reason why. 

But knowing him, it was probably as much a smartass response as it was romantic.

Through the years they’ve had their ups. They’ve had their downs. Perhaps even a few side ways. They’ve lived in at least four different states. Twice as many houses. They brought two strikingly handsome, brilliantly intellegent, incredibly strong yet gentle, loving boys into the world. They couldn’t have done that if they weren’t all that themselves. 

It takes something special to make it 42 years. A great sense of humor, for instance. Like when your husband sneaks up on you while you’re blow drying your hair in the bathroom and bangs on a pot with a wooden spoon. If you don’t laugh, you might kill him. It also takes wisdom. Like knowing you can only get away with said scare only once. It takes great patience. Whether one of you is working vast amounts of overtime or it’s time to move house again or finances are a struggle or your kid just broke another window, patience will see you through. Supporting each other when the going gets tough and laughing together when going gets easy will help any marriage survive the test of time. 

I try to follow their example in both marriage and parenting. Patience. Humor. Love. With a little luck we’ll last 42 years, too.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

10 Years and Counting

Here we are 10 years ago

Here we are 10 years ago

The ten year anniversary is Tin/Aluminum. I wholly expect to receive a can of Coke Cola. I think I’ll change the tradition to glass and replace her bottle of Mother’s Day wine I sorta kinda drank.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep this story as short as possible. I’ll try not to bore you with details. Ten years ago today DW and I said our I Do’s.

I proposed a year before on a rock at the cottage we visit frequently (to skip rocks) amongst family and friends. She couldn’t return with me because we would have had to get married within 90 days. That’s not what we wanted. So upon the end of summer vacation, I returned to Virginia to teach while she stayed in Canada to teach. We made a few visits between those two summers. Thankfully, we had the technology to easily keep in touch. After a year’s engagement and lots of planning across two countries, our wedding day was finally upon us.

We’ve been through two immigrations, financial woes, heart surgery on our first born, and countless other stresses and have emerged stronger in our relationship and as individuals.

She keeps life fun. Just this morning she called the radio station to request our newest favorite song “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and we danced in the kitchen. The only difference between this “first” dance and our original first dance is that this time we had a 4 year old squirm his way in between us while his nearly 8 year old brother watched curiously. And after all this time, I still can’t dance.

Happy anniversary lover!
XOXOXO