Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the dirty dozen

i look at the pictures of us on our wedding day and i think a few things...
- everything on us was so much smaller 
- our eyes look young and naive
- our smiles are genuine and unlined
mostly i think about how hard we had worked our whole relationship to be prepared. 
we were trying so hard to prepare for anything that may come our way. 
we. had. no. idea. 
i remember saying our vows that day and crying. it was the only time during the ceremony i cried. during the vows. i remember saying each and every single one and thinking this could happen to us. {for better for worse}...we will probably go through times where we don't like each other. {for richer, for poorer}...we will probably be poor. {in sickness and in health} of us could develop some kind of sickness. i remember being pretty realistic in my mind even on my wedding day that things weren't always going to be roses. and, well, they haven't been. there have been moves, many many moves. sometimes in the same city, once out of the country and then to a couple thousand miles away from family and friends. there has been sickness and days of health. there have, unfortunately, been no days of rich, unless you count the day after the tax return is deposited into our checking account. there have been many stressful days of being poor. there have been days of extreme joy, like our honeymoon in scotland, the day matt graduated from college, the night we drove into toronto, the birth of each of our beautiful children, or buying our first home together. but there have been days of such sadness i wondered if either of us would stand again...matt's depression after losing two jobs back to back, the loneliness i felt the first year we moved to florida, the year our marriage almost ended, beatrix's apraxia prognosis, the death of finn... events that could have destroyed us and the marriage we pledged our lives to. but with God's help, some amazing friends and family that have prayed for us, and our determination to stay committed to our vows we were able to celebrate 12 years of marriage this year. 12 years of waking up next to each other. some days we have woken to kisses and smiles from each other, and some days we have woken to silence and anger, 
but we have woken up to one another and that is what matters.  
i look at these pictures and i shake my head and laugh. 
i laugh at how blissfully happy we look. 
and then i think about how even when we were dating we had our "moments". 
musings to ourselves, wondering if we would last or not. 
 our anniversary this year was a relatively quiet one. they usually are when there is a new baby in the house. it's hard to get away, even for a little while. but saturday night there was a knock on our door at 11:45. ashlea came in and i started to chat with her. 5 minutes into it i asked her what had brought her over, matt came out of the office and told me that he had asked her to come over so we could go on a walk, 
the first hour of our anniversary, just the two of us. 
i got penelope to sleep again, prayed that she would stay asleep, changed into a sun dress and we went on a walk around our lake. 
at midnight. 
just us, hand in hand and it felt strange. 
strange to not have children to yell at, strange to not be holding a baby, strange to be holding hands. 
we walked and talked about the next 12 years and what they will look like. we laughed at how old our kids will be...and stopped laughing when we realized how old we will be. we talked about how the next 12 years are going to really change for me. we wondered what my next passion will look like, nursing? counseling? something i haven't yet even considered. we walked in the dark, we talked and held hands. it was nice. 
sunday morning after church i heard a knock on our door. i went to answer it and there were two little girls standing there with a clip board. i wondered what they were going to try to sell me. i asked them how i could help them and they asked me to sign for the delivery. i was confused and so i asked, "what delivery?" as i asked i looked up and saw their mother coming from the truck with flowers in her hand. i wondered aloud who they were from and she said "the card will tell you". as i shut the door, the card didn't have to tell me. i looked around the room at our children, two of them wrestling on the floor in their sunday best, one little one in daddy's arms waiting for me to feed her and a man who looked at me and smiled and said, 
"happy anniversary love". 
i may not have naive eyes any more, i may not have skinny anything, i may have a more lined smile, but we are here, together. and by the grace of God we have enjoyed a dirty, messy, wonderful dozen.

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