One look from across the gym in P.E. class and we knew we had met the person we were going to marry. Our first hug is still burned into each other’s cellular memory. You instantly recognize the love of your life.
The moment our daughter and son were born will always be our favorite moments, besides our wedding of course. We’ve seen each other through some of the toughest moments and some of our most joyous. We’ve overcome more together in 10 years than we can imagine, but it’s making us more resilient every day.
My grandfather told me when I was in high school that there is never an age where you have it all figured out and that’s OK, life just keeps getting better. He is so right. Our love has created not just one but two precious beings, and a marriage that’s not perfect, but it’s real and it’s lovely and it’s ours.
We learned while he was in the service that phone calls might only last long enough to say, “I’m safe, I love you and I miss you.” We learned in the snow country that summer is to be savored with ice cream cones on the banks of Lake Ontario with our babe even if it only lasts a few weeks. We learned in California that we can do anything we put our minds to, and that one more babe really is the merrier.
Now that our sweet babes are 3 and 1, we are learning that the sound of their laughter and footsteps, and their voices in conversations, are the sweetest in the world, and that silence usually means trouble; the two of them really know how to play and look out for each other.
Hubs and I have always realized that the two of them really are the best of both of us and more.
Through growing up together and his demanding careers, we have always partnered really well together as parents. For the past few years, we’ve been working hard to get established, so my guy and I were like two ships passing in the night while he was going to school and working to pay the bills and I was managing things at home as best I could.
I remember figuring out how to give both of our babes a bath by myself after Little Mister learned how to stand up on his own. I remember Little Miss deciding she wanted tattoos like daddy and Maui (from Disney’s “Moana”) and having to check the markers to see if they were permanent, and trying to remember what it was we had to say to each other after tucking our sweet angels into bed.
Squeezing family time — just the four of us — into our Sundays and bedtime routine was sweet and precious; you know it won’t last forever and you cherish every moment.
I think our relationship going through so many lifestyle changes gave us the ability to stand on our own two feet, but we always know that we’re there next to each other if we need someone to lean on, even if we aren’t physically in the same room.
While he went to school, it reminded me of our time in New York, how we were always a unit, and he wasn’t always right there next to me, but always in my heart. It’s hard when people ask where your husband is when you just want him to be standing beside you, but I always know that he’ll return because I know how to hold down our fort, and he knows how to defend it.
Now that he’s done with school and I’m almost done with my bachelor’s, we are embarking on the next phase of our life. We are applying for jobs so that we can buy our first house, and the feeling of excitement is palpable.
He told me while we were in the midst of managing everything that he would be himself again once he graduated and he was right. That very day, I noticed how unstressed he was and I said, “Hi love, it’s been a few years — I’ve missed you! There’s the man I married!” He has been fully himself this whole month and I’m so proud of how hard he worked to finish his goal for us.
We lost our beloved puppy-girl a week ago and it was so strange how quickly it came about since she was relatively young for a dog and has been with us since before our blessed babies were born.
She was our best friend and now we are all feeling a little amiss. We will keep moving forward and always have a special place in our hearts for her. She was a chapter in our lives that I will never forget.
Now that it’s the four of us and our cat, we’re cherishing each moment even more. My hubs has always had a special gift with animals. He’s helped a porcupine across the road so it wouldn’t get hit, he’s had a huge buck eat out of the palm of his hand and was even able to give him a little scratch on his muzzle, and our animals drove across country with him when we moved back to the West Coast. That was a trip! My cross-country trip with our eldest, who was barely a toddler, and my mother to Niagara Falls to get back home was much smoother, let me tell you!
This man of mine is a keeper, and he’s always realized I’m one too. Self-worth is crucial, and when you can help your partner see it for themselves when times get tough, that’s when you know you’ve found “the one.”
Don’t get me wrong — we annoy each other better than anyone else but we always love one another enough to tweak what needs tweaking so that life is balanced for both of us as best we can.
It’s simply incredible to me to think back on all we’ve done together as a family and what we’ve accomplished in 10 years of being in love.
After all this time, after all the stress, after all the joy, we still find each other and snuggle in.
We still try to listen to each other, even when it’s hard. We still make each other laugh, even if the joke is dumb or one of us has fallen off the bed. We still call out to each other to come look when the kids are doing something precious — which is every day let me tell you!
We’ve changed a lot in 10 years and we have to work hard to make sure we grow together, but when you marry your best friend, it helps a ton. We find ways to have fun when we can; we always make sure to take care of all of our responsibilities and we are remembering to take care of each other just as much as we do our children. We take care of our kids with all that we have, and every once in awhile, we remember that we might need a hug too.
We still have the same goals for our future and, most importantly, we still love each other and the beyond amazing family that we have created with all of our hearts.
That’s the amazing thing about love — it just keeps growing. There’s nowhere else I would rather be then with our family we created together. It’s even better than the vision we had when we were kids, and I’m proud of us. So damn proud.