I shaved my legs, as well as my pits, in the shower today while our littlest of the littles screamed his lungs dry. I have been telling myself all week that I would shower today and even shave because it is our anniversary. So I did. I set him down while he screamed and let me know that he wanted to traumatize me so I would never shower again. But I did it. I showered. [And I might shower again one day, but only time will tell].
Today, four years ago, we pretended to eat breakfast together at a cafe - neither of us could eat much though. The nerves and excitement were more than I had ever experienced and my stomach was not welcoming to food.
The thrill of our wedding day. The joy of our wedding day. The celebration of our wedding day. Those memories will never escape me.
Me and you, you and me, and our 200+ closest pals stood and sat together declaring that we were forever together, forever each other's. Sacred grounds, we were standing on.
We had not envisioned here to be as it is - we assumed we would always be in vocational ministry. But our path turned drastically 10 months ago. There was grief and loss and we could have allowed the abrupt transition to destroy us or drive us apart. We didn't. We grew closer, but only by intentional choice. It was hard and it was painful, choosing the hard thing of open-heartedness and vulnerability about where our hearts were at, what we were feeling, how we were processing. But it was worth it, those emotional and tough conversations driven by intentionality.
We had hoped and dreamed to have one or two little humans in our midst by today. And we do. But those two little lives did not come over years of time as we had assumed would happen...they did not come with ease and only joy. They came all at once in one year, within five months of one another. Their addition to you and me came with cost, with tears, with an agonizing wait. We could have blamed one another for the wait, for the loss of our first little one. We could have let the month-by-month pursuit of children to love destroy us, separate us, drive a wedge between us because those were trying times. Sometimes it did. But most times it did not because we chose the hard thing of tears and honesty and words. We shared words and in sharing words, our hearts were seen.
They say you "fall more in love" with your spouse when you watch them become a parent. That has been true for me.
The journey to here has been one of fullness. Immense joy as well as hurting hearts, crushed expectations. The journey to here has been one of you and me, together, wed forever. Not always hand in hand or eye to eye, but certainly by sunset we have found one another and what matters most: the other's heart.
We are a hot mess for sure, oozing uncertainty and insecurities and throwing caution to the wind, butwe continue to choose one another amidst it all. We continue to choose love and patience and kindness and believing in one another. Not always, not in every situation or conversation, but for most of them. For that, I am grateful.
Today I have folded approximately 3,333 clothing articles of varying sizes, I have unloaded the dishwasher AND loaded it, I have bounced babies on yoga balls and I have pumped milk and fed from my actual body. I am coughing and sniffling because one of our babies gave me and the other baby a cold. I even, as mentioned before, showered and shaved. I feel like the gift of a clean house and a not-too-smelly-or-frumpy wife is right where we are at. And I love it.
The last three anniversaries we have been either at camp or at camp, but we still made a point to get away and stay somewhere fun to celebrate because we could with ease. But today, on this anniversary, I am not only wife, you not only husband. Today I am wife AND mama, and you are husband AND dadda. Today is my favorite anniversary, despite the fact that we will not be getting away to some fancy place for a weekend. Today you are at a work place we never expected you to be at and I am at home doing mama things. I love today. Today's celebration will instead be over dinner while our boys are with humans that adore them, and we will most likely talk about the beauty and crazy that has become our life instead of ask questions like, "When do you think we will adopt or get pregnant? When do we start the adoption process? What if we get pregnant while adopting? Do we just keep going? Our five year hope was to have 2 or 3 kids, but we don't even have one, so should we re-goal or keep hoping?"
Today I have discovered a whole lot of sticky notes with sweet love scrawled on them left around the house, by you. You have asked me so many times what I wanted for our anniversary and truly, all I want is to spend a little time with you celebrating the journey to here. [Also, I didn't get you anything, so that could be awkward if you got me something. I may go pick you up some Either/Or coffee before you get home from work]. You are so good at loving me.
You are so good at believing in me. I am writing a book because you say you believe in me and I believe you. It doesn't even matter if it ever gets published or anyone reads it; I'm writing because my soul needs to write and your believing in me gives me confidence that I can. That I don't have to pretend I don't have passions and dreams. We have two babies that I adore and feel confident that I can do this mama-thing without ending up in the psyche ward because you are always telling me that I can and that I am doing a great job. That I am made for this. You tell me in so many ways that you believe in me.
The journey to here has been different than we assumed and expected, but who ever knows what to expect? Life unravels how it decides to and we get to choose what to be intentional about and I am grateful that you are intentional about loving me no matter what our circumstances are, no matter what is hurled our way. Life is a trip, isn't it? I am glad that you and I, and I and you, are forever on this trip together. Thankful for you is an understatement.
I love you.