This week marks four years of marriage and more than seven years together. It’s hard to remember the woman I was when I walked down the aisle. So much life has happened in a relatively short period. It’s even harder to remember the girl I was when we first met, and the one making all those dating choices (God Bless) since I first noticed boys.
Our marriage isn’t perfect. At times, I can be a pretty crappy wife – I’ll blame it on the trenches of parenthood. But it’s ours. And on our worst day I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I met my husband when I was a bouncy, energized 23-year-old. He was holding onto 29 by a hair. Both of us wanted to settle down one day and raise babies. Neither of us understood what that truly entailed.
We dated for a few years, broke up before we made it to the alter and tested each other in ways that made us less naive when we said, “I do.”
You won’t see us professing our love in Facebook statuses or referring to each other as “my person.” It’s just not our thing. There’s a solid chance this post will make him squeamish, so I must remember to call out his hot dad bod for good measure.
A Letter to Future Brides:
I see you designing your engagement ring, pinning your favorite wedding dress styles and obsessing over every minor detail to make your wedding day magical. I did it, too. I’m doing it now in the next phase of life with one-year-old birthday parties and over-the-top nurseries. But let me stress something to you, those details are just that: minor. And at the end of the day, dancing with your Grandpa and watching your parents sneak a kiss will surpass any floral arrangement or string quartet.
You have no idea what life will throw at you. I hope it’s full of love, babies and adventure. But between the highs, the lows are inevitable. So while you piece your ceremony together to make it unique and memorable, leave this one traditional line as is:
For Better or For Worse
When I watched Kelly high-kick his way through Billy Jean across the dance floor on our wedding night I had no idea what he’d look like staring at me across a hospital room. But I do now. He’s watched me have two babies. He’s tied my hospital gown and squeezed my hand before a CT scan and he knows the crippling affecting waiting for test results has on me.
I remember our pre-marital counselors stressing the importance of scheduling time for your spouse. Literally sending each other calendar invites. I gave them the old “smile and nod” while internally I screamed, “WTF, you people are crazy.” Surely, making time for each other (bow-chicka- wow-wow) would never be a concern. Today, we’re lucky to have two uninterrupted hours together after the girls go to bed and before one of us passes out. Those two hours are spent figuring out what to eat, going over schedules for the next day, dishes…so many dishes, laundry…even more laundry and prepping bottles. We see each other a few hours later when the baby wakes in the middle of the night. But not before we both do our best “I’m so dead asleep” impression in hopes that the other one will call dibs on the midnight feeding.
If you are one of those couples that doesn’t have your first real fight before you say your vows, you either dated for 5 minutes or are both pacifists. The fights, y’all. They can get ugly. Throw hormones and sleep deprivation and good God I hope you marry someone with short-term memory loss. I kind of hit the jackpot with Kelly (HOT DAD BOD), but the other day he forgot to put his dishes away. Well, life, a stubborn toddler and an unhealthy amount of OCD got the best of me. And Kelly felt my wrath. I literally told him that I couldn’t look at him. It was a DIRTY SPOON, people. Not a three year secret affair. We laughed about it later.
Because that’s what marriage is – being stripped down by bills, kids and responsibilities to your worst self. And being put back together by your better half.
Dating is exciting and reckless. It’s light on responsibility, heavy on passion.
Marriage is just heavy. Because life gets heavy. And it’s all about finding the right person to help you carry the load.
Marriage is a string of text messages including everything from a Publix sub order to a pitiful apology about losing your shit over another scheduled golf trip.
It’s feeling like you’re making an effort when you inch close on the couch. Because after a day with children, the last thing you want is to be touched.
It’s texting a bikini pic to your husband after 10-months of busting your ass post-baby to recognize yourself in the mirror.
Marriage is going months without saying the other’s name. It’s a whole lot of, “Where’s Mommy?” and “Go ask Daddy.”
Marriage is hard. The only reason it’s not the hardest thing I’ve ever done is because we now have children. And that my friends, is a total shit show.
But marriage to this man is what gets me out of bed every morning. Sure, the sweet voices saying, “Mommy….mommy. I up!” have something to do with it, too. But marriage is what literally gives me the strength.
This video was a gift from my little sister’s boyfriend, David Murphy. To this day, it’s still my favorite gift.