11 years ago this coming Sunday, I met my husband.
It was Mother's Day. It was also his 27th birthday.
We met on the side of the road....literally.
I wasn't hitchhiking(nor was he).
My car wasn't broken down. No, it was nothing like that.
The short story is...
He waved, I waved.
He stopped, I stopped.
We went out that night and that was the end of that..... or the beginning, rather.
When he proposed I thought our married life together would be as easy as our brief 7 months of dating had been.
Yes, you read that correctly.
We dated, excuse me, KNEW each other for 7 months prior to getting engaged.
So I guess what I pictured was a stress free life... living together... sleeping in on Saturdays, Saturday night dinners out with too much wine and after-dinner beers at the local pub, slightly hungover Sundays spent at our condo complex's pool.
I pictured working out at the gym together or going for long runs just the two of us.
I pictured vacations together as a couple, trips to places we'd never been... jobs where we made enough money to cover our expenses and put some money away for the future... and life would be easy breezy, lemon squeezey.
And I think we had that for maybe... a year.
One year of our marriage was exactly like the above.
And then real life set in with multiple babies, job changes, out of state moves, deaths in the family, layoffs, etc. etc. etc.
What's funny...or really NOT funny is ... no one EVER tells you that marriage is hard.
No one tells you that marriage is WORK.
It's a full time job on top of the full time job you already have.
While you're trying to make your way through life and raise children and work a job and keep a house and do day to day things... you still have this relationship that you have to maintain and foster... you still have to remember to communicate and love and laugh.
Marriage puts a whole new spin on things.
When life throws you a curveball... and something unexpected comes your way, not only do you have to navigate your way through it, but you have to navigate your way through it WITH someone else.
And you think that would make it easier..... but sometimes it's not.
It's really like one giant road trip.
Sounds fun, but if you're anything like us...
He's driving... and I'm in the passenger seat holding the "oh shit" handle, slamming on my imaginary brake and cursing under my breath.. praying we don't die.
And sometimes that's how marriage is.
There is no instruction manual.
There is no, "When situation A. arises, try XYZ and if that doesn't work... try QRS"
And you know what?
Sometimes you encounter some tough stuff.
And sometimes it's TOTAL crap.
And sometimes life hands you a LOT of lemons...and you're so SICK of making lemonade...you just wish that life would just hand you the bottle of vodka so you can squeeze those damn lemons into something with a little kick.
And you put your head down, and you grit your teeth and you get through it.
Sometimes you get through it separately, but together.
If THAT even makes sense.
And sometimes you come out on the other side of a MAJOR challenge and you think,
"We survived that. I REALLY didn't think we'd survive that."
But you know what?
It's all worth it.
And it can be easy... really easy for us, especially during a difficult time to look back on these past 11 years and see ONLY the challenges... the struggles... the stress and completely disregard the good.
And it can be really easy to count...even list the things that have gone "wrong" for us.
But it's still worth it.
Because the good outweighs the bad. And love always wins.
And marriage means you have this person by your side who is going to have your back for the rest of your life.
And this person is the one who knows you the best, has seen you at your worst and STILL tolerates you with all of your imperfections and annoying habits(yes, you have them too)
This person is the only one who knows what it's like to be as tired as you are because you've both been up all night with a puking kid or a crying baby.
This is the person who knows what its like to laugh through the dinnertime antics with you or Sunday morning pancake breakfasts(with the chocolate chips and NOT syrup even though you think chocolate chips don't belong anywhere NEAR a pancake)
This person can finish your sentences and knows what you're thinking without you having to say a word.
This person will bring home cookies from the store even when you tell him not to(but really want him to and he knows it)
This person will take YOUR college cat to the vet to be put down because you're too panicked and heartbroken to do it.
This is what marriage is...with its challenges, uphill battles and stress and "oh shit" handles and imaginary brakes... and this is what is good.
This is what is good.
Peace, Love & RIGHT NOW