I used to think that I always wanted to be a newlywed – but I was young and dumb, too. I didn’t realize how much joy comes from being married to your best friend for almost half of your life.
With experience comes wisdom, though, and over the past 13 years, both of us have grown wiser. We’ve bought three houses, acquired three graduate degrees, loved on two baby girls, and worked at so many full- and half-time jobs that it’s hard to keep straight. We both have our day jobs, but together we’ve dabbled in radio, blogging (the paying kind), freelancing, and even a brief stint in retail.
We’ve traveled together to Boston, to New York, to Florida, to Tennessee. We’ve taken our girls all over the south, showing them the beach, museums, and zoos. When we’re without them, we talk about them. Talk about taking them to MOMA. About taking them to the Grand Canyon. To Paris. To London. And then we daydream about going by ourselves, too.
We took a staycation the first week the girls returned to school and Mother’s Day Out. For a beautiful week, we had time to ourselves from 8 to 3. We went on random excursions. Played tennis. Ran. Went out to eat and didn’t worry about the wait. We took afternoon naps. It was glorious.
Our marriage doesn’t always reflect God’s love the way it should, but more times than not, I believe it does. He loves me, and I love him. We have created a family together that includes prayer, Bible study, church activities, and lots of love. There are days when nothing goes right, days when I tell him, “This whole family needs some Jesus – RIGHT NOW,” days when we all hop in our bed and binge watch “Puppy Dog Pals” and “Fancy Nancy.” But, through blood, sweat, and tears, we still love each other.
I see it in how our children unabashedly ask for hugs and kisses and tickles all day, every day. I see it in how Kyle and I serve each other and thank each other for various chores and how we work so hard to have night time to spend with each other after the girls go to bed. I see it in how our kids love each other and us.
We got married in a little church in my hometown 13 years ago today. We grew more in his hometown, where we found a community of believers at our new home church. Our baby girls have been raised in this church. Our spirits have grown under the leadership of this church. Our marriage has thrived because of the Lord.
We are so thankful for the guidance and wisdom we’ve received from others over the past 13 years. Marriage is hard. It’s daily work. It’s beautiful, it’s passionate, and it’s joyful, but it is work. And work is always better when you have friends beside you lifting you up and praying for you and your best friend.
So today, happy anniversary to my love, the father of my children, my very bestest friend, my puzzle piece, my soulmate. He has captivated me, and I am enchanted by him.