In the first few months everything seemed fairly magical.
I remember sitting at the tall table right when you walk into to Gov Cup and talking about all sorts of things: trying to impress each other with our music taste, what kinds of food we liked and didn’t like, what our families were like, what our faith meant to us. From the trivial to the deeply personal all on our first date in downtown Salem. I thought it was going to be that feeling forever. Even though I knew that another person couldn’t complete anyone, I sort of thought we might be the exception. I thought we were going to have some sort of match-up that was unlike anyone else’s.
I remember texting my brother while you were in the bathroom (for an exceptionally long amount of time I might add. Was there a lack of toilet paper? Were you texting all your friends about how good looking I was? Were you sitting alone just giggling about how hilarious my jokes were?) I was telling him about how much we got along and how quick we seemed to hit it off. I was texting him all the things I could text about you before you came back.
After we parted ways over the long weekend, I was so sad you would be out of phone service and we couldn’t non-stop text. I was checking my phone every few minutes to make sure you didn’t send me one last text I could respond to before you were out of service. I went to high school play that night to watch some of our kids perform and kept getting glared at by the people around me for looking at my phone while the kids were acting their hearts out (sorry, kids! young love is hard to compete with!). It was all I thought it would be if I ever ended up meeting someone I could marry one day.
That was the first date.
Look at us now.
Things don’t always feel so cute and magical. Sometimes we have the perfect moments to ask each other all the things we’re thinking about and wondering about and deciding about life like we did in those first few months of texts and phone calls and coffee dates. Sometimes we still ask and dream and laugh together.
Sometimes we also just sit and stare silently because life is tired and that’s okay.
Sometimes we are deeply caught up in our love for each other and sometimes we fall asleep early on the one night we have to get away in a ritzy hotel and that’s okay too.
People always say not to let the sun go down on our anger but usually we do all our best and most vulnerable, insecure jabs toward each other when the sun is down already and sleeping it off is the best way to remember that we really do love each other.
One way I know that I love you so deeply because there is not a person on this earth that could make me feel as awful and as loved as you have the power to do. In the best and the worst, you’re my best person and I love that.
Who would have thought we’d be where we are today when we first got married 5 years ago? I thought our life together was going to be full of crazy adventure that drove me crazy as you made me jet off to Spanish speaking countries all over Latin America. I thought we’d be living somewhere in the Caribbean eating mangos and living in a sweet barrio somewhere beautiful and challenging.
I thought we’d just start thinking about having biological kids, that was the five year plan.
While I didn’t think we were above it, I never thought we’d wonder how we would make it through each other brokenness.
I never thought we’d question why we loved and cared for kids.
I thought we’d play lots of board games and drink sweet drinks late into the night instead of sitting around while I watch Survivor and you tell me every five seconds how dumb it is.
I thought we’d go to more indie concerts because we were never going to be an old married couple.
I thought we’d have more tattoos and that I’d have a better beard.
I thought you’d have convinced me to run a marathon by now.
I thought we would always know how to love and respect each other well and that we’d always choose to communicate and listen to each other and support each other in everything we did or didn’t do.
But you know what? I like us.
I really do like us.
I like that we’re figuring out our crap together and sometimes not together, and that both ways make us better partners for each other.
I like that we eat too much ice cream together.
I like that you don’t make fun of me for still playing candy crush.
I like that our conversations are rarely about what new music is out and mostly we get excited when we hear a Nelly song on 107.5 (but then simultaneously bummed out because YIKES when there are 4 year old ears in the car and also wondering why we were allowed to listen to that at middle school dances/sporting events).
I like that you’re not afraid to push me and make me uncomfortable.
I like that we have rhythms of life together that make sense for us even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else.
I like when we kiss.
I like that we are figuring out how to love and raise a few people that live in our home and are a deeply important part of who we are as a family, even when people think we’re doing it all wrong.
I like the way you still dream and hope even when I don’t. I like when I still dream and hope even when you don’t.
I like that we read way more kid’s books than grown-up books these days.
I like that you still make me laugh more than anyone else.
I like that you put up with my jokes.
I like that your heart and my heart weirdly smash up against each other in a perfect way as we’re figuring out what love in our community and our world looks like.
I like driving your car and listening to country music when you’re not in there because even though you’ll never really know, it’s strangely satisfying to think I’d make you mad if you did know (is this a sign of an unhealthy relationship? Red flag? Sorry, not sure).
I like making you things with peanut butter for you because I still hate pb it but I know you really love it alot.
I love the way you point me to true Love even when you have no idea what you’re doing.
I like figuring out faith and hope and depression and anger and all the things inbetween with you.
There’s no one else I’d rather walk through that stuff with. No one.
So anyway, I guess what I want to say is: I love you.
I know for lots of people it’s like, “oh cute, five years. they think that’s a long time.”
But for me, it does feel like a long time. It sort of feels like forever (even though it’s obviously not and it’s like what do we know we’re still kids!).
Thanks for still being married to me, Lace.
You’re still the bee’s knees and other weird phrases people use to express their affection. Here’s to a night of mediocre cheap food and arguing with the four year old while I try not to lose my mind at all the sassiness and hair living under our roof.
Happy Anniversary, Hotcakes.