Ten years ago I married my best friend. And in tribute of the last ten years:
Ten years of marriage. I often wonder how it is that Deonne stays married to me - with my impatient tendencies, my temper, and my need to always be right. (Yes, D, I did just type that for all the world to see.) It's been a wild ride with lots of ups and downs, laughter and tears, and I'm thankful and grateful to have taken this journey with my very best friend.
Nine-hundred laughs. One thing I love about being married to Deonne is our ability to see the humor in things. From the obviously funny things (usually related to something stupid one of our children has done) to the times when we're at our worst (angriest, saddest, completely frustrated) one or the other is able to take a step back, see the silliness of it all (because, really, what truly is there to be so frustrated about) and start laughing. And as laughter is infectious - it turns things around - and we're able to work through the situation.
Eight-thousand 'I Love You's.' Deonne is always so good about saying 'I Love You' - every time we part, every time we say goodbye on the phone - every email he closes - always ends with 'I Love You.' It never gets old.
Seven trips to the hospital. The birth of three children (and a few false alarms), the Thanksgiving I almost cut my finger off trying to prepare a fancy schmancy meal for Deonne's family, one vomit session that I never ever want to relive where the pediatric resident had us convinced Anna was going to St. Judes, and that weird 4th of July virus Jack had as an infant that scared the bejeezus out of me - Deonne has been there for all of it. His calming demeanor when I was scared or nervous (or throwing up or bleeding) helped me get through them all. And seven trips in ten years ain't all that bad.
Six years of parenthood. After trying to start our family unsuccessfully for over a year, we were beyond thrilled to find out we were going to finally be parents. Never in a million years did either one of us think it would be as fun or fulfilling, or tiring or exhausting, or sticky or messy, or frustrating as it has turned out to be. I often look to Deonne as a model parent (even though he probably doesn't think so) - as he is able to look at the bigger picture. When I get frustrated with one (or all) or our children for any sort of behavior problem - he is able to put it in a frame of reference that somehow makes sense. He is the best father in the world - and I am so lucky he is the father of my three little ones.
Five traumatic events. I have to put this here - even though it isn't fun or something I particularly want to remember. But the truth is - these events shaped us - made us who we are today as a couple. A lot of crap came down the pipeline early on in our marriage - and I think it is a testament to the strength of our bond that we were able to weather the terminal diagnosis and eventual death of my father, the death of my grandmother, two miscarriages, and the stroke that stole my mother and ripped her away.
Four family trips to the beach. Having three children so close in age such that all three were in daycare at the same time zapped us financially. There were times when we weren't sure we could make ends meet, pay the bills, and feed our family. But we were able to save and plan and take our children on several week long vacations to the beach - much needed time to get away and be together as a family. I hope we can continue to carve time (and finances) out for family vacations each and every year.
Three beautiful children. It's unfathomable to me that we have three children. We never expected to have three - always said we'd start with one - and if that went well - have a second. Now we are a family of five - and are blessed in ways I can't articulate. One girl. Two boys. And a lifetime of love in front of us.
Two houses. In ten years, we've been homeowners of two great homes - one in Heathwood that we outgrew and our larger home in Forest Lake. We've worked hard to provide for our family - and make these walls more than just a house - but a home, indeed.
One guiding force, our Lord and Savior. Through this all, we have been guided by our Savior. And when our faith has been tested, due to the challenges we've faced, we turned to Christ for prayer and strength. There were times when we felt displaced and without a church home - but are thrilled to have found a new parish home - and look forward to raising our children and continuing to strengthen our relationship with the Lord in such a friendly community of faith.
Here's to many many more to come.