Today we celebrate thirteen years of marriage.
I smile as I type this.
Oh, Craig... we had no idea what the future would hold for us when we met one another halfway that day in 2003, now did we?
And then there was the dancing, oh the dancing... it was so much fun. Ridiculous, really. Our wedding was just... fun. And easy.
But truth? Our marriage has been kind of fun, too. Don't you think? I mean, I like you. I like YOU as a person.
So after the wedding, the marriage always starts, right?
The real-life stuff.
It was you, me and and Nattie. Our little family of 3.
I remember feeling like I was playing house. (And I was so pumped about it.) The love of my life, the sweetest little bulldog in the world, our cute, colorful brick house house... so many sweet memories.
We painted and planned, we weeded and planted. We started building our life. Testing the waters, acting like adults. Pretending we knew what we were doing.
And then the real life stuff entered in and those vows got tested, as they do for so many. We lost jobs, we gained jobs, we took jobs we didn't love. I had a sick Mom, we had messy family stuff... and we were on a very tight, just-got-married budget. Ah, the melding of everything... we learned how to argue, after learning how not to argue. We talked about the tough stuff, after avoiding some of it. We laughed, we moved forward. Together.
I think the moving forward was key.
And that wasn't always easy for me. As a recovering grudge holder, I liked to stew. To ruminate in my anger. I liked to let it seep in, poisoning me, ruining my day. I think that I thought this was normal? To get angry at someone and then be angry all day?
Tut, tut. You never fell for that. Nope, you had no time for that nonsense.
I've never encountered anyone quite like you, Craig. Absolutely unmoved and unaffected by my outrage, you would just move on. And it would kill me. We'd have a little tiff over something. (Something that was so important that I now can't recall it) and I'd be IRATE, barely able to talk or look at you... and you? You'd move on, and in a completely normal, calm voice point out a cute dog walking down the street.
I remember at the beginning thinking, "HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I LIVE WITH A MAN WHO IGNORES MY GRUDGES?"
Today, I'm so thankful that you showed me that moving forward is what's always important.
Whatever we're going through, we can get through. We will move forward. Together.
No more grudges. (Thank you.)
The truth is, marriage is hard.
And so is life.
I'm me and you're you and being two separate people in a marriage isn't always easy.
I'm thankful that we talk.
I'm thankful that we listen.
I'm thankful that we shut up when we need to hold our tongues.
I'm thankful that we've allowed one another to always be the person we are.
There's no stuffing the other into a weirdo mold or box.
I watch college football for you.
You listen to Lionel Richie for me.
We're peanut butter and jelly. Or, more aptly: we're sushi and sake.
We offer just enough space so that the other knows that they're supported, but we don't suffocate.
I think what I'm most blown away by/thankful for in these nearly 20 years together, is that we've been fortunate enough to grow up together, without growing apart.
I can't believe that a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old who lived less than a mile away from another when they were growing up and didn't know one another, met, married, moved to Mexico, had babies and still laugh at the same jokes.
We were just sort of supposed to be together.
I was supposed to be this person and I was supposed to be this person, next to you.
You were meant to be you and I was meant to be beside you.
We were supposed to be their parents.
We were supposed to be us together.
It's funny, because in the beginning it's exactly what the experts say -- the love is almost luminescent. It's shimmery and golden and giddy and light and GAH!!!!!!
But then as time goes on, I'm noticing that the love is solid, secure, calm... and deep.
Sweet man, I love you to the moon and back a bazillion times and as your ring states, you're [still] my everything.
Look what I stumbled across recently. It's a letter I wrote to our "daughter" before we got married. I wrote it 9 days before we got married... here are just a few parts.
(You're still my best friend.)
(And I would marry you again tomorrow.)
(I still think you're amazing. And sweet. And I believe it all, even after 19 years.)
This made me smile.
We took our time, we were sure.
And after all this time, I'm still sure.
You're the one, guapo.
I love you to the moon and back, sweet man.