On Marriage: Happy 10 Year Anniversary, Craig Ross

So ten years ago on October 24th, this is what we looked like:

The day before our wedding. In our kitchen. 2003. 
We were babies, Craig Ross.

That's you trying on your tux jacket before our wedding. Do you remember that t-shirt you have on?

We may have been young, but we'd already been together for six years by that point without even one breakup.

We knew that we were a "we" early on.

We both were in it to win it from the beginning.

How many years later and I still wear that necklace? I still love it. One of the first gifts you gave me.

I remember when I first met you. I just liked you.

You quickly became my best friend. And you've held that title since 1997.


There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that fall day in Toledo, Ohio that I was making the right decision.

I would have run down that aisle to you, sweet man.



I knew that I loved you and that you loved me.

We had no idea what the future would hold, but I knew that you were meant for me.


I also knew that you killed [or rescued] the bugs and that I set the clock on the VCR. (Yep, VCR.)

I knew that with you I'd always be safe and you knew that with me you'd always be hungry because I'd never cook.

You knew what you were getting into to...

...still... you lept.

(Smart man.)



And that day will forever be one of my favorites.

Sure, it was gorgeous and beautiful and incredible, but it was so us and we had such a good time... together.

We started our marriage laughing, my friend.


Is there a better way?


The world was our oyster and we were filled with optimism.

My hair was yellow and you had very long sideburns and odd taste in shirts.

Still, I relished introducing you as, "my husband"... I was so proud. (I still am today.)

Look at us on our honeyymoon. Tee hee.

That newlywed year of "firsts" makes me smile.

Remember that first Christmas tree? I believe I wanted a short, fat tree and we stuffed it in my jetta at the Andersons, didn't we? Remember? I believe you were even taller than it. :)



Time marched on and for a few months, everything was golden… newlywed bliss. Just as it should be. I may have even cooked a few times with those new pots and pans.

Then, I know you remember, things got hard. Quick. Our jobs. And other GIGANTIC things happened… life wasn't easy. It was really, really hard, in fact. In our first year of marriage our life got turned upside down…

A friend's wedding. Circa 2004.
…but we weathered it. Together.

We prayed and we laughed and we kept on walking forward, holding hands. I strongly believe, my sweet husband, that that first couple of years set the stage for us. We learned that we were a team. 

We put into practice what we always knew: we are in this together. For always. So saddle up and let's go.

We made it through that first year. Do you remember this celebration? 


Your chair... 

And good things happened, too. Good memories. Late nights at the art studio watching you blow glass. Basements flooding.  (!!!)  Tons of family get-togethers filled with nieces, nephews and good times. Late-nights playing cards with friends. Our life with our first baby...

Our Nattie.

Yep, life stuff. I look back at the photos of us, of our first home together, and I cannot help but smile. So many memories, Craig.

I am so thankful that we had that time.

That cute house. Look at our tulips. :)
Do you remember the name of the wall color? Vegan. I remember thinking, "Um. Not every wall."  That cactus was my Mom's. The haircutter sparkle chairs. The spot where Nattie would lay on the wood floor... discoloring it. Everything in this room is a memory. 
Your chair. Nattie's toys. The allium that we grew, in the orange vase, the heart paperweight you made me.





On our second anniversary in 2005, you made me this.

Do you remember? I smile as I type this. You made for me what you said you never would... :)


Two years married - October 2005

Then in May of 2006 we decided to take a vacation to Cabo to see our family.

That view that was so new and exciting... it's become our home now. 


I know I'm the first person to have ever done that.

I remember being so confused. I couldn't wrap my brain around the round-about in front of Mega when we were visiting. I never seemed to know where I was going.



We had no idea what life had in store for us, did we? I had to conquer the round-about.

"Hey everyone we know, we're moving to Mexico."

"Yeah, it'll probably just be for a year or so..."

And you know, I truly think that we did think it would only be for a year...

Thanksgiving 2006 - with my  Mom and Taryn visiting. We look 12.
We managed that whole "living apart" thing for those several months so that we could see if this was what we really wanted to do. I will forever be grateful that you were willing to give up your great job to move down here...

Selfless.

It's who you are.

2006. 
Thankfully, we were apart only for a few months, and then after you got here our new life started.

In hindsight, I think we grew up here, don't you?

Your 30th birthday.


Craig Ross, there is absolutely, unequivocally no one else I'd rather travel this road with.


I love who you are.
I love that we have fun together.
I love that you can wear pink... proudly.
I love that you are so supportive of me.

My 28th birthday. 2007.
I sometimes wish you required more of the spotlight, because you deserve it.
I want to SHOUT IT FROM the mountaintops that you are INCREDIBLE. I want to shout that EVERYONE deserves a Craig. I want to tell all who will listen about the depth of the goodness that is in your soul.

You are so wonderful.

Napa 2007.

And sometimes I hate admitting it, but our marriage isn't a lot of work.
I don't think that means that we don't think it's valuable, or that it isn't worth extra effort...
It's just not hard because, well...  I think we enjoy it.

New Year's Eve - 2007

We both know that we're committed and we both know that, yeah, sometimes, I'm going to annoy you. A lot. Like a lot. Like you're probably going to want to make a martini, watch some UFC and act like I'm not breathing over in the other room.

Because we're human.


Birthdays 2008. Chloe came into the restaurant and said, "Happy Birthday, Uncle Craig. Here's a sweet melon." Then she handed you a small watermelon.

But the truth of the matter is, the ebbs and flows, highs and lows of marriage are normal and we both don't sweat them.

We know the ship will right itself. We know we'll get back on course. We've both matured so much. We talk. We listen.  

But I think most importantly, and this lesson comes from you, dear man --

There is no room for grudges in this house.

We forgive.

Immediately.

And we move on.

Aruba 2007. (Apparently this was before I had decided to stay out of the sun.)

Before we got married, I remember someone telling me "to never go to bed angry" once we were wed.

I'm assuming that person was single because a new day always brings perspective, healing and forgiveness.

Marriage is about all those things: perspective, healing and forgiveness.

Aruba 2007

Throughout the tough stuff we've laughed and we smiled.

You've been patient with me through two pregnancies. "HOW AM I GOING TO HAVE A BABY IN MEXICO?"

(Um, like all the other Mexican women.)

You've held your tongue when necessary and you've remained my rock. You deserve some sort of fancy trophy.

2009 - Lila Ross.

2011 - Vivienne Kate. And yes, I'm wearing the same dress as above in a different color.

And I love you for always doing the things.
For making sure that everything is done.
The painting. The building. The everything.





And then, I mean, it cannot go unspoken.

There's these two. Perhaps they're your trophies. In that case, you're welcome for them.

Baby Lila.

Baby Vivienne.
Oh, your love for them.

Oh, Craig.

YOU are unlike so many Dads before you. You are so involved. You have changed, I would bet, just as many diapers as I have. You have taken care of these little ladies, your ladies, since the day they were born.

And you're good at it.

And this is all a crapshoot - this whole marriage thing. Because you never really know if the one you marry is going to be any good at the most important job in the world.

And you are.













Sweet man.

You're my everything.
You're my heart.
You're my soul.

We've grown up together.

Our anniversary getaway - 2010. I was pregnant for Vivienne.

2011



Ohio. Nick and Jimmy's, 2009. I was pregnant with Lila.

August 2009. My birthday.

July 2012

November 2012

July 2013

I am beyond proud of the man you've become and I am confident that our daughters' future husbands are going to have quite a job ahead of them because no one is going to compare to you.

There's no one else I'd rather be married to.

In the past weeks my world has changed. My life has become a "Before" and an "After" and I have felt unable to breathe. You have been patient. You have been kind. You've given me breath. You will never know what your support, to my Mom over the years, and to me now, has meant. I am so glad I married you.

Craig: you are a good, good man.

I love you so much.

Happy Anniversary.



Love,
Me

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9 Year Anniversary Post  ::  click here to read
8 Year Anniversary Post ::  click here to read (The Story of how we met)
7 Year Anniversary Post  ::  click here to read
5 Year Anniversary Post  ::  click here to read

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5 comments:

  1. awww, happy and proud tears are welling up! happy anniversary to two of my very favorite friends and one of my very favorite "we's" (not grammatically correct!). your love and friendship inspire me and i am so glad you have each other. i laughed out loud a lot for this post! and i LOVED the photographic stroll down memory lane.
    here's to many many more decades to come. LOVE YOU, Miss

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  2. Happy Anniversary to the both of you!!!

    This post was beautiful. Your words. Your feelings. Just so lovely and honest.

    Craig and Kylee....you are WONDERFUL people. Truly.

    Your relationship is just real and honest.

    And the pictures over the last 10 years, fantastic!!

    I forgot how blonde you were!! Love it :-)

    And that house. I remember when I walked in and thought "I love EVERYTHING" about this house!!! These two are the coolest couple!!". The colors, the uniqueness, the furniture....everything was just so full of life and happiness and a treasure! (I think when I went to the bathroom I spent far too much time in there reading your walls.)

    I am SO happy that the two of you have found each other....that equal, that companion who makes you a better form of yourself.

    Love you two and here is to many more "10 years" together!!!

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  3. Your first blog entry that ever brought me to absolute tears. Happy Anniversary Sister and Brother. You are an inspiration and a real life how to manual. You make me wish I was better.

    xo, t

    ReplyDelete

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