August 18, 2007
Today Eric and I are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary, and I am pleased to report that neither one of us is the least bit itchy. No seven-year-itch in sight over here!
What a year of marriage we've had! This past year may go on record as being the one most characterized by change of our entire marriage. It certainly is to this point, I'd say. On our anniversary last year, we had just moved to Jacksonville and Eric was about to start his first year of teaching. So, one year has seen Eric start and finish Year One of teaching, including coaching football. We moved out of our apartment and into a new rental house. And, the biggest change of all: our family grew by one sweet little boy.
I'm sad to say that our anniversary seems to be getting lost in the shuffle a bit this year. Aside from the facts that our house is still a disaster zone and today is Eric's first day back at school with students, this summer has been particularly crazy. The past six weeks since E.J. was born have been a complete whirlwind and I know there have been many times that I have felt like my head is barely above water, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if Eric felt the same. Just in the past week, we've been trying desperately to settle in to our new home while Eric worked to prep for the new school year (including making adjustments after learning he will not have a classroom of his own, but will be traveling from room to room this year). Any free time we have had that hasn't been taken up with unpacking or lesson planning or cleaning or caring for our kids has been spent trying to show said kids a fun time (zoo, pool, playgrounds), and not planning any sort of anniversary celebration for ourselves. Good luck to us in year eight, am I right?
But just because there aren't any big plans on the agenda doesn't mean the day will go unnoticed. Tonight we'll get some dinner to go from someplace (see? literally no plans have been made), watch our wedding video and talk to each other. We like to reminisce, talk about where we are now and where we're headed. Spoiler alert: the past was good, the present is great, and we fully expect the future to be even better.
When Eric and I got married, we had nine years of fun behind us. We were more in love with each other than ever and had so many great thing ahead of us to look forward to. I had high hopes for our relationship on that day that I said "I do," but now, seven years later, it's so much better than I ever imagined. We have made so many great memories and each year has only strengthened our relationship and left us enjoying, trusting and loving each other even more. Additionally, our family has grown by two beautiful children so today not only am I unbelievably in love with my husband, but with my family. I look at the three of them and cannot believe how lucky I am to be a part of this family.
I really like where Eric and I are in our relationship right now, actually. We've been married for seven years and together for a total of nearly 16, so we know each other. We each know how the other thinks, feels and processes things. We each know how the other handles stress and what really gets under our skin. We each know what makes the other laugh, what challenges them, what they enjoy and what to say to bring comfort and reassurance in times of uncertainty. We know each others' stories (and were there for the creation of many of them!) and just know what makes the other person tick. Yet at the same time, we're still new and young enough to still be learning new things about each other all the time. Even after all this time together, we still have new stories to share with one another and there are still things we just haven't yet learned about each other. In addition, as we grow and change as both a couple and individuals, we're getting to know each other in new ways. Currently, we're primarily getting to know each other as parents. Our relationship is constantly evolving and it is a really cool thing to have that familiarity and comfort that comes from a long-term relationship, while simultaneously maintaining the exciting newness of a couple just getting to know each other.
Looking forward, I can't help but wonder if there will come a day when the newness has fully faded away, when we have been together so long that we can know what the other is thinking without speaking a word, when we can each recite the other's stories, and when all that is left to do is to sit together in comfortable quiet, content with the knowledge that we know each other as whole people and still love each other entirely. I hope so. I hope we're blessed with a marriage that lasts that long, till we're old and gray and out of new stories to tell. Of course, knowing my husband, there will never come a day when there are no words left to be spoken - with him, there will always be something to debate, discuss, analyze or question! And that is just fine with me, because that's the man I married. And I love him entirely.
Eric, thank you for being the husband you are. In every way, you are more than I could have hoped for. Thank you for all you do to take care of me and of our family, for being my very best friend, for sharing my stories and making me smile. The past seven years have far exceeded any and all expectations I could have ever had and I am so thankful to have been able to share them with you. Happy anniversary to my absolute favorite. I love you, always and forever.