Dating was easy, being engaged was easy. Full of romantic dates and too much wine and pasta and desserts(and where did this extra 25 lbs come from??). Getting married was something I had dreamed about, like most other girls, since I was a little girl. Babies and houses and vacations filled my head. But who knew its the hard times that really make us? The fairy tale moments, the times that make our hearts flutter, those are great. But how we handle those hard times end up being the bones of a marriage. Holding each other's hands and holding each other up and plowing through something so awful you never imagined would actually happen to you? Those are the times that change us.
Fast forward 12 years, and here we are. Married for (almost) 9 years, 3 precious little girls and another on the way (yes another girl- pregnancy post coming soon!). We have moved all over the place. We have both changed. We've grown up- together. No longer 19 and tipsy, flirting with each other at a party, now we spend our Friday nights sprawled across the couch wrapped in a blanket, you drinking a glass wine totally exhausted from working all week, and I'm dosing off while leaning on your shoulder, and there are little ones and a dog draped all over us and the rest of the couch. We talk about life and jobs and moving and money, and how was everyone's day, when out of the blue one of the girls hops up and wraps her little arms around your neck. She loves you so much that you can see it on her face. All three of them do. You're Prince Charming. You are it for them. And I pray every night that one day each of our girls finds a husband just like you.
The boy I fell in love with is now the man that has helped me recover after three births and two miscarriages. The man who grins ear to ear every time I tell him we're having another baby, and held my hand as we walked into the ER the night we lost our baby last fall. The night I was hemorrhaging and he helped me to the bathroom in the hospital, and even though I've never felt more embarrassed in my life as I was covered in blood, he never flinched, just held my hand and helped me into the shower. And then he held my hand and was terrified right there with me when we found out a year later that there was another on the way. The man who has seen me give birth, and throw up and cry and breastfeed. The man who has held my hand and rubbed my back and went through every contraction with me. He's cut umbilical cords and held all three of our babies seconds after they were born. He walked me through the depression that felt like it lasted forever after we had Maggie. I was so scared he would think I was absolutely crazy when I told him how I felt and about the awful battle raging in my mind, while cradling our first baby in my arms. He just looked at me, exhausted with circles under my eyes, confused, and sad, and said "I would never think you are crazy. I love you more than anything in the world and we will get through this together." And we did. And what a nightmare it was to see you walk in the door after being laid off, only to watch in absolute amazement after you landed another job less than a month later. Who knew we would go through so much together in just 9 years? And who knows what we have in store for us?
It feels like just a second ago I was staring up at those big brown eyes and dimples, with that backwards white LSU hat, and then I blinked, and now you're a daddy of 3, and we're laying there on the couch and you've got your hand on my belly feeling another one of your babies move. You make pancakes on the weekend and we dance barefoot in the kitchen. Our marriage isn't perfect, and you're not perfect and I'm far from perfect and we still annoy each other sometimes but we try. Every day we try. We still find ourselves in the corner at a party talking to each other. We still have nights, although now few and far between, when we drink entirely too much and laugh entirely too much and feel like we're in college again and remember very clearly the next morning that we're not. Sometimes money is great, and sometimes it would be great to have more. But what a blessed life we live, even with all of the hard times. And I feel so blessed to have watched you go from the wild college boy I fell in love with to my husband and the daddy of our babies. And I couldn't adore you more.