Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Anniversary Letter to My Love

Nine Years. As we often lament, it feels like forever and just a few days all at the same time. I think that’s because our life seems to be constantly changing. It feels like something is new and different every year-where we live, what jobs we are working, how many children we have. We’ve done a lot in nine years. More than most. We’ve moved some obscene amount of times (9 at last count, but 13 if you count the weeks we’ve spent in TLF and other people’s homes), changed jobs 3 or 4 times, traveled the world, and had a couple kids.

Our first year we lived in our favorite house-the Mt. Hermon cabin. I finished my teaching credential and you worked a couple jobs as an engineer waiting for your approval to Officer Training School and Pilot Training. We enjoyed getting to know each other and figuring out how to live together. We had a cat; I think Zoe was her name. She mostly lived in the bathroom. Life was simple that year. It was about to get more complicated…

Our second year, we moved into the carriage house at your parents’ place since I would be alone most of the time. You started Officer Training School in Alabama (on my birthday) and were gone for a few months. I was able to come visit you since I was working part time and stayed in Atlanta with Julie and Jason. Those were fun times. Once you graduated, you came back to California, but you had to be at the base during the week, so we lived apart during the week and together on the weekends. And right before we celebrated our three year anniversary, we made the big move to Mississippi.

That was definitely one of our best years. I got to experience military life and re-live college life at the same time while I got my Master’s Degree at MSU. We made some life-long friends. We were in a band. We traveled around the south. We got another cat. (The first one ran away before we moved to Mississippi.) You eventually graduated from Pilot Training. Remember how hard it was in the beginning? You weren’t sure you were going to make it. I was always sure. And I was extremely proud of you when you finished. You worked yourself pretty hard that year.

Our fourth year found us back in California were we shuffled around living accommodations for a number of months before we settled into our little apartment. Sometimes I miss that little one bedroom place-it was cozy and cute, and perfect for us at that point. We didn’t stay very long-a little less than a year. Then we bought our first home.

That’s were we lived for our fifth and sixth years. Our fifth year is when our planned path of life was altered, probably not for the last time. September 11th was a turning point for most of America, but it directly impacted us. Our plans of you being a commercial airline pilot were quickly vanishing and we spent a year or so grappling with that. You were activated and spent time away from home, overseas, while I stayed at home and wondered how and when we would start a family if your job wasn’t going to come through anymore. Funny how we worry when God has it all figured out. It worked out better than we could ever have designed.

I got pregnant with Padyn right before you were sent away for a month, then you got an engineering job here in the Bay Area. Through your brother-in-law, we found a house to rent while we decided if we were going to stay and buy. We moved a week before Padyn was born. That wasn’t intended-we thought we had a month. Silly girl had other plans. But everything worked out-better than anticipated.
Then came our seventh year. We moved into our current house when Padyn was 8 months old. We’ve been here now 2 years-almost the longest we’ve ever lived in one place. Come Padyn’s birthday, it will be the longest we’ve stayed under the same roof. You have done well at your job and have worked hard to ensure that I can stay home with the kids. Life is crazy at times with you doing two jobs, but it seems to work well for us.During our eighth and ninth years, we have fallen into a comfortable routine of life. After some struggles, we welcomed our second daughter into the world. She’s been more fun than we thought. You’ve had to step up and be Padyn’s primary caregiver at times, but you’ve done a wonderful job with that. I love seeing you play with her and enjoy her silliness. I’m OK with the fact that you’re her favorite.

Now we’re entering our tenth year. What will it bring? Where will we go? What changes are in store for us? If I’ve learned anything over the last 9 years, it’s that it doesn’t really matter what comes our way or how our plans are changed. Our love is strong and the Lord is stronger. Between the three of us, we can tackle anything. But we have more than just love for each other that keeps us together-and will keep us together for a lifetime. We respect each other, we admire each other, and we are always seeking to meet the other’s needs before our own. I didn’t have many expectations of marriage. I really didn’t know what it was going to be like. It’s been better than I ever thought possible. And you make it that way.

Thank you for marrying me nine years ago today. I’d do it all over again. I love you.


Angie said...

Time sure does fly doesn't it? I remember back to your beautiful wedding but have a hard time grasping that it was 9 years ago! Many congratulations to you guys on your anniversary!

the Girls' Moma said...

Well, you did it. You had me crying. I was boo-hooing because I love and respect and miss you guys so much.

And then I scrolled down and saw the ketchup bottle and cracked up. So much for crying. But it also reminded me why we love you guys so much!

I am so, so happy for you guys. This life isn't easy. I'm glad we can be along for the ride with such great friends.


p & k's daddy said...

What can I say, other than that I'm so blessed to have such a wife, partner, and lover...

Cozy Mom said...

Thanks for being my role model. Only you two, myself and God know how different my life whould be today without your love for Jesus, for eachother and for me. I am so blessed to have you. Thanks for being the only big brother I have Joel, I'm glad you married my sister even though she has brown hair and is under 6 feet tall.
HUGE hugs,