I'm sitting here on the night before my anniversary just reflecting and mentally looking back at the past 12 years. This isn't written pretty and I'm typing on my tablet so just go with it.
We've had an awesome 12 years together and I've laughed till I've cried and I've just plain cried.
We've done big things like Disney for our honeymoon and small things like walking around Target looking into the awful magnification mirrors in the beauty section. (don't do that its awful)
We went to college together and took Greek together while being married. Ẃe worked at GAP together and you were my boss for a little while. We started helping in a church plant in the youth together. So many things that were such a big part of our lives and part of what has shaped us to be who ẃe are.
I'll never forget making a bologna sandwich for you and having no idea that I needed to take the red part off. That first year when you ate all my burnt food except the burnt fried chicken that was a bloody mess. You even ate tofu for me. you sold your Camaro for a more baby friendly option.
The moment just a couple months shy of our one year anniversary finding out we were pregnant for the first time. Sitting in the book store trying to figure out names and finding out the baby was a she. Being in the delivery room and you eating a Hamburger minutes before she arrived.
The day we found out number 2 was on the way way faster then we were ready for. You in grad school trying every job from plumbing, to selling cars to McDonald's manager. Smelling like chicken nuggets for days.
I'll never forget the day they said they saw something on the ultrasound. The next appointment hearing spinabifida and having no idea what it even was. Remembering crying and holding each other and being scared out of our mind. There were dark days in our marriage. Days that I have wanted to wish away and yet days that have made us who we are. We just kept going. Toby came and we survived. Surgeries and scares and life being crazy. Uprooting our tiny family and moving out to Texas to start a youth pastor ministry.
In Texas we made the decision for one more child (laughable now) and when we found out we were pregnant we were told we might not keep the pregnancy. And here we have Milo. Our beautiful, kind Milo. Then came Vander in all his red hair glory all the while we are missions tripping, camping, youth pastoring, junior senior banqueting, activities and just living. Four and no more was a great motto. We were exhausted warn pretty thin and had come off an extremely hard dangerous surgery with Toby and then........ Wren. Our baby. I wasn't ready for her, wasn't planning on her and 3 days before we found out we talked about permanent surgery options and adopting one day. And then wren. we thought we were done with hardships, another major surgery and recovery for Toby, broken ac, head lice for all the kids and Nate going to Guatemala ....we were done with hard. God had given us the most amazingly beautiful miraculous home that we were building and hard was behind us. Then at almost exactly 2 months old while standing watching Toby wheelchair basketball game it was like our baby went blind. Her eyes couldn't focus, they shook non stop and it felt like ultrasound day again. We heard words like cancer and tumor and after a week of tests the dreaded 'we dont know' we have fought and fought for our kids and we fought for wren. Albinism of the eyes. No idea on her vision. And yet we kept going. Moving from assistant pastor back to youth and things getting down right complicated. We held hands and just kept going. And now here we are moving our family over 1k miles away from everything our children have ever known (along with a great Dane) you are a Pastor for the first time and we have a great big life ahead of us.
So much more I could have mentioned, so much life lived in 12 years. You are the most fun husband. You make me laugh more than anyone and I miss standing in the kitchen eating cereal when the kids go to bed. You give and give and give of yourself until I'm certain there is nothing left for you to give and yet you find more. You drive back and forth to see us no matter how worn out you are. You never lost your temper even when that 3 day trip had some temper worthy moments. Ive watched you love those that aren't easy to love and show grace to those that didn't deserve it. (myself included) You love Jesus and you take your responsibility seriously. And yet you are still real. Our children love you and there is a huge hole in our family when you are gone. You are my partner in every aspect of my life. You always point me back to God even when I'm sure you are tired of reminding me. You have changed so much and I've watched you allow God to work and change and get you ready for such an important job. I know I dont tell you this often enough. but I want you to know I love you. You are perfect for me. And I'd walk the isle all over again.