Eight years ago, we stood together on a beautiful first day of Spring with our children by our sides, surrounded by our closest friends and family, and made vows to love, honor and cherish each other ’til death do us part. I felt so lucky and so honored to be able to call myself your wife on that day. It was beautiful and fulfilling and so full of hope, love, and naiveté. We felt unbreakable.
In the eight years since then, we have had moments of heart-wrenching beauty, created amazing memories as a couple and as a family, lived many wonderful days full of fun and laughter, and many less-than-wonderful days that have been mundane, repetitive and boring.
We have handled raising kids as a blended family, moving three times, me going back to school, and you starting your own business. We have faced financial hardship, medical issues, petty arguments over stupid things, moments of deep despair and heartache, and certainty from both our perspectives that we were completely wrong for each other and had made a huge mistake. We have fought viciously, cried from the depths of our souls, and said horrible things that of course we didn’t mean (and some that we did). We have behaved with beautiful selflessness and awful selfishness. In spite of our best efforts not to, somehow we have always managed to find each other again.
We have built a life together. A messy, imperfect life, but a beautiful life. A real life.
It hasn’t always been hearts and roses and romance, but every moment of the last eight years has been vital to our growth as a couple, as a family, and as individual human beings. We wouldn’t be who we are today without all of the challenges, setbacks, amazing moments, and mundane, repetitive days.
As we continue to learn and grow together (and love and fight and scream and love and grow distant and reunite over and over and over because dammit WE DON’T QUIT), I am reminded of why we chose the first day of Spring as our wedding day. Every year on our anniversary we are reminded by Mother Nature of the perpetual rebirth and renewal that is a constant in life, and we take that lesson into our own lives, both individually and together as a couple. We hit reset, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward.
Over the last eight years, our naiveté has been knocked out by a hard, unforgiving dose of reality. Instead of foolishly expecting to effortlessly always have romance and good times, we’ve gained the wisdom of knowing that each day we get to make the choice to love and be loved. Each day we get to make the choice to be there for each other, to do the best we can, and to make that day the best day possible. We get to make the choice to create our happiness together.
Over the last eight years, you have helped me to realize the power that resides inside my own mind, pushed me to be the best version of myself, challenged me to try harder, held me when I felt lost, believed in my dreams and talents, and you have always refused to give up on us. You have been the glue that has held us together all these years. Without your tenacity and drive, we would have been lost. I am so grateful for your determination and perseverance. I am grateful for you.
Eight years later, I still feel lucky and honored to call myself your wife, and I look forward to what our future holds. I feel stronger with you by my side, and I know that together we are unstoppable.