Friday, May 16, 2014

For Nathan

Tomorrow my husband and I celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. To quote my husband: it seems like it should be longer.
Thanks honey. ;)
In his defense, though, it really does feel like it should be longer. (Mainly because we had a daughter and lived together for a full year before we were married.) So congratulations, babe. We've actually made it to the 7-year-itch phase!!!
I tease, I tease.

My husband is without question the very best person I've ever met. He is also my favorite, so that works out nicely for us. In no way do I want to suggest that we are unhappy together. However, when I thought about what I wanted to write to my husband in our anniversary blog, I decided not to do the whole story of how he's perfect and wonderful and we live in a land of lollipops and rainbows and bliss. Because that is not what our love is like. (Even though our son eats lollipops almost daily, our daughter likes to wear all the colors of the rainbow at once, and we used to live at Fort Bliss...)

We are in the "meat and potatoes" part of our marriage, so to speak. The real stuff. The stuff that is not always pretty or fancy or exciting to talk about. But it is the part that sustains you and fills you up.

And that's why when I thought about our marriage, I thought about mowing the grass. Here's to us, babe. :)

This anniversary, like so many others, will be spent apart from one another. I will say there are certain perks to being married to a military man. For one thing, he just looks so darn handsome in this uniform:

And while the separations do suck, I get a lot more love letters when he's gone. And the presents and surprise deliveries are pretty spankin', too. It's not that he doesn't love me when he's home; it's just that there is a realization that both of us have to work harder to keep the romance alive when we are oceans away from each other.

Most of the time, our life together can be summed up like this:

But there are some slightly dangerous parts about being married to a military man, aside from the most obvious ones. Separation is hard, but for other reasons than you think. People throw around the cliche' all the time, "I just couldn't imagine my life without you." Well, not only can a military wife imagine it, she lives it. A lot. And she survives. All of the things she was positive she would never have to worry about or was never really sure she was capable of doing before are flung in front of her as her responsibilities and duties. But she pushes past fear and then she does them! It is empowering!! She don't NEED a man!(dun dun dun...)
Take THAT spider!! Take THAT ridiculously heavy wooden piece of furniture! Take THAT overflowing toilet/broken sprinkler system/washing machine in flames! Take THAT children who have inherited entirely too many personality traits from your father! Take THAT lawn!
Bet y'all thought I was never going to get there...
Here. Enjoy this horrible picture of me as compensation for your time so far.

By the way, so glad I have friends who celebrate the fact that I look ridiculous with photographic evidence ;)

I've mentioned before that my husband and I have purchased our first home--a fixer-upper. I can't remember whether or not I have mentioned on this blog yet that my husband actually toured the houses on his own, and I never even stepped foot inside of the house until two days before we closed on it. I am not too proud to tell you that shortly after I took the first walk through, I cried. Big crocodile tears. I probably made my husband feel like a piss ant. (Because that's how we roll here in lollipops and rainbows land.) I was certain beyond a doubt that my husband had chosen our house because of this:

But after a while, I realized it was actually because of this:

Our house sits on a third of an acre in the heart of the city, which is awesome enough on it's own. But the part that's even better is that once you're back there, you don't even realize that you are only .4 miles from a Starbucks. Perfection.

Or at least it would be. Except I married a military man, and I have to mow that son of a gun all by myself. With a push mower.

While other moms may use childcare for gym time, or coffee, or grocery store errands, this mom put on her finest ball cap, sundress, and boots and snaked back and forth for an hour and a half mowing the lawn. And that's when I remembered...

There's a lot of stuff about our wedding day that I don't remember. Brides, you're with me on this. You plan and you plan and you plan, and then the actual day is kind of a blur. My husband and I joked one time that we don't even remember what we said to each other in our vows. "I'm pretty sure there was something about mowing the grass??" he suggested. And here's the thing. YES! There really was!

Our officiant had told a little story about mowing the grass. (I remember I liked it because I got to joke with my husband that lawn care was part of our wedding vows.) But when I got about a quarter of the way through the lawn, a part of his story came back to me like a flash. He had said:
People often concern themselves thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. They never bother to think that maybe the grass is greener because those other people are mowing it. If you want your grass to be green, you actually have to do a little yard work.

I cried like a baby cutting that grass. Big crocodile tears again. But this time, they were happy ones.
There are parts of every marriage that need tending to, and ours is no exception. But some things are worth putting in a lifetime of extra elbow grease for. Because I love my husband. Because I want our love to grow.

Sure, sometimes we will neglect things for a little longer than we should: But I will always be willing to weed through the bad stuff with you.

Side note: Please no one tattle to BHG about the abysmal state of my garden!

Sometimes, forces will come from the outside and knock us down: But I will always be willing to rebuild with you.

Sometimes, prowlers will try to attack us: But I will always be willing to smack them on the nose :)

Because I know we have a lot of good worth fighting for:

And because if being a military wife has taught me anything, it's that I may not always need you here; I just always, always want you here.

I totally should have gave the thumbs up in my reflection. Would have really brought this thing full circle. ;)

Happy Anniversary, Soldier. Miss you!

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