You thought I was done mentioning it

Sunday was my anniversary.IMG_0158

Eight years. Eight years of name calling and furious fights, snuggles and tv shows and approximately 673,000 text messages since we finally decided to make ourselves an us.

I have learned a great deal about myself in the last eight years.

I’ve learned that compromise is an art, and
that loving someone means loving all of them, even when they leave clothes in a pile and don’t throw away empty boxes.

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photo credit Addie Talley

Listening to bands you’d rather not.
Eating rice cooker Thai food and pretending it’s not revolting.
Not watching shows alone that you always watch together.
Learning terms that apply to their job so you have something to talk about.
Tolerating the pet they love.
Knowing when to lose.
Wanting their dreams to succeed, even if you feel left behind.
Even when they disappoint you.
Even when you disappoint them.
Always being ready to try again because whatever it is, it’s worth it.
Wanting to be better, because they deserve your best.

To my husband:

You infuriate me. You amaze me. You make me proud. You challenge me. You accept me.

You make me better.

And I love you.

 

Hence artistic endeavor

Sunday is my anniversary. You’ll hear more about that soon.

Lately I have been listening to a great deal of artsy fartsy feely music.

Basically just Amanda Palmer and my beloved Neil Gaiman, because they did this fantastic “An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer” tour and it was…perfection.

Amanda Palmer is lovely and wonderful and has this song about ukuleles.

About how great they are.
How they make people happy.
The wonder and greatness of the music.
Eating cereal in the dark and how you should just play because you can.

As a matter of fact it is here:

Ukulele Anthem. Amanda Palmer is amazing.

I THEN WANTED A UKULELE.

If you know me you know that I have never – aside from youth choir and chamber choir and various other choiry things – been particularly musical. I played clarinet in junior high but never progressed past Smoke on the Water and Proud Mary. I got a guitar in college and I learned a couple of Jewel songs.

I mentioned to my longsuffering husband that I could totally get into playing the ukulele.

He was understandably skeptical, and when I refused to mime the motions of ukuleleing he had a point and I dropped it.

Then he bought me one because he sometimes caters to whims and also why not, it’s a IMAG0177_1great anniversary present.

So now I have something to learn and hopefully not suck at, and I have had it for a grand total of four hours now and I almost can play “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” which…yeah, don’t ask.

You will probably never hear me play this ukulele, but rest assured that somewhere I am perhaps playing it and looking foolish and being so happy.

Seventy times seven – for my husband

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Tomorrow is our anniversary.

Seven years ago, we cut out of Ava’s second birthday, we drove the silver Expedition to Selmer, and we got married.

I was nervous and I wasn’t. Looking back, I wish I’d worn something at least a little bit pretty as opposed to jeans and a potato sack of a blouse.

We arrived, we did our paperwork, and then a woman used her husband’s book (prayer book? Book of civil ceremonies? What exactly was it?) and we said our vows in an empty courtroom. I remember she got all choked up and I couldn’t help but wonder why. Was she overwhelmed by how sweet we were? How I didn’t have an engagement ring because we were broker than broke – but we had sweet engraved silver bands? I wonder where those are now. I wonder if, seven years later, that lady still works at the Selmer courthouse. I wonder if she teared up at every eloping couple she saw – and I know she saw a bunch.

Not much changed after that. We lived in the same apartment as before. We didn’t go on some big honeymoon getaway. But I was a wife. You were a husband. And somehow that changed everything.

It’s so easy to lose sight of what we had such a grip on that day.

So easy to say that we weren’t thinking of much besides how we wanted to join a church and they wouldn’t let us while we were living in sin.

Looking back from where we both stand now, the fact that church was a very real issue in our union is….kind of absurd.

But what was real then is no less real now. I love you. I love you even when I don’t like you. I love you enough to say that I’ve spent seven years being yours – and while I may have done a lot of things differently, while I may have taken different steps along the way, my best friend is eternally bound to me in one way or another.

I will never be sorry that you became my future. I will always be yours.

I love that we have grown over the years. Together, apart, together again. So many things have happened. Seizures and surgeries, jobs and houses. Failures and successes.

We’ve had so many roads to travel. You’re the best company I could have asked for.

We make mistakes and we take each other for granted. We do everything wrong.

But we’ll make it. We’ll be okay. We’ll be better than okay because that’s what we do.

Thank you for the past seven years. For our little girl. For being mine. For being what I always know is there.

I love you.

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Oh Day of Days

There are many, many days in any given year that are special to me, for any number of reasons.

Today, though. Today is big.

Seriously – there are all of the feelings.

Eight years ago today, I had a daughter. She was perfect. She was beautiful.

She still is.

In Ava, I see everything I once was – and so much I could never be. Confidence and beauty and every hope and dream in the world. I want so much for her, and at the same time I’m terrified I’m unintentionally projecting some vicarious dreams. That’s not what I want. If she takes nothing away from my mothering, I want it to be the knowledge that above all else, I love her. No matter what. If she quits too soon, if she loves unexpectedly, if she makes the wrong choice. When she can be sure of nothing else in the entire world, she can be sure of me. That she is my heart.

For eight years I have been in this fog of awe that I could have ever produced such a spectacular human being, and it won’t lift any time soon.

Six years ago today, I married my best friend. We went on a whim to a courthouse and said vows in front of a stranger, and then we ate Mexican food.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been harder than anything else I could ever even think of doing. I’ve wanted to quit and I’ve wondered what we were thinking. But I’ve also had the most amazing times of my life.

I’ve never really believed in the concept of soulmates, but I do know that to find someone you can lock onto is a lucky, lucky thing. It’s unlikely and it’s messy and it’s embarrassing and it’s everything you think it shouldn’t be, but in the midst of everything else, it’s having a partner. Someone on your side. Someone who can hurt you like no one else – but chooses not to, not because you can hurt them just as badly, but because they want to keep you from hurt. Teamwork and frustration and heartbreak, joy and accomplishment and laughter and tears.

Maybe it isn’t Cinderella. Maybe it isn’t all unicorns and fairy farts.

But it’s spectacular. It’s the whole world. It’s a work of art.

 

All in all, it’s a pretty great day.

 

Because I’m not a Christmas Card sender

I’ve tried before, a couple of years I even got the cards out in time.

I felt very accomplished those years. But it’s been a long time.

So in light of the fact that I’m not organized or competent enough to send out individual paper cards, here:

Also, in the tradition of those lovely people who do a family update letter every year at Christmas, I will do this.

2011.

The year started out like they all tend to do.

Resolutions were pretty much abandoned by week 2.

I turned 31.

The institution of marriage was defined by people in all different ways.

Ava lost her first tooth. Max lost several of his.

Lucy turned one.

Josh and I decided to go back to school, and we had our 5 year anniversary.

Josh was in many plays. I was in none.

Max and Ava and Dan were also in plays.

I started going to a for real shrink.

My sister got married.

Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Occupy Wall Street began.

Josh said goodbye to his grandfather.

I registered my domain name and began to blog with fervor.

Josh and I finished our first semester of school online.

And oddly enough, that seems to be all of note I can really remember.

I am giving myself this week of mostly leisure, so you may not hear from me for a while.

I love you.

Half a decade

Miracle on 34thI’m a day early, but since tomorrow is Ava’s birthday as well as my anniversary, I decided to go ahead so she can have her own post tomorrow.

So many people said nothing about us would last.

And so many times they’ve almost been right.

We’ve fought and screamed.

Our wedding dayWe’ve forgotten to treasure and respect each other.

We’ve treated one another badly.

There’ve been seizures. Surgeries.

But the good times have so outweighed the bad times.

Being each other’s familiar face when we come out of the fog of those seizures and surgeries.

Realizing passions.

Our baby girl.

Being one another’s best friend.

Each of us knowing that no matter what else happened, someone was always in our corner.

There are many, many ways I’ve failed you over the past five years, and I’m sure there will be many more.

But right now, today, I want you to know that I will spend the rest of my life making sure that yours is better because I’m in it.

For my failures, I’m so sorry.

For the way you’ve taught me that family is forever, thank you.

For the love you have for me. For Max. For Ava. For Lucy.

Thank you for my life, and for the way you’ve saved me. And for being my perpetual Words With Friends partner.