A month ago, we went back. This time it was to have a wedding reception... as most of his relatives missed our wedding because of a huge snowstorm. It's only been a year but this time we drove my minivan... with four carseats and smashed fishy crackers in the back (romantic I know...). And as we drove, I reveled in how much had changed in so little time. We went from two people in college with practically no worries and a little sports car-- to married in a minivan with a life that was full to the brim. We turned into two people with a house and a minivan and carseats and bills and jobs and children overflowing! Our home was cute and clean when we first got married... Now it's child and puppy proof. I drove a sporty little jeep and he drove a hot little two door sports car. Now I drive a minivan filled with carseats, sippy cups, and mashed food and we sold his sports car to get something we could fit more people in. He shared a dorm room with his best buddy and had a small circle of close friends and a fairly quiet life.... Now we have these crazy overflowing lives with new and wonderful people coming in nearly every week.
And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world.
As I looked at the man I married driving that minivan my heart melted. This man has given everything for me.. his whole life... his whole way of life for that matter! And he has graciously extended his hand to every child I bring into it... every person I befriend. He has given up much of his guy stuff, his nice car, his peace and quiet, his ability to be completely care free..... and he has done it for one reason....me. His idea of heaven is me and the dog in a little cabin in the woods. He got me and a bunch of crazyness... (although I did have to cave on the dog). Micaiah has stood beside me through every tough choice, every child that has melted my heart, and he has given up much for me to watch my dreams come true.
When we decided to get married... I'll admit... we were a little naive. We both, in our own minds, thought we'd have this little fairytale.... and just live happily ever after. Because, I mean... isn't that the way it's "supposed to be." I mean there are plaques people hang in their homes with this saying on it... people get divorces because they are not living happily ever after... it's in every fairytale ever written... and almost every romance movie ever made. So, I don't think we were crazy for thinking that's exactly what it would be... A fairytale.
Well... let me welcome you to our unfairytale life.
I say that with no cynicism whatsoever. Can I be real here... as it is my blog?? We didn't ride off into the sunset to go live in our beautiful castle... we drove our minivan to my parents house where we live underneath them... because we decided me being with these kids was more important than me getting a "good" job so we could get a house. And no, not every day is happily ever after. Some days are hard days and some days are really good days... Some days we are sick and tired and cranky and some days we are crazy and full of laughter. We don't live with everything cozy and neat in our lives. Rather, we live in the midst of the messiness of life.... but you know what? We live. My do we live.
Because I'm crazy about that man and he is crazy about me. Because we never stop striving to help make each others dreams come true... even if it means sacrificing some of our own desires. Because sometimes "a hot date" for us... Is sitting on the couch watching The Office and eating eggrolls. Because even though we're married.. we will never stop dancing together to cheesy romance music. We live when we get up in the wee hours of morning together to take care of a two year old or scrub puppy poop out of the carpet. We live when we giggle in bed late at night not because of anything funny but out of pure exhaustion. We live because we allow each other to be both ridiculous and serious. We live when we're sitting in front of the campfire and say nothing for almost an hour... because nothing really needs to be said. We live.. because no matter how much we hurt each other or what we might have disagreed about that day.... we always kiss each other goodnight. We may not have the storybook fairytale... but the way my husband looks at me makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. We may not always be "happy" but we will hold each other's hand and weather the storm... together. There may not be a white horse and a princess gown.... but there is eggrolls and The Office... which comes pretty darn close.
Life.. is precious and unpredictable.. it is fragile.. and I don't ever want to take it for granted. I, for the record... love my minivan because it's a symbol of what is most important to me... I love that we live beneath my sweet parents because they have spent their life blessing me and I want to the spend the rest of mine returning the favor. I love that we traded getting things so that we could have a life full of people. And for the record... sometimes I even like the messiness of it all. I love knowing that whether something takes my breath away or shatters my heart, I'll be standing beside the same man I decided to marry when life was a little more simple. I love that my Jesus is the same now as he was then.
I wore my wedding dress to our reception in Watertown and broke it in two places, Micaiah and I and some good friends of ours toilet papered his cousins' house in the middle of the night as payback for what they did to our hotel room :-) We drove home in the minivan head bobbing in the wee hours of the night... trying to keep each other up. We rode horses at his grandparent's with our very best friends... We went to visit his grandmother who asked to touch my face so she could know what I looked like. We hugged people we hadn't seen in forever, we laughed, we played, we walked the beach at the lake... and we remembered what it means to pour out your life for the one you love.
"And they lived."