The kids and I recently watched our wedding video and they had quite a bit to say about it. From “wow you guys look young” to “why is Dad’s hair so curly?”... there wasn’t a quiet moment. I was thinking “why on earth did our parents let us get married so young?” and “we were babies!”. However at twenty two, I thought I had it all figured out, and there isn’t one thing that would have kept me from walking down that aisle.
Fifteen years later we are older and wiser and have learned how to love each other better. I’m also pretending that I look about the same ...so just let me live in that fantasy for a bit mmkaay? We are both vastly different people than we were fifteen years ago (looks aside), and I thought it would be fun to share fifteen things that have changed or happened in our time together. Here they are:
Hair. Lots and lots of hair styles. Mostly of varying lengths for Nate, and a whole bunch of colors for me! In my pre-kid years (read: when I spent extra money on things besides soccer cleats and LOL surprise dolls) I colored my hair every three months. So… there are a rainbow of looks to choose from.
Food. When we first got married we ate out twice a week, made frozen pizza two or three times a week, and had a steady rotation of grilled chicken and hamburgers for the days inbetween. (Also… we ate a ton of Hamburger Helper. I can’t EVEN handle this now. Perhaps it’s why my gallbladder died). While we still eat out some I have actually learned how to combine ingredients into meals that are not from a box. Occasionally, I now throw random ingredients into a mix of some sort and they turn out delicious. I still catch things on fire, burn stuff and have the occasional “ this was so bad we have to eat out now” meal - so some things never change!
Kids. We waited five years to have kids partly because we loved being able to travel together, and partly because of fertility issues. If I had a dollar for every time I said “I will never…” about my future parenting (and then did the thing I claimed I would never do) I could go back to that hair coloring schedule. Kids change everything, and highlight both the best and worst of who we are.
Kids, again. No, no, that’s not a typo. It’s just that I think they deserve two mentions. For all the hard choices, sleepless nights and agonizing moments… there are a million more beautiful ones. And seeing Nate parent our kids in a loving and grace-filled way makes me love him all the more.
Injuries/organ removal. Want to grow your relationship? Injure your ankle on a family vacation that requires a month of scooter use and crutches. In a two story house. Or, have your appendix and gall bladder removed in a two year period - thank goodness cell phone video wasn’t a thing then! No one needs to remember how I act on pain meds. Nate had a year of back issues that led me to insist he not rake leaves, shovel snow or sweep the floor. It’s a humbling moment when you ask “but can you do that with your back?” - and you are still in your thirties.
Technology. For the first five years of our marriage we had a landline. We didn’t have home internet until around the time Kingston was born in 2008. Fast forward a few years and each of my kids could swipe right on a Ipad by the time they were two. They are also still baffled by the idea of a phone being tethered to the wall, and will never be in a place that YouTube isn’t accessible.
Grief. We have weathered all kinds of grief in our fifteen years together - the losses of parents, grandparents, friends, babies, dreams, hopes and things we thought were secure. The ability to sit with one another in these times and not force change or a fake disposition is difficult, but I’m so thankful we chose that path. Our grief has made us stronger, more compassionate and keenly aware that our Savior is ultimately who heals and rebuilds.
Nate has become super organized. When we were first married Nate’s spontaneity extended to every area of life. He also wasn’t phased by a sink full of dirty dishes, or inclined to plan every facet of a trip. Fast forward to a few months ago when I discovered a list that was organized by category AND color coded. I mean, that’s a lot even for me! He is now the first one to jump to do the dishes, is a master trip planner and traveler and keeps his closet super tidy. Swoon.
I have become a teeny tiny bit more spontaneous. This is definitely an area I’m working on - mainly because I want my kids to think I’m as fun as their dad. It’s a struggle for this list making, organization loving and planning aficionado of a mom to jump headfirst into a day completely carefree- but I’m working on it. I fondly remember my spring break trip my freshman year of college to the beach, where none of my roommates wanted to plan a daily itinerary! Can you believe it? I’ve come a long way from that extreme, and I’m daily working to let go of things that don’t matter. (Anyone else a bit of a control freak? That’s probably a whole blog post in and of itself…)
Nate cleans out our cars each weekend and scrubs everyone’s tennis shoes at least once a month. These things would never, ever get done if it were up to me - and I love him for it.
I transformed from a Diet Coke addicted, chemical loving wife to a natural and crunchy mom. There is no denying this has been a huge part of the last five years of our lives. It all started with Ruby needed some help with her ears, and we just kept making tiny changes. He’s come a long way too, and we are both in season where we are working on lifelong healthy habits. He still thinks I’m a little crazy - but I’m ok with that!
Belle and Bruce. Belle was our first fur baby, a golden retriever that we had for four years before we had Kingston. She was an angel to him when he started crawling all over her and tugging on her ears. She got cancer when Kingston was two and died suddenly - it was heartbreaking. Just over a year ago we added Bruce to our mix, whom our kids love. I love him too when he’s not eating my socks, towels, washcloths or digging in the mud. As much as he drives me crazy, I’m so thankful that my kids get to grow up with a pet they can love and make memories with.
Nate owns seventeen blue dress shirts. A few years ago I decided this was excessive and tried to sell some of said shirts at a garage sale. He stopped by to bring me lunch and discovered his tailored, custom fit shirts hanging on a rack for sale for three dollars. So I no longer get rid of his things without asking.
We have lived with Nate’s parents twice. The first time we had just moved to the Kansas City area and were waiting on our house to sell - during the housing market crash of 2010. It took 13 months for our house to sell, and they graciously took us, Belle and Kingston in to help us avoid having two house payments. The second time we lived with them we had both kids and stayed about three months when the house we were renting sold quickly. It was humbling as adult children to ask our parents to let us move back in - but I’m so thankful we were given that opportunity. While we didn’t have a lot of extra space, we had a lot of time that was spent together. Those memories are some of my most dear, and we have dreams to own land and share a home with them again.
We laugh a lot. In the midst of all the changes and challenges we have always been able to see the sunny side and laugh. I’m so thankful for Nate’s sense of humor, and that our kids have inherited his witty, sarcastic, hilarious tendencies. Life is too short to not enjoy it.
Fifteen years, fifteen things. Had I known fifteen years would be this good, I would have married him sooner, to be here faster.