Friday, July 16, 2010

Just wait until the honeymoon is over

Bill and I have been married now for almost 11 years, and dated 3 1/2 years before we got hitched.

August 21, 1999 - we both had just turned 22 and there were a lot of people who thought we were too young. Maybe we were, but one thing was for sure - we loved each other and knew without a doubt that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Bill had joined the army and was going to be traveling the world, and neither of us wanted him to be doing it alone. We didn't have a lot of money to spend on fancy rings. Bill paid $35 for an opal ring at a pawn shop, and we had picked out 50 matching wedding bands from James Avery the first year we were dating. There's a Hebrew inscription that reads "Whither thou goest, I will follow", and the sentiment has always rang true for us as we've moved from Oklahoma to Washington DC to Germany to California to Arizona to Florida and now back to California. Always together.

When we first got married, people used to say things to us like, "Just wait until the honeymoon is over." or "Wait until you've been married 5 years...7 years... 10 years...." - possibly assuming after years together we'd realize how hard it is and expect failure? I don't know what their intentions were but it always infuriated me. At what point will it stop? After we've been married 50 years, will there be someone there to say, "Wait until you've been married 55 years!"

I always look to Bill's grandparents who have been married for over 60 years as a gauge for a successful marriage. The #1 thing I notice when I'm around them is that they genuinely enjoy each other's company.

We are by no means experts on marriage. And our marriage like all has not been perfect. But after 14 years together, believe it or not, I still like hanging out with Bill. That could all change 50 years from now but I don't think so. If we make it 60 years, I'll request an epitaph that reads "Here lies Bill and Anna. They never got sick of each other. So there."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What were we thinking?

Last night after finishing up a work project, immediately followed by organizing the walk-in closet of our new home, putting away laundry and finally situating our bedroom so it feels more livable, I made one last walk-through of the house picking up toys and random pieces of food from the floor while everyone was tucked away sound asleep in their beds.

And yes, I absolutely am aware that was a ridiculously long run-on sentence - a direct reflection of my life these days. After moving 2400 miles across the country from one coast to the next, unpacking belongings and making our new house a home, while working part-time, my life is one big run-on.

So after all that, I bumped into my brother-in-law Winston in the kitchen and asked, "After living with us now for a year, do you still want kids?" His answer... "I would never have them so close together. But I think I'm good with just one." And I said, "What were we thinking?"

There are MANY moments in my life that I think Bill and I were 100% crazy out of our minds STUPID for thinking we could take on 3 kids only 2 years apart, all the while wondering if we want to have another. (no plans! don't get excited, people) Sometimes I am SO exhausted and just need a real break from it all. The whining, yelling, working, cleaning... you get the picture.

But then this morning, I found myself sitting on the couch with a Lucas tucked under my arm, an Ash nestled in my lap, and a Holden seated to my left with his leg touching mine, and I listened to them talking and giggling while playing Little Big Planet. Instantly a wave of assurance rushed over me - I'm in the right place, exactly where I should be, with my little munchkins (evil minions) where they belong.

Sure the day to day battles wear me down and I'm not immune to motherly insecurities, but little moments make it all worthwhile. I wouldn't change anything about my life. I honestly enjoy every single moment of it. Even scraping banana off of the floor.

What, you don't believe me?