Sunday, July 25, 2010

7 Years: Full of Memories

7 years ago tomorrow, I married my best friend.

7 Years

7 years… I hear that there is a “7 year itch”, I don’t really get it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ve been married so long that I know it all or anything like that, in fact I know that’s not even close to true, but when I think about all that we’ve been through together in just the past 7 years, and how far we’ve come; it only reminds me of how much further I want to go with this man, my partner, my best friend, my husband. IMG_0006_1

The last 7 years have easily been the best 7 years of my life, and while I’ve experienced more pain and more loss in the past 7 years than I did the entire 19 prior to it, walking through it with my man by my side and God with us, has been an incredibly journey.

I am blown away at even the thought that there is more to come so much more! More joy, more pain, more laughter and crying. More growth. More mistakes. More compromise. Forgiveness, mercy and grace. I can’t hardly wait!

To think that we are in the beginning part of our story, the first 7 years – it’s only a chapter (maybe 2) of our story. The memories that we have made together are a part of us now – they have shaped us and changed us.

IMG_0015 I can’t help but think back….

I remember our honeymoon. We went to Hawaii for 10 days – it was awesome, and we swore we would go back after we had been married 5 years (instead we gave birth to our second child that year, so needless to say) it didn’t happen.

I think about starting our careers, after college, the friends we made. Or about our first apartment, and how we lived between a garage without electricity and Tim’s parents house for a month in between apartment leases. I remember our first home – and how Tim bought it without me ever even seeing it (it was PERFECT by the way).

IMG_0014 I vividly recall some of our first arguments, mostly about our family’s, and the struggles every newly married couple faces as they try to combine and mesh two very different family backgrounds into a functional family of their own – a challenge for sure, but we managed to do it without too many scars.

IMG_0022I remember the INCREDIBLE vacation we took to Mexico together – one of the most relaxing weeks of my life.

IMG_0024I remember finding out we were pregnant with our first child, and how Tim insisted on holding the stick while I peed on it, because he wasn’t sure I was doing it right and how it was so important to him that we found out at the EXACT same time. I remember the double take we both did when we saw TWO lines!! 

IMG_0028Our church, man, we miss that church. The church and friends who helped change/correct our view of God and the year of healing and transformation that took place after that.

TreytonThe birth of our firstborn – a son! Treyton James. The entire thing (pregnancy, birth, bringing him home) was so…. surreal!! We were both so in love and so taken by this little 8 pound creature that added a dynamic to our family that we never really expected and has never really stopped ;)

Then I think about how three years into our marriage everything seemed to change at a rapid pace. Tim quit his job in insurance, which we both loved, to fulfill his dream to run his own business. We moved in March of 2006. Two hours away from most of our family and friends. I was excited to go, we both were, and neither of us have really regretted our decision, but it wasn’t easy. Especially for a new mom whose husband was about to start working 60 hour weeks.

In the months following our move, one of my closest friends from high school passed away, we found out that I had Asherman’s (which was a fertility issue) and I suffered with depression for nearly a year. Tim stepped up in a major way, and though this was by far the hardest year of our marriage, I had never loved him more, and I needed him then more than ever and he certainly showed me in many tangible ways how much he loved me.

Chicago NY2

2007 brought us more joy. I got things back on track with God and we began to see His hand in our life in ways that we had never seen before. In a miraculous way, God fixed our fertility issues, I recovered from my depression, and we took an adventurous week long trip to New York City, just the two of us and in October we found out we were expecting our second child. Individually our walks with God transformed and grew everyday, and as a result so did our family’s. 

Alexa Natalee The birth of our second born daughter, Alexa Natalee, was such a joyous and miraculous occasion, and while it was completely different than having a child for the first time, she brought with her something that Treyton couldn’t have. Her life renewed our hope and gave us peace that we hadn’t experienced in a really long time.

rehearsal 2008

nove 08For a few months we lived in a bubble of bliss, counting our blessings every day – and during this time God began to prepare our hearts for an unimaginable season of loss and pain.

I think back to a Wednesday night in November of 2008, Lexa was 3 months old, Tim was carrying her down the stairs and slipped. They fell together more than halfway down our stairs. While neither of them were hurt badly (Lexie not at all), we ended up taking Alexa to the Emergency Room after she became nearly unresponsive. Luckily it was only her body’s reaction to the  rush of adrenaline in her system, and it was completely harmless and minor. But I cannot describe to you how that relatively minor fall changed my life and prepared me for something that only God could. The next day (it was a Thursday), I was on my face for much of the day before God – my heart had been changed – my need for God I once again realized and I was desperate for Him. He poured into me.

A week later, our precious, beloved nephew, Trent went to be with Jesus at 2 1/2 years old.

During this time Tim and I mourned. Together. Separately. As a family. And with our extended family. God held us closer during this time than I think we’ve ever been held before or since. Our marriage changed, our family changed, we experienced a loss, a real loss that can never be replaced. But God reminded us daily, He is good, and we believed Him.

epcot 2009 came and with it a few more changes. We moved into a new house. One closer to Tim’s work, out in the country (our dream) and with a large yard. Life was great, for about a week.

house March 20th, 2009 – Tim smashed his hand at work and nearly cut off his pinky and ring finger on his left hand. God worked miracle after miracle that day and the days following for our family, and we were once again left sitting just thanking Him for giving us another day together. That summer was filled with appointments, physical therapy and recovery for Tim.

hand In July we found out we were expecting precious miracle #3. A rough pregnancy, but we made it through and in March of 2010 we welcomed Audrey Ann into our family. The perfect addition, though an adjustment at first (on the part of the parents), Audrey has not brought more work upon us, but more joy. Being the easiest happiest baby, yet, we are often left wondering what to do with her ;)

Family Photo 1 The truth is, even as I type this out, this short memoir is only a partial reflection of God’s goodness in our life the last 7 years.

We have a great marriage, an incredible family and we’re happy. Truly happy. But I hope that it’s obvious that it’s not because of us – our story, our lives have been directed, protected and served by the hand of God.

7 Years Family_B&WThe last 7 years have been a journey of a couple that individually were headed no where, but together God managed to change and make something from nothing.

So to you, Tim, I just want to say, you complete me, you changed my life. My dreams have been fulfilled because you were in them. I still can’t believe you chose me, but I am so very glad that you did.

Thank you for being my best friend, my partner, the other person in my memories. Thank you for being my head, and for making it so easy to respect you – I will follow you anywhere. I look forward to the next 70 years by your side making even more memories.

I love you.

 

*** Sorry about the quality of some of the pictures, they are pictures of pictures.

2 comments:

greeneyedmom said...

Happy anniversary! Those are some great memories. Here's to many more.

For His Glory said...

Very sweet recollection!!! Praying you will have many, many more sweet years:)