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14 Years and Counting

jim and em 14 years

I wanted to take a few minutes to wish this guy a Happy 14th Anniversary. Fourteen years ago, we dedicated our love to each other in front of many family and friends. Since then, we’ve had two kids, grieved over too many family members we’ve lost, moved to the South, rescued two St. Bernards, brought a French Bulldog home, watched our daughter go through open heart surgery, bought two homes, changed four jobs, traveled a ton, and written a story with many ups and downs. We’ve written our own story that tackles every emotion. Every marriage is tested, ours included. No one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. People make mistakes. Forgiveness is given – and earned. Focus shifts to the children, without remembering why you became a couple in the first place. But over the last year, we’ve taken time to start a new chapter. Well, I guess it’s more of starting the next chronicles of our family instead of just one chapter.

I love this man. More than ever. I’m lucky he chose me to be his wife and the one to spend his life with. He’s my biggest cheerleader, but also keeps me level headed when I tend to think with my emotions. I wake up every morning thinking how lucky I am to have him and our family. I’ll never take it for granted.

“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”  — Maya Angelou 

A Favorite Thing – My Hubby

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You know how I said last month how my children were two of my favorite things…and so is my husband, but that post will come later…well….it’s later.

One thing that is funny about my husband is when I first met him, I thought he was kind of a jerk. I was a marketing intern at a zoo, while he was a full-time zookeeper. He shaved like once a week and he just seemed very straight forward with zero personality. On Fridays, I didn’t have class, so I worked all day at the zoo. Well, that’s when we started to bond and become friends. I really got to know him and learned how my first impression was completely wrong.

As we started hanging out, I also saw him around his nephews and niece. I would constantly think to myself, “Wow. This man is going to be a wonderful father someday.” And I would like to say how completely right I was about that thought!

And since I write about fashion so much – I have to side track real quick with this side note. OMG. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not great fashion sense to 10 being the best dressed man, I would have given him about a 2.5. But one good thing, he was completely open to letting me help him shop. And I still love shopping for him to this day!

Now…back to the story…we got engaged when I was 21 and he had just turned 28. My mom and dad were hesitant since we hadn’t dated very long, but they already loved him. You want to know how he won my mom over? After our first dinner out together, he wrote my parents a hand written note thanking them for a wonderful evening. Who does that? Uh, my husband does. And it worked.

We got our first house right before our wedding, and life has been busy ever since then. So that’s a whopping 10.5 years now. We have gone through a lot, which I know most marriages do. We’ve rescued a St. Bernard, got pregnant 6 months after we were married (surprise!), found out I have a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden Mutation, lost my husband’s mom to cancer, had another baby, watched our 3-year old go through open heart surgery, got new jobs, moved to the South to a town we had never even visited, drove a mini-van (what?! oh, yes!), transitioned our son to a facility daycare when he was used to home daycare, lost my husband’s dad, lost my grandmother and grandfather…and I’m sure I’m missing a lot of other things in between, too.

Our relationship has been tested a few times, but through it all, we’ve learned to love each other for who we are. Through thick and thin. Through mistakes and faults. Through sickness and health. Through grieving and extreme happiness. That’s what marriage is, folks. It’s a partnership. It’s being a team. I am blessed to have my husband as my teammate in this crazy life of parenting two children and being working parents.

I’m so lucky he knows me so well…my quirks and all. He even knows exactly what I want to eat when I’m sick (Panda Express anyone?!). I’m so lucky I can be so dependent upon him sometimes because I know he will be there. For me. For our children. For my parents. His heart is the size of Mount Everest. How am I so lucky?

Here’s a few pictures from our 10-year vow renewal. It was an unbelievably touching moment that we will never forget. It was a testament to our commitment to each other – no matter how crazy our lives can get.

vow renewal

 

I love you, honey! I hope you know how much.

You are definitely my favorite thing.

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