Today is our five year anniversary, and for some reason this one seems bigger than the others. It could be that fact that we're celebrating half a decade. That's kinda a big deal. However, for me it's more than that. Five years represents the reality of life rather than the expectation I had of marriage.
I think to understand, you have to know a little more about our story. Eric and I had a plan for our future. We were going to get married, work, and travel the world for the first five years of our life together. Then we were going to start our family which we assumed would be through adoption because of my medical history. You can image our utter and total shock only eight weeks into wedded bliss when we discovered that we were expecting. Farewell jet-setting couple, and welcome to the reality of parenthood.
I know it's extremely common for couples to have two children by their five year anniversary, but for us it is different. We didn't have time to master the whole husband and wife role before we jumped into being daddy and mommy. It's a tricky thing. I was young, twenty-three, scared out of my mind, completely overwhelmed, and hopelessly depressed. That's not how I envisioned it. It's not the plan I had in mind. But the Lord had a plan, and he blessed me with wise husband who reminded me often that "in a heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." So together we started to tackle the reality of this journey set before us.
Together we muddled through three years of sleepless nights. Together we fought postpartum depression head on. Together we walked out of my childhood home for the final time. Together we sat with my dad and brother in the hospital following life threatening health scares. Together we waited for doctors to perform surgery on our son and even Eric. Together we drove to Vanderbilt to hear our daughter's kidney diagnosis. Together we cried when my grandfather was called to his heavenly home. Together we've made a life.
It's not always the prettiest life either, but it's real. Eric and I are both extremely close to our families, so being away from them is hard. There are moments that we long for a last minute baby sitter, or help fixing the car, or an extra hand at the store, or just someone here for the million other things that pop up. It's hard balancing two jobs, two kids, a house, and the inevitable unexpected situation. It's hard, but there is a sense of pride and security in knowing that we're doing it together.
It's just he and I balancing this crazy life. Of course that means moments of stress, a few cross words, a regularly stressed out wife, and the occasional martial mishap. It means letting go of those rosy expectations of marriage and embracing reality. It means conversations interrupted by a four year old. It means arguments over who's turn it is to take a Sunday nap. It means endless mounds of laundry. It means eating in shifts while someone feeds the baby and falling asleep on the couch or in bed with a preschooler. It means cars the break down way too often, and home improvement projects that get put on hold. It means a tight bank balance in the mist of high living costs. It means learning to lay down your life for someone else.
It means moving from being lovers to being friends and finally becoming partners, because for better or worse this is the life we've been called to live. The life that is so ordinary it demands an extraordinary love, a love that I have found in my husband. Five years in and this looks nothing like the life I had planned, and for that I am overwhelmingly thankful. It's been a beautiful journey!