Happy Anniversary

I often think that time is not relevant, and at times it’s even harmful. We can get all caught up in how old we are or a certain date or month that holds a bad feeling for us and we end up giving time a bad rap. Or we rush around like crazy people so often that we don’t enjoy our lives. But time is just a marker, a sign in the road that gives a frame of reference. It isn’t real. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not a promise or even a reality yet. There is only here and now to count blessings and live our lives.

But on the other side of that coin, that point of reference can show us how far we’ve come. Like the turning of the seasons, it shows us the progress that has been made. In fact, maybe that’s the whole reason for time and memories.

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Two years ago this morning, I met my amazing husband. I only planned to stop at the Horicon Marsh to snap a few quick photos on my way home to finishing my book. But I pulled over on the side of the road to talk to him. I’m not even sure why, as I normally don’t go out of my way to meet strangers. But I did. We chatted for a bit and exchanged info and I went home. I thought we’d be friends. I loved his photos and he was very sweet and I enjoyed him, but I kept telling him that I didn’t want anything more. I really didn’t think that I did. I was scared and had been hurt and I kept him at arm’s length. I kept telling him that I was fine and that I didn’t need anything from him. But every morning he’d send me a message to wake up to, just some sweet words to start my day. And he never got upset or freaked out when I got quiet or I was too busy or too standoffish to talk with him. He let me have space to figure it all out.

Then one day, he told me that I could keep pushing him away and telling him that I didn’t need anything, but that he was going to keep coming back as often as I’d let him and as much as he could because he knew I was worth the wait, no matter how it all turned out. I remember lying in bed after reading that message one morning, crying, knowing that I was falling in love with him and that he was the right one for me. He isn’t perfect, and neither am I. But we fit together like puzzle pieces.

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We got married a year ago today. Time really does seem irrelevant, because I feel like I’ve always had him in our lives, as if we’ve always been together. Yet I remember when he wasn’t, and how much lonelier the world was then. We both remember that, and I think that reminder serves to keep us so very thankful that we don’t live in that place anymore.  He has taken on my kids like they are his own, giving us all so many things that we have never had. We are all a family in a way that none of us has ever had before. When I use time to look back on how it was compared to how it is now, I’m so very thankful.

The here and now, the place we are in this place in time, it’s amazing. I can’t wait to see what the future years bring us, but I’m going to enjoy every moment of it as it comes.

Happy 1st Anniversary, my love. Thank you for completing our family. xoxoxo

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Thankful for the “to do” list

wpid-2014-10-06-22.17.39.jpg.jpegI woke up today with a “to do,” list a mile long. A shower to caulk, which I’ve never done before and didn’t have the supplies for, so add, “learning to caulk,” and going to Menards with a  20 pound 4 month old baby to that list. A yard full of bushes needing to be dragged to the back yard. A sink full of dishes and a dishwasher that is thankfully clean, but full. Laundry on the steps and in the washer and dryer, another three loads waiting to be folded. Three kids going four different places today that need me to pick up and drop off. A party here to get ready for this weekend. Georgia to get organized, to take shopping and help pack and reserve a hotel for, as she leaves for college on Tuesday.

And then there is my job, which I sort of think doesn’t exist because I work from home, but it is still work. There are always photos to edit and send to customers, emails to answer, or phone calls to return. And my book to promote. But the book is not on fire so the poor thing gets neglected the most. I do what I can til I’m exhausted. Then I start again. And it’s okay, because I love my life. But it’s a lot some days.

Do you see why I’m all set to feel sorry for myself this morning? But then something happened and I couldn’t really do that anymore. The whole big freaking list I just made suddenly became small and insignificant, full of blessings brimming beneath the responsibility.

A woman in our town passed away suddenly. She was the mother of some friends of my girls. Just like that, she was gone, leaving kids behind to mourn her passing.

We live in a small town. The degrees of separation almost don’t exist. We are all connected. Our kids are in the same plays, the same school, the same choirs. I was not friends with that mom and we barely spoke but our lives travel the same concentric circles around our kids. She may not be someone I know, but in a town this size, this hits too close to home. Makes me feel like I dodged some random bullet flying by. Because in the blink of an eye, she’s gone and her kids are motherless. And I am still here, with my to do list a mile long, caulking my tub and hauling bushes through the garage with my four year old, dragging the baby nearby in a stroller. Thankful.

I have to believe that there is a lesson and a purpose in everything. It’s harder to do in the face of such raw horrific sorrow. But in the moments when we have to face the tragedy of fleeting mortality, we get to see that we are still alive. That we get to do dishes and laundry and change diapers and run errands. We get to kiss skinned knees and put crabby kids down to nap. We get to learn something new and collapse at the end of the day against a husband that we love.

We get another day to be thankful for.