Fourteen

Fourteen years and two hours ago, I married the boy I fell for my senior year of high school. We’ve had such a wacky schedule that our best bet on an anniversary date was this morning. So, we hired a babysitter and spent a Thursday morning at the art museum and then hit a fantastic lunch spot. (Chauhan Ale and Masala House deserves a mention, because it was delicious. I hear lunch is actually the time to go; dinner gets a lot pricier.) As dates go, it was a little weird and a lot fun.

So much has happened in fourteen years. We’re both pretty different people than we were when we started this adventure. We’ve had some tough times in there, even in this past year. But you know, I can honestly say these 14 years have been good, not because life has been perfect, but because I have shared them with someone who really gets me and who somehow makes it all a lot more fun. Marriage demands a lot of us, but when you boil it down, I’m pretty sure that’s what everybody hopes for.

So, here’s to fourteen more good years. I’m okay with growing old, as long as it happens with him.

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Jon says he looks like a guy whose wife made him take a selfie, which is, in fact, exactly what happened.

A decade of together

Tomorrow is our tenth wedding anniversary. Someone asked me yesterday if the years felt long or short. I told her I didn’t really know. Sometimes, I can hardly believe it’s been ten years since our wedding. How is it possible that I’m here, in my 30s, married for a decade, with a second baby on the way? But it also feels as if there never was a time before us. I suppose that last part is understandable, given it’s been 15 years since we first started dating.

This was us in 1999:
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Opening our first wedding gift in 2002:Image

June 23, 2002:Image

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June 23, 2005:
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May 2007:
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By that last picture, our family-building adventures had begun. I remember passing under a particular bridge during a boat ride on the Seine River. The guide said it was rumored that wishes made under the bridge would be granted. In the quiet of our hotel room later that night, Jon asked, “What did you wish for?” I said, “You know.” He said, “Me, too.” We didn’t know what lay ahead. But the thing about the last ten years is we’ve learned exactly how strong we are together.

We made a conscious decision not to waste those years of working toward a family. We spent them traveling, backpacking, watching movies, going to concerts, eating at great restaurants and learning how to lean on each other like never before. Infertility could have taken over our lives. It could have driven a wedge and left us fragmented and isolated. Instead, we pulled together and determined to live life and enjoy each other. Don’t get me wrong: There were HARD times. We struggled. But we did it together, and we learned to trust each other’s judgement and rely on each other’s strengths. We refused to allow what we lacked to overshadow what we had. I doubt I could have kept that kind of perspective without my husband to anchor me.

This was at a baseball game during our stay in Washington, D.C. for our final IVF cycle:Image

And this is the father the man I love became:
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It’s been worth the wait to tackle this parenting stage of life together. We argue. We get on each other’s nerves. We get so. tired. There’s more of that ahead. But the lessons of the last ten years serve us well. We pull together. We don’t let the imperfections overshadow the joy in front of us. We remember how strong we are as a team.

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Unafraid
“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,” says Shakespeare. I stand beside you as we make this our mantra, and I am unafraid.

We have many dreams, you and I, of the moments we will spend together, and in our minds they fill the blank pages of our future. Those dreams, made of the joy we find in our common goals, have brought us here. We will hold them close and live them out one by one for the rest of our lives.

Yet we know that there are pages of our future that will not fit in the framework of our dreams. There will be moments for which we did not wish, days for which we could not plan. But I am unafraid.

For we have been guided, you and I, to this day, to this moment, by One who knows that together we are stronger than we could be alone. Joy doubled, sorrow halved.

Doubled joy we know today. We feel the warmth of support from family and friends, the brightness of new beginnings, the richness of love. But this day is so much more.

“Love is a choice,” they say, and they are right. Today I choose you and you choose me. Today we choose God as the immovable cement that binds us together, that gives us the strength to choose each other every day again, the strength to share each others’ joy and bear each others’ sorrow.

So as we say the words that forever unite our futures, know that I love you with a love that will not alter when it alteration finds. Take my hand and we will walk into the unknown, full of joy and unafraid.

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Those words read at our wedding are more true today than they were ten years ago. I love you, Jonathan Sharp. Here’s to all the future decades of together.