Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lucky #7

This weekend Andrew and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. Hooray! We made it this far!
This is us cracking up after our minister mangled Andrew's last name.
A marriage that starts off laughing at life is bound for greatness... Right? 

It does feel very much like an accomplishment. In 7 years we have really put the whole "sickness and health, richer or poorer" thing to the TEST.  We hadn't been married 6 months when his mom (a wonderful, beautiful person) died very suddenly. A few weeks later my sister's first marriage ended.  Then we tried to get pregnant. (And God said "Ha!") Then a whole bunch of doctors tried to get us pregnant. (And God said, "What are you doing!? Didn't you hear me? I said, HA!")  I think there were some other illnesses and challenges in there, but quite honestly it's a blur.  We did buy an apartment. And we went on some really beautiful vacations. The best one, of course, was the one we took to Ethiopia with two extra plane tickets in our pockets.  And then we sold our apartment and bought a house. Richer, then poorer. Then rich again.

Of all those challenges, co-parenting has been by far the hardest. Ohmygoodness! Being a parent is so hard sometimes. You don't need me to say that, but it helps me to say it out loud. That way when, for example, I'm trying to coax a screaming, writhing toddler to get back into her bed when all I want to do is crawl into mine, I don't freak out. THIS  is HARD.  And that's okay.

But we did need a break. So this weekend to celebrate those 7 years of hard work and love we went away for a night.


*Without our children (that hardly needed saying, did it?)

And it was glorious! We had long conversations without interruption. I finished so many thoughts! It was amazing! And we went to bed when we felt like it, without a toddler screaming, crying or begging. And we woke up when we wanted to, and without a sleeping toddler's foot in our guts or backs. And we had breakfast and nobody spilled anything!  And then we sat by the fire in the lobby and did absolutely nothing! Nobody whined and asked when we could play on the iPad. Ohmyheavens... Life without children is so Quiet! Sigh...

We are very lucky to have relatives who are willing to take care of our kids living close by.  Daniel played and played with his cousins... one cousin ended up with a split eyelid, that's how much fun they had. (Sorry, sis.)

Lily had a glorious time playing Barbies with Grandma. And Grandpa read her probably about 100 stories. And, she slept through the night! In her own bed! With the LIGHT OFF.

I can't even.


One day she'll do that in our house too. Maybe the night before she leaves for college? Maybe?

Marriage is hard work. Marriage with children is very hard work. We are so lucky to have the support of our families and our friends and our church. We have people we are willing to listen to us vent about our spouses and our children, but who also say, "Yup, that sounds about right. You guys are doing great." We have the resources to go away for a night when we need to.  Just that space of a few hours recharged our batteries and helped us reconnect. How blessed we are. I thought of how hard it would be to remain in a committed relationship without those resources and supports. How easy it would be to destroy the fabric of a marriage without the tools and the time to sew back up the tears that everyday life rips into it.

The peace and ease that our little vacation gave to us lasted through the rest of the weekend. It lasted through a couple of tantrums, several rounds of "are we there yet?!" and a couple of tough bedtimes.  Driving home in the car, listening to the whining and the fighting of our two overtired kids in the backseat, we turned and smiled at each other.

Here's to the next 7 years.

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