Three pregnancies and births, six moves, 21 days of homeless camping and living out of our car, hundreds of poopy diaper changes, miles and miles of running together and supporting each other in races, thousands of road trip miles, tens of thousands of tears shed, a thousand MORE smiles shared, hundreds of thousands of dollars of business debt and subsequent payoff, hundreds of temper tantrums, millions of hugs, kisses and snuggles with kids, innumerable moments of pure gratitude, 3,285 days of waking up next to each other and I love him even more every day.
Its hard to believe that nine years have passed and we’ve almost spent a third of our lives together. Back in March, 2002 after spending all of seven weeks getting to know each other, Aaron posed the question, “Do you know where this could go?” I smiled and in a moment of boldness and confidence replied something to the effect of, “Yeah, we could get married.” Nine weeks later, there we were kneeling across the altar. While I don’t believe four months from first acquaintance to marriage is right for everyone, I have no regrets and have enjoyed (nearly) every minute of it. I’m not gonna lie, a great marriage doesn’t come without its struggles and set-backs but as we’ve seen those through, its been pretty darn amazing.
I knew very soon after I met Aaron that I wanted to spend the rest of my life and eternity with him. The same attributes that I fell in love with nine years ago are still making me smile today. Probably the first thing I realized I loved about Aaron when I first met him was his optimism and carefree attitude about life. He has such hope and faith in the act of living an abundant life. He knows how to bring joy and positive outlook to any dreary day. His idealism balances out my realism and lifts me to a higher plane. He enables and inspires me to dream big and make bold moves. I love (though sometimes I pretend to be stubbornly unamused by) his endless sarcasm and fun jesting. He keeps it light and fun and disarms me when I get too serious.
Another favorite aspect of Aaron’s character that I’ve appreciated through the years is his persistence. I know I’ve tested his patience on many occasions with my doubts or concerns in our endeavors but he has always been gentle and kind in hearing me out and helping me address whatever mental struggle I’m going through. He is my Yoda. Not every woman can say they have their own personal life Coach and guidance counselor available any day at any time of day, but I can. And he’s not just any random counselor, he is a brilliant, God-loving, faith-guided, wise, loving husband who always keeps my best interest at heart and genuinely wants the best for me, our marriage, and our family. What can I say? I am one lucky girl.
Not only is Aaron a great husband, he is a fabulous father too. One day I caught him cuddled up in the hammock in the back yard with all three of our kids heaped upon him. He was telling them all about his Mom who passed away before they were born and my Dad who passed away a few years ago and how they are looking down upon us and hoping we make good decisions and live good lives. He was teaching them about eternal families and what a wonderful blessing it is that we get to be together forever. It warmed my heart and brought a huge smile to my face knowing that our children are being guided by such a gentle, wise, loving man. Just the other day Abe was telling me about his conversation with Aaron as they were jumping on the trampoline earlier that morning; “Daddy doesn’t really want to work…he’d rather play with us all day.” How lucky our kids are to have a Father (really a kid at heart) who genuinely wants to be an integral part of their daily lives and make memories with them as he teaches and guides them.
Its been an adventurous, amazing nine years. I’m SO grateful I get to grow old with you and enjoy many more amazing years together. Lets keep making it great! I love you, Aaron!