Ten years ago we were celebrating a new start and an adventure….married life.
We were excited to put together IKEA furniture.
(or at least fake it)
We were getting a shiny new car.
Wedding presents of china, kitchen appliances, fabric napkins and tablecloths were being unwrapped, laid out and used.
Despite working full time, we had evenings to hang out, weekends without huge responsibilities or cares.
We were buying a new house and fixing it up.
Getting a new dog….
I look back on these pictures and am almost surprised at the “newness” of it all.
The IKEA shelf?
Sold on Craigslist.
The red Honda CRV?
Holding on, but a dent and white paint “tattoos” from this year’s snow storm car debacle.
A dent from me passing too close to a bus.
Lots of miles logged.
That new house?
Fixed up. Sold.
Another house bought and sold.
The sweet rescue dog?
Luckily, still one of our favorite companions.
The doggy bed and bandanna??!?
Long since chewed up.
The “free weekends” of wine tasting?
and Bed & Breakfast trips?
Well, luckily those aren’t TOTALLY bypassed….
and the reason for our busier evenings and weekends….
well, they aren’t so bad!
Romantic nights by the fire are just—–
focused on s’mores.
Ten years is not too long in the scheme of life.
But in our world….
it has been full of change.
Six jobs for Matt.
Four jobs for Me.
3 Home purchases.
1 dog acquisition.
2 children birthed.
1 car purchased.
2 cars sold.
1 car leased.
Countless meals cooked, clean up after.
Oregon & California Beaches.
Road Trips Galore.
We have celebrated nine anniversaries already (chronicled here)…
countless birthday shenanigans
And despite the fact that the “newness” factor of our life 10 years ago has worn off a bit, I can honestly say that each day feels new. New challenges to face. New conversations to have. (or to revisit again and again…and again….) New restaurants to try. New communities to explore. New stages of development with our children. New jobs to challenge us & to step into as we seek to follow God’s lead. Some of the newness is hard and fear-producing, but I am so grateful to have a partner to walk through and into that with. I love the daily routines and rituals, finding comfort and even joy in “boring” nights at home with our made-at-home dinner, movie night and no big plans. Adventures look a little different than they might have 10 years ago, but there is still “newness” to be experienced.
About four months ago, my friend Mihee wrote an amazing post about her 10 year anniversary. She talked about the “traditional” ten year anniversary gift of tin/aluminum…
“Ten years. Even though we’ve never done traditional gifts I was curious what it would be for the tenth. The symbolism of tin/aluminum is striking and a really apt description of something we have learned – and are still learning DAILY – about a marriage is that it “needs to be flexible and durable and how it can be bent without being broken.”
Flexible. Durable. Bent without being broken.”
I so resonate this…marriage is hard work. And it is all about tin & aluminum. Bending, but not being broken. Being flexible. Durable. Hard, challenging work many days—-filled with miscommunication. Accidents. Misunderstandings. Competing agendas. Mistakes. Unpredictable children. But somehow that all feels like part of the sweet, mundane gift of it all, of marriage. Even though we are both broken, even through we are ALL broken people, we have a chance to practice grace, love & life with one another. We can be there to celebrate the others’ joys, new challenges, to walk through the fears together & to laugh/cry over the raucous dinner table playing “I Spy” and shouting to be heard. It is a mystery to understand marriage. A daily walk. But here we are….celebrating ten years of it all—-next week in Palm Springs, but today? Working, managing the kids, planning playdates, washing dishes, making meals, bathing children, picking up dog poop, filling the gas tank. The usual. Maybe, “boring”, but when cobbled together, they all become part of the pieces that strengthen our life, bringing durability. Way too many chances to test the pliability and flexibility?! Yes, no doubt. But we will be raising a glass over take-out pizza and a movie at home tonight after getting the kids to bed. Raising a glass to ten years.