Wednesday, September 24, 2014

14 Years

We celebrated 14 years of marriage yesterday.  There was no fancy date night out, no gifts or luxuries of any kind.  It was our normal 5:30 am wake up call, crying kids, 5th grade Social Studies, a long day at work.  But the beauty of 14 years of marriage is the deep level of intimacy intertwined in all that routine, the devoted sense of love that makes the everyday seem special and full.  14 years in and we are so comfortable with each other, so sure of who we are as individuals that our union has grown stronger, more secure, less afraid.  We have been loyal and devoted to each other since we were 19 year old kids and the reality of that has set it: there's nothing to be afraid of.  We're still here.

We have learned that marriage is a journey that requires both partners to be ALL IN.  There's no toeing the line or putting in the bare minimum: you have to go in with guns blazing and hearts on fire and be there, every single day.  It's a concept that seems so obvious when you first start out but, as time moves forward and the relationship is stretched to accommodate more people and commitments and changes, it's easy to lose sight of that "all or nothing" mentality.  But Shawn and I, well, we are fighters.  We are lovers who expect nothing but the best from each other, constantly pushing and encouraging and tough loving each other through each stage of life.  It can get ugly sometimes but there's beauty in that, too.  Because, at the end of the day, there's nothing more rewarding than the person you love believing in you, waiting for you at the finish line, being there.

14 years of marriage and I am so proud to call this man my husband.  He is a good person, a kind and forgiving man.  He is fair but firm, understanding and compassionate but not afraid to push me into the right direction when I am struggling.  This year was a year of settling down for us, enjoying the simple moments and becoming more comfortable with who we are as a couple.  He is my best friend and I enjoy every minute I get to spend with him, however rare those minutes are these days.  This is our busy young family season of life and we are appreciating it to the fullest.  "The days are long but the years are short": we constantly remind each other of that perspective. Kids in our bed, a bustling crowded kitchen, dinners around the dining room table, movie nights and dance parties: these are the moments that make life worth living.

Thank you, Shawn, for always being there for our family in the biggest way possible.  Thank you for your hard work and determination, for believing in me and the commitment we made to each other 14 years ago.  Thank you for stepping in that ring day after day, round after round, never tapping out. We stand here together, 14 years later, because we show up to work every single day.  That's something I will never take for granted.  I love you more than words could ever say.


Ashley Bailey said...

I've been married for 10 years now and it's a little odd when people ask me for advice lol. I'm thinking huh? I'm still learning how to do this!
I tell people most often that it's all about patience, communication, and choosing your battles.
So he is a little messy? In the grand scheme of things does it really matter?

I wish you many more happy years!!!

Evelyn said...

SO inspiring!!!! Marriage IS work in the best possible way. :) It's 5 years for us in a couple of weeks, and it's amazing how you learn and grow every year, isn't it?

Marie said...

It feels always good to read you Liv.
Congratulations for your 14 years of marriage, for the love you share, for your wonderful family! Marriage is a lot of work, much love and finding the right balance, when every day counts. When I read you, I believe in the wonders of marriage again and I wish many more years together. You are great!

Olivia said...

Thank you!! It is definitely a learning process, over and over and over again. Choosing your battles was a BIG one for us. It's all about accepting, showing grace and compassion, it is a beautiful thing!!

Olivia said...

Congratulations!! Yes, we definitely grow more and more every year which I think is my favorite part. I can't wait to see where we go next.

Olivia said...

I love you, friend. I believe that love will find you soon and you will be ready, Your heart and your soul deserve only the best!

Vanessa said...

How did I miss this post!? Happy belated anniversary to you both! Xo.