This weekend my groom and I will celebrate our seventeenth wedding anniversary. That’s right, baby. Fifteen years of wedded bliss. That was not a typo. Two of those years were really rough.
We’ve weathered many-a-storm during that time. Some of them a little too personal to write about on my blog today…or ever. Others, you probably have heard me mention a time or two:
• The death of our nine-month-old son
• The death of my Mom, five months later
• Two relocations across the country to places where we knew nary a soul
• One high-risk pregnancy
• Two adoptions
• A three-month period when Jon was out of work
• Something like five or ten job changes (They all mesh together in my mind, honey. Sorry. What is your current job title?)
• My seven-year battle with clinical depression
• And a partridge in a pear tree
When I look over that list, and a flood of emotion sweeps over me, I am so thankful God gave me Jon to love and protect our family all these years. He is a husband and father to our children, who continues to exceed all my expectations. And I will be the first one to admit, my expectations can be pretty high.
I will never forget when Jon and I were dating. I was talking to my sister-in-law, Monica (who, incidentally, is one of the Godliest women I know) about Jon. I was telling her all the wonderful things about my then-boyfriend, but I was still expressing doubt as to whether or not he was “the one.” I remember her looking at me with a very bewildered facial expression, taking a big deep breath and saying, “What ARE you looking for in a husband, exactly, Sandy?” In other words, “YOU FOOL…can’t you see what an awesome guy he is? MARRY THAT MAN!”
Monica was right. As much as I hate this about myself, I tend to see the negative things in life first. I do see the positive things…eventually. It just takes me a little longer than most people. And, heaven help us, I was exponentially more guilty of this as a 23-year-old young woman.
I don’t know how I didn’t see it myself. Jon is an incredible husband. We balance each other out beautifully. I cannot imagine life without him. I need him. I want to grow old with him.
So, in honor of seventeen fifteen years of wedded bliss, I want to share with you thirty-four things I absolutely ADORE about my husband. Two for each year. Things I can see all by myself, without the help of Godly sisters-in-law.
1. He never, ever, ever complains when the house is a mess. I mean NEVER. Ever.
2. He eats whatever I fix for him to eat, from vegan culinary creations to grilled chicken (again!) to canned soup. And never, ever complains. Ever.
3. He gets up early to attend a men’s bible study at work
4. He loves to vacation at the beach as much as I do
5. He loves adoption as much as I do
6. He supports my book-buying habit
7. He watches American Idol with me
8. He knows how to dress
9. He meets with two other Christian men every few weeks, just to stay connected and accountable
10. He strives to become better at everything he does. And he’s really good at everything he does
11. He can beat me in every video game, except Centipede. I rule at Centipede
12. He has never once told me “no” when I’ve asked if I could go out with my friends
13. He told me to “go for it” when I said I wanted to start a blog
14. He told me to “go for it” when I said I wanted to write a book
15. He told me to “go for it” when I said I wanted to cut off all my hair and die it brown
16. He told me to “go for it” when I said I wanted to hire a personal trainer
17. He told me to “go for it” every time I ever wanted to give someone money
18. He took care of the kids for, like, an entire summer so I could write a book proposal
19. He cares about his health
20. He bathes the kids, reads them books and puts them to bed
21. He totally defended me when some people said some very hurtful things about me
22. He takes me out to dinner on the weekends so I don’t have to cook
23. He never questions me when shopping bags show up
24. He still sends me flowers
25. He apologizes when he hurts my feelings
26. He surprises me with the prettiest and most expensive pieces of jewelry
27. He tells me I am pretty, even though I want to lose 18 pounds
28. He is crazy-determined to pay off our house this year so we can be completely debt free
29. He loves giving to anyone in need
30. He plays ball with the kids in the yard
31. He loves his parents
32. He loves MY parents
33. He loves our church
34. He loves Jesus
And now, please excuse me, while I escape for a weekend in Nashville alone with my favorite person in the world.