Showing posts with label Anniversary Countdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anniversary Countdown. Show all posts

Soundtrack To A Love Story

Jessica did something similar to this for her hubby on their anniversary last year, and I loved it so I'm stealing her idea!  All the links in the post below are to different songs.  Call it a "soundtrack" to our love story.  These are for you, Derek!


Derek, I can't believe we've been married for five years now!  These have been some of the best years of my life, and that's because I married you.

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I was thinking back over our story this week, and how we met.  I remember the week I first noticed you.  I kept hoping you'd look my way all night, but you didn't, and it really annoyed me!  The next week though, you were standing by by the door as I walked in, and you looked right at me and said hello.  I forgot how annoyed I was at you pretty quickly.

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We had both kind of stopped worrying about finding someone at the same time that we met.  Funny how that works, huh?  God brought us together out of the blue.  After our first date I knew I liked you.  A lot.  Those dating days were so carefree and fun.  We fell in love pretty quickly.  Our first kiss, in your car before your hockey game, just confirmed to me that we were meant to be

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It didn't take us long to know that we wanted to get married.  I knew a proposal was coming, but you still took me by surprise that day! My heart was pounding when I realized what was going on, but I was so excited.  I knew I wanted to be your girl for the rest of my life.

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Our wedding day was perfect (even with the grass-green cake that the bakery messed up).  They threw the rice, we took off in your car, and our life together started.  We've come a long way since then.

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We didn't plan on both being unemployed at the same time just a few months after we tied the knot, but those early days were still some of my favorites.  It was rough, but we were together, so it was all good.  We got jobs, settled into our house, and learned how to work with each other.  

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I'll never forget the day the day that pregnancy test finally turned positive.  You laughed and I cried, I was so happy!  What I didn't know then was how amazing it would be to see you as a father, and how we would become even more of a team doing this work of parenting together.

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Things will change as the years go on, and sometimes I wish I could slow time down.  But through it all, I'll have you.  What a gift from God you are to me.

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We had our fights (still do), and I know I'm still working at being the kind of wife I want to be.  But I think we both know these are good times.   We've been through a lot so far, and I know we'll go through a lot more in our lives together, but I wouldn't trade one day. Whether you realize it or not, you've made all my dreams come true.  I love everything about you, even through the rough patches.

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I think I'll keep you forever.  Happy 5th Anniversary, Babe!  

I Promise Because . . .

I'm on my last week of my Derek and Me series!  I obviously miscounted, because this series was supposed to take us right up until our five year anniversary on July 12th.  Oh well, I guess I'll just have to come up with something else for next week!



I talked last week about the wedding vow "for better or worse", and everything that it could encompass.  I can't pretend that it would be easy to stay together through any of that, and I know some couples have to go through some really hard things together.  

The hardest thing to deal with, I think, is when emotionally a couple just isn't there together.  And that can happen.  Many couples (maybe even most) may reach a point when it becomes really hard to want to make it work.  That's why the divorce rate is so high.

When I was trying to think about how I would finish the sentence this week, the phrases "I promise to keep my vows because I love Derek so much", or "I promise to keep my vows because Derek is so great," did initially come to mind.  I think those kinds of phrases (or something similar) may be what most people are thinking when they say those vows to their spouse.  Listing our spouses virtues may often be the initial thought when thinking "I promise because . . ."

And of course I do love Derek, and I do think he's great!  I want to emphasize that, because I am married to an amazing man, and I feel so blessed to have him as my husband!  I can't think of anyone else I'd rather spend my life with.  But when I thought about it further, I realized that loving him and thinking he's great aren't the reasons I'm going to keep my vows. 

There may be times (in the midst of arguments or whatever) when I won't have those loving feelings toward Derek or when I don't feel like Derek is so great.  If either of those things were the sole basis for my vows, it would be over right there, as soon as we hit a rough patch (and I think if you are married long enough, you will hit a rough patch at some point - probably more than once).

But the vows didn't say I would love, honor, and cherish Derek, for better or worse, until I just don't feel like it anymore. 

The vows said "until death do us part".  

I promised that I would keep my vows because I love Derek, because I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but also because I believe God brought us together to bring more glory to Him.  And I bring honor God and our marriage relationship by keeping those vows to be faithful and love Derek until death.

I gave my word to Derek that day, and I did it "with God as my witness".  I take that seriously.
I'm not going to keep my vows because of anything Derek does or doesn't do in the course of our marriage.  I'm going to keep them because I promised to love Derek, until we die.  It's not about Derek.  It's about me and my promise to him, in front of God.  

I'm not perfect either, and I can't guarantee that I'll always feel like keeping my vows, but I know that with God's help, I can keep my word.  That's because I believe that true love isn't a feeling.  True love isn't something that happens to you.  True love is sticking with your spouse, even when it's hard.  It's choosing to love them, even when they are sometimes unlovable.  

I'd like to say here I'm not just talking about my feelings toward Derek, I'm talking about his feelings toward me too - trust me, I can be pretty unlovable!  And it means the world to me that Derek chooses to love me and stay with me anyway.  That's true love.

  With God's help, we can stay true and be that old, wrinkled couple celebrating their 50th (or more) wedding anniversary.  

I know we can do it, because we both knew what we were promising that day.  We knew we were promising through thick and thin.  And we promised "in front of God" because we knew we wanted Him to be at the center of our marriage relationship.  I think He's the best chance we've got to stay true to the words we said to each other on our wedding day.  I'm glad we have Him on our side.

(Derek and me and our furry little family, the first year we were married.)

Also, stop by my friend Rebecca's blog, and check out her "Simon and I" series! She's taking these questions and answering them for her honey too. If any of you want to use the questions, you can see the full list here - and let me know if you do, because I'd love to read your answers!

Better And Worse


I went through a lot of searching before our wedding to splice together the best version of our wedding vows.  I wanted to say the traditional vows because I love how strong all the words are.  I think the part that means the most is "for better or for worse . . . until death do us part".

It seems cliche to pick that part, but it's one of the most well-known wedding vow phrases for a reason.  "For better or worse" encompasses everything - everything you can go through as a married couple.  And there are so many things that can go wrong.  You can lose a house, lose a job, lose a child.  You could have a disabled child or parent that you will take care of together.  One or the other of you could become seriously disabled or lose mental capacities or have some other serious condition or disease.   For better or worse means you'll stick with each other through all of that, come what may.

I think it also covers the "better and worse" feelings you may have for each other.  Because even though you love each other (and your love can grow deeper the longer you're married) you're not always going to feel "lovey-dovey" toward each other.  Sometimes you'll drive each other crazy.   You'll have arguments.  You'll sometimes get into a funk and not feel connected to each other at all.  "For better or worse" means staying together through the hardest stages of your relationship, even when "the better" seems far away.  Because you believe that eventually the better will come back, and you're going to stick with it until it does.

For better or worse until death, encompasses everything, and it means the most.  That's why I knew I wanted that classic little phrase in our vows.  It's classic for a reason.

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(Derek and me on our wedding day, 2008.)

Proud Of Him





I'm proud of Derek for so many things, but one big thing that makes me proud of him is what a great dad he is!  He loves both of our kids so much, and works so hard to provide for all of us.  

Wyatt just loves hanging out with Derek, and it warms my heart when I see Derek and Wyatt playing with Wyatt's cars (his favorite things right now).  And Derek is so cute with Gwen - you can tell she has him wrapped around her finger!  

He is an amazing dad, and there is nothing like seeing the kids look at him with their bright eyes, like he's their favorite person in the world.  I'm so thankful they have such a great example of a godly man to look up to.

Happy Father's Day weekend, Babe!


(On our honeymoon in Hawaii, long before Derek was a father - but one of the reasons I married him was because I could tell even then what a great dad he would make!)


Favorite Personality Trait




I hate these kind of questions because they make me narrow my answer down to one trait.  

There are a lot of personality traits of Derek's that I like, but one of the ones that came to mind is that he is so friendly and can carry on a conversation with anybody.  Even if he doesn't have that much in common with them, he can ask good questions about things they are interested in, and he is genuinely interested in talking with them about things that they like.

This was obviously a good thing when we first started dating, because it made it easy to talk on our first few dates - no awkward silences.  And I still appreciate this so much because I sometimes tend to feel awkward and quiet in new group situations, but Derek is great in new groups and so it helps me to feel more comfortable.  It's just one of the areas where he balances me out.


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(Me and Derek when I was pregnant with Gwendolyn.)

P.S. I'm guest posting over at Tiffany's blog today about how being a mom has changed me - go check it out!

Favorite Physical Feature




Hmm, my favorite physical feature about Derek . . . I'm going to say his hair.  Particularly when it gets a little scruffy.  

Most of the time it's short, but when it starts to grow out a little it will curl a little bit around his ear.  When I look over at him and he's wearing his ball cap and he has that little shaggy curl starting?  It makes my stomach flutter just thinking about it!

I also think his smile is pretty killer, and he looks pretty darn good in his jeans . . . but the curl is the feature that stands out in my mind.

Okay, now that I'm all flustered, here's a picture!



(Don't we look so young and cool?  This was about a year after we got married.  If you look close you can see a little bit of that curl I'm talking about.  Also, I miss my short hair.  That is all.)

Words To Say




This is a hard question.  I think I need to ask Derek specifically what he would like to hear me say more often, so I can say it.  

I feel like we both do a pretty good job of reassuring each other of how much we love each other, and how proud we are of each other.  I think Derek would like me to notice the things he does to try to help me around the house more.  Sometimes I don't notice the things he does around here because of all the things I have left to do, but he really is good about trying to help me, and I don't think I say thank you enough.

As for me, I'd love to hear the words "No, no, Babe, you sleep, and I'll get up with Gwen every time she wakes up tonight," and/or "Get dressed, I already took care of the kids and we are going out."  This is coming from the sleep-deprived-and-in-much-need-of-a-break me.  It's been a long week!


(Zoo date, Summer 2010.)

How We've Changed



All relationships change over time, and ours is no exception.

The most obvious has been that our marriage changed a lot after we had kids - now it's not just us, we have two other lives that we are responsible for together.  

On the one hand, it does take a lot of time taking care of two more lives, and so we have less time to just hang out and focus on each other.  We're working on making time for more dates so we can get back to having some time that is just for the two of us.  

But on the other hand I feel like we are more of a team now because of how we work together for the kids, and they glue us together in a completely different way.  They are part of both of us, and together we are the most important people in their world.  That has a way of making you closer.

Our relationship has changed over time in lots of ways, and in general, it's gotten deeper.  We know how we're both committed to each other for life.  With that comes being completely comfortable with each other - we can each show our flaws now.  

Obviously you don't have that in a dating relationship, and even early on in marriage I think you're trying to put your best foot forward, but over time you get to know each other more deeply and you see the ugly parts - but you love each other anyway.  That is true love, and I feel like that is where we are.

I know our relationship is going to continue to change, and I think that it'll just continue on the same trajectory - not that our relationship is perfect by any means.  We have had our share of rough spots, and I know we'll continue to have them throughout our life, but I think over the years our marriage will grow deeper as we go through the bumpy spots together.  

I hope someday we're that cute older couple who share meals at restaurants and still hold hands while we walk.  I think so far we're on the right track.

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(January 2011, when we were expecting Wyatt.)

Favorite Memory




I have a really hard time picking a favorite anything, much less a favorite memory - I'm blessed that there are a lot of favorites to choose from!

Some of my favorites are obviously the big moments in our life together - our wedding, honeymoon, finding out we were pregnant both times, the births of our children.  

But when I first read "favorite memory", the picture that first popped into my head were some of our dates, specifically the dates where we didn't have a plan.  Which is funny, because I am a planner by nature.  But I vividly remember those times when Derek picked me up for a date, and we just drove without really knowing where we were going.  

One time we went to trail outside of town and just walked around - then we decided to go to a movie and bought tickets to see Ocean's Thirteen.  But when Derek found out I hadn't even seen Ocean's Eleven we got vouchers to use our tickets a different time, went to the store, and bought the first movie to watch instead.   

We drove up north to hang out at a gathering at Derek's church once, but we couldn't find the park and never made it to place - we just went to Dairy Queen and got blizzards instead.  

And then of course, there was that time that we spontaneously ended up going skydiving.  

These dates were completely un-organized and random, which I didn't think was my style, but looking back I have fond memories of  all  those dates. The times where we didn't have a plan.  I think sometimes I need to loosen up and not plan more - just jump in a car with Derek and see where it takes us.

I especially remember on one of those early dates we went out for Mexican food.  When we walked out with our boxes of food Derek accidentally spilled some red chili on my white sweater.  

He'd probably be embarrassed if he knew I was writing about this, but that moment sticks out in my memory.   He was upset he had spilled on my sweater, but I found the whole thing endearing, and it made me like Derek even more.  

I'm clumsy, and half the time I don't know what to say, and half the time I feel awkward.  I couldn't be with someone who never had a clumsy moment.  Can you imagine living with someone like that?  I can't.  I need someone like me. I need Derek.

I think what ties all these memories together is the fact that they weren't perfect.  Our plans got foiled - we wasted time.  We nearly ruined a white sweater.  And I love that things aren't always "picture perfect" on our dates, or in our life together since.  

I like real.  Real is my perfect, and it's why Derek is perfect for me.  He helps me remember that reality isn't perfect, but it doesn't have to be perfect to be fun.  

To be perfect for us.


(Our first anniversary, 2009.)

When You Know . . .




When I met Derek he played hockey every week at the local rec center.  Shortly after we started dating I started going with him to watch his games.  Derek is a really good skater, very fast, and he's really athletic.  It was so fun to watch my boyfriend playing hockey!  I really like sports when I have someone to cheer for.

Derek and I had so much in common right away, so I knew that he met all my "must-haves" for my future husband - he was a strong Christian, had good character, responsible, hardworking, funny, everything I was looking for.  

But about a month or so after we started dating I went to one of his games.  It was just like the other games I went to really, I'm not sure what was different.  After it was over Derek drove me back to my apartment.

Playing hockey requires a lot of physical exertion, and Derek was usually soaked with sweat afterward, so he would take a shower before coming out to meet me.  

I just remember sitting in his car as we were driving back.  One or the other of us made a joke about something, and I looked over at Derek.  His hair was still wet from his shower, and it was all matted down to his head, and he had a big grin on his face as he looked at me . . . and my heart just kind of stopped for a minute, and I thought how cute he looked with his hair all wet like that, and what a great smile he had.  And then it just kind of struck me like a lightening bolt - that I could marry this guy.  That I wanted to marry this guy.

My mom asked me shortly after that how our date went, and I said it went well, and I immediately followed it up with: "I think I'm going to marry him."  And that was that.

You know how they say when you know, you know?  Well, you don't have to just "know" for it to be the right one, but for me?  When I knew?  I just knew.  

And the rest, as they say, is history.


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(Derek and me, after one of his hockey games when we first started dating.  This is one of our first pictures together, ever!  Ignore my icky hair and baby face.)

One Area To Improve On



This is a hard question for me, because there are lots of things I could work on.  But I'm going to say that one thing I should work on is realizing that Derek needs some down time.  

I'm kind of a supervisor by nature, so a lot of times when Derek gets home I'll ask for his help with  different things so that we can finish all the work and spend some time relaxing together.  But I have to remember that even when I might be tired from taking care of the kids by myself all day (or all week, if he's been gone), he's been working too, and I should try not to ask him to do too much right away.  

Maybe I need to do more of it myself.  Maybe I need to let some of it slide for the night.  But letting Derek have more time to just do nothing would be a good thing. Then he'd probably be more re-charged and ready to help me anyway!  And I want our home to feel like a haven, not like just another place where he has to work.


(Our anniversary, 2010, after we played a round of mini golf.  I won.)

Two Things About Our Relationship





I love that even though we are so different we still think the same on so many different things.  

Derek and I have very different personalities.  I'm a little Type-A; I like to have things planned and organized.  Derek likes to go with the flow.  He's more laid-back and I'm more uptight about things (particularly time management and things like that).  

However, even though we are totally different (opposites attract held true for us), we also think so much alike about issues - our beliefs, how we want to raise our kids, politics.  It crazy to me how many things we agree on, especially considering how different our personalities are!  I think we were definitely meant to be together, because we agree on the important things, and we balance each other out on the personality thing.  

Because let's face it, the world will not end if the kitchen sink is not perfectly clean.  I'm still working on that one.



I love that no matter how big of a disagreement we have, we both know that neither of us will leave.  

We've had some pretty good arguments in our years together so far, including times when one or the other of us has had to leave the house to cool down (Starbucks always works for me).  But  I know that no matter what, we're both in this for the long haul.  And we'll pull through the rough patches, because it's both our desire to grow old together.  That means more than any silly argument.



(Derek and me at a rodeo, January 2009)

Three Things I Love About Derek



Today is week one of my 12 weeks of questions before our five year wedding anniversary!  This week I'm sharing three things I love about Derek (hard to narrow it down, but here we go):





(1) I love that he is kind.  

I always knew I wanted to marry a kind person, and I hit the jackpot with Derek.  

I was reminded of this last weekend - I woke up feeling sicker than I have in years.  My throat was raw, my sinuses were plugged, my chest was congested, I was wheezing, and pretty much my whole face hurt.  

Derek woke up at 6:00 AM and took Wyatt to the store (20 minutes away) to buy me some Mucinex.  Then he came home, called to exchange our tickets to Sense and Sensibility: The Musical (we were supposed to go last weekend, so I was glad he was able to exchange the tickets - so excited!).   He let me sleep in and just brought Gwen to me for feedings.  

Then he decided he needed to go shopping for some new shirts for work, so he packed up both kids and headed out of the house for several hours so that I would have a chance to be lazy, take a bath, blog, and watch Hulu.  Can you say sweet?

He is always trying to think of things to do for me, but what I love is that he isn't just kind to me.  He tips generously.  He takes care of his mom.  He likes to surprise people with gifts, paying for dinner, etc.  He is a kind person - that's just who he is.


(2) I love that he is a spiritual leader for our family.  

A couple weeks ago at church I had to go down to the nursing room to feed Gwen, and I finished right around the time the service ended.  I waited for Derek to come downstairs from the service, and when he did he handed me a pamphlet for our missionary support team, and told me he saw it and thought it would be cool to get involved in that.  I love that he wants to model Jesus's servant attitude for our family.


(3) I love his face.  

I have one good-looking husband.  Enough said.



(Derek and me, Thanksgiving, the year we got married!)

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