Twenty-five years is a long time!

I can’t believe it has been 25 years since I married my college sweetheart.  I can say it doesn’t seem like it was yesterday that we got married, but I can say the years have flown by.

Neither of us are the same people we were when we said our vows.  Life has changed us and we changed with life.  I think we were both pretty idealistic in our 20’s.  We had so much of our lives in front of us.  Big plans and goals.  Some of those goals came true, some didn’t and some things happened we never would have planned for when we got married.

I don’t think either of us thought we would have four children!  Don’t get me wrong, we wanted kids, someday.  But never really talked about when or how many.  Nothing changed the two of us, or our marriage more than having children. 

Each very much their own person, yet all very similar.  I am sure all of their qualities which annoy me came from my husband, but most likely they are my own traits.  I guess I can own that they may get their stubbornness from me and their sense of adventure from him.

Raising children is hard.  There is no rule book and mostly you feel like you are messing up.  (Still, I still feel this way even though three are adults.)  I wish I could say I wouldn’t change a thing.  But I think as a parent, you always want to remove the hard days from your children’s lives. Or you think if you could go back you could teach them one more thing, help them more.  Or maybe the reverse, not help them so much so they learn lessons earlier when the stakes aren’t so high.

Having children tests a marriage.  We have similar values, so those weren’t the tests, but we see life differently.  He is a more grab the kids and go do something, I was always a make sure the bags are packed and we have everything we could ever need kind of person. I remember he took the kids to the zoo one day without a bag.  They had a good time, up until someone needed a diaper change! They were all slightly less happy when they were contained in a car with said, dirty diaper!

Chicago after the half marathon
Tubing with Dad

We both do things differently, but the kids also got different experiences with both of us.  My husband is always more fun and I am always more plan out your future.  Maybe we complement each other and made our kids lives more enriching.  At least I hope we did.  But remember, I still figure I am messing things up.

Dune Run

I think I speak for both of us when I say having children brought incredible laughter, fun, sadness, hope and excitement into our lives.  It is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.  There is nothing like watching your children learn, grow and discover.  I guess you can say, having children brought more life into our lives.

Beyond children our careers are changed so much over our 25 years of marriage.  I went from a professional accountant, to a stay-at-home mom, back to working full-time, to working full-time while trying to start a business.  My husband went from employed, to unemployed to an employer.  All of these transitions made changes to our lives and our marriage.  I am eternally grateful my husband has put up with me through the changes I decided to make.  And listened to my rumblings when each change brought about the inevitable growing pains. (At least I think he was listening.)

We have also experienced some incredible losses over the years.  We lost both of my grandmas and his grandpa and grandmas.  Incredible losses, but they also lived long, amazing lives.  It wasn’t easy to lose them, but it was easier than when we lost my sister a few years ago.  I can honestly say I only managed to stay upright during that time because of my husband.  (I still miss her today.) We recently lost my father-in-law this year.  Such an amazing man!  I don’t know if I can even talk about this loss yet.  Somehow, we held each other up through these losses and it made our marriage stronger.

So many life changes over the past 25 years.  I know the odds are against making it this long.  I am pretty sure both of us at times didn’t think we would make it this long.  I think a combination of my stubbornness and his love of life helped us through the rough times.

I am sure the changes in our lives and marriage will continue over the next 25 years.  He has already become more of a planner and I am becoming more spontaneous.  He was packed for our trip to celebrate our anniversary days in advance.  (Maybe he learned something from the dirty diaper incident.)  I was still packing the morning we left. (I didn’t want to miss out on being present at our early Thanksgiving/Anniversary dinner.)

We are off on a cruise to celebrate 25 years of growth, love and tears.  

Thank you Jerry! 

 Here’s hoping for more laughter, than tears in the next 25 years.

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