Friday, June 6, 2014

Celebrating....and a little reminiscing

      This weekend we are celebrating!  Today is Luke's birthday and in just a few days we will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  More milestones that remind me how quickly time goes by....more reasons to live fully right where we are.....

       I am truly blessed with an amazing husband, who is also an amazing father to our boys.  He works incredibly hard to provide for us, allowing me the privilege of staying home, and still manages to spend a great deal of time with us.  He is one invested dad.

      He's the kind of dad who sees this old homemade sand box in our yard and before fully filling it in, disappears into the basement to cut out dinosaur bones, strategically hides them under the dirt, and watches with delight as the boys find such incredible treasures.  Who thinks to do that?!





He's the kind of dad who looses track of time as he puts the boys down to bed.....but only because he's read them one more story....played dinosaurs.....hidden under the covers.....cuddled and prayed with them.  He's a dad who remains consistent in disciplining, even when we're running late or it's beyond inconvenient.  You'll find him stooped low at their level, ensuring eye contact, and remaining calm but stern.  And then, there's almost always giggles......and sometimes my eyes fill up at the sound of him restoring their relationship, making certain they know what's expected of them, but even more so that he still loves them, no.matter.what.

He's the dad who has disappeared again moments before we have to be somewhere.  And when we come outside, there's large, pink, chalk-drawn footprints leading to the car.  More excitement....."Wow!....Where could they have come from?!.....I can't believe my eyes!!"  


       He's the dad that jumps out of bed as if the house is on fire when one little boy is crying out over a bad dream.  He's one who is creative and gifted beyond my imagination and will often say, "let's go make our own!" and lead the boys into the basement to construct something.  Or the one who takes the time to allow them to help him with a project.....even if it's more difficult and takes much longer to do so.



       He's the kind of dad that gets just as excited as me about the little things....the faces they make, words they mis-pronounce, silly things they do......and who really wants to be a part of everything.

      The kind of dad who says "why not?" to adopting.....not once, but twice.  Who is excited about two more little bundles of energy that require so much care, time, sacrifice......but he is without hesitation.  And even as I type this, I know I so often take this for granted.  My children have one incredible dad.

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             They're not the only ones who are so very blessed.  This day feels like it was maybe a couple years ago.  And the day we met, just a couple more before that.  And as I reflect on my gratitude, I can't help but be brought back to that first day.  Because really, his impact on my life started then.

     The camp I attended with my youth group each summer was pretty much the highlight of my year....for many reasons, but a primary one being that I was able to see friends I'd grown close to over the years that lived too far to see on a regular basis.  This particular year (the summer after sophomore year of high school) most of my close friends weren't going.....and I actually was almost miserable about going.  It just wouldn't be the same....and change, to me, meant the end of the world.
     To add to my misery, we broke down on the way (a customary routine with our ancient should-not-have-been-on-the-road bus), sat on the side of the road in what felt like 100 degree weather for hours, and then arrived late to camp.  You're divided up with others your age from youth groups across New England, but groups had already met and dispersed across the campus when we arrived.  I finally found mine.....a group of people I didn't know, with the exception of one student from my youth group.  I reluctantly tagged along with him and soon learned his friends from prior years were here...in our group....how nice for him!
      He and his friends made jokes (which I thought were as far from humorous as you can get) and I lingered behind.....we all walked slowly to the chapel.  Well not all.....the student from my youth group and the tall lanky blond boy half walked half wrestled their way just ahead of me.  As I picked up my pace, trying to walk past their antics, they also "picked up the pace" and with one swift movement I was on the ground.....crushed by tall lanky blond boy.  It really made sense....fit right in with the day I felt I was having.  I jumped up, brushed myself off and started to speed walk ahead, assuming I would now be the brunt of their next joke.  Instead they caught up, overly apologetic and now trying to include me......I supposed they pitied me, but they were being nice so I walked with them....softening a little.  I can remember as if it were yesterday the attitude I had, and apparently I hadn't made any attempt to conceal my feelings.  Our later shared first impressions: Mine that he was not the nicest person ever.....not said quite so nicely.  His that I was a snob......I guess I deserved that, but I didn't really care what impression I was giving off at the time.
       On day two, I decided that since I was at one of my favorite places, I may as well make the most if it.  Within just a couple of days, I found myself actually enjoying "tagging along" with these guys, and honestly by mid-week I felt that I was having more fun than I could remember having in a long time.  I can not remember ever having laughed so much in one week......or ever having been so relaxed and myself with people I had just met.  I was shocked at how devastated I was when the week came to an end.....and as I realized that this actually may have been my favorite year at camp.....ever.
      While I had a blast and was really sad to leave, I honestly did not think I would see or talk to Luke again....until maybe the next event.  Apparently I had even said something about how ridiculous long distance relationships were during the week (in reference to another conversation I guess....and rather oblivious to the fact that Luke was dismayed by this news).  As I was home unpacking that day the phone rang.  To my shock it was him.  And so it began.....we talked often on the phone and aim (totally dating myself here).  He kept mentioning coming to visit, and I kept humoring him with "yeah that'd be great!"  I really didn't think he was serious, nor did I want to have that conversation with my parents.  Once again I was shocked as he persisted, and then again when my parents agreed to allow him to visit for a weekend.  His dad drove him the 2 1/2 hours to our house that Friday evening in October 2001 and it would be the first of many treks back and forth for the next six years.

        I could go on for days, but some of the things I love most about this husband of mine are things that were so evident from day one.  He is so much fun!  Yes he's crazy, sometimes overboard, and often the center of attention which makes me cringe, but he's so much fun.  He never worried what anyone else thought (even me).  He was just himself and I felt that I really knew him after that first week.  He's been that way as long as I have known him, and it was something that I really learned from him.  He taught me how to be myself....to be comfortable with who I was, what I believed, and to own it.  I admired these traits in him and over the years saw them rubbing off on me.  If we'd disagree about something, he was able to move on two seconds later.  This blew my mind, and although I tried, it just felt fake and was exhausting.  He was patient with me and gave me the time I needed.....and in time I've learned to just move on, and it's genuine.  His car broke down on his way to visit me early on in our relationship.  I had a pit in my stomach and knew the whole weekend was now ruined.  Isn't that how it works?  There's a problem, it's the end of the world, you must worry, stress and fixate on it until it's resolved.  No?  I'll never forget getting the car to my house and his next question.  "So what do you want to do?"  Turns out you can have a wonderful weekend, and when it's over, tow the car back to where you live!  I'm not sure I ever considered this when I thought about the benefits or by products of marriage - That the positive qualities of the other would slowly be learned and taken on as your own.  But what an amazing unexpected blessing.  

        As I look back over the past decade and see the way God has orchestrated everything, I continually find myself thinking that I never would have believed that this would be my life.  If you told me then, what is now....disbelief.  And then, when I think of what my plans were....what I wanted the outcome to look like, I can't help but be forever grateful that God is in control.  There's just no comparison between my plans and His.  We truly have so much to celebrate. 





4 comments:

  1. This is beautiful, inspiring, and encouraging =) I miss you guys! Happy Birthday Luke!! and Happy Anniversary. love you both <3

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  2. Aw thanks Marie, we miss you too but are so excited for you this summer! Praying for you! Love you too

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  3. Love the photos, and the stories. You are a blessed woman! Love you guys and happy belated birthday to Luke!

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  4. Thanks Christina! I sure am : ) Love you too!!

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