Nine years. 3,285 (give or take) days. 78,840 hours.
45 times longer than Kim K’s marriage.
A long time when you’re only 32 years old. And yet, it seems like not much time at all.
23 year old Jared. Ha, he thought he knew about life, but he was wrong. He thought he know about love, and he did, to an extent. He thought he knew what “for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health,” meant, but he didn’t.
I still remember that day and the previous day pretty clearly. There was the “fight” the night before, resulting in a pretty sweet rut in our back yard. The good times with friends, waking up to breakfast at Crossroads B&B, the nearly cloudless wedding day, the minister calling me “Brian” when it was time to kiss the bride, the EPIC best man speech, dancing the night away with friends – so many great memories.
And yet that was 1 day. One of 3,285. And while it was an important day, our marriage has been made in the 3,284 days since. In jaw pain, in owning a puppy, training a puppy, having a miscarriage, having Fitzy, experiencing more loss, going through church struggles, developing couple friendships, experiencing more loss, having our marriage commitments tested, going through anxiety and depression….you get the picture.
As I look back, all of these things, and thousands more, have shaped me into the man I am today, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Happy Nine Years, babe. Even knowing everything I do now, I’d do it all again. In a heartbeat.
Nine years ago I woke up with a headache – which is the norm for me. But I remember thinking – not today. Please not today.
Thankfully my girls distracted me and we started hair and make up and had a relaxing morning. I got ready and dressed at my future in-laws house – with those most dear next to me.
The dress fit perfectly – the day was beautiful – I was ready.
Cus that”s what a wedding is about. A beautiful dress and no pimples to hide! Perfectly manicured hair and nails and a bright shining sun in the sky. Looking your best. With all your friends.
Oh – and then walking down an aisle to say I DO and kiss. Dancing the night away with your friends and family. And gifts.
That’s totally what a wedding was about. That’s totally what a wedding IS about.
And it shouldn’t be. A wedding should be about your marriage. Not the dress – not the weather – not the party. You and this boy pledging your love and commitment to each other for all time. No matter what. In rain or in shine. In craptastic days and fantastic days – or weeks or months or years. In pain and sorrow or in good health and joy. In newlywed bliss or brand new baby tiredness. In every moment that takes your breath away and every moment that you want to scream.
I look back on today – nine years ago – and think. The nerve. The nerve I had to look Jared in the face in front of all the people dearest to us – and God – and tell him that I loved him. Yes. I will be there for you. Yes. I will love you. Yes. I will support you. Yes. Yes. Yes. I had NO idea what I was talking about. I had NO idea what marriage was really about. Sharing your hopes and dreams and life and loves. Putting Jared and his needs before me and mine.
I love him so much more today – than I did nine years ago. And it’s about more than love. Our trust has been tested. Our dreams and desires have been put on hold at times. What I wanted – it isn’t about me anymore. It’s about us. And believe it or not – that’s a hard concept for me. And I’ll bet it is for you too. I love him so much more today – but it’s also a deeper love. I know what it’s like to be scared. To look at my marriage and ask the really hard questions. To listen to – and give – hard answers. To sacrifice.
To think about the vows we promised each other. To trust each other.
I wrote about how I’m a little bit crazy – okay – a GIANT bowl full of crazy. And to think that Jared has lived with me – loved me – supported me – stayed in the same house as me – for nine years. Nine crazy long years. It makes me cry. He is kinder than I am. He is more patient than I am. He is more giving than I am. I’ve always said that I wanted to have a baby with Jared – because he is the best person I know. I know that Fitzy gets his kindness and gentleness from his dad. Thank You Jesus.
While I am still in the midst of crazy Danielle (I’m working on it) and while we’ve been through some really ugly days and weeks and months – when I look at my life. It’s beautiful. It’s blessed.
Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life. I am so thankful that my husband has made every day since then even better. And next year – I will love him even more.
No really. I am.
At least technically I am.
Or, better put, I struggle with anxiety which at times is mixed with depression. So yeah, I am a little bit crazy.
And I forget things. A lot. Just ask Danielle if you don’t believe me. She’ll confirm it in a heartbeat. And it always seems to be the things she NEEDS me to remember. It’s almost like I try so hard to not forget that I end up forgetting. Go figure.
But I digress. Living with anxiety and depression is the worst. I would probably rank it right under living with a terminal physical illness. And this might sound harsh, but if you’ve never experienced it, you don’t understand, at least not fully.
And I’m speaking from my point of view. I can’t imagine the toll it has taken on Danielle during the 3-4 significant bouts I’ve had since we’ve been married. I can’t say “thank you” enough to her for sticking it out with me. Many other women would have left, and honestly, I wouldn’t fault them for it.
When Danielle refers to herself has crazy, I think of it more as OCD/control issues. Not literally crazy. Maybe annoying would be a better word, but you didn’t hear that from me.
So while her “crazy” is trying to deal with at times, I think it pales in comparison to what she went through standing by my side. Let me give you a little glimpse.
It’s Monday morning. 7:15 AM. The alarm has been on snooze at least 3 times now. My side of the bed is drenched in sweat, and I’ve been up off and on since 4 AM. My stomach is knotted up unbelievably tight, and the though of just getting ready for the day is a daunting, if not impossible, task. Imagine thinking everyone is upset at you or that every little thing you do is wrong. You constantly second-guess yourself. You’ve been going to the gym for a month or so, but now it’s been 3 months, and you haven’t canceled your membership, because that would be “giving up” and really admitting you have a problem.
Welcome to my world from August 2012 through February 2013.
That’s a small glimpse of what Danielle lived with for half a year. HALF A YEAR. She’s a saint in my book.
Of the two of us, I’m the crazy one. But I’m glad my best friend is fighting with me.
No – seriously. And Jared will agree with me.
I’m usually pretty crazy anyway. But being pregnant – makes it much worse.
I feel horrible. Cranky – moody – irritable (I realize those are all the same thing – but believe me – you can describe me right now with each of them – capitalized if you’d like). I’m not complaining. I’ve been pregnant 5 times and when I feel like this – it’s a good sign that a baby is here to stay. So the worse I feel – the better I feel. If you know what I mean.
BUT – that doesn’t help Jared. And the people around me that are exposed to my craziness. But like almost anything – I try and put on the best face I can for my friends and family. So – Jared ends up getting the WHOLE ball of craziness. Awesome.
We’ve gotten good news about this pregnancy. A baby on a screen. A heartbeat (seen and heard). No signs of tearing or bleeding. But the slight spotting continues. And I think – I was bigger with Fitzy – but I was also 20 pounds heavier in general. And I worry. And I try not to. And I know that it’s in God’s hands. I know that He has given us a word and a promise. I know that. I do. And yet I worry. And I try not to.
So what happens – is I start to control the things that I can control. Mostly things being picked up and neat and orderly and having a place. I have some OCD tendencies – but they’ve been able to be under control – for the most part. But there are certain places in my life where you can see them – very evidently.
My business. I pay my taxes on the first day of the month – not the 20th when they are due. I pay quarterlies a month ahead of time. I have a spreadsheet calculating my taxes and mileage and sessions. When I do a session – the first thing I do when I get home – is open three little spreadsheets and mark down all the info – before I even download any pictures. Because it”s what I’ve always done. Because if I don’t – it’s just not right. Nothing bad will happen – it’s just what needs to be done. Crazy. I know.
My desk. Pens go here. Sticky notes go there. Bills go here. Checkbooks go there. And you don’t move them. Ever. Because that’s where they go. And I get crazy about it.
With my business and my desk – I”m like this all the time. Thankfully – with the rest of the house – I have chilled out – a lot over the years – because I am pretty sure Jared would have left by now. But when I’m where I am right now – it starts to spill over. And shoes NEED to go here. Plates HAVE to go here. Dishes NEED to be done NOW. Toys MUST be organized. EVERY SINGLE THING has a spot and it must be in it. And when I have to ask – oh no – much worse. Because you should already KNOW that all these things MUST be done this way. I mean – we have been married for almost 9 years – haven’t you figured it out yet?
Jared assures me that I’m not THIS bad all the time. Today he told me that I usually keep it at a manageable level – but it’s just out of control right now. In his exact words – you’re just crazy right now. And he tried to think of a better way to say it. I said – just say it. So he did. And I said. I know. We need to talk about it – cus I’m not happy right now. I’m not happy with you – not happy with me – just not happy. And that’s the way it is with OCD and control issues. People think you do it to make yourself happy. But you do it to maintain the crazy that’s spilling out ever so slowly – or in my case – pretty rapidly.
I deal with anxiety – always have. And my anxiety comes out this way. With control issues. Jared knows this. He knew this when we started dating – it was much worse then. And he still chose to stay with me. And while I’m not happy with him right now – and his inability to live up to my crazy standards – we talked. Because mostly – I’ve just been sighing and crying and saying ONCE AGAIN – you didn’t do this – you didn’t do that. And I feel better. Tons.
But – I’m still crazy.