July is our anniversary month. On the 26th we will celebrate 10 years of marital bliss. However, starting tomorrow I will be buried so deep in choreography that I will have no time for the blog. So, this is my pre-mature toast to my man.
Ten years is a number I'm proud of. It's been 10 years of everything our vows said it would be. For better and for worse? Check. Richer and poorer? Check. Sometimes I wish marriage was always rainbows and butterflies but I'm glad it's not. To experience real love, you have to allow yourself to hurt. Marriage without the choice of love would be like earth with no option of heaven.
With that said, I give you my best advice. Ten ways to stay married for 10 years. OR 10 ways to overcome life's unfortunate events. Actually, I think I better re-name this post "10 ways love prevailed." I feel good about that.
10. Have a child out of wedlock. Obviously it's not recommend but this was our reality. We were babies raising babies. We were yanked so hard out of our comfort zone that we had no choice but to rely on God for guidance. And a whole lot on our parents. Being young parents is even harder than it looks. We were young and dumb. Having a baby out of wedlock brought us to marriage while we were weak and begging for Mercy. Right where God wanted us.
9. Go to bed angry. Or maybe it's never go to bed angry? Or bite your tongue when your angry and tired? Either way, we learned this sucker the hard way. I mean seriously, no one told us that we were going to fight shortly after our honeymoon. We quickly learned that commutation is the most valuable tool in a marriage. We communicate our asses off. In fact, if there is such a thing as "over communication" we would definitely qualify. We get frustrated with one another and sometimes raise our voices but at the end of the day, he's my person. It's not always easy, but he doesn't let me go to bed angry. Even if he's snoring in my face, I'm still thankful for that.
8. Lose your wedding ring. If keeping track of a 1 oz. piece of metal sounds easy to you, than PLEASE tell me your secret. It's been 1, 275 days since I've seen my engagement ring with my two beautiful wedding bands soldered to it. That's 1, 275 days of denial. I did, however, reach reality (kinda) when we went on a date to the tattoo parlor. Even though I was talked about of my wedding band tattoo idea, it was still one of the funniest dates we've ever been on. I'll never forget pulling up in our minivan to intereput employee smoke break to ask if we could get inked. I miss my ring every day but I've gotten good at creatively decorating my ring finger.
7. Disappoint each other. Another harsh reality that we learned at a young age. Or maybe it was that we were too old to just be finding out about this level of disappointment. I lived in a loving, two parent home and I aimed to please. I lived a Brady Bunch life. I was sheltered and innocent. It wasn't until I got married when I realized that putting all our confidence in one person, no matter who they are, is not God's design. Humans disappoint humans. Gage looked to me for everything and I looked to him for the same. Thankfully, we quickly learned that God never disappoints. It was then that we were able to appreciate each other in all of our imperfections.
6. Bury yourselves in student loans. I mean, I can appreciate a man's determination and for not taking NO for an answer. Like when Creighton said NO to letting him into Law School. But the loans can wait in the truck. I hate them. I guess the only positive thing that has come of them is learning (since the truck is not going anywhere) to manage the finances a little tighter. Oh, and the Law degree. I'm married to a lawyer. He's super smart and handsome and he knows everything there is to know. I love him, loans and all.
5. Get fat. I know I know. It's not fat if you have another human inside of you but after 3 babies, things are no longer placed where they originally were. All pregnant woman struggle the same. I'm a lucky lady to say that my guy loves me even though the scale doesn't. It's always good for the 'ole confidence to hear it too. In fact, I can't wait to get fat all over again! Plus, just look at how awesome of a dad these kids have:
4. Always be right. Gallup says that my top strength is Harmony while Gage's is Analytical. If you know nothing about Strengths Finders, first of all GOOGLE IT, second of all that means we are night and day. I make the peace and Gage walks all over it. He likes a good debate. I? Absolutely not. Neither is better than the other.....neither is better than the other....neither is better than the other. Being wrong is good and humbling. It has taught us the power of forgiveness. Gage loves to aruge but he is ALWAYS the first to apologize and ALWAYS the first to seek my forgiveness. I won't even pretend that I'm good at this because I'm not. Afterall, THE IMMOVABLE MARRIAGE means "it's more important to become the right person than to find the right person." - P. Les
3. Live in your sisters basement. Moving all by itself is hard work. It's pretty much unavoidable to dodge stress when packing up all belonging for a family of 5 and even more so when merging with a family of 6. Moving in with the Mixan's has been life changing for our whole family. It's not something that we were forced to do and, honestly, we didn't think it would actually happen. When things started to fall into place rather quickly and we made the move, God began to reveal his plans to us on a level that we never would have saw if we hadn't made this leap of faith. We love the Mixan's so much and this is a time we will treasure in our hearts for the rest of our lives.
2. Make fun of each other. Gage is the funniest person I know. I laugh at him every day. When he laughs at ME, it's like my greatest satisfaction ever. Sometimes when we let life steal our joy, we just need a good night out to laugh at eachother. Gage doesn't ever make fun of me for real. I mean, we are both sarcastic but nothing Gage says can be taken seriously. NOTHING. Mandy? I hope you are taking notes here. So when he tells you that people in the south have a hard time talking because the humidity has damaged their hearing, you must not believe him. Never believe a man that is willing to dress like Willky Wonka and cart around his oompa loompa.
1. Dream unrealistically. Gage always seems to be entertained by my dreams. Over the years, he's gotten better at humoring me but it took some getting used to. I want to buy a boat and live on a lake and have 6 kids (2 of them being twins) and visit all 50 states and adopt an orphan and breed puppies and deliver the puppies myself and most importantly, flip houses as a hobby. Gage would like to get season tickets to all KU basketball games and attend all of them, he wants to golf every day and possibly attend medical school because why not? Sometimes we laugh at eachother's dreams (see #2) but it's all in love. I can't wait to find out what God's dreams are for us.
I love you, Gagercobb