10 years of marriage!

mike & i have been married for a DECADE

T  E  N   Y  E  A  R  S.

looking back
our wedding photos look out-of-date. i hated my hair on our wedding day, and the only thing that kept me from sobbing was realizing that in 10 years it would all look out-of-date anyway. we've reached that point! and it's true: super out-of-date. :)   (actually, there was this other time when we pretended to get married again, halfway between the first time around and now- that was better!)

i found my wedding dress in a magazine, went to a shop that carried it, and never played dress-up. a couple of my roommates were there, but not my mom. i didn't include my mom! sure, she was on the other side of the country when i was prepping, but what a jerk i was!

the florist told me i couldn't have a bouquet of all peonies, because they were "out of season." i mean, i don't know diddly about flowers, but i've sure seen a heck of a lot of peonies on instagram this week, so i beg to differ. (also, where was pinterest and instagram 10 years ago!? that would have made this all so much easier. people who get married now totally have a leg up- no mocking what we used to do because i only had magazines to peruse, and google was not helpful in 2005.)

my skin was falling off (literally) due to this terrible medication i was taking, and i gained a bunch of weight, which is just what every bride wants, yah? we were poor so i didn't get my makeup done, and ran out of time to do my nails. i felt uncomfortable in my own skin, awkward, and dependent on other people. i feel like i used my sweet best friend and mom ungratefully, and the only people who were there on "my side" of the wedding party were my parents, some old family friends, and my cousin who took our photos. in hindsight, it was kind of a rough phase? but really, a great day. (let's be honest, i feel more awkwardness and *facepalm* moments now than i ever did then.)

we had a small-ish dinner reception that night with a perfect view of the salt lake temple (minus the sunset which forced us to close the blinds:) - complete with yummy food we actually got to sit down and eat, slipcovers on the chairs, and no wedding line- which is exactly what we wanted!

mike and i never got this overwhelming confirmation that this was IT! but, we did know we were each others best friends. and i couldn't imagine him not being in my life. and, oh, the adventures we could have! so why not, right? 

and that's how we ended up there. 

on june 30th, 2005.  

2 crazy best friends, ages 20 & 22 thinking, "uh... so here we are, i guess this is what marriage looks like!?" 
 i wasn't nervous. i wasn't antsy. it was just the next step, and there we were, making the biggest decision of our lives.
i wish i would have taken less advice, and looked around for more of my own inspiration- in every sense. here's what i think: "don't ever go to bed angry" is the dumbest advice i've ever heard. no one should have a deep conversation when you're exhausted- go to sleep. chances are it'll be easier and less emotional in the morning.

i wish i would have been more thoughtful and aware of those who were around me- my family mostly. i'm not sure i made my wedding a big enough deal, and i regret that. 

more than all the superficial, i wish most of all that i would have known just how hard marriage was. i'm not sure if some people just have it easier, if they keep things private, or if they just lie, but i feel like i was inadequately prepared for what the next million years had in store. there's some push to get married and move on to the next phase in life, but once you have it, you're therei feel like marriage is a $#*! load more work more than i ever anticipated. are you kidding me!? it's so hard!!! i'm kind of mad that people don't talk about how hard it is! at least the people that stay together don't talk about it. isn't it hard for them, too???  i feel like there's some misconception if you do things "right," you'll be blessed with days and months and years filled with joy and laughter and success. the truth of the matter is that mike and i have struggled with every ounce of our beings to stay together and to be happy. we have talked through options and weighed out plans in our minds, and have always gone back to the promises we made to each other and to god and to our sweet little children. and here we are- fighting for the institution that goes well beyond two silly young kids who were in love and felt like they should take the next step. 
ahhh, young love.   marriage is so much more than being young and in love!
so, now
i'm thrilled to be at the place we are and to celebrate 10 years of being married. i'm so glad we're not 20 & 22 anymore. looking back to our 9th anniversary in vegas (i miss vegas!!) life looks and feels entirely different. this reset is what we needed. it's what our marriage needed. it's just how i want to spend this 10th anniversary year. (forget this week- we're celebrating all year.) the truth is for the first time in a decade, i feel like we're finally able to breathe- i mean, we're buried in life and kids and work and school and stress, but the us is so much better than it was. we're learning to find ourselves, and in turn, we're becoming a better us. see, a lot of those issues we had are our own issues. because we were so young, we kind of had to grow up together, and work out all the kinks throughout the process. i'm confident it won't be easy from here on out, but i want to be forthright that this marriage thing is tough business, but it means nothing if we're not happy people and a happy couple. the last thing i want is to look back in 50 years and feel like lost myself somewhere along the lines- there has to be a way to grow as a person, and grow as a couple, but that sure doesn't come without a fight. (er, fights?) so here we are! two fighters who are fighting for us. 

let me say this with confidence: i am proud and happy and honored to be married to mike. 
he is absolutely my best friend. 
he's hilarious. 
he's super hot. 
he's incredibly complimentary. 
he's more supportive of me than i am of myself. 
he's confident in the most unique ways- he has no idea how awesome he is. 
he is an equal partner, and never treats me like i'm any different than him in any way. 
he's laid back. oh, bless him for being laid back! 
he's not grouchy in the morning or at night. 
he doesn't snore. 
he supports my harebrained ideas. 
he is the best stay-at-home dad, and the best breadwinner as well, and knows there's a time for each in our lives. *and let me say: he also willingly and eagerly took on this role as stay-at-home dad, not out of pride or ignorance or laziness or whatever else one may mistakingly assume. he is just that awesome, and he is incredibly good at it. not many men would choose to do what he's doing, and i'm positive our kids will forever cherish their time with him!
he has patience. 
he has super-solid goals. 
he's reliable and timely and responsible.
he never expects a hot meal (then again, he doesn't really like them either). 
he always lets me choose the movie and the restaurant and the meal we share. 
he's a great navigator. 
he puts up with pictures being taken every 5 minutes. 
he wants to be different. 
he's the best travel companion.
he doesn't watch, or make me watch, sports on tv. 
he will spend his days and nights with family, and doesn't require a hobby or guy time or a man cave to make him happy. 
he never leaves the toilet seat up, and always refills the toilet paper without ever being asked. 
he does the dishes and cleans the house. 
he is friendly. 
he holds the door open for strangers. 
he never honks the horn (i don't get this- my brain literally doesn't understand how this is even possible). 
he's the best dad in the world. 
he is willing to fight for our marriage now, and for the decades that follow. 
i am truly, so lucky.
the future
the one thing i wish i would have known 10 years ago is just what got us through these last 10 years: the kid i married has grown to become the greatest man i've ever met. there is no one who is better suited for me, and all the prayers and hopes and dreams for the future couldn't have even envisioned the coolness (nor the long suffering [on both sides]) that constitutes a marriage. 

take that, newlyweds!

i love you, mike.

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