I'm really not even sure how to start this post, I have lots of thoughts floating around up there (in my scattered brain) and am trying to collect them to put into words. Saturday was our anniversary. In the past we've always done something "special" i.e. something that costs money. A lot of times we would get away for a couple nights kid free, or get a sitter and go out for dinner. Last year we decided to put the money we'd spend on a weekend away and get each other a "big" gift with it that we wouldn't normally buy. We stayed home, but thanks to the generosity of family, still had a kid free weekend.
I knew this year was going to be different. We weren't going anywhere, hadn't saved up money for gifts and hadn't even made plans to go out to dinner. And honestly, I was totally fine with it. I wasn't anticipating anything, and actually I even kept forgetting our anniversary was coming up. I totally took the year off. No homemade card, no romantic letter, not even a "favorite candy" gift. Nothing. It's not that I didn't WANT to recognize it, I just didn't want to put a lot of effort into something and then have Jerem feel bad that he did nothing for me. Its happened before, I think it's the nature of a lot of men.
Friday night Anson had hockey so I ran him to that because Jerem said he wanted to make me a nice supper since we weren't going out. I thought that was sweet of him, he's great about making special meals for us to eat together after the kids have finished, so beyond that I really didn't think too much about it. I got home around 8 and was told to keep my back to the deck and not look at the stove. After a few minutes he told me my coat and stocking hat were laying out and to put them on and come outside. He had already gotten the kids going on a movie with strict instructions to leave us alone. He led me out to the deck to the most romantic dinner setup I've ever seen. First of all, we love our deck. Any meal on there is a special one. But it was dark so I totally wasn't expecting to eat out there. He had a quilt on the table making it feel warm and cozy, a lamp and candles out there. He had my chair draped with my favorite blanket so I could snuggle in (it was pretty chilly) and our favorite music going. I was treated to an amazing supper of grilled steak, sauteed mushrooms and onions, corn, and salad. Something about the fact that it was cold enough to see our breath made the hot food taste even better.
He was prepared, it didn't end there. He had questions for me. Deep marital questions that guys don't normally ask (at least not him). It prompted some good discussion on marriage; when our first memory of the idea of it was formed, and how we want to see ourselves in the future, our biggest fears in our marriage (not at easy one to answer), couples that have been examples to us and why. I have realized more this year than any other, how much my idea of married life 11 years ago when I said "I do" to this year has changed. It's not about the person you "thought you married" or even the life you pictured. It's having someone to grow with, to be committed too even when they may not live up to the idealized version a 19 year old heart pictured. It's to know that there is a partner to have, even if all that person needs is a companion to stand there and watch them work on a car and not say a word. Not just to be married, but to actually HAVE someone to GO through good times and bad, to know that there is one person that is there for you, that said the same vows back. Being married means that sometimes, the most romantic moments happen in your own backyard and don't cost a dime-because that person you are sharing them with knows you so well that you can enjoy the depth of something so simple together. The perfect anniversary night didn't end with us slow dancing under the stars like a movie may have ended, but with our youngest curled up on my lap under a blanket while we continued to talk. It was in that moment that I realized that this WAS OUR LIFE, not the picture perfect scene that others seem to have or stories depict, but to me in that sliver of time OUR LOVE STORY couldn't have been more perfect.
I love you Jerem, this ones for you. Thanks for the last 11 years of marriage and for being a part of US. I can't imagine life without you.