I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I never thought I’d be in the position to have to think this through. I’ve always been very public with my story, so talking to people has become very easy. But I had no idea how to properly respond to that question when someone who didn’t know my story asked it.
How many children do you have?
…on this side of heaven.
And one we’re missing deeply.
On July 20, Glenn and I had the honor of returning to the location where we got married and having a private photo shoot. I had the idea in January to get pictures of just the two of us together for our 10-year anniversary, and it dawned on me that it would be amazing to return to the exact location where we said “I Do!” I had no idea how receptive the venue would be, but when I reached out to ask permission, they were so sweet and accommodating.
Today, I just want to share with you all the cherished images that were captured. This shoot was so much fun and I am incredibly grateful that we got the opportunity to do this. Deep down, I am really hoping that we can continue this tradition every 10 years… how cool would that be?! But for now, we’ll cherish what we’ve got. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! And a special THANK YOU goes out to our dear friend and photographer, Samantha Smith. These pictures were captured perfectly!
All images used with permission by Samantha C. Photography
July 21, 2017 marks 10 years that Glenn and I have been married! We also got to celebrate 15 years together on July 5, so July is a pretty special month for us. It’s incredible to think about our relationship reaching these milestones – 15 and 10 are big years! Over the years, we’ve both learned a lot, but today I wanted to share 10 things I’ve learned after 10 years of marriage. This blog post has been in the works longer than any… I wanted to really put a lot of thought into it and not have trivial items in the list just to make it to 10. I wanted to really think it through.
So, without further adieu, here are the 10 things I’ve learned after 10 years of marriage.
1.) We Have to Take Time For Just Us. This is something we haven’t been the best at over the years, but we’re trying to be better better. Since our honeymoon, we have only taken one vacation alone together that didn’t include meeting up with other people, or attending a family member’s wedding. And that one trip? It was during our first year of marriage and was technically business related. We’ve always gone with other couples or (of course) taken Zoey. Our little family unit is very important to us, so we do everything as a unit. But as a couple it’s so important to get away as just us, and I’m not talking about just a date night. Later this week, we will spend 4 days in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains for our anniversary as just the two of us. No Zoey. No friends. No Family. No work-related meetings. Just us, on vacation, not sharing our time with anyone but each other. It shouldn’t have taken 10 years to get here, but we’ll be more intentional about this in the future.
2.) Trials Are A Blessing. I’m going to be transparent and tell you that Glenn and I have been going through one of the biggest trials of our marriage the last 2 years, and it has nothing to do with us, nothing to do with infertility, and everything to do with what we’ve been doing for a family member outside of our marriage… someone who has drained us in multiple ways. But as difficult as this situation has been, and as many times as I’ve said “why are we in this situation that we can’t seem to walk away from?”, the trial is a blessing because it has taught us a lot about serving others. I think when this trial is over (and I am begging the Lord to bring it to a close soon), we’ll appreciate each other and our life more than we ever have. We will also be firmer in our boundaries, and that in itself is a blessing that too many marriages fail at. Speaking of boundaries…
3.) Set Firm Boundaries and Do Not Waiver. Oh, this one is hard. Since we got married, we set some pretty firm boundaries when it came to what we would allow ourselves to be exposed to, when it came to how we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, and when it came to who we allow in our lives. While the good news is we’ve succeeded in many ways at protecting ourselves from the toxicity that wants to creep in, the bad news is we’ve let down at least one boundary to be helpful to someone outside of our marriage (as previously mentioned), and it has hurt us. Our marriage should be priority over everyone else’s life problems. I know this, and yet have failed at upholding it. I am determined to make that change before the year is up, and will never again allow someone outside of our marriage to burden us this way. Up until 2015, we were so good at the boundary thing, and 2017 is the year of (hopefully) recovery.
Nine years ago today, I woke up in a hotel room completely giddy. I had hair and make-up scheduled for 10 AM and a Nashville mansion to be at by 3 PM. The ceremony started promptly at 6 PM. By 6:30, we were Mr. & Mrs., wiping away joyful tears, and very much looking forward to heading to Belize the next day for our honeymoon.
Today, we can look back on the last 9 years married (14 together!) and honestly say how blessed we are in our lives.
Sure, we’ve had some trials along the way…
Unwanted job changes.
Wanted job changes.
But today, as we celebrate 9 years married and dance towards the big “10”, we can call out the blessings:
Today for the Blogger’s Fertility Conference, Ryanne over at Girl Ryanne is sharing her thoughts on how infertility impacts marriage. Going through treatments really does put a strain on your marriage because everything is so timed… as a woman, we’re far more emotional than men as it is, but add in artificial hormones and crazy medications, it just gets worse. Way worse. Taking this break to plan for Disney has been the best decision we’ve ever made on this entire infertility journey. We have something SO exciting to look forward to with our little girl before the reality of doctor’s appointments, medications and injections sinks back in.
July is a very special month for me.
In May of 2002, I was 17 years old. I had just gotten out of a less than stellar relationship and so had Glenn. We were both looking to stay single, and through our naive friendship we decided that we would keep each other accountable. No dating allowed.
Little did we know, we’d keep each other single, alright… single from others.
That summer, our friendship blossomed. We fell in love big time. On July 4, I spent the day with his family while he had to go to work. I already had a relationship with his mom, sisters and little brother thanks to Jacobs Jacket (an old Christian-based coffee house hangout for teens), but was just getting to know his dad. As awkward as you’d think that day could have been, it really wasn’t. Spending the day with this family, I had no idea I’d eventually call them my own, but it felt so right.
Today is my wedding anniversary! Glenn and I have been together for 12 years and married for 7. I can remember the day he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me. I was 17 years old. I thought it might be fun to share some facts about our relationship, so here goes!
We met in 1999 when I was a freshman in high school, he was a sophomore.
We hung out in the same circle of friends, but never saw each other as actual friends, much less dating material. We attended the same Christian coffee house on Saturday nights to watch live bands.
In May 2002, when I was 17 and he was 18, we both got out of unhealthy relationships at the same time. He had just graduated high school and I was entering my senior year. Our friendship started.
We vowed to help each other stay single (that turned out well).
We spent the month of June 2002 going to pool parties and softball games with our church, together.
July 5, 2002, he asked me to be his, and of course, I said yes.
September 2002, we watched a lunar eclipse together at his parents’ house and he told me he loved me and could see himself marrying me.
May 2003, he went with me to my senior prom.
We spent August 2003 – December 2006 in a semi-long distance relationship. We only saw each other on weekends. I was a student at MTSU (an hour from home), and he was home working.
He proposed on Mother Day 2006 in front of our entire church using a fortune cookie. Obviously, I said yes.
He customized my engagement ring. He hunted online for something unique and found a Celtic knot white gold ring. He took it to a local jeweler, bought a diamond earring and had them put the diamond into the ring.
We married on July 21, 2007 at Riverwood Mansion, a very old mansion in Nashville.
We honeymooned in Belize on Cocoplum Island. It was much cheaper back then.
Since we’ve been married, we’ve bought a house, gotten dogs and cats, changed jobs (multiple times), battled infertility, became parents, and have gotten stronger than ever. With all the changes we’ve seen in our lives and all the hurdles we’ve jumped over together, one thing has been constant: our love and patience with each other. I’m so thankful that God gave me this man.
My first week at the new job, I was running around the house getting ready, taking care of this and that, you know, the usual. I asked my husband if he would mind packing a lunch for me since he was in the kitchen packing his.
He packed my lunch alright.
Now, let me preface this by saying: I love my husband. He is hilarious and pranks like this remind me that he loves me enough to be playful with me, even after putting up with me for nearly 12 years now.
Within my lunch was this little gem:
It made me laugh.
It made me laugh a lot.
In fact, it made a lot of people laugh.
This Fancy Feast ended up #5 on BuzzFeed in the article 25 Husbands That Must Be Stopped, which is really hilarious to me. However, I have to say this: my husband is not what this subhead calls “Husbandus incompetentis”. While it is funny that this landed on BuzzFeed, it’s not funny that he was tagged as such and no, he shouldn’t be “stopped”. This tag has lead a lot of commenters on the site to go off on tangents about how these wives are ungrateful and need to do things for themselves and blah, blah. I’ll spare you the drama. Clearly, my pic is amongst many that are misrepresented within this article. I guess that stuff happens on the internet, right?
Get a good laugh at these images, and please keep in mind that these wives are likely not all complaining or annoyed or whatever else commenters are saying.
And next time someone wants to swipe my pic off Instagram for an article, I hope they decide to reconsider the context in which it’s used, because quite frankly, I’m a little irritated that this was used without my permission in such a context. If you want to use it, fine (asking permission would have been lovely and so easy), but don’t tag my husband as someone who needs stopped and as “incompetent”. Reconsider your title.
Good day! 🙂
My latest post over at Liberating Working Moms is focused on how my husband and I keep our house somewhat clean/organized/managed/whatever you want to call it. Our way of doing things dates back to our premarital counseling days. Check it out and let me know what your family does. How do you keep your home put together?
Liberating Working Moms: Sharing the Load
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but God has blessed me greatly in every aspect of my life—the good and the bad—they are both blessings. My husband and daughter are two of my favorite blessings in life. Having Zoey has brought us a lot of joy (and angst) and has taught us more about how our Heavenly Father loves us… even though we’re often sinful and mess up, He loves us unconditionally, forgives us and teaches us. Bad things happen, and through those things we learn and grow. Having a child has made us understand God’s love for us on a different level.
My husband is definitely a God-given gift to me. He’s humble and kind, slow to anger and quick to forgive. His discernment can be trusted and followed. I know God crafted this man perfectly for me. This morning, I started my work week with an email from him that I didn’t realize how much I needed. I asked his permission before I shared it on here, and as usual he was humble about it and made it clear that he isn’t who he is by his own doing. (Try saying that five times fast.) It’s a much bigger Him that made him who he is—perfectly and fearfully made just for me—to be my partner in crime, my best friend, my confidant, my counselor and my leader.
Subject: I Love you!
Hey I just wanted to tell you how much I really love you. I sort of had a “gushy” dream about you being pregnant again and everything being perfectly fine. Probably has a lot to do with all the baby talk lately. I also just read your last blog about your Labor Day dream and I know you still feel a lot of anxiety about carrying another baby. Just remember you are never alone to deal with these kinds of things. You know I am here to talk/pray with, and God is always watching over us. No matter the situation He is in control. Things may not go always according to our perfect plan, but even that is part of His. Lets always continue to keep our focus on His Glory that way fear is less likely to hinder us from fully enjoying the life he has laid out for us.
Ladies, I just have to say how much I love this man and I thank God for creating him for me.