First comes love and then you choose to work at it…

Recently, a coworker just asked me a question about my marriage. “How do you make time for each other?” It is something I get asked a lot. It is pretty obvious we made some time for each other at one point or another in that we have evidence of making time.

The beginning it was easy. Everything was new and exciting. Talking to each other, sitting so close that in a dark corner we were one silhouette. The future, wants, dreams, fears. Memories. Opinions. Conversation and physical contact were one and separate. We were young and fell hard. We had both left relationships that had caused us deep emotional harm.

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The beginning, way back in 2006

But time moves forward. We have grown older and we have grown apart in some ways. In other ways we are closer. We work to make this work still. We take trips to be together. But we are two people that arrived in a place together.

We are still two people. We had very different upbringings, we have different interests and we have very different tastes in movies. But we have a lot in common and we enjoy each others company.

Relationships get pushed to the back burner as life gets hectic… especially when you have kids. Sometimes the partnership of keeping tiny drunken lunatics alive makes the relationship become harder. For a while my husband and I basically only discussed the kids. We went opposite directions and never came together for the mental intimacy that is necessary.

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This is our wedding photo in 2007

We grew differently. He left on a great adventure. His family that he loves so much was out of sight and out of mind. he made some choices that shattered a small part of me. choices still breath through the cracks left behind. Those choices profoundly changed the dynamic of our relationship.

The version of me my husband fell in love with is mostly gone now. The version of me he fell in love with was incredibly unwell. She haunts me still. Lingers in the background of me and keeps me awake at night. causes me to forget to make dinner, pay bills. Sometimes her anger and instability starts to leak through.

The man I fell in love with is mostly gone now. He is different now than he was at 21. More stable, less spontaneous. However, he is also more comfortable being himself all the time.

We have grown as individuals. Which means we work at knowing each other and the people we are becoming. I love him and the life we have but it is a quieter relationship then the tumultuous, intensity of our youth. We love the person each of us has grown into. It isn’t bad but it is different. Love is not static.

Love is a living breathing thing. It must be cared for and allowed to change. It has changed slowly in some ways and in other ways it has changed quickly.

I am not static. My husband is not static. We grow and change because we are alive.

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2014! 

People seem to look into the dressed window of our lives and see… something. It is carefully curated to look this way: easy. it isn’t any relationship is hard and adding in flaws and five small humans makes it even more challenging.

But that is what makes a relationship worthwhile. The downs are downs but they make the ups so much more delightful.

Lovely, Lovely Butterflies

Before life got a bit crazy and super hectic with the Hubster working full time and attending University full time we took a minute to really spend time together. We had lunch dates. We went on hikes. We knew that coming up that we would not be able to spend as much time just together. That the time we get is valuable… a really long period of time apart during his military really impacted how we view the moments we get.

On this particular morning we took the smallest of the hooligans to a magical place called Butterfly Wonderland.

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Then we went and looked at all the chrysalis. A nursery of baby butterflies. I didn’t know that chrysalis’ come in every texture and color I could imagine. The kids… and me… really loved catching the chrysalis’ shake while the butterfly tried to break out into the world.

Next to the gorgeous Butterfly Garden where butterflies are free to flutter about. This room is designed to look like a rainforest with plants and flowers everywhere. And WOW it was absolutlely beautiful, peaceful and exillerating. Ellie and Four ran around delighted by the little flying jewels and the coi pond. At the time my hair was really really purple so the butterflies really couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t edible.

My favorite part of this entire day was watching my husband with our youngest daughter and yougest son. My husband is an amazing father. Always taking the time to explore the world with our five children. In married life there are always moments that you find yourself falling head over heels for your spouse.

Life gets busy. We have jobs. He is in school. Before he was busy doing army things. We have a whole heck of a lot of kids that always need attention or conversation or guidance. But there are moments where I look up and the world stops. This day was one of those days. The relaxed, joyfulness of his time being spent exploring these little flying bugs with a four year old and a 6 month old really made my heart soar and my stomach flutter.

I found a man that loves me. That adores the humans we are raising… that loves babies and toddlers and children (and eventually teenagers but we shall see how much he loves that) being a father . That sits still for minutes and minutes so he can let his four year old inspect the butterfly that land on his head.

I am so glad that we have the life we are building. That we get to rediscover the world through the eyes of our children. Those moments make me rediscover the love I have for my husband. Day after day.