21 years He said, she said

21 yearsI would be a big dope if I didn’t talk about the story of us on our 21 year anniversary.  It’s big news.  I rolled out of bed this morning and said to my guy, “happy 21 years!”  and he wished it back.  Then I was about to sneeze by the back slider door, he tried to direct me to sneeze outside to the back patio but I was so distracted by him directing me to change my sneeze that I couldn’t sneeze anymore and then he cracks up and points down to the outside back slider worn-out door mat!  And below is what I saw.  It would have worked so perfect had I sneezed in that direction;)

matDo you all remember last years anniversary card, check out below!  He is a true, true romantic and that’s pretty awesome being that I’m on the receiving end.

chalkSee!  He’s a vandal too!  We make a great team.

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 We are not  experts on marriage or anything like that but we have lasted 21 years and to be honest, it has not always been a walk in the park.  Marriage is hard.  It’s really hard work and we both work at making it cohesive and pleasant.  We strive to be examples of love to our children because to me it’s the most important example they have for their future relationships.

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Her Advice in spaghetti version:)  I will share a few of our secrets with you in regards to how our marriage has had success to date.  We allow each other to be our own people.  Which means, we dress ourselves, we buy our own clothes and we even pack our own suitcases when we travel.  He loves me for who I am and I love him for who he is and we are very different but we know that we compliment each other.  We don’t call each other names, we don’t yell and scream in front of the kids.  We do have disagreements but we have learned how each other reacts in turbulent times.  Motorcycle man needs space and quiet and when the time is right then I talk to him about it.  I use my patience gift.  He knows that I work best with positive reinforcement.  So he compliments me, he encourages me and he is my biggest supporter. It has been a really long process trying to figure out how we tick.  I’m really quiet and often hold in my thoughts I have had to learn as the years go on that I can tell him things that are on my mind. I have noticed when I do share my deepest thoughts he is receptive and willing. Presentation is everything.   He always kisses me hello and good-bye and we work with each other every single workday but still he will kiss me goodbye, knowing he will see me at the office 30 minutes later.  We still hold hands.  We cook together.  Rich will say “I’m normal”  I will say “nope, you’re not normal, you are exceptional”  The feeling is mutual both ways.  It’s like we hit the love lottery or something. Above all else we love the same God and when things are good we give God the credit and when things are bad we look to God for our strength.  I sometimes feel guilty because things are good, really good.  We have friends who may not be as fortunate so please don’t take this as a brag session.  If you could see each day in our 21 years, you would see a lot of imperfection, a boat load of mistakes, and lots of hurt too, tears, sadness and anger.  It’s all there.  We have the complete package.  But those rough times built a stronger love because we made it.  We made it through those growing years and not just survived but by the grace of our God we thrived.  I’m blessed and I look for many more years with this guy.  I believe he was hand-picked for me before I was ever born.

IMG_5252His advice.  Waffle version:)

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Treat her like a princess

Laugh. a lot.

Share the responsibilities

Speak kindly to each other

Respect each other

Doing small things makes a BIG difference

Listen.  Even when its boring.