Nine Years

Nine years.
Nine long years.
Nine short years.
My husband Sam and I celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary tomorrow.

What do I have to say after nine years of marriage?

1. I love him more than I did the day we exchanged vows.
2. We still maintain several habits we established together.
3. It wasn’t all easy.
4. It wasn’t all fun.
5. We stuck close together when money got tight and life wasn’t fun. We grew up together after getting married. We didn’t grow a part.
6. We kept our sense of adventure. We love change. We live for it.
7. We became flexible with our dreams. We are following his dream of being in the military and making a difference there. We are still working on my dreams (Cheesecakes? Art? Quilting? Music? Too many to name).
8. I am still learning about who Sam is. Each day I learn something I did not know about him. For example, I learned today that Sam isn’t as interested in being tactical in the military as he is being useful and needed.
9. He still surprises me. Like that time he paid for a begging woman’s lunch at a downtown restaurant. Like that time or two or fifteen that he brought home flowers when he knew I was stressed and overworked. Like how he planned a whole day for us tomorrow without me knowing.
10. He has always been the roots that plant me to the earth and the wings that let me fly.
11. He loves me fiercely.
12. He *still* puts up with my proud and stubborn nature.
13. We have transitioned from a young married couple not wanting any children to two people on the verge of 30 who have two fantastic little girls.
14. We are more open minded.
15. We are more conscientious of people around us.
16. We laugh together.
17. We still finish each others sentences.
18. We still share the same favorite movie (Shawshank Redemption).
19. We have moved twice, lived in three states since our wedding.
20. We have been separated from each other four out of our nine wedding anniversaries due to Military deployments.
21. We remain each others best friend.
22. He is in the best shape of his life. Me? Meh.
23. He became more dependable and responsible.
24. We still have his 1965 Chevy Truck, the same one that he drove when we dated in high school, the same one that he will probably ask to be buried inside.
25. Marriage is hard work. It’s also the most rewarding.
26. I could imagine no other husband to complete me.
27. He is the only one who gets me. He understands me. He was my first love and is my only love.
28. Looking back, I would have done our wedding different. Maybe even eloped.
29. I wish we would have saved money from the start.
30. We still regret selling the Toyota Celica when we first moved to Colorado. We thought “Gee, we’ll need a vehicle with 4-wheel drive to be able to navigate the treacherous mountains of Colorado!” Yea. No. Selling that cheap car led us onto a path of car debt that we bitterly regret now. Long story short: Don’t be stupid with cars.
31. We still love to snuggle on the couch watching movies or playing video games almost every night.
32. He encourages my dreams, even when I am frozen in fear to move toward reaching them.
33. We know what the other is thinking and can often finish each others sentence based on just a word and a look.
34. He has become an amazing father. He is devoted to his girls. He is intentional with his words and his love. He comes home from work, kisses me, and immediately plays with Daphne and Penny.
35. Sam still makes my heart beat faster.
36. We’ve learned to compromise.
37. We’ve learned how to communicate and do it right.
38. We rarely go to bed upset with each other.
39. I am proud to be his wife.
40. Sam is an absolute loyal and loving husband. I am completely happy.
41. I don’t regret marrying him so young (we both were 19). We received a lot of backlash for wanting to marry young.
42. He still hates meatloaf.
43. He has let me become who I am, blue hair and all.

Life is good. Here’s to many more years full of laughter, adventure, and love!

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