Sunday, April 27, 2008

Six years ago today, as the sun set over the river in the Wimberley Valley, Chad and I were married.

We were young, crazy, and in love. He were 25. We had a long courtship that surprised most and made for a lot of questions at holidays and other people’s weddings. It just felt right for us. It was meant to be on our terms, with our timing.

As I look back on the last 6 years, I am struck by depth of my heart that he still holds today. If I had known just how lucky I was on that April day, I would have shaken that 25-year-old girl and told her that this was the first day of the rest of her life. I would have told her that everything she knew about herself to that point would grow and change over the next few years. I would have warned her that she would move somewhere beyond the life she had known, and that it would challenge her to do things she had never done or even dreamed of.

For him. This scruffy, cowboy that came along quite by accident.

Him, the boy she loved with all of her inexperienced heart.

But we can't go back and tell ourselves to appreciate it, can we? All we can do is look back and smile at the memories and moments that now make up our history together. And laugh at the good times and the bad; the for better, for worse.

Like the nights of “creative meals” in the little rock house, because I wasn’t used to living 20+ miles from a grocery store and hadn’t quite gotten it all figured out.

And the quiet evenings on the 7HL in the truck or on horse, where we planned and dreamed of our future together.

Or the Dodge RV remodel that we thought would house all of our future family vacations, and how we never finished (or started) that remodel and it still sits dead in it’s tracks.

But the memories that most fill my mind are the ones we have made as parents, and as a family. I could not have known what an amazing father you would be. You have made Ella Grace your entire world. You have given up trips away and activities because you couldn't bear to spend a whole weekend away from us.

You are a man who walks in the door, never needing to unwind after a hard day at work. You want us. You've missed us. You are not only ready to just be with your family, but you need it. We know that we are your whole world, and Ella Grace and I are better for it. We need you too.

Your nature is but the tip of the iceberg.

I love that you would do anything for us, if it made us happy. Your humor keeps us going day after day. I know how lucky I am. I just want you to know that I know it.

I don't always show my gratitude. I know it's hard to hear me complain when you're just as tired and your job as head of the household is extremley stressful, and I'm whining about trivial, everyday stuff. Problems you'd love to have right at that moment.

Whatever I do, whatever I say, I am grateful. I am grateful that you support me. I am grateful that you never question how I spend my time. I am grateful that you love Ella. I am grateful that you love me, in spite of my many flaws. I am so grateful that you were able to look past the girl with insecurities 11 years ago and take me as your wife 6 years ago today, your partner. I cannot imagine my life without you.

Cliche though it may sound, you really do complete me.

I love you more today than I could have imagined on that April evening. Here's to many more years of adventure, laughs, and growth.

I love you,

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