The Gift of Love...

Yesterday ended up a great day!  Mom and Dad visited all day, my girls came over, spent time with my sister and her family, and celebrated 10 years here in Illinois.

All of those things are special to me for different reasons.  It is always great when I get to spend time with Ashley and Ava, and having Ava stay the night is so much fun!  I don't see my youngest sister that often, so any chance to visit with her is full of laughter.  Mom and Dad coming to visit was just plain wonderful!  Worried me a bit, at 70 the two of them deciding to cruise around the mid-west in the snow is a bit unsettling.  Yet, I am so glad they decided to come visit!  I enjoyed getting to watch mom try on her sweater and the smile on her face when she opened it.

Yet, reflecting on the importance of yesterday in my life at the quiet end of the day was probably the best part.

Ten years ago, on what started a beautiful sunny day and ended up with snow ball sized snow flakes falling from the sky, I arrived in Illinois.  It was time for me to start the newest chapter of my life and I was giddy with excitement and terrified of the unknowns.  But ready to start over, ready to be happy.

I was so afraid to start over. I wasn't sure I would get better (I had been sick for what seemed like forever). I wasn't sure my sweet son was going to be okay with all the changes. I wasn't sure yet that I could trust again.  I was sure that I was willing to risk it all for love and a promise of happiness and a loving, bright future.

As I speed up time and move forward ten years, there have been bumps along the way.  Moments that I doubted my decisions.  Struggles with ex spouses, the pain of blending families, the sadness of losses neither of us thought we could survive, the heartbreak of watching children make decisions that caused them pain, career choices that made us miserable, and simply creating a life together that sort of started in the middle.
Exploring Germany 2012

Through it all, I know that I made the perfect choice!  It's an amazing feeling to wake up each morning knowing that you are married to your soul mate, your best friend, the absolute love of your life.

It's incredible to spend your life with someone that knows you almost better than you know yourself.  Someone takes the time to dig up yards to plant gardens, buys quilt frames and spinning wheels, someone that will take you searching for fibers, who takes you fishing and even takes the fish off the hook when you can't bring yourself to do it.  Someone that works hard to make your life feel full and wonderful! Someone who loves the things you love, that will spend hours working in a wood shop, or knows that it is perfectly okay to buy you power tools as well as fishing gear for birthday's and holidays. Someone that cares enough to put a cup of coffee mysteriously on your desk when you are too busy to even go get one, or a sweet treat and a note are hidden in your desk drawer to make it a better day. 

Enjoying the company picnic with Ava 2012
He's man that knows the strength of self it gives a person when they believe in you and your dreams, no matter how crazy or far fetched they are. Someone willing to taste test cooking successes and failures, willing to help you load tons of dirt and manure and not complain too much about either! He is someone that will detour on the way home for margaritas when the week has simply been overwhelming. 
Exploring options for the greenhouse...

There is a special power in a marriage that is built on beliefs in the others hopes and dreams and the willingness to help you get there is how life is lived. The treasure is someone that loves you in good times and bad, a willingness to dry your tears and bask in your smile.  I am so blessed to have this now.

There are still times when we disagree, although it is rare.  Times when we are both simply to tired to do much but curl up at the end of the night and drift off to sleep without hardly any conversation. Ten years down the road there is comfort in knowing it is okay for those days to happen.

I doubt that I am as good a wife as he is a husband, the bar is a bit too high, but I love him and strive to give as good as I get.  Long ago in another life I could never imagine retirement or the far future, now it is my focus.  I see forever every day in a smile, hug or kiss and I know that even if I had a time machine I wouldn't go backwards and change a thing!  Occasionally, I wonder if I would go further back to start sooner, but I don't think so.  I think we are both the people we are because of what our lives brought us through to get to where we were when we started.  And I love the people we are, separate and together, mostly together!

As I watched my folks pull away this morning, I said a quiet prayer that the ups and downs they have been through will help them realize the gift they have and to cherish it and each other.  I hope they find the joy and love that I have, because sometimes it's the second time when you finally get it right!
Safe travels Mom & Dad...

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