Then I struggle to remember the 24-year old girl I was who stood overlooking the city of Santa Cruz, surrounded by friends and family, and vowed to spend the rest of her life with this one person.
So much has happened since then, and after some reflection, moments begin to flash by...
- enjoying a great meal at Sushi on Main in Half Moon Bay for our one-day honeymoon (2002)
- hitchhiking at 4am after running out of gas in the middle of the night on a side road in rural Nebraska on the way to pick up our weimaraner puppy (2002)
- watching him regularly work on the bikes of neighborhood kids who didn't have father figures (2003)
- simultaneously laughing and sobbing together as we greeted our firstborn into the world (2003)
- backpacking while pregnant with Alex, hiking with Jackson on my back. He carried all of our gear, including a mistakenly overestimated 16 cups of dog food for a 2-day trip (2004)
- feeling the joy of adding a second son to our lives
- worriedly making the 1.5 hour drive to the hospital in northern California after finding him weak and lying on the floor during a bout with salmonella (2005)
- mourning the loss of his mother to cancer (2005)
- buying a house that we absolutely love (2006)
- telling him on Father's Day that we were going to have another baby (2007)
- welcoming our third son into our family (2008)
- spending multiple evenings with a heat gun, helping him scrape the thick, black adhesive off what would soon be the wood floors for our new kitchen (2009)
- him being so kind and loving even when my arms were blistery, swollen, pustuled and leaking fluid during my hideous and lengthy allergic reaction that spiraled out of control (2010)
- dreaming about living abroad, and working together to make the dream become a reality (2011)
- scouting out wombats in the dark on Wilsons Prom (2012)
He has always been willing to be the one to change diapers on an airplane and to venture with the kids into porta-potties and other disgusting public restrooms.
If it's raining when we leave a restaurant, he'll have me wait so he can pull the car around.
He will always, without fail, share his dessert, even though he knows I will be reluctant at best to return the favor.
He is the put-the-gloves-on-and-scrub-the-toilet person in the house, not me.
He has made amazing things for the boys, including a fort, a lemonade stand, and a bow and arrow set.
He squeezes my hand to comfort me when there's airplane turbulence.
If I hear a strange noise in the night, he never grumbles about getting up to go investigate.
If I'm feeling overwhelmed, he suggests that I go take a bath and he covers the dinner/evening routine with the kids.
When I wake up on Saturday mornings with a great house project that we should start on immediately, he often is actually is willing to do it.
And he was willing to move with us halfway across the planet and have a different job for the year so we could have a family adventure together.
It's certainly not a perfect marriage, but life isn't perfect...and I'm so happy to have this life with him.