For several months people have asked us what we were doing for our 10 year anniversary. As coincidences would go...we had a baby! 5 babies in 10 years, in our first 10 years. I wonder what the next 10 years will bring - college, missions, and high school for the first two, elementary school, pre-school, potty training, and sleep training for the younger two. I'll have one foot in the door of raising older children and one in the door of younger children, with 5 years separating the two groups.
The start of "us" goes back to our BYU days. We got married, both graduated (something I will always value and treasure - a college degree), and had our first baby there. Spencer's career has come a long way; he started out making peanuts (though it felt like we were rich!) and has since worked so hard climbing the corporate ladder to get us to a point of financial stability as quickly as possible. He went from staff level to senior management in 7 year, and I am so grateful he works so hard and is so driven...we have big dreams of our future when the kids are grown, when we can travel and serve missions and work in the temple together.
A few thoughts:
*Chaos is normal, especially once kid are thrown into the mix. Accepting that makes life more bearable, and more fun. It's been hard for me to embrace this, but I've come around.
*We are still our individual selves...kinda; Spencer has his strange habits that I just laugh at but have given up at trying to make disappear. We have gelled together in so many other ways that it feels like we grew up together. We've "gotten on the same page" about some parenting things that we have encountered/will encounter. We make a good team. I am happy being the disciplinarian most of the time, and he steps in when he needs to...but we still do it all together. When I've had it and am completely done, he's there to step in and take over, and vice versa.
*We are building something significant - a family. We are also contributing to our kids' characters and personalities. I must remember this...it's more than us nagging and teaching the kids manners - these things will shape who they and who we all become. I am so proud of who my kids are and how good they are.
*I'm glad Spencer was sooo persistent with me. I was young and didn't want to get married (and really didn't know what I wanted) but he swears he knew we were supposed to get married from first sight, and was patient with me while I waffled.
*I am, right now especially, so thankful for Spencer and his support. Not only am I still recovering from a c-section, but before that was on bed rest for 4 weeks. That has meant NO housework by me at all for over 6 weeks, and he has continued to work at his more-than-full-time-job while doing laundry, dishes, shopping, and taking care of me, in addition to taking care of barfing kids in the middle of the night and helping with homework, doing his calling, etc. He has picked up the slack and then some. It's been an emotional 7 weeks but it's been much less so because of him. What a guy.
*I noticed a change in him and in our relationship 4 years ago when we experienced the loss of a child. He is so much more protective of me now, and while it sometimes gets annoying, I know he worries and is that way because he cares. Being married to a righteous father and priesthood holder has blessed me so many times and in so many ways, and is such a huge comfort. I can't wait to help my girls find a guy to marry who is just like their dad.
So, on this, our 10th Anniversary, which also happens to be Thanksgiving day, I am thankful for him and for us and for our family.