And now ten years later, much has been accomplished, done, and seen, but our most favorite thing we have done is these four beautiful little people. They are here, existing, because of us, and that's just so awesome.
We hardly ever travel. We don't leave our children that often. We don't usually come up with extravagant plans to celebrate events. I'd say were more of the just being kind of folks. And so, with our ten year anniversary coming up, I knew that there would be no trip to an exotic island to bask in the sun and sip foo-foo drinks for a week. I'm not even interested in doing that, yet. There will be a day, I'm sure, but not now while we have little people at home and I'm still terrified of flying.
However, a nice dinner would be a treat and a fun way to celebrate us. Now comes the part where I insert the phrase taking lemons and making lemonade. Because that's exactly what we did. We had no sitter lined up for the evening. I started to pout during the day that here we are, celebrating our tenth anniversary, and we can't even go out to dinner together. I was wallowing in woe is us... when I finally pulled myself together and stopped. Why shouldn't we celebrate WITH our children? I turned my focus on them instead of me, and boy did that help. I started to see everything through good old gratitude glasses and realized how thankful I am for TJ, our marriage, our children, our home, our health.
And so, we loaded them up, and headed to our Oven. The place we eat EVERY anniversary. We opted to sit outside even in the 98 degree weather seeing as we would have the whole patio to ourselves and be less concerned with the kids behaving perfectly. Amidst the no shower look, and my sweaty, sticky body, I was happy. I was indeed celebrating our ten years of marriage with our family.
Three out of the four were happy to be eating the Oven.....can you tell who wasn't?
So happy that I didn't have to clean the kitchen....
Now, I feel the need to insert here that dinner was not spent just gazing lovingly at my children, my heart pouring out love for them. No. It was just a typical dinner full of, George don't play with the knife, Annie please eat something, no blowing bubbles in your water Evelyn, please sit down, quit scooting the chairs all around, and so on and so on.... But I was more aware of how important those five people are to me and how much I love them all.
While TJ was waiting to pay the bill, I took the kids to walk down the sidewalk to check out a store called Paint Yourself Silly. Turns out that they were open for another hour and a half, so we searched through pottery finding the perfect pieces and then let them paint. You would have thought we had just told them we were going to Disney World right then and there, they were that excited.
After leaving the painting place on such a high, watching their excitement and their little hands create a masterpiece, I was rudely reminded how real life is. Driving home listening to George's panic screaming because he had to use the restroom over the other children's squabbling voices threw me back into reality that THIS, all this....the screaming, the fighting, the chaos, is the fruit of our ten years together as husband and wife. I wasn't thinking that in the moment, it wasn't until I reflected back over the day in peace and quiet, by myself, that I got it! We vowed to accept and be open to having children on the altar ten years ago. God has given each of them to us, especially for us, and we have gladly accepted each pregnancy, each child, as a gift. And while the chaos and constant correcting of children is unpleasant, we are realizing that this is such a short time in our lifespan. In ten more years, Thomas will be nineteen. That seems crazy to me.
So happy anniversary, TJ. Thank you for a wonderful, exciting, full of life, ten years of marriage.