earlier this summer i got tagged by two of my friends in the post-yourself-with-your-spouse-for-seven-days challenge that was going around on facebook.
(look at those babies!)
i didn't do it until now because
a. i'm not really good at keeping up with 7 days of posting anything (ahem, see this blog)
b. i have many friends who aren't married or together with someone, and for some this is a choice; but for others? not so much. they are amazing human beings who haven't found their person yet but want to. so i felt conflicted about posting pda photos for a week straight.
that said, i do think it's good to celebrate healthy relationships, and i don't say enough how thankful i am for matt. so i'm going to write on here, just once, instead. with lots of pictures.
first, real talk: this year is our 14th wedding anniversary and wow! has life thrown us curveballs we never could have expected, as life tends to do. then there is the usual marriage stuff: we are really different humans. if you give us the same task it is likely that we will approach it in opposite ways. we fight, we correct each other, we apologize, we laugh, we learn new things about each other, we cry, we yell too loudly (ok that's just me), we fail each other, we retell the same stories & listen to the same stories, we forget why we were so mad at each other, we remember why we fell in love in the first place, we say things regret, we stay silent, we need time alone, we need time together, we dance, we have drinks in the backyard and talk late into the night, we cook, we micromanage, we mess up, we celebrate, we do errands and go on trips and go to work and parent and clean the house and get gas and fold laundry and feed the chickens and get the girls to school and get them back home again and....live a whole life together. there are things that drive me crazy about my husband, and i'm guessing the list of things i do that annoy him is at least twice that long.
BUT. it's good. it's so so good.
together figuring it all out is GOOD.
some things i love about being married to matt:
his faith practice informs everything in his life & our relationship - from the people he spends time with, to how quickly he admits that he is wrong, to the way he appreciates beauty, to the time he takes to be still, pray & listen. it also makes him incredibly others-focused....which honestly can be frustrating when i'm wanting to hunker down and not care about anyone else but myself! i'm inspired to work towards the common good and not just what benefits me. he is humble and willing to learn from others. i learn from his rhythm of self-care that fuels him to then care for others. i also learn from the way he listens before acting or speaking. he creates sacred space - at funerals, baptisms and weddings, at the bedside of someone dying, sitting with someone in grief - and he holds and honors those moments that are often rushed through, even in our christian faith tradition.
he's authentic & has integrity, and he's the same person behind closed doors that he is in the public sphere.
he's a crazy good dad. thoughtful, gentle, patient, and creative. he's made vocational & financial sacrifices to prioritize time with our children, which can be challenging when we live in such a city where the cost of living is astronomical. he has real conversations with our kids about what they are thinking about, and who they are becoming. he loves our girls in their uniqueness, and he celebrates who they are. he sits and listens to them. he plays with them. we co-parent not in theory but in reality; he juggles a ton of work and life to be present for our family. he makes me such a better mom & balances me out (and hopefully i do the same for him.)
paint two rooms, clean the entire backyard, wash all the floors, do 5 loads of laundry and then run over to help a friend on a house project on a saturday afternoon? no problem.
unlike me, he doesn't make a big deal about how much work he's doing. he doesn't need credit (um- i totally need credit and lots of compliments along the way), and he freely offers to help others.
it takes me an hour to wash the amount of dishes he can do in 15 minutes (which is one reason in our old-no-dishwasher-house, he is our dishwasher & does 90% of the dishes!)
he celebrates and learns about things i care about. so for example, not only has he learned all about bono, but he knows a ton about art. he reads about it, looks at it, thinks about it, talks to our kids about it, talks to other artists, writes about it, asks me questions about it.
he makes life so fun.
ruby has inherited this gift, and this facial expression is exactly matt in 6 year old girl form:
he works out with me! he's always up to support me whether it's running, walking, yoga, hiit, tabata, weights...he'll do whatever i'm doing (yep, i'm talking about you jillian michaels dvds) or he'll make sure i have time to go solo. i remember years ago when we were dating, how he would run the lake with me, and slow down to my pace (about 3 minutes a mile slower than his) without saying a word.
(i'm not kidding this day we almost died thanks to the humidity)
he poses for pictures with me. even though it is so far from his favorite thing! i keep telling him he'll be glad when we are 80.
he loves and invests in other people's kids, not just our own.
also: that he can eat at chez panisse and a taco truck in the same day, his gardening skills which somehow make me look like a gardener too even though all i can handle are succulents, his love of punk rock and hip hop, that he turns our backyard into an obstacle course whenever kids come over, his kitchen skills, his archaic flip phone, that he watches tv with me every tuesday night so i can get my fix, that he buys me 73 little presents for every holiday because i love gifts, that he makes me better cocktails than i can buy anywhere in oakland, that he almost always drives because i'd rather not
and that he's always and forever coming up with ideas on how to make the world a wholer, more beautiful and grace-filled place to live for everyone no matter who they are.
so there you go.
we're married and
i like my husband most of the time and love him all of the time.