July 27, 2002
Dauphin Island, Alabama
11 years ago today, those children in those pictures made promises to God and to each other that they could not even begin to comprehend or agree to. They had no idea what they were promising.
And now, 4015 days later, they have somehow, by the grace of God, managed to keep those promises.
They have made 2 beautiful children and a beautiful life
and they have made mistakes and apologies
and dinners and messes and really hard choices.
And over the course of 11 years,
those two children grew into two adults
who have learned that love is quite a bit less about romance
and quite a bit more about commitment.
And this girl has learned that the love of a real man
looks quite a bit less like jewelry and flowers and extravagant gestures
and quite a bit more like
bearing down with her while she labors in childbirth
and knowing just the things to do when the pain is too much
and taking the middle of the night shift with the screaming baby
because she's so exhausted she's sobbing
and laughing when the poop is all over him instead of in the diaper
and knowing just how to make them all giggle through the tears
and letting her warm her icicle feet between his warm legs
even when they're fighting
and spending his lunch break coming home to give her a break instead of eating
and always coming in the door at the end of the day
and answering the call even during the meeting because she called twice in a row and that's the signal
and unloading the dishwasher nearly every morning for 11 years
and putting the seat down
and being her personal GPS because she's hopeless with directions
and holding hair back while they throw-up - all of them -
and doing baths and bed without complaint
so she can just go take a run
and choosing the eternal things,
like riding bikes and talking with neighbors,
over things like mowing the grass,
and loving the littles so wildly
that they burst into cheers and run to the door
every single time he comes in it
and choosing to stay in with her when he would rather go out
and being willing to say "can we try that conversation again?"
and making the best rotel dip for her when she's had a hard day
and not having anything new although they always do
and bringing sips of water in the middle of the night
and making the iced coffee just like she likes it
and believing in her even when she's scared to death
and giving back rubs without expecting anything in return
and scrubbing the house clean because he knows it will win her heart
and being the life of their party of four.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down his life....