Yesterday was our 9 year anniversary.  When you say it, it seems like a long time.  Right?  or not that long?  I cant decide.
(and of course I made a super cheesy slideshow of all the same pics we have all seen before)

I dont know.  I just couldn't leave it with that cheesy video and "heres to a few more years".  I am definitely a believer that marriage is work and that two stubborn independent personalities will have trouble working in perfect harmony.  Or, at least, we do.  It has been a ride, these last nine years.  Jeff just got his first (real) job ever, we got surprise pregnant 8 months after we got married, we have had two kids in the NICU after they were a surprise, and we have seen each other an average of an hour a week on many weeks straight.  But I would venture to say that stuff was not the hardest part.  I think the hardest part is totally giving up what you want and what you think, just for a minute, and listening to each other- and truly valuing each other's opinion- when you have only seen each other for an hour (all the while thinking they are completely off the wall and knowing you're right). I am not always the easiest person to be around, though I would sometimes like to think that I am.  I am moody and need quiet time by myself like all. the. time.  I am so stubborn and independent and love to do things on my own and I am afraid and scared and never want to do anything by myself.  I am conflicted at every turn about every single thing I do.  Jeff, however, is rarely conflicted, not chatty at all, a huge dreamer, he hardly worries about anything, he never needs alone time and has a goofy sense of humor that I sometimes don't get.  So, there you go.  We are total opposites except that we are both stubborn and loyal and hard headed.
I know.  Dreamy.
But, for some reason, all those things that make him who he is, and challenge me completely out of my comfort zone, never annoy me.  I mean, they make me mad and its definitely hard sometimes.  But I just still cant wait for him to get home.  Seeing him so much more this summer has just made me love and enjoy him more than ever.  I don't know.  I cant explain it.  I don't know why he makes me the angriest of anyone I know, and the happiest- sometimes in the same breath.  We make a great pair.  (After we have hashed it all out.)  He challenges me to try things and not be afraid, and hopefully I make help him think things through and show him compassion when he needs it.  I think he is a genius, but I never ever feel dumb when I am with him.  I love his humility and peacefulness.  I have never met anyone with his confidence and strength.  And never, not for a second, do I question that he will love me everyday, more than he loves anyone but the Lord, for the rest of his life.  And that together, with God's help, it will keep getting better.
So, that end part was a little roll your eyesish, but I mostly wanted to say, I know marriage is real and hard sometimes and sometimes its the best thing thats ever happened to you.  I know it is forever and that it is a decision that you make when you are tired and when you are on top of it all.  (I also know that some people don't have marriages like this and that theres are easy and fun almost all the time.  I am just telling you how I have experienced it.  My transparency knows no bounds.)
So, thats why I chose the cheesy song.  I like the whole idea of choice versus casual feelings.  I like consistency and loyalty and I know those come from a choice we all make.
So, I love you Jeff Barstad.  Thank you for making the choice to love me.  It makes me a better person everyday.


jojo said...

Thanks for showing all those pictures! I love looking back at all those wonderful memories!! Happy Anniversary!!

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary!

Kate said...

CUTEST COUPLE AND FAMILY EVER!!!!!!!! Love this. Love y'all!

BrookeD said...

Y'all are so beautiful and so real and I absolutely love everything about y'all :)

Happy Anniversary sweet friends.

Leslie said...

I didn't get to spend much time with the two of you, but I know everything you write is totally honest and vulnerable and love that about you!! Happy Anniversary!!! Wishing you 100 more!

Katrina Scott Design said...

Just seeing this...happy belated anniversary guys!! Thanks for being such a joy and inspiration. Wish we had more of ya in our life!!

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