Friday, August 2, 2013

Cultivating a Happy Marriage

Writing an anniversary post is tricky.

In fact, Joe just came in and said he guessed he needed to post the, and I quote, "obligatory anniversary post" on Facebook.


However, ten years of wedded bliss is a big deal, right?

Big enough for our "big girl" (Anna is 8) to take us out for lunch at the Yates City Deli, her treat.

Big enough to have a babysitter and a nice meal, right?


I think, however, tonight's celebration and our reflection on the day's events ten short (and sometimes seemingly long) years ago is more than just thinking about the events that took place that day.

That was just the wedding.

Today, I'm reflecting upon our marriage.

Sure, ten years ago, I spent a lot of time thinking about my dress, the flowers, the songs to be played, the food, the cake, and some silly idea that I would make all the seating cards and fold them to look like chairs. When was I ever crafty?

Evidently, there was a time.

That day was one to remember, not just because of the decorating decisions and the good food, but the weather was and still is a big topic of conversation when our wedding comes up.

Remember the hail?

Remember the wind?

Remember that it finally stopped and was really nice?

Now that I write those events in order, it is kind of indicative of a marriage, especially one like ours, that is centered around farming.

We've had hail, and we've had wind.

But in farming, we've also had drought.

We've had dust.

We've had snow and bitter cold during calving season.

We've had mud.

We've had too much rain.

But despite all these factors, we've reaped great harvests.

Isn't that what marriage is supposed to do, too? Reap a good harvest, despite the seemingly yucky and tricky times? We've lost and changed jobs, veering our career paths left and right, but we've cultivated and worked at keeping a good outlook and a happy life, so that's a bountiful harvest, right?

We've questioned whether we're doing the right thing, being out here, raising a family on a working farm when our industry is at the mercy of the weather, the markets, and the increasingly vocal, increasingly critical general public. However, when our kids introduce themselves proudly as "farm kids" or "country kids," I can't help but smile. This life is all they know, and Joe and I have cultivated that pride.

And, even though I sometimes long for those days, ten years ago, when we lived in town, on a cul-de-sac, in a house with--get this--a SWIMMING POOL. Must have been the same timeframe when I considered myself crafty...I'm digressing...I am not sure I could go back there, to that life. Out here, Joe and I have had to figure out how to do things differently. Our current life path is not necessarily the way we saw it ten years ago, but we're forging a new one, and that's exciting.

Farming is hard. Marriage is harder. However, we've worked hard at figuring out how to love each other despite the unpredictability of every single aspect of life out here. I know all marriages are work, but when your job is not just your job, and your life is consumed by things that are beyond your control, you can't help but cling to something that is steadfast.

And, thank goodness Joe is steadfast.

Farming has tested our faith, our patience, our lifestyle, and, subsequently, our marriage, but despite all that, we've reaped a great harvest since that first day on August 2, 2003.

Thanks for marrying me, Joe. Here's to many, many more years of good harvests.


  1. Congratulations! My husband and I also celebrated ten years of marriage, less than two weeks ago, on July 22nd. It's amazing how fast the time has gone. Wishing you another decade (and more) of good harvests,

    Mindy @ Pie on Sunday

  2. This made me cry, Emily. We've had wind and hail. Oh I can relate. But reaping a great harvest is indeed what all marriages should strive for. Thank you! Happy Anniversary!

  3. Great post. My farmer husband's name is Joe too :-) Anyway, what a great perspective to look back at your relationship. This reminds me of our wedding day. We had a few things go wrong (my photog got lost, bus showed up late, was the wrong size and no AC, in AUGUST.) Anyway, my brother on our wedding video said "Today is what marriages are like, you have things planned, they go wrong sometimes, but in the end, if you work together, it ends up fantastic." I have been trying to live those words since August 2010 and it really has been fantastic. Here's to many more blissful years for you and your hubby!