There are still a few wedding pictures up in our house amidst all the school and baby and family pictures.
One in particular is on my desk in our home office. Our office is in the heart of the home, a marketplace of craft supplies, our family computer, the entrance to our basement, and my desk. By design, I like it (and the locking doors help when I have conference calls), especially when little voices come up with commentary behind my desk chair.
"Mommy!" Mary gasped one day with her hands on her face. "You're a PRINCESS! And Daddy is so FANCY!!"
Well. If that doesn't make the piles of laundry on the floor and the salty feel of my skin, still not showered from my morning's run melt away from my memory...
"But you're not a princess anymore."
SCREEEECHING halt to that warm fuzzy.
Joe does look fancy in our picture. I am princess-like in my white dress and veil. It's a candid picture of us sharing a kiss after our wedding ceremony, 14 years ago today.
Today, not so fancy.
The past 14 years, very few "princesslike" moments and fancy times have been shared.
But that's real life, folks. Pinterest and photos and curated images and perfectly posted Facebook memories are all lovely and nice. But they are not real. Our wedding day was a lovely one. I have shared that while it was one of the best days, best parties...it too was not perfect. We planned and planned and planned and God laughed and laughed and laughed (all while He unleashed the best hail storm He could during our ceremony.). The picture on my desk doesn't show that we were all pretty worried about my aunt, who was supposed to be our photographer. She was in the ICU, unsure of what was wrong, in critical condition.
But that's okay, too. I'm good with remembering the moments that are small and sweet on that day. Isn't that what we're supposed to do in marriage? Remember the sweet small times and hold on to them as we navigate the big?
This year has not been the easiest in our marriage. Lots and lots and lots of hard and scary and tricky and trying and exhausting moments and conversations have been had. Joe and I have pushed through, pushing away at times, but always figuring out how to come back together to work through the hard. It is human nature to look around and see everyone else doing it "right," and our culture has become one of comparison. However, it is faithful marriage and believing in and living out those vows we shared 14 years ago to quit comparing and start loving each other, even when we ourselves are unlovable.
This next year of marriage is going to be easier, right? There will be moments of princess and fanciness, right, Joe? Nah. There's still laundry and car pool and ballgames and lessons and cattle chores and dust and bills and appointments. However, in this new day, this new year in our marriage's story, I am encouraged more and more every day. I do not recommend a massive health scare and employment woes as a way to see your spouse in a new light...however, I am seeing you for the fancy dude you are. I am seeing your new role at work making you fulfilled. I am cheering on your new page in health. I hear your encouragement as I walk into my career. I lean on you for support in the hard days and laugh with you when the not-so-fancy part of parenthood rears its ugly and gross head.
Thanks for 14 years of non-princess, non-Pinterest days, my love. Life is hard and messy and crazy, but I wouldn't want to roll my eyes at anyone else but you.
However, next year? Can we take it easy on the crazy? Maybe a nice island vacation instead of a stent?