I was thinking just the other day at how much we have been through together already as a married couple. It seems like every year we had some sort of huge change or experience to go through together.
Year #1: Of course the transition of going from a dating couple to a married couple. Because of our backgrounds and beliefs, we didn't live together before we were married so EVERYTHING was new to us (if you get my drift...).
Year #2: The majority of this year (after the first 3 months anyway) was spent with me being pregnant with Joelle. Morning sickness, hormones, and everything else that goes with that.
Year #3: This year was obviously spent learning how to adjust and take care of a baby. Little sleep, long bouts of crying (by both me AND Joelle!), breastfeeding struggles, financial changes...and the list goes on!
Year #4: Another pregnancy year. While dealing with an 18 month old. 'Nuff said.
Year #5: Another baby. No breastfeeding struggles this time -- thankfully -- but in its place was even less sleep (like MAJOR), and huge post-pardum depression. Combine selling our house and moving...and dealing with the Terrible Two's...it was quite the year.
Year #6: Depression, depression, depression. And the Terrible Two's turned into the Thundering Three's. Ugh.
Year #7: Depression, depression, depression. Started to fight my battle with anti-depressants.
Year #8: Les lost his job. Thankfully he got a new one in short order -- but not only did we have to deal with the initial shock and stress of his sudden job loss, but his new job was a huge adjustment as the hours were a lot longer, leaving me to single-parent the majority of the time during the weeks. It was close to the end of this year's anniversary where I weaned myself off of meds (after trying a very unsuccessful drug change first).
Year #9: This last year was spent with me going hard-core into my weight loss battle. And while this was a good change for everybody, it still was stressful and something huge to adjust to. This year (the summer, anyway) also brought about even more single-parenting.
So while every year has brought us at least one major challenge, we have faced all of these challenges together and have come out stronger. Sounds cheesy? Perhaps. But it's true. I really do firmly believe that marriages get better the further along they get. There may not be the same butterflies in your stomach whenever you hold hands, and it may not feel brand new and exciting each time you kiss. But the love grows deeper and the intimacy just gets stronger (and I'm not taking about the "too much information" kind of intimacy either...although I could).
Nine years later and Les still tells me every day how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. He still flirts with me, still wants to hold my hand while driving and still wants to spend every day of the rest of his life with me. I'm a very lucky woman.
*Click on the collage to make it bigger. Sorry for the quality -- this was before digital cameras were all the rage, so these pictures had to be scanned*
PS: One interesting tidbit of information: I've been asked on a few occasions lately if I've had to get my rings re-sized with all of my weight loss. The answer is no. And the thing is, I never had to get it re-sized for all of my weight GAIN either. The ring fits me whether I am 140 pounds or 211 pounds. Puts a new meaning to the phrase "through thick and thin."