**scroll to the bottom to have this post read to you**
Today is our Happy 21st Wedding Anniversary. We have been planning this anniversary for a solid year. It involves going to Vineyard 2121 on our 21st anniversary – how amazingly do those numbers work out? ALSO, slushies. I have waited a solid year for their slushies. – Our boys are ALL at a tractor show for the weekend so it’s just us in this big ol’ house alone and we could not planned how perfectly this whole day is going to work out. Going out ON OUR ACTUAL 21st ANNIVERSARY DAY to a place we love called 2121 could not be more perfect. We have been giddy for weeks about how perfect it all is going to be.
On facebook I posted the above picture. “Happy 21st Anniversary to us!” I wrote. “Love you!”
But you, dear reader, get the REST of the story.
This morning our boys were rushing to get out the door to the tractor show that they meant to make last night but a hundred little things happened that had the boys realizing that arriving at the tractor show at 11:30 pm may not be the smartest idea so they slept in the house to leave by 6am. Apparently they are getting much older and wiser. This happens, I am told, but I have been too busy raising them and cooking for them that it sometimes shocks me how grown up they are now. I stood outside in my pj’s this morning to tell them goodbye after a good nights sleep – on the couch.
My husband of 21 years came out to kiss me and I would not kiss him. I DID tell him Happy Anniversary. I did get him a card and had it on his lunch box for him but I really don’t know if he looked at it.
“Hey, I, uh, was sick again last night and you are going to need to wash the sheets. Again. Happy Anniversary,” he said to me. This isn’t EXACTLY what he told me but it’s my blog so I can change the words to be more appropriate.
My husband has had the flu this week. Yesterday I used all the bleach I had in the house and cleaned anything I could think of that he touched. I washed all the sheets and blankets. I wiped down everything and scrubbed the bathroom and got out all kinds of medicine for him. It’s been terrible. He was even more sick last night then he has been all the other days combined so as soon as the Dollar General (DG’s as us in the frequent shoppers endearingly call it), I was there. This is what I purchased….
I sent this text to my husband and captioned it “Happy Anniversary”.
I was scrubbing the walls and bed and everything with bleach – and people, I HATE bleach. We have come to the serious near end if I purchase bleach to clean with – and thought, “Isn’t this just so marriage?”
We have had good days and bad days. I would call today a pretty awful day. We have had great times in our marriage, we have had I don’t know how we are ever going to make it times in our marriage. People today are telling us “Happy Anniversary to such an adorable couple” on facebook and here I am scrubbing the toilet of my husbands flu leftovers. It’s not feeling adorable and happy.
When we first got married we had NO IDEA what “in sickness and in health” was. We had NO IDEA what “for better or worse” was. We didn’t have a clue.
21 years later we still don’t have any idea what we are doing.
This is what I do know. Marriage overwhelms you in wonderful ways and in truly deep dark ways. Marriage is HARD WORK. And I don’t have a clue in any way at all how on earth people who don’t have God do it. But I know marriage is worth fighting hard and working hard for. I know when I look over the last 21 years at how we have changed and what our life is, it is nothing at all like I had imagined on that hot day when I said “I do” in my dress that reminded me of Scarlett O’Hara to a skinny pacing seemed so old and mature but was just a kid husband.
And maybe I am just being reflective because of the bleach fumes and that fact that I am tired of scrubbing flu germs. But I do know that as I was scrubbing uninterrupted (because remember, no kids home all weekend), I spent that time just praying hard for our marriage. For us to keep God number one in our lives. And I did selfishly ask for some great days to come our way. Preferably the sooner the better. I like to remind God that He gave me a pretty great imagination and I am putting it to use right now and so He can feel free to make my amazing plans EVEN MORE AMAZING as He so often does. I may have said that as well as I scrubbed.
All the words were jumbled in my head so you, dear reader, get to read them because I had to quick get this ode to being married for 21 years out of my head and into readable words.
I think my next load of laundry is finishing up so I will leave you with some links to things that I keep recommending right now about marriage.
Episode 92 is here. Melanie and Sophie could NOT have described marriage better. I laughed so hard in this I cried. I did. I have re-listened to it so many times since. Do yourselves a HUGE favor and listen. And yes, just forward the podcast episode to that point because the rest is random and now slightly outdated.
And speaking of Melanie Shankle, read her book The Antelope in the Living Room. It’s all about marriage. Jake and I quote it to each other sometimes. We love the hashtag #oldlove. I love this book so much I own it on audio (which is also the only way my husband would have read it) and hard copy. I recently reread the entire section of Melanie painting the back house aloud to my family as I have been painting our only house and oy. That was a good chapter to reread.
I am currently reading The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Couples by Shaunti Feldhahn. I think EVERY couple should read this, and I am not even done reading it. Whether your marriage is great or it’s completely not, she gives you advice how to improve it in simple basic ways and has all kinds of research to back it up. It’s an easy read but I am taking my time through it and taking notes. It’s a library book but it’s so good I think I may have to purchase it.
I also have heard this song a lot this week. It’s on the shuffle youtube list when I listen to the song You Say by Lauren Daigle and I don’t know why but it keeps sticking out to me so I thought I would link it here.
for King&Country also have a new song called Joy. That may also be on repeat over here.
And now I am off to continue my bleach cleaning. Our dinner tonight is going to be grand though – rewarmed up hotdogs and mac and cheese because guess who didn’t think she would be making dinner tonight? And then later I’ll watch a movie or read a book on the couch on a different floor of the house than my husband with Liberty because Jake has been so sick that even Liberty doesn’t want to be on her bed with him.
Because we all know that Liberty, the world’s cutest beagle, really owns this house and we only think that bed in our bedroom is ours, but it’s really Liberty’s. It’s all hers.
This is how I show I love you, husband dear. I let you be sick on your own. Because in all the careers that are out there, I know for a FACT I did not miss my calling to be a nurse. Nope. Maybe I could have been a tour guide but a nurse? NOPE. I have given you the gift of a germ free home. Get better and we’ll celebrate later. Love you.