As I sit on the edge of celebrating 7 years being married to Nathan, I can't help but think back to the moment I knew he was the one for me. Not everyone has a singular moment and I certainly didn't expect to, but it happened anyway and it's one I'll never forget. We had been dating for about 8 months when my birthday came, and he made the day incredibly special from the moment I woke up. The last thing he gave me, though, was a file on his computer.
The file was, in short, everything he knew and loved about me and all that had happened in our relationship thus far. It was a recording of my likes and dislikes, my favorite things, the memories we had shared, and pictures of us together. It was a time capsule of the last 8 months and while the fact that it existed was amazing, what really blew me away was his intention to maintain it throughout our life together.
Seven years into marriage the file has gotten so big he has had to make some adjustments just to keep it going, but it is still there. So many things have been crossed out over time. I laugh at what my favorite foods and hobbies used to be, and we look back fondly at our much-younger selves still figuring out life and falling in love with each other. He has written down every single momentous event and kept a picture for every month we are together. It is truly a labor of love.
Something I never expected when we talked about marriage was that we would both become completely different people just a few years in. Through not only just the highs and lows but the everyday-ness of life we have both changed, in some ways for the better and in other ways that can make marriage more difficult. One thing that hasn't changed is how very different we are from each other, which is a blessing one day and a struggle the next.
Yet 7 years later, when I look at my life, I can honestly and truly say I didn't expect any of it. I didn't expect to have a husband who wakes up each morning excited to see me (even if the mornings aren't my thing at ALL). I never expected someone who tells me each year that I'm the most beautiful I've ever been. I never expected my marriage to be punctuated by surprises so frequently, and while my tastes have changed every year his gifts change with me.
In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would have a husband who calls me daily to say hi and that he's thinking of me, someone who in Willow's newborn days would walk into the door from a long day of work and immediately take her for awhile so I could have alone time, a man who both respects me and challenges me, someone who is honest to a fault and loves our family deeply.
Struggles come. Bad days happen. Fights are real. But the character of the man I married 7 years ago has only gotten better with time and I can truly say without hesitation that because of his love, the best is yet to come.
Happy anniversary, Nathan. Here's to 70 more years together if we're lucky.