Those who know me well, know I pretty much always have something to say. I update Facebook regularly with photos and little tidbits, so it is easy to forget about the blog. But today I am feeling very compelled to publish because well, I think I really have something to celebrate here, and I have way more to say than what I am allowed to put on a status update. And if you want to read our original story, click here.
As I woke up today thinking about the fact that I have been married to Bryan for 17 years, (together for 19) I was thinking about the actual wedding day itself. I remember the gorgeous (HOT) weather, the flowers, the dancing all afternoon. I remember all of the people that were there to help us celebrate, many of which are sadly no longer here as they have passed on. I thought about those people for a minute, and how I truly believe they would be so proud of this moment.
Then I started to really think about how we got here to this very moment. Much has occurred. Just like all couples, we have been through many life events that include births, deaths, job gains, job losses, weddings of close friends, and sadly divorces of close friends. I couldn't help but think how lucky we are that we made it this far. I even posted that very thing as my status update, "...we are so lucky to have each other...". But then I truly had an "A-ha" moment. We are not lucky. I am sorry but there is no luck involved here and let me tell you why.
This job here, this marriage, because of all of the things I just listed above and even more that I cannot even begin to cover, it is THE HARDEST thing I have ever done. Dare I say even harder than being a Mama. I honestly think I am a better Mama than I am a wife! When you put two people together who grew up completely differently, one right brain one left brain, one type A one not, then add all that "life Stuff", how could that be easy??? I know that people see all the pretty pictures, and how happy we are, and that is the case 90% of the time, but I would be lying to you if I said that was the case 100% of the time. It is not all rainbows and lollipops and butterflies in your tummy, it is hard work.
But here is what Bryan and I decided, and we consciously decide every single day of our marriage together. We work. We work every single day, no matter how hard this is. We want to make it work. We want to continue on this path of the parenting our children, and career decisions, and friend shifts because we love each other and we were destined to do it. We choose this path.
I must tell you, we do not do this alone. When people say, "It takes a village", in my experience, this is not just about raising children. This concept I believe must be applied to every aspect of life, including marriage. There is no way that a person was meant to do all of this alone. There is no way either that you can expect your one spouse to do and be everything either. We have not done this alone. We are fortunate enough to have a "village". These people are our friends and family, some from that wedding day 17 years ago, and some who have entered our lives only recently but have made a huge impact with their love and support. These people, they are our advocates! And not just mine and Bryan's advocates, but our Family Advocates. These people have supported our family unit and done everything they can to insure our survival. This is HUGE! These are people that help with kid stuff, and talk me off ledges, and would do anything to make sure our family not only survives, but thrives. These people know our losses, but celebrate our wins! I know I can speak for Bryan when I say, this is one of the things we are most grateful for. This has been an intrical piece to the survival of this marriage, as well as this family unit. We are grateful every singles day for this village.
Honestly, I try pretty hard not to give advice to people, marriage, parenting or otherwise unless I am asked first but you know what? People do ask. They ask me all the time how we do what we do. The only thing I can say is, we choose to do this. Some days are harder than others. Some days I would rather jump on the first plane to Mexico and never look back, and I know Bryan thinks that sometimes too! But at the end of the day, we are right where we choose to be, surrounded by everything that we work so hard for and everything that matters. We choose success. We choose happy.
Bryan Simpson, you are one of a kind. They do not make many boys like you. You are an amazing father and you work hard for this family everyday. I am appreciative that you have put up with my crazy whimsical self all of these years. I am glad that I also put up with your stubborn hard-headed self as well. I am truly grateful to have you as my partner in crime. We were meant to do this together because we were divinely chosen to do this together. I love you so very much and I know we can continue to be the dynamic duo that we are, and set an amazing example not only to our children, but others around us. Is so damn hard sometimes, but that's okay. I think we "got this"! Thank you for the past 17 (+) years together. I love you the most! xoxo