Here's to us

Here is to almost 18 years of us.
From page to page, chapter to chapter, book to book to book.
I have loved writing our story even during the times when the chapters were glum.

So here's to the years we were happily dating.
Here's to the years we have been married.
Here's to the years of family, the one we wanted and created.
Here's to the ups the downs the highs and the lows.
Here's to the boring, the awful the scary and the thrilling.
Here's to us.

Here's to our vows, the ones we made to one another.
The ones we cling to.
The ones we swore to.
The ones that light our way in the dark.
Here's to our concerns, our wishes, our hopes.
Here's to our wants, our needs, our fulfillment.
Here's to us.

Here's to our wedding bands, the ones I still look at and feel as though it can't be real.
Here's to the day you got down on one knee and asked me to take on forever with you.
Here's to me feeling that was always our path, ring be damned.
Here's to us.

Here's to our friendship.
The one we have to remind ourselves of when we don't like each other that much.
Here's to our foundation and our love for movies and concerts and sports and board games and playing cards.
Here's to our love of close friends and times of laughter.
Here's to us.

Here's to my worry.
Here's to all that scares me.
Here's to the one I need to feel safe.
Here's to my crazy, the crazy you balance.
Here's to us.

Here's to you never giving up on me or us.
Here's to me never giving up on you or them.
Here's to you reminding me how important we are.
Here's to me reminding you that sometimes we need to be more.
Here's to me pushing the status quo.
Here's to you being content in the boring.
Here's to us.

Here's to half a decade of wrong and trouble.
Here's to the reminder of lessons learned and mistakes made.
Here's to the apologies and tears.
Here's to us.

Here's to your hugs, the ones that you want to melt everything away.
Here's to feeling safe together.
Here's to touching toes and snuggles on the coach.
Here's to your nook, the one that belongs to me.
Here's to holding hands with my boyfriend and husband.
Here's to us.

Here's to your socks that I love to wear even though it drives you nuts.
Here's to the sweaters I have shrunk and claimed as my own.
Here's to my boyfriend sweatshirts
and to all of the sports shirts I know own because I met you.
Here's to us.

Here's to all of my planning.
Here's to all of your doing.
Here's to my determination and grit and drive.
Here's to your calming me down, but being my handyman in all of this.
Here's to your amazing work, love, and attention poured into our home.
Here's to my eye, and yours.
Here's to our vision of forever home
forever us.

Here's to us.


The book of love

"The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing...

Our book is long, our story is old, our lives are filled with the perfect kind of boring.
And as we celebrate each and every single year of us and together, I want you to know that I have found a comforting peace with our story.
I adore our story, I love how perfectly imperfect it is.
I feel our ups and downs.
I adore our story, and I am proud to be writing it with you.

Our boring is filled with schedules and routines and "have tos".
Our days do not look like a romantic movie, nor are they filled with wild romantic gestures.
They are simple but crazy,
they are long but passing by too quickly,
they are the perfectly imperfect and yes, boring.

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"...It's full of charts and facts, some figures and instructions for dancing..."

And so, our dance continues because our music isn't going to stop.
The two kids who grew into the us of today, their music and their dance, it goes on and on.
So, dance with me. We don't need the instructions anymore.
We know how to hold each other, how we fit, how to move together.
Hold me in your arms, kiss the top of my head and tell me, like only you know how, that everything will be okay. That our love is strong, and can outlast all pain, all diseases, all heartaches.
It can outlast days with the kids that make our heads pound and our tempers take over.
It can outlast the long work days and long work weeks that quickly turn into long work months.
Because I love it when you dance with me.

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"The book of love has music in it,
In fact that's where music comes from.
Some of it is just transcendental,
Some of it is just really dumb."
"But I,
I love it when you sing to me.
And you,
You can sing me anything.

There is music in this life that we created, this life that we decided to create.
And our story is filled with songs and memories of all of us.
There is music in our memories, in our wrinkles, in the hair that is starting to gray, our bodies that don't look like ours.

"The book of love is long and boring,
And written very long ago.
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes,
And things we're all too young to know

Our story begins when we were young...young and starting our lives.
We found each other at the end of one period in time and the start of forever.
The start of adulthood, the start of real life.
Our journey, our story, our book started. Growing up, growing together.
Never could we have imagined that one night that the two 21 year old kids would be here, today, living this life, this remarkable and overwhelming life.
Never could we know the weight of family would feel this full?
Never could I know that you would take away my pain, my anger, my lifetime of fighting and pushing away?
Never could we know that we would find peace, but in the oddest of places, like through our own fights, our own molding and changing, our own reflection of how we want things different and how we will never let each other go. Things we're all too young to know.

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Did we know we would create this, create them, create home and family and this overwhelming love?

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Did we know how little they would be and how fleeting time would become?
Did we realize that we need to work even harder on us while parenting them?
Did we know that the words "I take you to be mine" would weigh this much? It would be this heavy, it would carry with it joy and fear and peace and frustration and anger and laughter and tantrums, and woes and happiness and sadness.
Did we know that it would make my crazy even crazier and at times kill the joy that lives so naturally in you?
Did we know I would find my second chance through them, that we would protect them but realize that we have to let them go, each day a little more.
Or, were these all things we were too young to know?

And here is the best part...
our story isn't done.
We are still writing, we are still editing and rearranging the pages, writing a long and painful and joyful and remarkable chapter each and every year.
We will make sure we all have a happy ending.

"And I,
I love it when you give me things.
And you,
You ought to give me wedding rings.
You ought to give me wedding rings.

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