10 Years.

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9/17/05

Some reflections from us both…

ERIN

Today is our ten year anniversary. TEN. YEARS.  It’s hard to believe that time has gone that fast.  It feels like yesterday that we were on that awkward first Match.com date (over 13 years ago!!!) and yet I can barely remember a time when Andrew was not in my life.  At this point everything that happened before him feels like something I saw in a movie or read in a book- not something that actually happened to me.  I think that’s just what happens when you marry your best friend and everything just seems… right.

And by right, in no way do I mean perfect. Oh no, lets not kid ourselves. Marriage is some of the hardest work out there (next to raising children, I assume- I guess I’m about to find out about that one.)  Just like any couple, we’ve had our painful trials to go through and big, scary questions to face.  There were times in the last ten years when I wasn’t sure we would make it here- truly- but the one thing that kept me fighting was the idea of Andrew as a father.  No matter how big a fight or how much I wanted to light him on fire some days, I just could not shake the thought of what a magical, wonderful father he would be to a child.

And imagining him as a father would conjure up mental lists all his great qualities- trustworthy, funny, loving, selfless, driven, committed.  And it would remind me of just why we got married and why I love him so much.  And finally, we’re here. About to become parents in 8 short weeks (please come near your due date Baby Gates!)  And as you know, getting here was no easy feat either, and one that I can’t imagine having gone through without Andrew’s amazing love, support and willingness to stab me with needles (sometimes with glee) spend quality time with himself in tiny rooms with plastic cups (hey, if you can’t laugh about it, you’ll cry- A LOT).  The infertility battle was one that, while painful, brought us that much closer together.  And while I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, I wouldn’t change my path either because I think it made us an even stronger couple.  Ten years is a long time to be married before having your first child, but I am so very confident it was the right choice for us.  We are the happiest we’ve ever been and that is so important to get right before the craziness of adding a baby to your clan.

And this little boy, oh man, he is going to worship his dad. I can already see it- late night feedings, first steps, learning to ride a bike, watching Star Wars together… Andrew is about to get a new best friend and have the time of his life teaching him everything there is to know about being a man.  Because Andrew is the best version of a man there is.  Everyone who meets him, loves him. His joy for life and passion for his work and family are unparalleled.  He still opens every door for me and insists I walk on the inside of the sidewalk.  He is a gentleman but also a totally fun (and often un-PC and raunchy) guy’s guy.  Old ladies can’t get enough of him, and neither can his little nieces.  Laughter follows him wherever he goes, because he is the source of it.  I cannot imagine my child having a better dad, and I cannot wait to watch him become one- I think it’s the thing I am looking forward to the most about having a baby. Even more-so than becoming a mom myself (probably because I’m pretty much scared shitless right now).

But we are a team in the best sense of the word.  He elevates me to new heights of confidence when I’m scared to do something and I am the rock that brings him down to reality when he’s apt to float away. :)  My career has been insanely wonderful the past five years, and I hope the next five years are his time to shine.  He works way harder than anyone I know (including myself) day in and day out on not only his “real job” but also his start-up that he’s been toiling at for three years on the side.  He is determined to make his dreams a reality, and since my dreams have already come true and continue to, I am more than happy to step back to allow him his moment on the stage.  This is his time now, he has been the most amazing cheerleader for me over the years, and now it’s my turn to take the pompoms. There is no one more deserving on this earth of insane amounts of success than Andrew.

So here’s to ten years and a hundred more.  I love him to death, but honestly, I may die too if I don’t get some breakfast in me STAT…

ANDREW

The most important lie I ever told was on my Match.com profile in February 2002, when I casually clicked the “Never been married” box, having completed my first divorce just 2 months before. But that was a defining moment in my life. Without that little white lie I would have never heard back from Erin. Had I checked the “Divorced” box it would have been instant elimination. But instead we are here today celebrating our 10-year anniversary.

As cliché as it is, these ten years flew by. I don’t think there is any one secret to successfully navigating the first ten years of marriage. In fact, I am quite convinced it is different for everyone. Some, like my recently wed sister and her husband, relish in mushy PDA (or FBDA – FaceBook displays of affection?). Some couples are career oriented and bond through their drive to succeed. Some make it all about their children and others make it all about themselves by traveling the world seeking out the next adventure. All of these work.

But for us, the key to our marriage has been the age old theme of opposites attract. But that alone doesn’t get you to ten years…opposites attract have to have a common thread somewhere…and for us that is our shared sense of humor. Stupid, sarcastic, witty and silly. If we couldn’t laugh at and with each other, it would have been over before it started.

As has been well documented on this blog, Erin and I do have a different approach to life. The classic glass is half full versus half empty. Actually, it is more like, I-will-never-run-out-of-water versus what-if-I-run-out-of-water-and-die. I think the most obvious reason that we are so good for each other is we need each other to pull ourselves towards the center of these two competing view points. A place called reality.

Trying to sum up our ten years in a blog post is futile. What Erin means to me is beyond words, beyond emotion, and beyond my ability to relay. I am not going to try. Instead I will share with you all what I am looking forward to…and I bet you can guess…

Erin as a mom!

First off, I have never seen her happier. Pregnancy suits her to a tee and I think she has surprised even herself. She has been way calmer and more excited than I thought possible at this point. I am sure the medication helps, but I can tell it is more than that. It is a fundamental change. She is becoming a mom. Our priorities are beginning to shift as our world prepares to be turned on its head. And she couldn’t be more ready, willing and able.

Already this change has been so much fun for me to see. It is something I have always seen inside of her, peeking out every so often, but now is more often the norm. It is a sense of calm in the storm. She is looking forward to the disruption and chaos as opposed to fretting over what will happen and how will we handle it. That is not to say there aren’t still moments of panic and stress…it would be weird if there weren’t…only that there is a sense now that even during those times we will find a way through.

I still can’t believe we are going to have a bouncing baby boy in 8 short weeks. I can’t wait to see Erin holding our son for the first time. I can’t wait to see that look in her eyes of complete and total love. She thinks she won’t cry, but I am betting the other way. As much as this has already changed our lives, I think we have no idea what is about to happen.

She just looked over at me, in our bed at the Inn at Perry Cabin, to tell me to hurry because she was hungry. I love her so much. And so on our 10-year anniversary, I can’t imagine a better place to be in. So much we can look back on and smile. So much to look forward to. I am a very lucky guy.

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Our wedding in Inside Weddings.



30 comments

  1. Congratulations Erin and Andrew! I am a long time reader and a first time commentator. So, so happy for you and Andrew- I can’t wait to hear about your sweet baby boy when he arrives. Just clicked over to your wedding spread on Inside Weddings and teared up reading the story about your Dad and the dance tickets (and I’ve heard you tell it before!). You’re surrounded by wonderful, supportive men and I have no doubt you will raise another!! Xxxx

  2. Congratulations! Your post brought me to tears! Enjoy the magic of parenthood! It is the most amazing experience you can share as a couple!

  3. Beautiful post! Happy 10 years of marriage, you two. I loved reading each of your reflections on your marriage thus far. And how is it that I’ve never seen your wedding photos? So timeless! Wishing you both the happiest of days to come.

  4. Andrew, I lied on my match.com profile too. I located myself in a metropolis (where I wanted to return to living) 350 miles away from where I was currently living, in a small town on the coast. But I confessed my lie in the first email. He said, “well, let’s just see what happens”. We’re now married almost eight years. Congratulations to you and Erin on 10 years. Looking forward to reading about the next part of your journey….baby!

  5. Congratulations! 10 years is a BIG deal and only people who are or have been married can appreciate the amount of work and compromise that is required to get there. People change over time and being married means you have to find a way to still like and want to be married to this person that still resembles the person you married and is different as well. Some of those little quirks that only annoyed you a little years ago will start to drive you mad day after day lol. I love that you both have been honest about marriage. So many say “marriage is hard” but no one really tells you why it’s hard BEFORE you get married. I always describe marriage as peaks and valleys. Once you realize both will come it’s a matter of determining if you want to wait around for the next phase. My husband and I have waited for the peak to come back around a few times and it does (thank goodness). Happy Anniversary!

  6. Congratulations! Beautifully written, so heartfelt. Very excited for you both on your next adventure! Life is a crazy kind of wonderful with a newborn. Have this post close to reread when you’re overtired and frazzled. Best!

  7. Congratulations to both of you! I felt a few tears as I read your post today. As for parenthood, it’s 1000x more wonderful than I ever imagined. And seeing the love your partner has for your child is priceless. Enjoy your vacation and last few weeks of quiet before baby boy Gates arrives!

  8. Beautiful post you two! This journey which you’ve already started is about to get a lot more exciting! My guess is, this before baby part of your life will become almost like a dream once your boy arrives, just like your before married part. At least it was for me. My husband and I waited 8 years to do the baby thing and I can easily say the transition wasn’t too hard. We knew each other so well that our teamwork was excellent and still is, even now with two boys! I’m sure you’ll fall into this category too. Congrats! And enjoy these last weeks as much as possible. They go by so fast.

  9. This is like drinking a hot chocolate with marshmallows on a very frosty day. It just gives you
    the right comfort, that fuzzy warm feeling that everything else doesn’t matter. You two restore hope to all younger people that yes – indeed you can make it past the 5 year mark and still be happy.
    You’re both honest to yourself and to others. I think this is the most appealing aspect of you,
    a blogger whom 95 % of us don’t know, yet sets you apart from everyone else – you are a “Mensch”
    as I would say for lack at a better word. If you continue this path, your lives will be enriched for many many years to come: from the moon and back, as all little kids say and yours will too! Congratulations!

  10. Congratulations! I was in 2 weddings 10 years ago (one on Sept 17!) and wore, I’m pretty sure, those same bridesmaid dresses (Coren Moore, right?) in different colors! What a wonderful post and thank you for sharing!

  11. Congrats you crazy kids….well, Andrews not really a kid anymore. Heehee. It was beautiful weekend that you got married and we had a blast. Can’t believe it was TEN years ago! Its been a joy to watch your journey and to see watch this next phase of your life into parenthood…(although Baxter and Oliver would say that you already are). Kirk and I wish you both the best and many many many more years together in this crazy life. Blessings`

  12. Beautiful!!! So much of this echoes how I feel about my husband and I can assure you both that having that baby will only make you stronger than you are today. Don’t be surprised if those ” I want to light him on fire” feelings return when you’re in the thick of it with a newborn but then laugh about it a day or two later when the other one gets pooped on!

  13. Beautiful words. I love your story. After waiting for the right time to have kids and then going through years of infertility (with Dr. Ashby!) we became parents after 10 years of marriage. I truly believe we weren’t ready for kids earlier and we are better parents after going through what we went through. Now with three kids (two IVF, one BIG surprise) and being married almost 20 years I can confidently say the best is yet to come. It is very very different and will push you and challenge you in ways you cannot imagine but it is absolutely amazing and you will experience a love greater than anything you can imagine. You are ready and you will be AMAZING! Enjoy!

  14. We’ve been married 30 years (31 on Dec. 1) and can’t even fathom life without each other. We’re best friends and also share the same sense of humor (snarky and sarcastic but playful too). I wish you all the joy and happiness we’ve shared, even the really tough parts were better together.

    Thank you both for sharing such a lovely personal post. And hope you had a fabulous breakfast.

  15. As my favorite blogger would say, “Holy Wedding Flowers Batman…..”
    Gourgeous. Congratulations, and before you can blink your eyes, little man will be 15 and you will be celebrating your 25th…..

  16. This is a beautiful blog post, not that I am the least bit surprised! Thank you for sharing and continuing to inspire.

  17. When you have a child, you realize how deep your love can be. I used to joke with my husband that once I became a mom, that I realized that all of the great poems about love weren’t about love between a man and a woman – they were about how a mom feels about her child!

    Best wishes to you both!

  18. Congrats on the anniversary! A sense of humor is absolutely vital in child rearing, so you’re in good shape! By the way, love that last pic where everyone is looking forward except the little girl, who is looking up at Andrew like, “I thought I was your best girl.” Too cute!

  19. Beautiful! Just beautiful! So glad you two found one another 13 years ago. This is one lucky child. Happy Anniversary!

  20. So H-A-P-P-Y for you that your 10th year of marriage gets to be etched in your life with the arrival of your baby boy! That’s all worth the growing pains and the hurtles you went through to get there. Wonderful to hear from both you and Andrew in celebration of your married decade…and the decades yet to come!

    Your friend and fan in San Francisco,
    Helene de Baubigny

  21. Sorry a little tardy with my comment….Congratulations on your ten year anniversary…Hugs from Sunny London xoxox

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