Life & FamilySeptember 17, 2015

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.

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