So, a couple of things have happened since my husband and I got married on May 27th, 2006.
We have seen a loved one fight cancer and win.
But we lost a really amazing grandma.
Then we gained two equally amazing new humans.
We watched family members move far, far away.
But then we got two members back again and we aren’t letting them go this time.
We lost some friends.
But we gained some really kick-ass new ones.
And the friends who stayed around the whole time, well they deserve an award and cake.
We’ve lost some jobs.
But in the process, we’ve gained some cool new opportunities.
We have watched our kids go through things like puberty, dating struggles with friendships and disabilities.
We have even watched our own selves change with aging, menopause, memory issues, and struggles with our own relationship.
In the process of all of that, we, in turn, have fought a lot, learned to depend on each other even more, and we have become a pretty tight family.
But man, life?
It is not easy.
Don’t get me wrong though, it is pretty damn good overall.
Not rainbows and unicorns every freakin’ day but we are alive, have each other and at the end of the day, we aren’t hungry.
Sure we have had some rough times as a result of choices we have made as a couple but now looking back, I don’t know if I would change most things.
Some, yes but not all.
It was as I was taking our oldest daughter’s prom pictures in the backyard of our home we have lived in for the past 11 years that I had “a moment” of how lucky we really are.
The “moment” happened in our backyard where most of the pictures took place.
This yard has seen so much of our lives; this house has seen so much of our children growing up; of our growing up.
The home we moved into the summer before Anna went into kindergarten.
This is the home where we hosted the pizza dinner the night before our wedding day, 10 years ago.
The home where my mom, Anna and I gave Ella her first bath in the kitchen sink when she was five days old.
The kitchen where we have done 11 plus years of homework, made Christmas cookies, had long talks about things like boys, periods and friendship.
The backyard that has seen little girls grow from running around in the playhouse in Cinderella dresses, grow into bigger little girls wearing prom dresses.
We have created this life together and here we still are.
And we are very lucky to live it.
This life we live is really pretty surreal.
It’s this big scary and at times, vomit-inducing, roller coaster.
You occasionally hear that analogy but it kind of makes sense when you think about it.
Coasting along and feeling so content one moment and then the next, you are on the hill riding up, up, up, chugging along.
It gets a little unsettling, yet it’s kind of exhilarating at the same time.
Looking down and getting to see things from a different perspective.
Everything looks pretty good, sometimes even better from up here.
Then all of a sudden you come to the crest of the hill and down the hill, you go!
YOU CAN’T BREATHE!
A minute ago everything was fine, peaceful even.
But now it’s dizzying and you feel like you are going to hurl.
What. Just. Happened.
But wait a second.
This is good.
Nope, it’s not.
Yep, we are good again.
Then you turn the corner and see the station coming into view.
Time for another round.
I used to be the rider who would buckle my seat belt, sit in the middle row to be safe and close my eyes on this journey.
I didn’t really enjoy the ride.
I only wanted to get through it and tell everyone, “I did it!”
Just tell me when it’s over, please.
But I am working on learning to enjoy that crest of the first hill, the downhill glide, the ups, the downs and the in-between’s, each and every day.
I am slowly getting better at it with each life experience.
As I grow older, I am learning all too well about how fast this ride goes.
For some, the ride gets cut way too short.
Others don’t even get to ride it at all.
And most get to ride over and over again.
So much more will happen in ten more years…
In ten more years……..
Anna will graduate high school and go on to college.
On our twenty year anniversary, it is quite possible that we will be on the verge of being empty nester’s.
Ella will be 18 and graduating high school and Anna will be 26 and could possibly be married and even possibly have a child.
We could be grandparents in the next ten years.
Either way, we would be very content but it is amazing when you think of change in years of ten.
In the next ten years, we will become more independent and our relationship will change as a result.
I hate tempting fate by talking about the future.
I hope we all live long, healthy lives filled with love, happiness, healthy happy children and grandbabies.
I don’t care if/where they go to college because I just want them to be happy.
Life is to be lived and I want them to follow their happiness, whatever that may be.
We will do more traveling, I am sure, in the next ten years.
Mostly because of the whole college/life path thing.
It is exciting to think about, really.
I used to be sad about our children grow up and out because it meant them leaving us.
But I am starting to look forward to the new beginnings and tomorrows.
I think I will move up to the front row for this next ten years.
Open my eyes, loosen the seat belt a little and scream as loud as I can.
Because of this time around, I really want to enjoy the view.