the ocean of marriage


Today marks our four years of being married. 

Four dang years. Four! 
Our engagement, circa 2008
I've been thinking a lot about marriage and how it changes and has ups and downs; deep ruts and high ridges and all kinds of good, bad and ugly. And it's like this: I'm not a fan of painting a beautiful picture of marriage being sunshine and rainbows and pretty pink glittery unicorns, you know? Sometimes marriage is just HARD. Worth it? Oh yes. But hard? Oh yes. And this year, we have learned that and grown from it. Because isn't that what marriage is all about? Learning from the good, bad and ugly and growing from it?

Four years ago, I was anxiously curling my hair in my bathroom I grew up in, wondering how in the world I was getting married today, and how it was nothing like how the movies portrayed it.

Four years ago I looked into the eyes of the man I chose to spend my life and eternity with and said yes. I cried with intense happiness during the ceremony. And it was totally embarrassing but I totally didn't even care.

Four years ago, we walked out of the temple holding hands and smiling so much our cheeks hurt. We hugged family and took pictures and got teased about the extra time between the wedding and the luncheon (bow chicka bow wow).

Four years ago we embarked on an adventure like none other. I don't think either of us knew what the hell we were doing, but we did know the important things: that we were in love and we were committed and that we loved God.

And with those three things packed into our scant arsenal of life experiences, we made a life for ourselves.

In the grand scheme of things, four years seems like a small number comparatively. Looking back, I see hardships and fights and sleepovers and laughing and midnight make out sessions and pillow fights and picnics and date nights. I see paid bills and school loans and hard work and bonuses. I see little apartments and old cars and late talks and new families. I see fun friends and pregnant bellies and camping trips and sleeping on the couch after fights. I see happy faces and a new baby and a sweet family in love. I see hormonal freak outs and dark days and tears and stress.

Of these last four years, this last one has been by far the hardest. If we thought marriage was hard before....well, this past year sure showed us.

If I have learned anything from this past year, it's that marriage is hard. It requires a lot of work. It requires a lot of hard truths and facing pasts and working together. It is hard, and forgiveness is a must and communication is the key to everything. This year has been hard for me to remember why I'm married. I have lost sight of who we are together and the love that we made. Life has a way of pushing out the romance and shoving in the stress and worry. Problems build up, and even when you try your hardest, sometimes you just can't find that groove and you're always on a different page and by the time you look over, you realize that the person that was beside you has been left behind, across a vast ocean, with echoes of love vibrating the air around you, hard to hear and even harder to grasp.

It's hard to come back from things like that. But the beauty of marriage is that you know they will always be there for you, waiting. Marriage means waiting at the breaking waves of the ocean of hardships while the other slowly paddles towards you again. Marriage means being the quiet and sometimes unrecognized force of unconditional love; the reminder of who you really are and the potential that you have.

Dale is that for me. When it seems like there is no way to fix something, he is waiting on that beach as I drift in the ocean. He knows I need time to drift and think. He can eventually bring me back from across the vast expanse of open water and hard things. He is the constant reminder of who I am. He tethers me to earth when I feel like floating away.

Four years has taught me that he is always there, no matter what. And that he loves me, always.

Happy anniversary dear. I love you.


  1. Yay! So fun! Congrats to you love birds!


  2. this is so sweet. happy anniversary! glad you're being real about marriage, it can be so hard. but oh so worth it!

  3. this is beautiful. so grateful to have you both in our lives. happiest anniversary :)

  4. You really do have a way with words. Happy anniversary!!

  5. Beautifully written, my dear. Marriage can be SO hard sometimes, but you're right - it's worth the hard work and it's so comforting to have someone that's willing to wait for you, even during the rough patches.

    Happy Anniversary!

  6. I love this. Marriage is difficult and I'm sure that in my situation it's like 95% percent my fault but man alive, Dillon is so good to me. Happy Anniversary!!

  7. love this, love your honesty. happy anniversary!

  8. That ocean analogy is one of my favorite things you've ever written. Beautiful imagery! Happy Anniversary you two!

  9. Love this. Beautifully written and so true.



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