My palms were sweaty when we drove up to my sister’s house on Saturday. For weeks now, I have been sneaking around behind Matthew’s back. Since I’ve only ever known him as a teenager or a boy in his twenties, his thirtieth birthday was a big deal. I jotted all of my notes down in Jack’s notebook, drove here and there picking things up and dropping them off. One day we had a “craft day” at Heather’s house to make these beautiful creations:
They weren’t exactly the highlight of the party decor, like in my minds’ eye, but the tree they hung on looked festive anyway. The entire day wouldn’t have been so fabulous without my family. Everyone was amazing. Matthew eventually stopped asking me questions about our “surprise date”, and later he confessed that he did have suspicions. But nothing dampened the mood of that day, and it was delightful to see friends and family and hang out together.
There was much swinging and baseball to be had by all.
We have arrived in the thirties with much celebration and gratefulness. I love my husband so very much. A lot of things have happened since I filled up his attic bedroom with balloons on his 17th birthday. We’ve been up and down and all around, yet I can confidently say that I love him more today than I ever have. It’s an exciting thought to anticipate loving someone more each day. It’s exhausting sometimes to work at marriage and keep it growing. We’ve been doing a lot of gardening lately. Just tonight, in one of our egg carton starters, all of Matt’s little seedlings got knocked over and spilled. We could give up when things like that happen. Or we can pick up the dirt, mend the broken pieces, water, love, and nurture those seeds and expect to see growth. Maybe those beans will be that much more able to withstand a violent storm, because of the test they’ve been through tonight. Every hard time in life, in marriage, in parenting, is growing us into stronger men, women, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.
Every day I’m reminded of how beautiful life is. It’s not always exactly how we wish it would be, and oftentimes it’s much harder than we’d like, but it is always, always beautiful.