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Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Anniversary

This past weekend, Alex and I were given the amazing gift of a couple days away at an absolutely magnificent place- Canoe Bay in Wisconsin. Grandpa and Grandma stayed with the kids and Alex and I got to go rest, rejuvenate, and have uninterrupted conversations. It was magical. It was stunning. And it reminded me, as time with Alex always does, of how much I love my hubby.

Alex and I started dating 19 years ago. We have been married for 13- today is our anniversary. We have had four preemies, four dogs, one hamster, a lot of challenges, and a lot of love. Every single day I'm grateful I married my best friend. When Jonah and Ben were in the NICU after being born 11 weeks early, I had the stupidity to read a statistic that said about half of marriages at that time ended in divorce. The statistic went on to say that if you have multiples, the divorce rate is higher. AND if your multiples happen to be preemies, forget about it. You're pretty much doomed. 

HA! I say to that statistic. It's not true for everyone! Some couples defy logic, statistics, common sense, life. Some couples are meant to be together and because they know that, cherish each other more than anything no matter what road blocks they face along the way. Multiples, preemies, dogs gone wrong, special needs, living with parents, only one income, therapies, you name it, we've been through it. I think it's just solidified our relationship and made us more invincible than ever before. I think hardship can crumble a marriage, or it can cement it. Alex and I work hard to make sure nothing will tear ours apart.

I love that Alex is the kind of Daddy to sit with Ella on his lap at the computer and teach her how to put shoes she loves into her online wish list. I love that he makes me tea with just the perfect amount of honey when I'm sick. I love that he unclogs the toilets, fixes light sabers, and takes the dog out on rainy afternoons. I love that he laughs at my dumb jokes. I love that he helps the boys with their math. I love that as he pushed my wheelchair after I had Ben and Jonah, he would warn me when there was a bump in the hospital hallway so I could prepare for pain after my C-section: "bump," he would say. 

I love that when I come home with all kinds of crazy things to try to help the kids with their issues, he just nods and smiles and says "let's try it!" Plastic brushes, chair pads, chewy things, funky balls, essential oils, special diets, vitamins, joint compressions, bear walks, vocabulary exercises, weighted blankets, weighted lap pads...The latest was a board covered in flannel, that the kids sit/lay on in different positions as I spin them a certain number of times in each direction. Then we shine flashlights that they follow with their eyes. It's called "Astronaut Training" and it's designed to help integrate the senses, especially the vestibular sense. It really works like magic. But I don't know many other parents who would be on board for such a weird looking thing. Alex is up for anything that might help the kids. Honestly, that's a rare thing for a Daddy, and I love that.

I love that Alex has taken apart and put back together our bunk beds at least 804 times, as certain kids need to share a room, certain kids are afraid to sleep in bunk beds, certain kids wet the bed too many times for me to keep changing the top bed sheets. I love that my hubby makes me pumpkin scones and Ellie Buns. I love that he lets me ramble on car rides. I love that he loves my nose ring. And helps me put a new one in when the old one falls out and I can't find the hole in my nostril anymore. I love how he laughs heartily when he thinks the rest of us are upstairs asleep and he watches a comedian on TV. I love that he lets me repaint whenever the whim catches me- as long as he doesn't have to do it. I love that he has the patience to get the dog to go out on his own, without pulling on his leash with impatience the way I do. I love that when I scream, Alex will come running to my rescue to find the spider, fly, bee, or frog that is terrifying me. I love that he thinks it's funny that I say all my quirks are "because I grew up in Africa." I love that he thinks toast with jelly is a great night-time dessert. I love that he paints my toe nails when I'm pregnant, and now he paints his little girl's nails. I love that he does ballet in the driveway to make the kids laugh while we wait for the bus on an anxious day. I love his passion for all his hobbies. I love his cooking. I love that he doesn't think I'm nuts. Most of the time. I love his resiliency and capacity for love and understanding. I love his strength. I love that he'll put up a tent in the backyard to camp with his sons, even though it always ends up to be just Daddy and Jonah. I love that he blow dries Ella's hair after her bath, with the special round brush she likes, if I'm not home to do it, so that she's not cold when she goes to bed with wet hair. I love that he eats cookies with me after the kids go to bed. I love that he kayaks with me. I love the way he rocks out to the music at church, and that he agrees to teach Sunday School with me. I love that we laugh together about the absolute insanity of our life that only this World Of Two really understand.  

I love that Alex stays. He stays on this hard path with me, every day. He keeps coming home, keeps facing our challenges, keeps learning and growing. I love his patience with the kids. I love the way he snuggles with them. I love the way he plays with them. I love his belief in them. I just love all the millions of things that make him the amazing man I married. I am truly blessed to have this man by my side to add joy, strength, and hope to my life. I have always known what a special person Alex is. What I didn't know 19 or 13 years ago was how he would react to adversity, fear of losing children, the challenge of dealing with special needs...Alex surprises me every day with his unending strength, faith, and love. He makes me want to be a better person so he can be proud of me. Happy anniversary, babe. I love you. Thank you for everything you are.

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