As of 2 p.m. this afternoon, we will officially have been married for a whole ten years.
Here are some fun things we've dealt with in our first ten years of marriage:
- Buying our first house! Man, it was a total dump when we bought it but we were really sad to leave it.
- Despite the fact we tackled a lot of home improvement projects from hell.
- We had a baby! Baby Olivia gave us our first really tough year. Who knew babies were so stressful?
- I had post-partum depression and it was awful. Matt was really great and honestly, without him I maybe wouldn't have made it.
- He lost his job, we struggle with depression, we have marital issues, we enter marriage counseling. And cry a whole bunch.
- We're super broke but having another baby!
- We have Baby Jackson and all feels right in the world. He's even cute so that's an added bonus.
- No choice but bankruptcy. Dark year in the Strand house.
- We have pets that are all mentally deficient. Matt volunteers to assist our poor cat in heat. Does not hit her g-spot and it became a really awful few months with lots of cat moaning.
- Matt gets fabulous new job. We hardly see him, but he loves it and that's worth the world.
- I quit my job. Last two weeks as a stay at home mom and get new job.
- Kids start school, we are grossly overwhelmed.
- Matt and I learn how to give enemas and do poop flush outs. We're slightly ashamed this is what our lives have come to. These are our glory years.
- We take many family trips, two which include airlines. I hope the kids don't remember them as traumatic experiences like I do.
- We decided to move. It was scary.
- But then we moved and it was awesome!
- Then Sara commits Matt to being a dog owner. He reluctantly agrees and as it turns out, Twinky prefers Matt to any of us. Matt hates this, yet reluctantly and begrudgingly walks the damn dog every night no matter the weather.
- We suffer the loss of baby #3. But Matt's still awesome and great.
Who even knows what's next for us. That's a really brief list of some highlights. It's kind of crazy to think back and remember all of the good, and the bad, and think- we made it.
I remember times where I was so sad and depressed that I thought we weren't ever going to get through it. We might, but it'll never be the same and I didn't know if as a couple, we could handle that. And I was right, we aren't the same. We aren't even close to how we were when we first got married. I'm not in love with Matt anymore. That faded away long ago, as it does. But I love him far more than I ever could have in the beginning. I have a far better appreciation for him as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a person. Matt is easily, the hardest working person I have ever met in my life. He's never afraid to learn something new, he's never afraid to try a new experience. He is willing to do pretty much anything I sign us up for or put on the table. When things get really awful, I know that he would drop whatever he was doing to help me. I used to wonder if he actually loved me, but I don't anymore. As I've gotten older I've learned that just because he isn't a very emotive kind of guy, he shows me in other ways.
This is the guy who will get out of bed at midnight to get me a shake if I want it. He'll run and get me nachos from random bars, movie theater popcorn, he'll leave work to bring me lunch or shovel me out at work. If one of the animals leaves a gross mess on the floor, he'll leave work to come clean it up because I can't do it without vomiting everywhere as well. He takes on the home improvement projects I spring on him at the very last minute and goes with it.
He's a really great guy overall. He just is. And I love him a whole lot. Plus, he's still really hot especially when he is working on the house and has the tool belt on.... anyways. I'm really lucky to have Matt. I can't see myself without him. Even in the worst of times, I can't imagine a life without him with me. He's my rock when I need him to be and that is better than butterflies when I see him. I don't have that any more, but it feels different. It's like my other half is there and all is right again. I wish people knew that it does get better. Marriage is the hardest thing I've ever done, it's harder than parenting sometimes. But the spot Matt and I are in now? I wouldn't trade it for the world.