As I head into the third month of the eleventh year of our marriage...here's what I'm thinking.
1. He still makes me laugh harder than anyone. Period. Like...embarrassing LOUD snorty laughter. Always. Even when I'm really mad at him he can make me laugh.
2. I've come to the realization that my whole life with him has been getting from point a to point b to see him again. In other words...it's getting through him being gone and then fully living when he's here. It's hard not to do because life is so much better and fuller when he's here.
I think this is something most military spouses struggle with.
Don't get me wrong. We do when he's gone. We go. We don't become shut-ins or anything.But I don't think I fully live and give. Which needs to change. Because, let's be honest, he's always gone. Whether it's a deployment or training, or simply him being gone from 3 am until 9 pm for work. That's the reality. And that's totally okay. But I need to stop waiting and get on with living.
Because of this realization, I'm determined to take all four girls on some European adventures in the next few months. We'll see if this pans out or not. But the seeds are planted.
3. I love that he still wants to hold my hand everywhere we go. And it still makes me ridiculously happy every time he grabs it.
4. I miss him when he's not here. Terribly. Though I love being able to stay up reading as late as I want to and watch as many cheesy movies as I want...I miss him.
5. Going to Paris was the first time we'd been away alone since our honeymoon. And no one told me it would be hard at first. That we'd have to figure out how to truly talk to one another without children around. There were no distractions, no other people in the room. There were some things that needed to be talked about because we hadn't been able to talk for so long. And not all of those things were romantic and magical.
It was a hard weekend at first. But once we really talked...really truly talked about the things we needed to say and once we were each heard...that's when the magic came. Because that's all we really needed. To both be heard. To clear up misconceptions and hurt feelings. There's no time to do that when you have four children and one of you is always gone.
There's simply no time to have honest and real conversations when you see each other 10 minutes a day and all you have time to talk about is, as always, the kids. Or something clerical/menial that needs taking care of.
And we said to each other...what do people do when the first time they really talk is after their kids go to college? How scary must that be? We are so grateful and happy that we made time for this trip and we know it was so important for us. And a defining moment for our marriage could not have happened in a more beautiful place. We are so much stronger for it.
6. And in the same vein...I love that we have finally learned how to communicate. Really communicate. It took a long time. We've never ever yelled or fought dirty. That's not us...we respect one another and love one another way too much. But for the longest time I didn't know how to disagree. When he asked me what was wrong I'd huff "NOTHING". And then proceed to act mad at him. Eventually I learned that mature people in loving and evolving relationships say "It hurt my feelings when..." or "I am upset about..." and hammer things out. It's way harder than being passive aggressive or shutting down. But so much healthier.
7. He still gives me butterflies. This one of the positive things about him being gone so much. We are constantly reuniting. Always having a "first kiss". It is the absolute best. Honestly.
8. One of our favorite things to do together is to get take-out, order a movie (or House of Cards/etc) and snuggle on the couch. Just being together is the best thing of all.
9. His smile was the first thing I fell in love with and it still does it for me every single time.
10. For all the ups and downs, all the fear and times apart, all the working on communicating...all the frustrations and worries- he is IT for me. My world. I'd do it all over again and again and again if it would mean being able to be with him.