#1. He and the kids are my family now! - Only 2 years after we got married, we had already bought our first house and lost our jobs and on the brink of foreclosing on our house. So, Mike joined the USAF and we moved to Colorado. I had never lived far from my family (parents, sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends) and had a hard time adjusting. But, even 1000 miles from home, he was there for me. And I survived.
#2. You don't have to give someone THINGS to let them know you love them! - A few years ago the Air National Guard sent us to a Marriage Retreat. It was there that I learned our "love languages". His is Words of Affirmation. Mine: gifts! (as if that weren't a surprise). It has only occurred to me recently that he shows his love for me in different ways. He has been doing them all along, but I just ignored them. He vacuums the house ... he knows I hate it. He puts the lid down ... honest ... I have never had to ask him! Mostly - he listens. I never think he does. But he can remember the weirdest stuff that I tell him. and he gives me words of affirmation. Always telling me he loves me. Words really do mean a lot. I just needed to believe them.
#3. Sometimes you can't appreciate what someone does, until you do it yourself. - For the first few years of our marriage, he never understood my desire to stay home with the children. He never understood why I would choose that over earning MONEY! He would hate it when I complained about work and thought I just wanted to stay home and lay around and sleep, watch tv and craft. He wasn't completely wrong, I do love doing all of those things - more than my fair share of them, too. But that isn't what staying home is about! It wasn't until last year when I was pregnant with our third daughter Little K and I decided to go back to work. 5 months pregnant, starting a new job (which would lead to working from home ... so there was smart thinking behind my adventure) and having 2 kids already ... he knew he was going to have to help. During the weeks of training 3:30-11pm he got a real taste of just an evening of having 2 little people completely dependent on you. They were 8 and 4 so not little babies/toddlers .. but there was still dinners to make, picking up from school/bus, homework, baths, bedtime routine, grocery shopping, etc. Just from the little taste of night time craziness was enough for him to fully support my staying at home and really seeing that in order to run a successful home ... as much as we enjoy it ... sitting on the couch all day and eating bon-bons (whatever those are) is just not an option.
#4. Family is not always made up of blood relatives! - From friends I had before I met Mike and his family ... I knew first hand the truth behind this statement. But meeting Mike and his parents ... proved this statement 100 times over. Before Mike and I met I had our daughter Big K. She was 9 months old when I met Mike and he treated her like she was his from the first day. When I went to meet his family for the first time, they welcomed myself and her with the widest open arms you can imagine. They love her from the bottom of their hearts and wouldn't consider her any less a grandchild than one born from their very own children. It is because of this that I sometimes forget that he wasn't there when she was born ... but he and his family have far more than made up for the time missed!
#5. Video games ARE
#6. Guys need affection, too. I always thought that guys hold hands and snuggle and put their arm around you to make you feel good. And they are right. It does. It makes you feel secure in your relationship. It makes you feel protected and comforted. But, I never thought I needed to be the one to do those things back. I am not one to show affection unless it is shown to me first. Why wouldn't he want a random back rub for no reason? Why shouldn't I just give him a hug for no reason? Who wouldn't want to feel that affection.
#7. Sometimes Boys, just need to be Boys! - My poor husband. Stuck in a house of pink. A wife who loves any sort of craft, 3 daughters and a neutered dog. The guy has no chance. The girls love princess stuff, dress-up, barbies, babies, pink legos, nail polish, make-up, hair things. If it's girly, they love it. So, sometimes we just have to let him be a man. Give him the OK to go to a ballgame without us. Give him the OK to go for a
#8. For Better or For Worse really can mean For Better or For Worse! - We have all heard these words spoken at a marriage ceremony. And, if we have said them, we probably meant them. But, do you ever really sit and think of what for better or for worse can really turn out to be? Mike didn't have to just sit and think about it he has seen me through it. The good and the bad. He has been there for 2 of 3 c-sections, the death of my best friend, the death of my grandfather, how I felt when a Dr. was preparing us for the idea we miscarried, and when I lost my marbles after the birth of our daughter J. Nothing is worse than losing a loved one or how you feel after surgery. Mike has held me up when I can't stand, held me when I cried and talked me through stress and anxiety. He has laughed with me until we have tears rolling down our faces and fought through arguments with me that lasted til 4 in the morning (when he has to leave for work).
It is all of these reasons listed above that he really is my best friend. He is my partner in every sense of the word. I saw this on Pinterest and just love it! So true.
Anyway, hope you all enjoyed these lessons I have learned. Who knows WHAT he will teach me over the next 8 years! Here's to finding out :)