Tomorrow marks nine years of married life for Anthony and I. I wish I could say that this road has been filled with nothing but rainbows, sugarplum fairies and daisies.

It has not.

 I wish I could say that I’ve just loved every second of our life together and that I’ve never looked back and wondered, did we totally screw up? I wish I could say that we’ve both kept every word of the vows we made to each other on this day nine years ago. As we stood there so in love we couldn’t see straight, yet so young and naive, we had absolutely no idea how hard those words would be to keep when the fireworks and butterflies had faded away and the reality of “for better or for worst, in sickness and in health, until death do us part, as long as we both shall live” had set in.

Looking back on those vows, I chuckle a bit admitting inside that I believe we both can look at those words now thinking, “I said that? For real? I MUST have been on crack!

Nevertheless, on that day nine years ago, (not on crack) we promised each other that we would stay, no matter what. That we would honor and cherish each other, no matter what. That we would love, no matter what.

If there is anything that we have learned over the past nine years of life together is that wonderful marriages don’t just happen. People with amazing marriages didn’t just end up that way because they got lucky. We’ve learned that loving another person and actually being in love with them are not even close to the same thing. That you don’t wake up everyday feeling like you like, much less love the person lying beside you in the bed. That if forced to choose between loving your spouse and saving the world, loving your spouse should win hands down, everytime.

Marriage is hard work. Loving someone can be painful. But love asks that we live unselfishly. That we learn when to keep our mouths shut and our arms open. That we say I’m sorry….a lot. That we extend mercy and forgiveness when it isn’t deserved. That we stay when it would be easier to walk away.

I don’t want us to become just another stastic that fits into the mold of our modern day culture. Marriage will always be a covenent made before God, that I know can be wonderfully and beautifully lived out by two people who have learned to love through the fire, hang on through the storms, and let the winters and springs of life knit their hearts together into a love so complex and rich that it surpasses the ordinary, everyday, ho-hum kind of marriage.

I want that. In fact, I can’t live without it.

Here’s to 9+9+9+9 more amazing years with you Anthony Rowell  ❤