Today marks 14 years for Chuck and I. These have been 14 years of happiness, struggle, growth, and change. I wouldn't have changed a moment of it. Growing up, I had some pretty fantastic role models of what a good marriage should look like. I often wondered if I would be able to find a husband that could live up to the high standard that my dad set. I knew how I wanted my life to look and I knew how I wanted to be treated and I knew what kind of father I wanted for my children. What I didn't know was how to find that guy. I won't lie...it was pretty rough in those high school and college days. I did very little dating and when I did date, those guys did not live up to the expectations. Of course, when you are growing up, you feel like it is never going to happen for you...and for sure I felt that way. Then, one day, a friend of my mom wanted to fix me up on a blind date. I agreed. I can definitely say that meeting Chuck wasn't love at first sight for either of us...in fact, I don't know how we ever made it to a second date! Now, if you know Chuck at all, you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you that he didn't say more than a handful of words on our first several dates...it was pure torture, but I loved spending time with his family and I had a very short conversation with my dad that made all the difference. I can clearly remember my dad saying to me, "I think you should give this one a chance...I think he is a good guy and he might be 'the one.'" Well, I didn't think he was right, but I respected my dad's opinion and so, I went out with Chuck again when he asked. All I can tell you is that looking back now, I am sure glad that I did!
I am lucky enough to say that my husband is a good man. He treats me with so much love, compassion and respect (even when I don't deserve it). He is an awesome father to our children and he puts our family above himself at all times. Chuck is without a doubt my very best friend. There isn't anything about me that he doesn't know...and we can tell each other everything. He knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about me...and loves me anyway. I feel so blessed to have him in my life and we have done so much growing together. Time has only strengthened and enriched our love together. As we grow and mature, so does our relationship. I feel like we are so much more purposeful about how we are growing our family. We now know that no amount of money can buy happiness, a bigger car won't make life any richer, and a huge home won't ensure smooth sailing. We have also learned that family is most important, and that we are lucky enough to be blessed with amazing parents who are always there for us. We know now that good friends are there for you in thick and thin, they laugh with you, cry with you, love you when you aren't at your best, and spend time with you even when your house is messy. We now know that we want to live a life of faith and we want our children to have that faith. We now pray for their future spouses and we have a dream of the life that God has in store for them.
Chuck, you ARE my life...you make every day happier and I feel safe and secure in your presence. Thank you for 14 wonderul years! I can't wait to continue our journey together and see what else life has in store for us. Love you!