Recently while searching through old electronics for Hailey to play with, we came across that old digital camera of yours. It’s display screen is so tiny! Somehow it still had enough power to turn on. Thank goodness because it sure gave us a few laughs! The pictures must have been from 7 years ago or so, when you lived in Charlotte and me, in Atlanta. The pictures were us goofing around in your apartment, most likely before a night out on the town. We looked so silly, so young.
Part of me looks at those pictures, that girl. Who is she? 23 years old and always up for a night out of dancing, chatting it up and getting a little crazy. Highlighted hair that was always straightened, not left to go natural because of lack of time. She’s in pretty great shape with plenty of time to exercise, no stretched out belly button. She is full of energy and up for anything.
7 years, a marriage, a move and almost 2 kids later, she has transformed into… me. Yup, that girl has changed. She’s a wife and mom now. Her hair is often pulled back in a ponytail, little wrinkles are beginning to form around her eyes, she gets giddy over farmers markets and at the moment she waddles around with a big ‘ol belly, usually sans makeup, and exhausted from the day.
The way you look at her has changed, too.
You used to look at that young girl with a footloose and fancy free smile of adolescent love. …but now? Now your smile holds a deeper meaning. Have I told you lately how much I love your smile?
Now when you smile at me, I can feel the 10 years of love and friendship, 5 years of marriage and almost two kids behind it all. We know each other more today than we could have imagined back then. We are not just husband and wife, we are best friends, life partners and still so excited to take on this journey together, forever, whatever it may bring our way. We make an amazing team and I don’t get to brag on you enough.
When you look at me, I know you don’t see the crazy, untamed hair or the beginnings of crows feet. You see a hardworking wife and mom. You see a woman who smiles and laughs so much that it’s becoming a permanent fixture on her face and you shake your head at the idea of any type of wrinkle injection if I even try to bring it up. You see me, all the good and flaws that I am, and then you tell me how much you love them all about me. The feeling of being completely loved and accepted is indescribable.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say, in my usual rambling fashion, is thank you. Thank you for being such an amazing, dedicated and loving husband and dad.
Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful just the way I am and telling me little lies like you actually prefer me sans makeup.
Thank you for appreciating the things I do and saying so out loud, especially on the days I feel so behind on it all.
Thank you for all the adventures we’ve had and those still yet to come.
Thank you for putting our marriage first.
Happy five wonderful years of marriage! Hopefully soon we can have a proper toast, holding both our girls in our arms. I love you so much!