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16 Years? We Have Arrived! (Not really!)

10346373_10154428523370187_2136238812045424257_nWell, well, well. Congratulations to Mr. Dixon and me. We are “celebrating” 16 years of marriage today. If by celebrating, I mean working,making and eating dinner, and taking care of life. Apparently that’s how 16 years is done. Don’t worry though. We will mark this occasion with child free wanderings at 16 years and one day. That’s just the way it’s done around here. 

If you’ve read about our marriage, or heard about our marriage here, there, or elsewhere, you may be fooled into believing that we have a perfect marriage. This is so far from the truth that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. A wonderful marriage, yes, perfect, ha! Ha! And another HA for good measure. 

No one survives 16 years of marriage without a few roadblocks, pitfalls, and forks in the road. Oh, we have had issues. Ironically, those issues have given us the marriage we have today, right this minute. It’s like I told a friend lately, you don’t show up to the gym and get in shape. You not only have to show up, you have to work out. You have to put effort into what you are doing. Without the resistance of weights, you’ll leave the gym in the same condition in which you arrived at the gym. It’s a lot less work, but you’re already paying for the membership, you may as well put some effort into your workouts and improve yourself. 

So, much like showing up at the gym, having a great marriage is not just getting married. There is some work involved and if you just show up and expect to get the same results as someone showing up and working for it, you are going to be disappointed. In our marriage, our strength has been built by the resistance we have faced. Resistance from him, from me, from us, and from every day issues that come up. I’ll tell you the truth, there are days when I wake up and he just irritates the living daylights out of me. I can choose to react based on my feelings, or I can breathe deep and show grace. Feelings are not facts. When I choose to show grace, I grow stronger and so do we. (just don’t ask how often I am actually able to put that into practice, mmmmmkay?) 

So, yeah, of course we have problems. We have disagreements and arguments. I don’t talk about these, except with a few friends. There is no profit in me blasting him on Facebook or here on my blog. I would end up with the proverbial egg on my face anyway, because somehow I am usually in the wrong. (That’s my gift to you today, Mr. Dixon! Admission of wrong doing. You’re welcome. (he’s not reading this. I know it)) Anyway, it’s just wrong. No one wants to read my negativity and I don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression about him, me, or us as a couple! 

So, today is our anniversary and marriage is wonderful. I really, truly love the guy. I love who he is and I do love him more each and every day. This love and marriage thing is an amazing journey, really. I don’t know what I was thinking the day I married him, but I know I’m beyond grateful today for the past 16 years and the next 25! 

How long have you been married? Can you sum up your marriage in 5 words? I sure can not! 

I show up for marriage and put the effort in…. now I should work on that showing up and working out at the gym thing. 

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TBT- The Past is the Past

It’s Throwback Thursday. I can’t post many pictures, because they were stolen a few years ago. I can throw back a blog post though. Enjoy:

Last night while my husband and son were at boy scouts, my girls and I cuddled up on the couch to watch Sarah’s Choice. (I knew the content before hand and I was okay with my girls, ranging in age from 6 – 18 seeing it)

It was a great opportunity to talk about unplanned pregnancy, choices, decisions, and the rest of your life. I have often told each of my kids “Sometimes you have to give up something to do what is right” and this movie was a great example of that.

In the movie, two friends are astounded that a co-worker would go to college for 4 years, get a great job, receive a promotion and then give it all up when she had a baby. “What a waste!” they said. My girls said “That’s not a waste! It’s a baby and a baby is a great gift”. (smile, mom!)

Then Taylor said “that’s what Auntie Heather did. She gave up her job to stay home with her boys. It’s not a waste”.

I looked at her and said “honey, do you remember that I quit my job to stay home with all of you kids?”. She shook her head no.

The fact that she couldn’t remember made me smile. Before Piper was born, I had a great job. I had both Jack and Taylor while working there, and returned to work each time, broken hearted, but determined not to give up what I had worked for. I was able to make my own schedule, for the most part, was earning $20 an hour, had great benefits. I had started on the production floor and worked my way up to an assistant/ clerk in the finance department.

I thought “this is what my kids will always remember. They will never know a stay at home mom. It’s too late for me to change it. It’s impossible anyway.”

After Piper was born though, I couldn’t return. I could not go back. The thought of it made me physically ill. I didn’t have a clue how we would make it, I only knew that we had to.

So I gave it all up. I have never looked back. I thought for sure that my kids would remember those stressful years.

Last night showed me that it’s never too late and my kids only remember me as the mom who has stayed home with them.

What a gift her lack of memory was for me.

It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to do what is right.

What are you wanting to change? Maybe you feel like it’s too late?