Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best Decision I Ever Made

I just want to preface this by saying that I'm writing this on July 26th, way before our anniversary. But in light of the events that are coming up with Mac's case, I wanted to write this now when I'm thinking about my loving husband and not "now-when-you-read-this" when I may be thinking of other things (hopefully happy family things).

Marshall and I have been married seven years today. Is that it? Only seven? It sure feels longer. It's felt "longer" then entire marriage. And I don't mean that in a "Oh, God, it's been excruciatingly long and forever" kind of way.

We may have only been married 7 years, but next month we'll celebrate 12 years together. 12 years and we're not even 30 yet. How is that possible? 12 years together and we've known each other... (wait, I need to count) 16 years. That's a heckuva long time.

So we got married 7 years ago today. And I can tell you, 7 years later, that it was the best decision I ever made in my entire life. Best. Decision. Ever. Well, maybe agreeing to date him was the best decision ever, because I wouldn't have married him if he hadn't asked me out 5 years prior. But whatever. He is the best decision ever.

What's that? You want to hear our story? Oh, no, I couldn't. Well, okay, but only the abridged version, I have things to do!

Marshall and I met when we were 13 as freshmen in high school. We both played trombone in the band. His best friend Gary had a mad stalkish crush on me so we all hung out a lot. Marshall was geeky in my world and I, of course, was the best thing since sliced bread so I didn't pay the quiet kid too much attention.
Somehow in the 10th grade Marshall asked me out and I accepted. I liked his band jacket (even though I had a matching one) and stole it often so it was a smooth move as a 14 year old. Then I found out I was his first girlfriend ever and freaked out. That was the end of that and I admit that I was terrible to him (hence why my mother-in-law distrusted me for a long time).
But Marshall and I still hung out and I liked him a lot "as a friend." By the time we graduated, Marshall, Gary and I (along with a few other friends) were all slated to go to Clemson in the fall. Life was good.
Once at Clemson, Marshall showed up at band practice with a goatee, a mustache and about six extra inches and my eyes got all starry and I wondered how I never noticed how cute he was (it was all the facial hair, I swear). About a month after school started our freshmen year of college, Marshall shyly asked me to be his girlfriend, which was all too sweet, and I agreed. I became fast friends with a 'super senior' named Josh who promptly asked me, "Why are you dating him? You already know him. Why don't you date people you don't know?" (He wasn't asking this selfishly, he had a girlfriend whom he married.)
But two weeks after we started dating I knew we would get married.
He said he knew back in the 9th grade.
So we dated through college and got engaged in January 1, 2002 where I laughed at him for 10 minutes before finally saying, "Yes!" (I was excited, I wasn't actually laughing *at* him.)
We (I) planned a wedding, moved the date and scrapped it to start over, and finally got married on August 16, 2003 in Clemson, SC. We each had 6 attendants - all of whom I'm still on talking terms with - and started life together. Because as any sane person knows - The wedding is merely a day, it's the marriage that lasts a lifetime.

So that's the very, very short version of our story.

And to Marshall I say this:
I'm not the perfect wife or mom, and hopefully I don't pretend to be (though you should tell me I am anyway). I make mistakes, but hopefully in our lives together I also make rights. Or is that non-mistakes? Good decisions? Yes...hopefully I make some good decisions. And I promise I'll try harder at not trying to be funny all the time. Try is the key word.
And I know I stress out way too much, but you know how I used to be - you've mellowed me out so much! But Allison is synonymous with stressed out, so please bear with me. Maybe when I turn 50 I will have learned how to handle stress. Maybe not. I'll try not to stress about it too much.
But I love you. I, Stressarella, love you, Laid Back Boy. With all my heart. I am so thankful God brought us together when I least expected it. I do think He sent you to save me and save me you did.
You put up with all my quirky ideas and plans. You have accepted my strange eating habits (see? there was a reason I don't eat cheese!), you have encouraged my lofty career plans (remember you were going to be the stay at home parent while I was Career Girl?), you have allowed me to be me even when I'm challenging you to change who you are and conform to my structured ways. And I'm so glad you resist, because two of me is one too Sarah Bradley is on that road already.
And speaking of the kids...I am amazed by your ability to love them and discipline them in love daily. You handle the Princess and her OCD ways better than you handle mine. And the fact that you were willing 10 years ago to open your heart to adoption means more to me than anything else you could have ever done. And look and the blessing we received from that. Having Mac and Sarah Bradley as a part of our family only makes me love and appreciate you more, even if I don't show it.
I am in awe daily that you love me as you do. I don't know what else to say but, "Thank you."

I'm going to stop there because I'm crying now and you're going to come out of the kitchen from doing dishes (thank you!) any second and wonder what on earth I'm doing that's making me cry.

Happy Anniversary, Marshall. I look forward to 77 more. XOXO

It's official!
The wedding party...
Still one of my favorite wedding pictures...

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