12 Years

Twelve years ago today, I was sweating away all my weight under the scorching hot sun for photos, but I also ended up saying the two most important words in my life. 'I do.' I wrote a quick post about it on Facebook.

"Twelve years ago I said 'I do.' I knew those words meant commitment and love, but I didn't really grasp the adventure that this marriage would bring. Marriage has meant sweeping adventures across the country, it has meant many furry kids and of course, two very wonderful and energetic human kids. So much I love and consider my life is because I said 'I do,' I've said and written a lot of words since then, but none have been as important or life-changing. Every day I try to be a husband that deserves your love and commitment, and some days end up better that others, but I'm thankful that every experience has brought me here. Because I really love where here is. Happy anniversary my love, and here to many more decades together."

I really wasn't ready for what marriage would be. I didn't realize how much work was involved in loving someone. I didn't realize how much a proper marriage demands that I grow. I didn't realize how much it was about discovering who I was, so that I could be better for someone else. But I also didn't realize how in 12 years, I would only have a vague memory of what my life was like before marriage. Now everything that I love and that defines me has been due to saying those two words. '1 do.'

I am far from the perfect husband. But my love for Emily and my pure joy over the amazing life that we've built together has made me strive to be better. That is something that I don't think I truly understood about those words 'I do.' It was a promise to be better. A better person because I'd become a dad, I'd become a partner, I'd become a problem solver, and I'd become a husband. I didn't know what all that meant 12 years ago, and I've learned enough since then to realize that I still have a lot more to learn. But I commit to being better.

My marriage has had its ups and downs. I've made a lot of mistakes. But what I've learned is that saying 'I do' and committing to be better is also a realization that you must live in the moment. In this moment, I have two energetic kids, two even more energetic dogs, a cuddly cat, an army of memories that unleash joy and a wife that I love so much. Life is good, because my life is with Emily and the family we've created together.

Here to 12 great years. Here to many more decade where 'I do' commit to being better. I love you very much, Emily.