Tomorrow will mark 5 years since the day a blissfully giddy 19 year old married the man of her dreams.
So much has changed!
In talking with different people this week, my heart just hurts for some of the comments I've gotten.
"The rose colored glasses are definitely off!"
"Honeymoon's over, huh?"
"Bet you wish you could go back and be young and carefree again."
And even, "You don't love his as much as you did then."
Truthfully, once in a while, I think back to the days when my brain was consumed with thoughts of Noah. The night I decided to drive 2 hours to see him at 11 o'clock at night, turned around after only 30 minutes with him only to drive the 2 hours back to school. That passion was so hot, so consuming. Some days I look around and wonder where all that went.
We don't have long romantic dinners a lot. We don't talk for hours at night or kiss until the last possible second. There have definitely been changes in our lives since our wedding day.
Instead of , I've grown to love...
the pride on his face as he introduced me as his wife during our honeymoon.
his decision to buy a digital SLR camera with our wedding money, because he knew I had a passion for photography.
seeing how he handled loosing his job within the first 3 months of our marriage. The strength it took to do what was right and seeing his vulnerable side as he wondered how to provide for me.
watching him work at a coffee shop for $6 an hour because there was nothing near my school other than that. It was such a downgrade from his high powered, travel to New York every month job. But he never complained and he put his all into every cup of coffee.
watching him drive 4 hours round trip every day to begin a new career in another state. Even though it was months before we ever made a dime.
the way he let me be free in college to still be included in campus life. He never once made me feel guilty for wanting to still have my college experience. He never once asked me to work on in addition to my school.
how wise he was to by that old, falling down house 2 weeks before our wedding so we could live off the equity while he built up his real estate business.
watching him adjust from having everything and being able to buy or do what he wanted, to eating potato soup in our tiny apartment and wondering how we were going to make our $300 per month rent.
the way he watched me as I spun more and more out of control with my bi polar disorder. Never leaving ONCE, no matter how bad things got.
how he supported me as I majored in violin. He constantly listened to me practice and cheered me on when I wanted to quit.
how he has dealt with several family issues that were draining. He worked with me tirelessly to deal with things instead of sweeping them under the rug.
how he encouraged me as I decided in college to become a photographer...with a music degree.
watching the pride in his eyes as I took my final bow after my 1 hour senior recital.
the fact that he made marriage counseling a priority in our lives. We would pay for that before anything else. To see his dedication to WORKING on our marriage instead of hoping for our marriage was so inspiring. We have spent all five years of our marriage in some sort of counseling. I know it's not for everyone but it has saved our marriage. Noah loves marriage counseling so much that if I want to make him happy, I'll schedule a counseling session.
walking at my college graduation and accepting my degree with a new name than I came in with. I was so proud to be Mrs Helen Joy George that day.
watching him as we moved 7 moves in 2 years. That alone will show you a person's character. By then end of each move I would be on the ground crying because I was so overwhelmed. I would have quit, but Noah would gently pick me up and tell me I had to keep going.
watching him pick up the signals in my four younger sisters. When they need a positive male influence or a "daddy talk" or even just a movie out. He is constantly watching them and is there every time.
watching the care and honesty he gives to his clients. The Christmas we had a $20 budget for our entire family (that's about $1 per present), he had me buy a $10 fuzzy blanket for a lady he worked with who had no family.
watching him deal with his dying grandfather. Instead breaking down, Noah was strong and held his hand and whispered the gospel in his ear.
watching him clean up my throw up time after time, even though he's a neat freak. Because I was pregnant and too sick to do anything.
watching his eyes glimmer as he felt the first kick of his son.
watching the rawness of emotions as he mourned the death of his closest friend. And finding out how much Noah had been there for that friend.
watching how Noah loves the unlovable and the hard to love. He talks with my brain injured father who constantly repeats himself and gets frustrated easily, for hours. He makes him feel like he isn't brain injured and makes him feel so valued and loved.
the day he came home, heavy under the weight of pressure, and informed me that he had let his clients out of a contract with him because of medical problems the husband was having. We needed that money. He had put in hours and hours with them. But he was sick and they were stressed and instead of feeling sorry for himself and his loss of income, he asked me to get on my knees with him to pray for them because he felt so sad for the sadness they were feeling.
how adventurous he is. Korea at 7 months pregnant, Italy with an 8 month old...
feeling the contractions of labor wrapped in his arms. Praying and breathing together as we awaited the miracle of birth.
watching him hold Barclay for the first time. I've never seen such pride! He transformed before my eyes that day.
how he got up with me several times a night to help me change Barclay or get me water while I was nursing.
when he would take over for me in the early mornings when I thought I was going to die if I didn't sleep. Sometimes I would peek out from my room and watch Noah in those early morning hours. I was watching the process of falling in love.
when he tells me a good mom when I feel like a failure, when I need to hear it most.
seeing the childlike wonder in his eyes as he watches Barclay grow and discover. Noah gets more excited than anyone I know at every new thing Barclay does. When I told Noah I was pregnant, I was scared. He wasn't excited, he was scared and he never talked about it. Even nearing delivery I wondered if he was going to be that dad that wasn't involved and I would be the one raising our son. To see him now, and to see the love and dedication and delight he takes in Barclay. It truly takes my breath away.
how in this horrible economy, instead of sitting around griping about how bad things are, he puts his nose to the grindstone and is faithful. He works harder than anyone I know, even though we don't always reap the benefits.
watching him learn lessons about money this past year. When everything is up in the air and when you get paid next is never guaranteed and seldom pans out...lessons are learned. When we got married I realized how much he valued things, he always wanted the latest and the best. This past month, he looked at me and said, "I have learned that I don't care about things anymore. I don't need anything but my family." And I know that he meant it.
That was the day I watched him grow into the man my heart longed for.
telling him I was pregnant again and knowing he was excited.
having him there when the midwives told us we would loose our babies. The way he cradled me like a baby and just didn't say anything.
having him there for morning after morning as I sobbed into his chest.
having him answer calls in the middle of work to comfort me because the pain is still there.
the fact that he has never made me feel like I need to get over it, even though I'm sure it's draining to hear me cry day after day.
the times when I feel alone and am pining for those days of old when we could run off and do whatever we wanted. When I'm washing dishes and am lost in the vast amount of the daily...when he touches the small of my back and kisses my cheek.
when we look up from our chaotic lives, lock eyes and mouth, "I'm so happy."
the pride in his eyes when he introduces me as his wife.
No, our love isn't the same. It is deeper. It is richer. It is love with a history. And truthfully, I still do get butterflies.