Many of you have already heard this story, so if you have just skip ahead a few lines or suck it up and hear it again.  But for those of you who haven't...................................The first day of class my freshman year at Mississippi State was on a Monday.  I had moved into my dorm room that Saturday before and went to church in Starkville that weekend.  That Sunday night as I walked into services, I was handed a schedule of events for college students by a tall, handsome, dark haired guy.  He had a sweet smile and was friendly and I thought he was cute immediately.  Over the next few weeks I got to know him a little better, and even though he was a senior (and apparently a very popular one) and I thought that I had no chance, I really thought he was great.  In fact I went home for the weekend after two weeks at school and told my mom, "I've met the boy I'm going to marry.  He just doesn't know it yet."  Fast forward 12 years, two college degrees, four jobs, six towns, five houses, and three kids. 
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this is a pic of a pic. the dots at the bottom are reflection.
    May 18.  Nine years ago today we took the plunge.  And second only to my decision to be a Christian, it was hands down the best move I ever made.  I am quite possibly the luckiest girl alive.  I'm sorry to get all gushy on here today (and I know Aaron is cringing reading all this goo), but it is all true.  We have not always been sunshine and butterflies and fairy dust (think two babies in 16 months, one with colic, night shift, church responsibilities, new house, no money, weight gain, bloating, gas), but here we are better for it.  It's funny how the longer you are together, the more bad you see of each other, and yet the stronger the love is.  I still feel really young, and I feel silly acting like I am wise enough to give marriage advice to anyone.  And now we are getting to the age where we are seeing a lot of friends' marriages crumble.  It's scary out there in the real world.  But I so so want to be "that" couple one day.  You know the one.  The older couple at church who you can truly tell still loves each other.  The couple that 30 year-olds like me want to be.  About a year and a half ago we went to visit an elderly couple from church.  Both in their 90's, they were still at home caring for themselves even though she had Alzheimers.  She was lovely and kind and hospitable just forgetful and easily confused.  As Aaron and the man sat visiting, I sat and talked with the sweet woman often repeating conversations over and over.  Her husband kept stopping his visit to listen to her, and one time she caught him.  She playfully said, "Ed, what do you think you are looking at?".  And he got a genuine, loving, deep, but sadly knowing smile across his face and said, "My wife.  I'm just looking at my wife".  It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  I want to be that one day.
    So in honor of the first nine years of our story together, I've decided to list nine reasons why I love Aaron.  (by the way, talking about him like this makes his hind end cringe.  he's not good with pda.  but it has to be done.  I only get this opportunity once a year)

9.  He will eat anything.  Seriously I can cook rotel chicken, waffles, artichokes, frozen pizza, last night's leftovers, hot dogs, livers, couscous, or pickled okra.  He will eat it.  It totally makes my life easier.

8.  He has a wonderful family.  You know the saying about how when you get married you marry the whole family?  Yeah, that has not been a problem for me.  They are fabulous and treat me like I've been there always. They even understand that I am moody and sometimes hard to deal with.  They are ok with it, they accept it, they love me anyway.

7.  He works really, really hard for us.  If you know Aaron at all then you know he works a lot so that I can stay home with my babies.  I don't tell him enough how much I appreciate that, and in fact I have been known to complain about his hours.  Let me just use this blog to publicly say I am sorry for ever complaining!  He is great about it and even works nonstop at home too.  He keeps our house, yard, and pool up and beautiful too. 

6.  He is a fabulous gift giver.  I have to honestly say that I cannot think of a single holiday in the last 9 years that I have been disappointed.  I, on the other hand, am a terrible gifter.  Poor guy.  But he's got a lot of golf shirts.

5.  He lets/helps me remodel our house constantly.  He comes home from work and I surprise him with a ripped out laundry room - walls, floors, all of it - and he doesn't even complain.  He just changes clothes and stays up all night scraping linoleum. 

4.  He does dishes and folds laundry.  Not every time, but a lot.  And he doesn't even complain.

3.  He is a wonderful, hands on, involved, loving, wise, teaching, fabulous, awesome father.  My kids are so blessed to have a daddy who is so wonderful with them.  I think I am actually a bit niave about how great I have it as the mother of his kids.  He is a huge help to me all the time.

2.  He loves me.  I hate taking showers and wearing make-up.  I am not great at housekeeping.  I am terrible at laundry.  I fuss at him about his driving every time we take a trip.  I had three kids and gained weight.  I don't keep receipts.  I don't do well at following his meticulous budget.  I grow mold in my fridge.  I am totally unathletic.  I cry about everything.  And he loves me anyway.  Every day he gets off work, and he calls me to tell me he's on his way, and then he shows up.  Despite the fact that all the above is true and his kids are sometimes bad and the yard is a foot tall and Destruct-o-girl won't quit crying, he comes home anyway.  And he gives me a kiss.  And he makes my heart beat fast every time he walks in the door.  My mama told me one time, "you can just tell he loves you.  you are very lucky.".  It's true.  I am. 

1.  He is the best example of a Christian husband and father that I have ever known.  He loves God more than anything, and that makes him better at everything.  Most people have goals in life, and he is no different.  It's just that his only goal is to go to Heaven one day and take me and our children with him.  After that everything else just seems to fall into place.

    How I was blessed enough to become the wife of this wonderful man I will never really know, but I am thankful every day.  So on this day, the eighteenth of May, I just want to say - sorry to rub it in ya'lls faces but I've pretty much got the rockinest husband ever!