The conversation I had with my sister is still very clear in my head despite the fact that it occurred 10 years ago. I remember telling her something about the guy I was dating and how I thought that we may not be compatible at all. My exact words to her at that time was, “He’s so down to earth, almost a “granola” while I was too superficial and materialistic to a fault.” She told me not to make harsh judgment, give it a chance and pray for guidance, and so I did… Thank God! We are now together for 10 years but just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary!

 

I am sharing this because one of the things that I struggled with when I first started dating him were those differences (I often complained about) as we used to have very different perspectives in life. I tend to dwell on the negatives while he always sees the positives. He likes to fix things while I used to just pay someone to do the same. He loves the small, precious moments while I get more excited with the grandeur of things. He’s very simple, I was not. He was thrifty and frugal and I was very spendy. He is quiet while I like expressing my thoughts and feelings in words (with tears oftentimes :D) and so on. Those unlikeness eventually paved the path for me to become a better person in more ways than one. Well, what can I say, I learned all his positive ways… 😉 😉

 

However, there are still countless times that I am impatient, unappreciative, critical and downright dismissive and even though I don’t apologize to him that often, I am always sorry for the misgivings and hurt I caused. Challenges of my illness, miscarriages and infertility were thrown at us, too, but if there’s one thing that I am proud of, is that we both refuse to crumble. In weakness, we somehow became stronger and happier and I owe that to him for the most part.

 

We “honeymoon” every single year we are together

(2006 – Wind River Range Wyoming, 2007 – BWCA, 2008 – Kauai, Hawaii, 2008 – Mount Zirkel Wilderness and Longs Peak, 2009 – Bandlands South Dakota, 2010 – Coron Palawan, 2011 – Back to BWCA)

 

And then, the little one was born… so we took him with us everywhere

(2012 – the little one came out, 2013 – Costa Rica, 2013 – Manila Philippines, 2014 – St Lucia, 2014 – Maui/Oahu/Big Island Hawaii, 2015 – Albay, Philippines, 2016 – Cancun Mexico, 2016 – Recent paddle to Savanna Portage State Park MN)

 

But what am I most thankful for? To answer this question lightly, it’s the fact that he’s not a LAZY husband in a way that he doesn’t give me material things, say a $2,000 purse, think that that will make me happy and then call it a day. What he did (and still does) is take me to places near or far that made me appreciate not only the beauty of nature, but also the joy in being together with struggles, hardships, challenges that came along with these beautiful and happy journey. Yes, we argued, fought, cried, get mad, sad, jealous at each other but at the end of the day, we have made and shared memories and learned lessons that we can impart to our one and only precious child. There is NO greater treasure on this earth but love!

 

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary, my soulmate! Thank you so much for all that you do for me and our little one. I love you!

 

With so much love,
Joyce


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