We won't be doing anything too major tonight, just a nice dinner with the Kriegers. We cancelled our vacation that was set for next weekend due to dog issues, but we plan on trying to get out of town another time. I've been home sick (AGAIN!!! So frustrating!) since Thursday, so I plan on relaxing as much as possible before dinner tonight.
I look back on our twenties and think about all the things we've been through together as a couple and a family. Andrew is my rock and the person that balances me. I love him so much, and I hope that one day we'll be celebrating our sixtieth birthdays together (which that comment this morning had him roll his eyes and say, "Wow, that's a really long time to be with you!" Have I mentioned that he's a bit of a smartass?).
I'm about to take a little walk down memory lane. Join me, why don't you, as I look back on our twenties....
20--I spent the summer in France studying. When I returned, Andrew proposed! We were engaged! Less than two weeks later, in a journey to find what was best in his life, he left for the Army. Yes, he joined the Army. I knew that I would follow him wherever the Army took him, but I had to admit I was nervous. Six weeks later, with the help of an old foot injury, Andrew came back to me and out of the Army.
21--With our wedding in June, we were busy with all the plans. I was still in college in Lubbock and Andrew was living in Dallas. In February, wedding plans came to a halt when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was hard to be so far away from my family through the whole thing, but Andrew got me through. I graduated in May, and my father walked me down the aisle in June. June 5, 1999--what a happy day! We didn't take much of a honeymoon--just three days in San Antonio. We didn't have the money, and my dad was too sick for us to be out of the state. Andrew and I were living in a small apartment in McKinney. I went back to grad school, he was working, and we spent most nights with my parents during my dad's illness.
22--While I was student teaching and making no money, Andrew was working two jobs to support us. He never complained, just did what he had to do. At the end of March, I got hired at Rice Middle School to begin in the fall! Three days later, my dad died. Andrew was my rock through it all.
23--It was now my turn to support us. Andrew went back to get his Microsoft Certification to pursue a career in IT. He was so much happier in this career, and I was incredibly proud of him. It's been the right career for him, going on 7 years of IT work now. I won Beginning Teacher of the Year in May for the entire city of Plano! A few days later, our first baby came into our lives. Sweet Brandy was a ball of fur at five weeks old when we took her home from the breeder. That summer and the rest of the year, I think we were consumed by life with the three of us.
24--We took our first vacation! From a package deal with the travel company we were going to France with students, we earned a free trip to Rome. It was awesome. Just the two of us for four days in Rome! With a growing golden retriever in a one bedroom apartment, we started thinking that a house was the next step for us. We found the perfect neighborhood and home for us to build. In order to make a little extra to save, I worked a second job at Outback Steakhouse. We moved into our home in August of that year, and I quit waitressing as soon as I could!
25--The best thing about this year was my pregnancy with Allie!! I found out on Mother's Day that I was pregnant with our first child. Andrew and I could not have been happier. Life was perfect. Allie was born one month before we turned 26.
26--Well, I think we all know that story. Allie was diagnosed with cancer in May and died in June. 26 was a bad year for us. We were young and naive and dealing with one of the toughest situations a couple could go through. We easily could have fallen apartment. You can't go through an experience like that and not have it change you.
27--I was working with Larissa on establishing Heroes for Children. Andrew was settled in his job. I have to say that I have the most supportive husband out there. He's by my side through it all, and I'm by his. This year proved it. In March, I found out I was pregnant with our second child. To say it was an easy pregnancy would be a flat out lie. It was rough on so many levels. And Andrew helped me through it all. We welcomed our second baby girl in October 2005, just one month after the one year anniversary of Allie's death.
28--This was our year of Maggie! She was, well still is, our life and our focus. We worked hard and found happiness together as a family. My kind of year.
29--With other years being jammed packed with major life changes, I was happy to be nice and settled this past year. It was a good year.
To my husband--Happy Birthday, Andrew. I look forward to the next decade with you.