This month, my husband and I celebrate FIVE whole years of marriage. We were married on December 28, 2012 (click here for more pictures and here for our wedding video) surrounded by 600+ of our nearest and dearest in our home town. We were married in the church where received all of our sacraments and danced under the oaks trees that watched us grow up.
They say that the second year of marriage is the best. It may have been. I hardly remember. But after half of a decade sharing my whole life with my husband, I do know a few things to be true.
We are not newlyweds anymore. Here is what we’ve learned.
I am reading this book right now. In it, the author, Shauna Niequist, describes marriage as a spider web. She says that she thought she was a family the day she and her husband said “I Do!” But, she only later learned that “I Do!” is just the beginning. “I Do!” is just the first very fine and delicate spin of the spider’s web. It is the events that occur in your life as a couple that really, really spin the web. Some days you do a whole lot more spinning than others.
I hate spiders, but just bare with me.
I cannot for the life of me remember what I pictured we would look like as a married couple. My two brothers are 13 and 15 years older than I am, so I had watched them fall in love with the most wonderful women on the planet, get engaged to them, marry them, and have children with them. We are close, but I did not and do not know the intricate workings of their marriages and homes. I just knew I wanted what they had.
When Quinton and I first married, I was still in law school and had the ominous Bar Exam ahead of me. He had just passed the CPA exam (all four parts on the first try! #proudwife); we were literally just starting out. We lived in a rental in Baton Rouge, and Quinton commuted from Lafayette for work for the first year of our marriage. Wow. That. Is. LOVE.
Once I took the Bar Exam though, life settled and we got the first glimpse of ourselves as a married couple. We built and bought a house, I passed the Bar Exam, we threw parties, went out to dinner, BBQed, and did projects around our house. We sent our first Christmas card and made the mutual decision to try to have a baby.
I can only speak for myself, not for Quinton, when I say that this is really when we started to spin our web.
We could not get pregnant. And it was because I had some medical issues standing in the way. Month after month, test after test, and with each friend announcing pregnancy, we spun our web.
And it is a really good thing we spent two years spinning that web. Having Max, I had three surgeries, thirteen blood transfusions, two plasma infusions, a PICC line, and a four month stint as an out patient with Lafayette General and Home Health. And we just kept spinning our web.
In Max’s first year, we spun our web with first sicknesses, going back to work, finances, and job transitions. But, at the very beginning of Max’s second year and our fifth year of marriage, we began to spin our thickest strands of web yet. We were surprised by a second pregnancy, a miracle baby. You can read more about Theo here and here.
I did not anticipate infertility when we got married. I anticipated financial trouble, broken dishwashers, and maybe even loss to some degree. But I REALLY never anticipated losing a child, burying a child, and getting to know our new selves after loss.
But here is the thing. Our marriage is stronger than I could have ever anticipated our marriage would be. I knew we were the real deal five years ago when we said, “I Do!”
I just did not know we could ever be this strong.
We have spent this year spinning some of the thickest strands of web possible. We have spun and spun, sometimes not even realizing that we were spinning forward and thinking that we were spinning backwards. The good times in our lives have spun some pretty great stands of web, but it is the tough stuff where we really do most of our spinning. It is in the tough days that we become less Rebecca and Quinton and more one unit.
QuiBec, if you will.
If you have stuck around with us through not only the good times, but the bad times, especially the bad times this year, you know this already.
I am not naive. I am the product of divorced parents. I know that sometimes, and more often than I would like to admit, the tough stuff can be like a heavy rain on that delicately spun web. The tough stuff can tear the whole darn thing down. But I am just here to tell you that it does not have to.
I had no idea what my married life was going to look like and I could never have anticipated some of the things we have gone through. But I can tell you that I am so grateful for the hard things in our lives because they have given us the ability to spin some industrial grade web.
So hang on tight y’all. Keep on spinning. It does not have to be pretty. It just has to be strong.
Quinton, cheers to five years. If there were a million men lined up in a row, if there were a million families lined up in a row, I would always pick you … I would always pick us. You are more than I ever could have dreamed you would be. Thank you for spinning web with me. I love you more than life itself.
How about another 100 years?
Wedding Photos done by Studio Tran
Anniversary Photo Session done by Em Photography and Design