When I was a little girl, I dreamed of the day I would meet my “Prince Charming” and fall in love. I dreamt of the day we would get married and the dress I would wear. I dreamt of the things I would say and the people who would be there. I imagined how good life would be with “him” in it. Every day would be meaningful because I loved and was loved. I dreamt of my “happily ever after”.

I found “him” although, not in a way I had imagined. And he wasn’t quite what I thought he would be. He didn’t sweep me off my feet in the way I planned. He didn’t follow my rules or fit into my mold. In fact, he didn’t act anything like I thought the man of my dreams would.

I didn’t dream of the difficulties, the heartaches, the challenges we would face. I didn’t think that life would hand us so much in such a short amount of time. I couldn’t have imagined my life the way it is now, five short years ago as I was planning that day.

June 3rd, 2006 we stood in front of God, family, and friends and pledged our undying love to one another. We wrote essays on the reasons we wanted to be married, specifically, to one another. We jumped into the biggest ride of our lives and didn’t looked back. The first six months we tried to survive on one income that led us into significant debt. Less than one year after saying “I do”, we were expecting our first child; before our 3rd anniversary, our second; and five months after he arrived, our third. I quit my job to stay home with our children. Our “fun” that once consisted of candlelight, fancy clothes, and expensive dinners has turned into pizza night in pajamas with the kiddos. And I wouldn’t trade a moment.

He still is my “Prince Charming”. He can still make me laugh like no one else. He can still push my buttons and piss me off to the Nth degree. But that’s why I love him.

We had a fight today – the same fight we always have. I’m pretty sure we were having the same fight five years ago, and will probably have it countless more times in the next five years. But, it passes. Things get reconciled and life moves on to more important concerns. In all the chaos that is life, I wouldn’t want to spend it next to anyone else. I love him. He is my rock, even when I wish I could punch him. Sometimes I need to be reminded why I chose him, as I am sure he needs to remember why in the world he would want to spend his life with the insanity that is me.

Before we stood in front of that group of family and friends, before we pledged those things to one another, we both pledged our hearts to another. We decided that God would be the center of all that we are and ever will become. So, as I sit here, almost 5 years later, with so much more on our plate than we ever dreamed possible, I am overwhelmed. Not by the challenges that today held, not by the things I will face tomorrow, but the things He has already brought us through. I am overwhelmed by the love I still feel for my husband, in the midst of the hurt or pain that a fight brings. I am overwhelmed by the blessings that I enjoy daily. I am overwhelmed that I am living my “happily ever after” even though it’s not the one I planned.

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