Interrupting Titus Week for a Very Special Occasion :)
In 2001, we met on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. We spent morning, noon, and night together, becoming friends, watching the sun rise and set, and falling in love. You swept me off my feet.
In 2002, you asked my dad if you could marry me...he said no. You asked again, and he said no. Finally, he said yes, and you asked me to marry you. You were patient, submissive, and honorable.
In 2003, we got married. We moved in to our first apartment together and made countless memories. We went to the dollar movies for 50 cent Tuesdays, because that's how cheap we were :) We ate frozen meals (chicken pot pies, hot pockets, and Steak 'Ums, to name a few!) We laid in bed at night and watched "Friends" and "Everybody Loves Raymond." You weathered my gallbladder storm faithfully, lovingly, and with compassion.
In 2004, we decided I would stop taking birth control. One month later, we conceived our first child. You surprised me with balloons, a card, and flowers to celebrate.
In 2005, we began our parenting journey. We moved in to a two-bedroom apartment, you decorated Justus' room with everything sports, and you were so ready to become a dad. When Justus was born, you were confident, proud, and such a sweet, supportive husband.
In 2006, we found out I was pregnant again. This time, I miscarried, and you were right there holding my hand and drying my tears. Two months later, I was pregnant again, and you walked with me through the joys, the fears, and the uncertainties.
In 2007, our second son, Titus, was born. We bought our first house, and you started Chiropractic school. You never neglected our family, and you remained a fun, joyful, present daddy.
In 2008, we found out we were having our third boy. Eli was born, and we quickly realized we were in over our heads. Through the busyness of school, the trials of parenting, and the craziness of life, you were our rock. You helped around the house, played with the boys, and amazed me with your continued love and affection for me (even on those days when I never even got dressed.)
In 2009, my ever-present gallbladder issues finally came to a head. We found out I had been living with gallstones for the past 6 years. Through the countless instances of pain and complaining and complications, you kept your head up for me. You advocated for my health, stood up for me in Emergency rooms and doctors' offices, and insisted something more be done. Finally, it was all truly over, and you were still there, as loving and faithful as you were from day one.
In 2010, you graduated from Parker...valedictorian. Even in your graduation speech, you managed to pick me out of the crowd, make me feel loved and special, and amazed me with your confidence, wit, and brains. I was so proud of you...and so proud to be your wife. You began your chiropractic career, our fourth son was born, and we moved to a much-needed bigger house :)
And now, here we are, in 2011. Married for eight years, four kids later, and our marriage is only getting stronger. You tell me countless times throughout the week how beautiful I am. You sing in the morning as you get the boys up, feed them breakfast, and get yourself ready for yet another day at work. You amaze me. You inspire me. You fill me with love and joy. I never imagined marriage would be this wonderful. Truly? I don't think most marriages are this wonderful. God is gracious, and for some strange reason, He has blessed us with each other. I don't deserve you. I don't deserve this beautiful family full of boys. I am so thankful for you, Derek. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY...and here's to many, many more years of memories and love.
*The boys are still obsessed with coloring, and they love to print pictures from the computer to color. Derek printed this one off for me for our anniversary :) Isn't he so sweet??!!!!