Today my husband and I celebrated 14 years of marriage.
By eating Tres Leches cake and watching our wedding video with our 4 children!
It was perfect!
We went out to a nice dinner nearly 2 weeks ago for an early celebration when our church had Parents' Night Out, meaning easy, cheap babysitting! (With 4 kids flexibility about not needing to celebrate actually right on important dates is key!) When we were seated at a window table for two at that restaurant, our waiter excitedly motioned to the young couple sitting at a table just outside our window on the patio. "I hear that is a wedding engagement about to happen over there. Word is he's about to pop the question, so you guys may have the best seat in the house!"
And we did! Just after our meal as our dessert was served we got to see the whole thing, complete with the man leaving briefly and returning with his dog (dogs are apparently allowed on the patio of this restaurant) who was carrying a package tied with a bow around it's neck. The package turned out to be the engagement ring! I know! The guy definitely gets extra points for creativity and for having a really cute dog! She said "yes" and then his parents and her mom suddenly popped up and were taking pictures and hugging the newly engaged couple!
It was like a movie! Sweet and beautiful, even. But, I couldn't help thinking, the really beautiful stuff of marriage comes when the movie is over, reality has more than set in, and it is still good.
We ordered a new dining room table this past weekend after years of eating on a too small, totally beat-up by kids table for too long, so as I hit the confirmation button on the computer purchase screen, I looked up at my husband and said, "Hey, I know! This can be our anniversary present TO EACH OTHER!" My husband said, "Awesome!" Which is why we are a perfect match! I'm so glad neither of us has the love language of gifts!
Then tonight, at our actual anniversary dinner on our still-beat-up-until-the-new-one-comes-in dining room table with our 4 loud children, some of them still in their swimsuits from swim team practice, my husband asked each child what they were thankful for and the littlest one, the 4 year old we brought home to join our family from Ethiopia 17 months ago, she said she was thankful for her family.
And it was obvious to both my husband and I, that what we have is the good stuff!
This marriage, this family, all that God has blessed us with. . .
Even later after we'd answered a million questions from the children about engagement rings and bridesmaids and bouquet tosses and just when you know it's the right time to ask someone to marry you and they were all in bed and my husband was elbow-deep in dishes and I was scrubbing stains out of laundry, he joked that this was "quite the party".
And it is!
Find more Thankful Thursday here.