This picture was taken 8 years and one day ago.
I think that Andy looks like he might be scared out of his mind.... but still smiling - laughing even. That makes me feel good, knowing that he loved me so much, even then, that no matter how scared his 21 year old self was, he was going to "seal the deal".
We practiced that handshake, just for fun, to remind ourselves and everyone watching that we were making a bargain and shaking on it. Plus, my Dad had already vetoed any kissing!
Every year I say it, and every year it is true: I love you, Andrew Ian, more now then I did before. I don't know how, because right at this moment I can't imagine how it would be possible for there to be more. But somehow, through the moments that hurt, and the laughter that knocks me down - through the discipline of our children and the adorable "can I get away with this" looks (which are the exact replica of you) that they give me - through the waiting and worrying and wondering what comes next then being reminded by your gentle faith that we can only take one day at a time - through all of that, somehow every year, every day, every moment I learn to love you more.
Now, for those of you who might be reading still - Let me tell you what my amazing husband gave me for our anniversary.
When he asked what I wanted a few weeks ago I told him that all I wanted was words. I was not trying to be difficult - truly, since all I want is for him to come home, I thought it might just be nice to have him send me a romantic letter, tell me I am beautiful and that he loves me. Classic "girl stuff". He just rolled his eyes and asked what I really wanted.
He really isn't big on sending letters - he Skypes me almost every day, so I hear from him often, but I really did want a letter. Something I could hold onto, and read over and over again when I was missing him.
He did WAY better then that. It turns out that he has been working on a secret project for some time. My 6 ft, 190lb, plane mechanic, weight lifting, truck driving, AF hunk of a man has been writing me poetry while he has been deployed.
Really good poetry - Some of it sweet. Some of it emotional. Some of it down right sexy.
It came in the mail yesterday. Let me share a little with you, if I may:
Like a blossom is to a rose,
I am your thorn.
I protect and keep you so you
remain untouched and unscathed.
You compliment my edge with
your royal beauty.
Overshadowed, I am overjoyed
Your blossom radiates, bringing
others to enjoy your presence.
Being your thorn is my honor!
This one is a silly one, but I think it shows how very well my love knows me!
My friend reads up, and then reads down
She'll read in jeans or a flannel night gown
She'll read when she's tired, or even when she's sick
She says "every other word" is how you do the trick.
Children are very fond of her, and she likes to read their stages,
And if we didn't have new books,
She'd read the Yellow Pages!
Above is pictured what we have accomplished in eight years. Wonder what the next eight will bring? I sure can't wait to find out!!