I still feel like I'm a newlywed even though today makes NINE YEARS since we tied the knot. I'm not exaggerating. It's been almost a decade since we made our vows, but I still don't mentally put us in the "Old Married Couple" column when I do a mental marital inventory.
I can't believe it's been almost a decade since we lived in our 900 sq. foot house in North Pensacola. When it was so cold during the winter that we could see our breath in the kitchen in the mornings. When the only two meals I knew how to cook were homemade spaghetti and homemade lasagna. When I was going to school during the day and waiting tables at night. When, because of that, Steak n' Shake milkshakes were always waiting for Matt in our freezer. When I'd meet him in the parking lot at work so we could share his lunch break together between my classes. When we got our first pet and thought that having a dog was like having a baby. When we could stay up late and sleep even later. When eating out was relaxing and an hour wait gave us time to catch up and gaze adoringly into one another's eyes. When we only drank a gallon of milk a week and we bought the "good" cereal. When we didn't know the price of diapers. When our vehicles were carseat-less and cabinets didn't have a single plastic plate.
Our lives have changed drastically over the past nine years. Since then, God has blessed us with a newer, bigger house in a better area that is closer to our church family. We've filled it with three of the most fantastic kids on the planet. Our light bill is higher and my cooking repertoire has been greatly expanded. I still work crazy hours, but my new three bosses are much more snuggly than the fry cooks at Steak n' Shake. I don't get to meet Matt for his lunch breaks anymore, but I do pack him a lunchbox full of sandwiches and goodies and all sorts of yummy stuff. Most of the time. We still have the dog. But we've added a cat, a saltwater aquarium full of fish and a newly inhabited terrarium with a frog that is still sitting on my breakfast nook table. Staying up late is now 9:30pm and sleeping in is 6:00am. Eating out is absolutely out of the question. Who wants to sit and wait an hour for a table at a restaurant when you've got two preschoolers and an infant that are ready to eat NOW. It's too expensive and way, way, way too stressful for me to justify spending that extra money on food that I'm not even going to be able to eat warm, anyway. Diapers are a huge chunk of my weekly grocery budget and we go through 4 gallons of milk a week nowadays. The cereal we buy is whatever is on sale that I can BOGO price match for a deal. If it isn't on sale, we get Rice Krispies. We've sold our two pre-kid cars and upgraded to a really nice, used Honda Odyssey. At this point, I think we have more sippy cups in our cabinets than we do real glasses.
And I couldn't be happier. My cup runneth over.
It's overflowing out of a plastic Minnie Mouse cup and onto my sticky kitchen floor next to a pile of laundry that needs to be washed. But still, it runneth over.
And I couldn't have a better partner in this messy, sticky life than I do with Matt. I'm blessed because of him. Not all women get to be married to their best friends. But I do.
And that's what still makes me a newlywed.