Sixth Anniversary

Yesterday we celebrated our sixth anniversary. When did that happen?? Six years has sure felt like a whirlwind, most accurately described by Julia’s hair in this picture. This year has been one of our most challenging years. We started it off at the midway point of a ten month deployment (yuck), and most recently for us, trying to balance two loaded work schedules and school and parenting and all the stuff that seems to have piled up on our plates. I think we’re the most strapped we’ve been yet, but this year has also been full of abundant blessings and we’ve made it out on top. It’s been an adjustment to Steve’s post-deployment work schedule (better described as CRAZY), and doing our very best to support him in every way we can! Y’all, I can’t tell you how happy I was to have the laziest long weekend of all time to celebrate our anniversary. We literally had no plans, and that in itself was a huge gift. 

Once evening hit and it cooled down a little bit, we loaded up in the Jeep and headed out to the beach. Some of my favorite memories from the second year of our marriage (he was deployed the first) were exploring Onslow Beach in Steve’s new-to-him Jeep, with Zoe in the back seat. We were figuring out married life and figuring out eastern North Carolina, and with Steve just home from an eventful deployment to Afghanistan, we felt like we were on top of the world. I’ve been itching to get back to the beach in the Jeep, and with the perfect weather, it was the perfect chance. 

Mitchell was so excited when Daddy to the turn at the end of the roadway into the sand. He kept saying, “Daddy drive beach!” One fortunate thing about being married to a Marine is that Marine Corps bases are always near the beach. We’ve spent our six years of marriage taking full advantage of these beautiful places, and I would be lying if I told you Hawaii or Japan aren’t on my list of dream bases to live!

And here it is – the obligatory annual anniversary picture. Six years later he doesn’t even say anything anymore when I steal his hats for our Jeep rides. 

Six years have given us THIS. 

Side story – this guy got up with Julia last night, who was throwing up. He changed her clothes, changed her bedding, and soothed her back to sleep. Not sure what that was about – hopefully she’s not coming down with the family stomach bug two weeks late! – but I sure am grateful that my husband is such a good Daddy. That’s after I was out of town for work all last week and he took care of them all on his own while going to work at 04:00 every morning. Goodness, I’m thankful for him. 

Mitchell was so amazed by the “tracks!” in the sand! I’m pretty sure he’s been out on the beach in the Jeep once before, but he was too little to remember. It blew his mind. 

A sunset picture because I couldn’t resist. 

I showed Mitchell that he could stick his hand out the window and feel the wind, and every time I put my hand back in the car after that, he’d yell, “Mommy, hand out!” Probably 100 times by the time we made it home. He loves riding “Daddy’s Jeep” to daycare, or “driving” it in the driveway, but this took Daddy’s Jeep to the whole next level for him. 

And then my boys found the puddles from Hurricane Hermine and just reiterated the fact that big boys are still little boys at heart. They had a blast riding through those puddles and getting us muddy! So much fun that they turned around and drove the muddiest road two more times. Ha! 

Back it up to earlier in the day, this is what I meant when I said lazy weekend. We slept in. No alarms. Kicked off the day cutting the grass and edging the backyard together before it got hot (see sweaty afternoon picture below) and before the kids woke up. We watched about 14 episodes of the Amazing Race while we did odd jobs around the house and finished up our homework together. Julia literally slept until 2:00 in the afternoon (after going to bed at 7:00 pm), straight through. I checked on her about 20 times between 10:00 and 2:00, but the girl was still breathing so I let her keep sleeping. With both of the kids’ appetites and sleeping habits lately, we’re convinced they’re both about to hit a crazy growth spurt – just in time for Julia to sprout out of her fall/winter clothes so we can go on a mommy/daughter shopping spree! The most amazing fall flannel arrived in the mail from my mother-in-law. Steve snuck out of the house for a good bit of the morning and did the grocery shopping for me and picked up supplies for the mysterious anniversary gift he has been talking about. I somehow had absolutely no idea what he had in store, and was completely surprised and not surprised at the same time when I saw this is what he was scheming. He could not have thought of anything better! Our very own lifting platform. Mitchell was so proud to help Daddy build it! Apparently everyone, including all his friends and my dad, knew about this. But I remained clueless. After we got back from our Jeep ride, I put the kids to bed and Steve whipped up my very favorite dinner (corn and bacon) and we watched more Amazing Race until I fell asleep on the couch. That’s what six years of marriage looks like around here, folks. 

And this is currently on the mail on the way to our doorstep as I type. We’re not huge gift givers around here. Like I didn’t get him anything, though he was being honest when he said the gift was really for both of us. So he certainly blew me out of the water with this one – a 10 on both the excitement and surprise scales. Because who has time to make it to the gym when you have two kids and a two jobs and homework? And who has money for a CrossFit membership when you’re paying for daycare, ha! 

Year seven is certainly going to be interesting. We have a lot of big, exciting things coming up. First up, some cool professional opportunities for the hubby. Which always means more training. Can’t wait to see where we are in a year! 

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