Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy Anniversary to Us!

VBS Story Time partners, June 2014
It's only seems fitting that this be my return-to-blogging (cough, cough) post since my last post was about my March. I guess there's just something about anniversaries that seems to make me nostalgic and maybe a bit weepy...ok, most things make me weepy, but try to stay with me. 

It is also not surprising that Jeff is not here to celebrate with me since about 70% of our anniversaries have been spent either with the youth group on their summer trip or apart because he was with the youth on their summer trip. Get home soon, honey! We have some celebratin' to do!

Ten years ago today, I married Jeff Walton for better or for worse in a little hilltop chapel in Gatlinburg. And if I'm being honest, there has been a fair amount of both over the last decade. It's not all rainbows and unicorns here on Walton Mountain, people. When you take two people in their late twenties who are both as stubborn and set in their ways as we were and then put them in a (very) small house together for the first time - as in EVER because our entire dating relationship was long distance - there are bound to be "a few" disagreements.

But Jeff has helped bring about or create some of the most amazing moments of my life. So, today, we'll focus on and celebrate those. In honor of our 10-year anniversary, I give you my... 

TOP 10 FAVORITE MARRIAGE MOMENTS (cue music from "The Waltons") 

10. That time you almost died (Stay with me, people!). That two-hour drive to Tupelo frantically trying to keep up with the ambulance, followed by a week spent quarantined in the hospital together, was truly the first understanding I had of "in sickness and in health." Staph infection is serious, people. I am so thankful to have no worries that when I get old and senile, we'll either be old and senile together or Jeff will be happily wiping drool from my mouth. It's a pretty picture, right?

9. Monday cleaning days (I miss those, by the way!). During an especially hectic time for me at work, Jeff took a few hours every Monday and cleaned our house. It might not sound very romantic to you, but to this tired mama who wanted to come home and enjoy a few hours with her babies, a clean house was the BEST gift he could have been given me. I'm grateful to be married to a man who "gets me" (Don't bring me flowers to set out in the midst of chaos and disorder. Can I get an "Amen!"?).

8. Watching Jeff coach our boys' various sporting adventures. There is something about a man who is willing to coach three-year-old soccer that just gets me. I want to pull my hair out just watching those little munchkins run around aimlessly. I am so grateful for his enthusiastic love for our boys.

7. My one-year anniversary present. Most women have big expectations for that first year. I mean, you have year-old wedding cake to eat so you might as well go big on everything else, right? Me? I got an inflatable swimming pool...and I loved it! We lived in a house without central heat and air, and I was working from home frantically trying to finish my dissertation...nothing better than a little dip in that pool mid-afternoon. My man gives good gifts, ladies. Be jealous.

6. The weekend getaway to Chattanooga (obviously pre-children!). I loved the freedom of that weekend - no agenda, no plans - just spending time together hiking and talking and laughing. That will always be one of my favorite vacations.

5. Hearing my husband preach the Word (even if he did stay up all night waiting on it to be divinely delivered to his brain and transferred to his fingertips). There is something amazing that happens to his heart when he preaches that I love seeing. The sermon he delivered the Sunday after the tornado hit our little community will forever be my favorite and a constant source of encouragement for so many.

4. Experiencing Haiti together. Seeing Jeff love people I have grown to love so dearly made me love him even more deeply. Watching him paint precious little hands for craft activities and sing silly songs with a classroom full of children makes me fall even more deeply in love with him. So thankful to be living on mission with him...

With Eli, January 2010
3. The birth of Eli Benjamin Walton. Oh, sweet Eli! He is truly the child I believe Jeff's parents (ok, and maybe mine!) prayed for when Jeff was a child. Eli challenges us on just about everything and has shown me that Jeff has levels of patience that I didn't know were possible. Love the boy...and love Jeff for his ability to parent him with more patience and grace than I can muster at times.

2. The birth of Riley Ellis Walton. He made Jeff "Dad" first and created for me a million new reasons to love my husband as I watched Jeff care for this precious little life (and me!) in those first few months. Jeff tolerated my crazy first-time mom issues all while doing his best to give me rest and recovery time. Watching Jeff change his first diaper might also be in my Top 10 funniest parenting moments (for another post).
1. Walking down the aisle in that little chapel in Gatlinburg. There was no anxiousness or fear (I was probably just young and naive!) - just an excitement about our future together. I knew I wasn't perfect and neither was he, but I knew we were perfect for each other. Awwww. 

So, there you have it. The ten years of our marital bliss summed up in one fairly concise blog post and a few photos. The late night hosts would be so proud!

Happy Anniversary, Jeffrey Paul Walton! I love you to the moon, around it 57 times and back again. You're still perfect for me (but if we don't get the anniversary trip booked soon, there might not be a 20-year anniversary...just sayin'!) #pickadate #pickalocation

Do you have a Top 10 favorite marriage memories? Would love to hear how long you've been married and some of your favorite memories!

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