Monday, August 11, 2008

To Sum It All Up. (In Pictures)

This week, Jeff and I will be celebrating nine years of marriage. NINE YEARS! It's hard to even type.

So, in David Letterman form (but a lot less funny), here are the Top TEN reasons I’ve stayed with Jeff for over 40% of my life. Holy Moly. 40%. of. my. life.

The baby pictures represent the 60% of my life without him, but really are in here merely to show how cute we once were. And can I just say that the picture of Jeff with the dish washing thingies on his ears, as he is watching TV, oblivious to everything could not possilby remind me any more of Hayden.

#10: His charming personality and “strapping good looks”, as he was once told by an old client of his. I admit. I caught him when he was young, and not near as handsome as he is today. The lesson: Get ‘em early, girls.

#9: His goofiness. Trust me. Pictures don’t do it justice. We often have dance-offs to commercials. #8: He’s the perfect father. One who never shied away from changing a diaper and still has the primary role of making chocolate milk in the morning.

#7: The fact that he knows when to let me have control, and when to take control himself while still managing to make me think I’m in control. I must admit, this is quite a challenge.

#6: He’s pretty smart, which judging by some of the clowns in high school, is a big deal. He thinks he’s smarter than me because he listens to talk radio and always knows the latest on Obama and John McCain. But he’s really not.

#5: He makes a big country breakfast and coffee just the way I like it Every Saturday. Without fail.

#4: He likes me just the way I am…or at least does a good job of acting like it. He likes that I am low-maintenance, but I suspect that it has more to do with budgeting than me. But whatever, I like being low-maintenance.

#3: We share the same interests. He watches reality television with me and even asks me to pause it if he has to leave the room for something. OK, so I am not training for a marathon like he is, but come on…some people have nothing in common. We, on the other hand, both like Big Brother.

#2: He’s not the type of guy that just spoils me on my birthday or Valentine’s Day. Instead, he makes me feel special Every Day!

And the #1 Reason I’ve stayed with Jeff is…his note writing abilities, obviously. It seems like just yesterday I was conveniently changing my route from English class to Math class so that I would walk near his locker…like just yesterday when we were swapping notes as romantic and intriguing as the one above. In his defense, I suspect I was pressuring him for more notes. I could be a little demanding in that way, because, as we all know, notes are the way to show your love in high school.

I recently went on a business trip with a fellow colleague and during some long drives between stores, we opened up to one another about our lives…some work related things…some non-work related…At one point, she began to talk about how her biggest stress at the moment was that her 22 year old daughter was getting serious with her boyfriend and she feared they may get engaged soon. Her daughter was just too young, she explained.

I’m often put in this position where I’m forced to stop someone mid-sentence and casually mention that I was married at the ripe old age of 19. If I wait too long, and let them talk about the fact that only idiots get married before the age 30 --- and how it of course leads to inevitable divorce--- because 26 years olds have no idea what they want---that’s when it gets awkward. That’s the point when we are both sent backtracking mumbling about how age is really more about maturity…and everyone is different…and then a quick change of subject…

Been there. Done that.

So, this time I chose to go the stop-her-mid-sentence-route and say, “yeah, you are probably talking to the wrong person here, because at age 22, I had been happily married for 3 years and had a baby on the way”.

She just sat there stunned…she had known me only in the professional setting over the last year or so and let’s face it, I look old. It was only a month or so ago when I was asked if I was Jeff’s mom. Anyway, she was clearly surprised. That’s when she began peppering me with questions about how on earth could I go to school *and* be married? Did I live in the dorm? Did our parents disown us? I went through my typical spiel about how being married was not all that hard to do while going to school….we majored in the same thing, so we were able to study (read: compete) for tests together. No dorm for us. No, our parents didn’t disown us, and in fact both sets of parents still financially supported us through school.

Admittedly, at the time, I didn’t think twice about the idea of financial support through school, because why wouldn’t they? Married or not? But now, looking back and judging from the reactions of my co-workers, I would like to give a little shout out to our parents…
THANK YOU Mom and Dad & Ken and Ann for putting us through school. And for not disowning us. For that we are grateful, and we will be sure to pay it forward.

So anyway, all that to say I'm proud to be going on 9 years. I feel like our marriage is stronger than ever and I am still lucky enough to be married to my best friend. I hoped that somehow during our conversation that day, I convinced her that if her daughter does decide to marry the guy, it’s not the end of the world. That age is just a number. That when you meet your soulmate you just know. Wishful thinking. She probably still thinks I’m crazy.

Moving on to pictures...

This picture was taken in high school right when we first started dating. I think it was before the Basketball Banquet. The Basketball Banquet that Jeff wasn’t voted MVP. He was totally jipped. Trust me. And for the record, he can still dunk a basketball. *Quick sidenote: when scarves come back in style, I am set.

This was my senior year homecoming. Seventies theme. Don't mind me while I say a little prayer.

Dear Lord, Thank you for all of the blessings you have bestowed upon us, including, but not limited to the fact that I didn't grow up in the seventies. Amen.
This was the first year of college and about the same time that I finally started learning about the simplicity of the male brain. I vividly remember trips from College Station to Houston where it would get quiet for about 10 minutes, and finally I would ask, “what are you thinking about?” When he answered, “nothing”, I just knew it couldn’t be true.

No one sits around and thinks about nothing. He had to be thinking about something.

I would pester him and pester him until he would come up with something…ANYTHING…that he was thinking about. He’d be thinking about why a certain car had taken off their tail pipes or why that truck chose the tires they did. This would lead to a fight the rest of the way to Houston because obviously he was thinking about something much deeper than that…something he just wasn’t ready to let me in on. But no, after 11 years of dating/marriage, I now know that he really was just thinking about those tires. Who knows why he put up with me through this stage.

This was one of the few good pictures of our wedding. The only thing I would change about my wedding day is my photographer. Digital photography was the new thing that year, and he hadn’t quite figured it out.

This was our senior year of college. We were dunking our rings, and this picture only made the cut so I could brag about the fact that I drank a pitcher of beer faster than him AND his friend. And I don’t even like beer. In fact, it was probably the last beer I've had.

Kellie’s mom took the graduation picture where Jeff is hugging me right after we walked across the stage. It is still one of my favorite pictures. I don’t know why, but I remember thinking when he hugged me, “oh my gosh, we are going to get in so much trouble.” (Another benefit for getting married while in college…you get to walk across the stage together since you share the same last name.)

These two pictures represent some of the most defining moments of our relationships. Not the most photogenic time of my life, but defining moments, nonetheless.

When Hayden came into this world, I saw another dimension to Jeff. We learned how to be parents together. The way he immediately became so involved and strives to spend quality time with his sons made me fall in love with him all over again. I hope they both one day become the wonderful Christian / husband / father he is.

So, with that, I will say Happy Anniversary Jeffery!

You are so much better than I had bargained for! I look forward to many, many more years of dancing to comercials and making up silly songs with you!

Love, Your Great Wife Shark


Anonymous said...

Wow, has it really been nine years? You both have grown up so much and aged very nicely I might add. It is funny when people hear how young you were when you got married. I get that flack all the time, but like you I married my best friend!! You both are terrific together and you have a beautiful family. I love you both and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! Mom

kel said...

i too must give credit to jeff for being a nice guy...he did let me practically live at your house in college! who would have thought i would meet someone in college that was pretty much the spitt'n image of me...i mean, we are almost like 'twins'...or so we've been told! :)

congrats on 9 years! Happy Anniversary!

Mica said...

Congrats on 9 years! I love the note...I can remember those days. I am banking on Davis being like his Daddy!

Note to self: Must host 70's party and invite Jeff & Lisa.

Julia Williams said...

Soooo cute!!! I'm just catching up on your blog. I didn't realize it had been 9 years - wow!!! I totally remember your ring dunking, but regrettably missed the wedding.