Nine years ago today, Nick and I were married. Nick reminded me (like I had forgotten) and he was shocked that it was 9 years! He says it just doesn’t seem like that long… and I agree. It has gone by so quickly… the 7 year itch just completely passed us by!
Looking back I am amazed that the wonderful support that we received from family and friends! We were young by most people’s standards, 19 and 20 when we started dating, 20 and 21 when we became engaged and 21 and 22 when we were married. I hear so many stories about young people getting married and I am appalled at the lack of support and encouragement that they receive! Pet peeve and side note: encourage young marrieds to be successful and help them get the tools they need to be successful, don’t root for them to fail! That was not our case at all. Nick’s parents were excited and encouraging, and so were my parents.
I know my dad was more anxious for Nick to propose than I was! My mom still talks about several nights where my dad was tossing and turning and wondering out loud “why hasn’t that boy proposed yet?” Hehe, we hadn’t even been together a year, but Nick won my dad’s heart by helping him clear brush and set up the Thistle Patch back when it was woods and overgrown underbrush. My mom told me that she was very excited and had nothing but peace around our getting married. And Nick’s mom said to me… “well from the beginning, ‘Nick and Stori’ just seemed go together!” And Nick’s dad has on more than one occasion mentioned to me that he doesn’t have children and children’s spouses… just children. Another side note and pet peeve: Nick and I both have wonderful relations with each other’s in laws, I don’t know where exactly it begins, but I can bet you it has a lot do with how kindly and welcoming each set of parents were towards us. Parents and children, be nice to your in laws!
As for our part, Nick and I had the sweetest courtship and I adore our story of how we started officially dating… and also our proposal story! I started a “How We Met and Got Together” series way back when… I think I will try to finish it this month. After all, I am not getting any younger and there reaches a point where no matter how much in love you still are with your spouse; it just gets annoying to other people to hear about it and for you to act all cutesy wootsy!
(This one is a photo of a photo! I need to hunt down the cd with our engagement photos!)
Looking back we were naïve about so many things, including divorce. Growing up, I didn’t know that many divorced people and there were very few divorces that I witnessed first hand, if any, my parents acted as a buffer to the few I can recall. Both Nick and mine’s parents have been married for nearly 40 years. I am SO thankful for this and the witness and legacy that will be for my children. At this point, both of my siblings are divorced as well as many friends. Unfortunately I have been close enough to witness the devastation of divorce. Its ugly and destructive and not at all what God intended. I wonder if I would have been more gun shy if I had been closer to it and seen it firsthand. I can tell you this much, what I have seen helps me to never take my marriage or my husband for granted. I will never, ever say “that will not be us” because I have been shocked at the decimation of several of my friends’ and family members’ marriages. It could be us… but I pray that it isn’t and that God protects our marriage.
But here we are, 9 years married, and so happy. I don’t know why it works… probably because Nick is so patient and loving and steadfast, and that cannot be easy being married to me. I feel like our marriage is pretty easy and has been 9 years of mostly ups and very few downs. Several times, at wedding toasts, Nick has said “marriage isn’t always easy, but it is worth it!” so I guess Nick feels differently , but you would never know it. He’s just the kind of person who doesn’t shy away from what’s hard, and loving your spouse unconditionally is hard. I’m so thankful that I married a man who loves and obeys the Lord!
We decided before we even were married that the Lord would be at the center of our marriage and that we would obey His rules, after all, marriage was His idea! God gave husbands ONE RULE: husbands, LOVE your wives and wives ONE RULE: wives, submit to your husbands! I know that “submit” is a loaded word in today’s culture, but I understand it. I wouldn’t say that I have a submissive personality at all, in fact I like to be the boss and in the past have been called a bully! But I respect my husband and I trust my husband enough to let him take the lead once in a while. He in turn, doesn’t boss me… we are just a team.
I could seriously gush about what I love about Nick all day long… but he would be embarrassed! I’m so curious to know what is in store for us since we have done quite a lot of moving in 9 years and I suspect more wandering is in our future. I don’t have any old pictures on this computer… I really need to work on cataloging our photos and moving them to one external drive, but here is a quick roadmap of our marriage with a few photos.
Year 1 (‘05 to ‘06): We moved to Dallas for a few months while Nick worked and I finished two correspondence courses so that I could graduate in August. (Yes, I married before I graduated, and my dad made sure that I was putting my maiden name on my diploma, hehe). Then we moved to Palo Alto, CA while Nick did a marathon master’s program at Stanford and finished in 10 months. I started my first real job at as a manufacturing engineer. I was so nervous applying for my first job out of college but Nick’s confidence in me helped so much. If it wasn’t for him, I probably would have gone to work in retail or something for fear of applying to real engineering companies!
Year 2 (‘06 to ‘07): We moved back to Houston and both started working in the oil and gas industry. Nick’s sister gave us Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover and we worked hard to implement it! We paid off our car note and Nick’s student loans in 9 months by being “gazelle intense” living off of rice and beans… $65,000 in total!
Year 3 (‘07 to ‘08): We saved for a down payment on a house and Nick started applying to all of the major energy companies and was quickly snatched up by his current employer. We moved to Madisonville, LA and bought our first house! My company flew me back and forth to Houston every single week and paid for my housing so that I could continue to work on my same project. I never really got settled into LA that first year.
Year 4 (‘08 to ‘09): I transferred to my company’s New Orleans's office and Nick and I started infertility treatments. We could not understand why after four years of marriage we were not pregnant!
Year 5 (‘09 to ‘10): We decided to stop treatments only to get pregnant on our own! And our Isla was born. I retired after her birth to be a stay at home mom.
Year 6 (‘10 to ‘11): We found out we were moving to RUSSIA! And then we did move. Craziness. But it was really wonderful and God provided us with a wonderful church home and so many friends we didn’t deserve.
Year 7 (‘11 to ‘12): Traveled a lot (Ireland, Moscow & St Pete, Italy, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur) and enjoyed our time as expats, and worked on expanding our family.
Year 8 (‘12 to ‘13): Finally we became pregnant with Gemma after trying for a year. The rest of that year was spent navigating an international pregnancy (stressful!) since the hospital facilities in Novorossiysk were… not adequate. We also fulfilled a dream of mine and traveled to Jordan and saw the Dead Sea and Petra as well as Istanbul and Ephesus! And then we found out we were moving to Midland!
(Daddy’s can do skin to skin too! This taken in the hospital right after Gemma’s birth.)
Year 9 (‘13 to ‘14): We moved to Midland and are now pregnant with our joyous little “accident” Baby Shaka!
Anyway, this is way longer than I intended, but I am so thankful for my husband and our 9 years of “wannderful” . There’s no one else I would rather do life with, and I pray that God blesses us with many more precious years.