I was trying to think of a clever title for this post but I came up pretty empty. I think it's because I used up all my clever juices while writing Andrew's scavenger hunt last weekend. So aside from the fact that the title to this post is completely lame and bland, I did want to talk about marriage, specifically ours. Right now you're like "ok sister you've been married for five years...big whoop, what advice could you possibly impart upon us?" Please. Simmer down class. Maybe not so much  advice, but just things I've learned and ways I need to improve. 

When I first met Andrew he was actually in a period in his life where he had sworn off girls. After a particularly searing burn from his current (and then quickly ex) girlfriend he had called time of death. He threw in the towel and said "no more" at least for a little while. Then we ended up on a retreat together and I came up and innocently started bugging him about the book he was reading. And that was it. From that moment it was clear that there was a plan for us bigger than we could have ever imagined. 

It's those little moments that make a marriage. It's those tiny seemingly insignificant decisions that shape our relationship. My decision to go out of my comfort zone and actually talk to Andrew set everything in motion. Andrew's decision to swear off girls set him up to see the one that was actually "the one" *fist pump*. So here we are at 3 years of dating/engagement and 5 years of marriage and it's still all about the small moments. Marriage isn't made on the day you say "I do", no on that day the journey is only beginning. Marriage is made and built upon the small moments of our day to day.

Moments like when we were first married and we'd curl up together on the couch and binge watch Netflix without a care in the world.

It's the small moments like when Peter was first born and Andrew would get up at night for every feeding to help me burp and change the baby.

Small moments like when Andrew leaves for work every morning and I remind him to drive safe and he says "maybe".

Moments like when I'm super pregnant (again) and I'm a crying mess because I can't decide between Dairy Queen or Culvers and he makes the choice for me and it's always the right one.

Small moments like when I let Andrew grab an extra hour of sleep Saturday morning.

It's the moments when Andrew takes the kids out on an "adventure" so I can get a couple hours of peace and quiet to myself.

Moments like when I ask Andrew to change a poopy diaper and without hesitation it's done.

Small moments like when I'm just over it by the end of the day and talking on the phone with Andrew he says "What should I bring home for dinner?"

It's moments where I entertain the kids for a little so he can unwind with his favorite computer game (yeah NERD alert).

Moments like when Andrew cleans up and vacuums without me even asking.

The list goes on and on. Marriage is saying "yes" and "I do" every day. Marriage is not easy by any means. It takes a lot of work and sacrifice. It takes two people dying to who they were before and coming to an understanding that they are now "in this together". Two people that bring out the absolute best in each other. Push each other to be better, encourage each other to dream, and help each other to believe. And it's not done in these big Hollywood moments. No, it's done in the smallness of life. The tiny places that no one will ever even see. That's where a marriage is made.

It has been a CRAZY five years. There is no way Andrew and I would have guessed that we'd have four kids under four by our fifth anniversary. It has been tough on our marriage there is no doubt about that. But it's not just the kids that have made it tough. I think these first years are supposed to be hard and difficult at times.

So I'm not pretending to know it all or have it all figured out. I just know that marriage takes work and that's ok. Marriage is hard at times and that's ok. Marriage takes sacrifice and THAT'S OK. Your marriage will not always be the perfectly filtered and cropped pictures you post on Instagram (looking at myself here). I was dreading getting pictures done pf the family because I knew that it was going to be impossible to get the images  I wanted. But you know what? I got something even better. My sister captured our marriage and family as we really are. It's chaotic and hectic at (most) times but it is so worth it. There is no one else I would rather have by my side steering this crazy ship with me.

Cheers to Five. And many more.

Hands Full, Heart Full,