Yesterday was our 9th anniversary! And, true to form, it was unusual. June 2 has fallen during our "month off" as college teachers for every year of our marriage. Our first anniversary was spent changing a flat tire on a road in Michigan while the Amish drove by in their trusty buggy. Every other year has followed suit.
This year was no different, but actually worse. We would have celebrated a mere flat tire I think.
The year has been an especially intense one, with the baby twins, a huge job search, my own part-time work, and OH - John working long, long hours getting finishing school and landing a job. Much to be thankful for, but possibly the most challenging year that either of us have ever lived.
All was to become easier this summer, when we left on a two month road trip vacation last weekend. We hoped and planned in spare moments for relaxed time together as a family... So we left, and the fun lasted, oh, an hour. Starting with the boys no longer sleeping well (in the car in particular), and continuing with an exhausting house hunt in a new city, our first week out of town has been quite rotten.
Enter June 2. The boys kept me up nearly all night, again. The morning was an all out scramble for the 5th day in a row to get out the door and see rental options. Tag team, feed, fuss, drive, run into a house, back out, discuss, repeat. No spare minutes for the gift basket he thought about having delivered, the champagne I was going to buy, or even a card. Just surviving.
And yet somehow it turned sweet. Abby made us a card. That had a wedding cake with a big "MD" on it for both Mom and Dad and Maryland. It said "You are both nice. You met nine years ago! On this day you got married. Happy Annivinsery. Love, Abby"
Our hotel was serving free dinner. The first cookout of the season, so free burgers, kebabs, hot dogs, all the fixings and cake for dessert. For free. When we felt like it. Right outside our front door.
We took a walk afterwards. Through the parking lots next door. Rachel pushed her brothers around, and we talked in baby free peace, discussing all our housing options and moving towards a decision. You have to understand that such peace was a near miracle after the week we've been having.
The kids all went to bed calmly. An hour earlier than all week. Silence descended on all four of them at once, and we were free to again talk through our week behind the door in the lighted bathroom (hotel, remember!), then fall asleep without the sound of anyone crying. (side note - which is not to say that the boys slept well for the rest of the night!)
At the end of the day, we were together, and most importantly at peace and happy together. A card from a six year old, a hotel dinner, a walk through a commercial district, and four kids sleeping in our room. We felt loved and celebrated in the oddest and yet best ways possible.
Thank you God for finding just the ways to "happ-ify" our day, for helping us through this year, and for taking us into another one.
(But maybe we could just try "normal" next year?!)