10 Years

Ten years.  The Mr. & I celebrate 10 years today.  I’ve honestly been thinking about this blog post for months.  Trying to piece together a few thoughts, but for once, I’m a tad speechless.

For a good seven of those years I’ve been photographing weddings.  With every wedding, there have been reminders of why we’ve persevered, why we’ve fought to have what we have.  Pastors, ministers, JOPs, and priests have all shared lessons on life and love.  How to love, how to forgive, how to grow, how to pray, how to prioritize each other, how to sacrifice, how to communicate.  You’d think I’d be a pro at this marriage thing with all the weddings I’ve attended.

Nope!  We’ve had to work on it day in and day out.  There have been many times we’ve loved when we didn’t want to.  Forgiven when it wasn’t easy.  Did the exact opposite of what we really wanted to do in the name of the other.  Were selfless when it sucked to be so.  Conceded when it probably wasn’t fair.  Made tough decisions in the name of our marriage.

Real life isn’t always as pretty as IG feeds.  Our marriage isn’t picture perfect, despite how I strive for the perfect composition, professionally and personally.  It doesn’t exist.  As humans and partners we are  flawed.  But we see past those flaws and push each other to be better.  Find the pretty in our lives when we’re surrounded by our own flaws.

If you know me, you know that I believe in seasons with every marriage.  But I think all along, I was just using a different name for seasons: chapters.  You’ve probably seen me preach about chapters within your story.  Within every chapter, there is beauty.  Growth. Love.  For every ugly paragraph in a chapter, there’s are three beautiful ones.  Every chapter, while temporary, is worthy, despite the flaws.

We’ve been together for almost 13 years, married for 10.  I never imagined our story would be where it is right now.  There are tough days, but they don’t define the chapter unless we let it.  I’ve found what defines us is our ability to keep writing our story.  Working together, fighting together, loving together, laughing together, we persevere.  We love, laugh, grow, find joy in the mundane, raise babies, and stand by each others side.  We made vows 10 years ago that perhaps we didn’t understand at the time, but for better or worse, for richer or poorer, through sickness and in health, until death do us part, Mr. Lange and I are starting to get it.

Ten years ago we said I do.  Year after year after year, we keep saying I do.  I will.  I love you.  I’m sorry. I forgive you.

We do, for the next 10, 20, 30 years, until however long we’re graced with time.

Happy 10 years, babe.