My man and I have been through a lot in those 14 years.
We only knew one another for 10 months before we got married.
I had had plenty of relationships before he entered my life.
But, they were my past.
And he was to be my future.
And, maybe I knew that.
I knew that my future belonged with this guy who made me laugh.
Who rode a bicycle through the city.
The guy who worked at the video store.
The guy who liked cats.
Maybe, somewhere deep within me, I knew our future would be full of laughter and we would need that to hold our family up.
Now don't get me wrong.
It hasn't been all rainbows and lollipops in our marriage.
We have had to contend with big financial struggles.
We have had a sick child.
We moved to rural America from one of the largest cities in the U.S.
Where we didn't know anyone except my parents and my family.
But, the thing that has brought us closer was the fact that we may lose one of our children to a disease.
And we hadn't signed up for that.
Not when he asked me to marry him at King Crab restaurant in Chicago.
Not when we got married by Elvis in Vegas.
Not when we traveled via airplane as a couple and then began traveling via car with two young girls.
It wasn't in the plan.
But, really, what was the plan?
Maybe it was the plan for us to be challenged like we were.
Would we fold under the enormous weight of childhood cancer?
Or would it make us stronger?
Well, I can tell you this.
It made our muscles bulge.
We are united and strong and powerful.
We are still financially poor.
But we are family rich.
He totally stepped up and became the super dad that I knew he had inside him.
Because, he didn't have the best role model growing up for the example of "how a dad relates to his kids."
He had to learn what it meant to be present for his children.
And he gets an A+, in my wifely opinion.
He became the father who slept next to his terrified and sick daughter in the hospital.
He is the father who takes time off from work to be there every single "first day of school".
And he has done so much more.
For all three of his girls.
He and I have learned that the rules of parenting aren't etched in stone.
And that it can shake a marriage to it's bare-limbed nakedness.
We know that anything can happen at anytime to throw you to the ground.
So, as a team, we walk hand in hand in our marriage as the guardians of our daughters' happiness.
A marriage full of vibrance, light, and energy.
He still makes me laugh every single day.
In fact, I think he makes me laugh more today than ever.