Without meaning any offense to our beloved Cliz, this vacation was the best vacation we have ever been on.
Of course the dream-like atmosphere and paradise-esque scenery contributed to that statement, but the real truth lies in the status of Husband and I’s relationship.
Our three years of marriage have been tough. Really tough at times. Everything under the sun has inserted itself in our marriage, and it has been a definite challenge to fight through it and stay connected.
I believe with all my heart that the only thing that brought us through it all was God and our love for each other.
When I heard that we were being assigned to South Dakota, I cried. Hard. I got mad, because I didn’t understand why after all the sacrifices we had made we hadn’t been assigned to anywhere we actually wanted to go.
On the drive to South Dakota we had to do a lot of talking. Over the few months of training it became very clear just how disconnected we were, and the low point we had reached in our relationship. Marriage is a huge commitment. In my eyes it became an even bigger commitment because I gave up my career, my family, and my friends to move across the country with a man I wasn’t exactly seeing eye to eye with at the time. I was worried, but I never questioned what I was doing. I believe with all of my heart that God placed Will in my life.
Since we have been in South Dakota we have learned a few things that most get to learn in the first year or so of marriage. Things like depending on each other. We were apart so much, dealing with school and hectic work schedules, we developed a dependency on friends and family instead of each other.
When you are in the isolated prairie and only have each other, you learn dependency.
We learned to how to talk again, and to listen. We remembered how to be gentle and tender with each other, and to work towards being what the other needs.
We brought back date nights, and gift giving, and moments to just be together acknowledging our marriage.
In a sense we rediscovered each other. I know now God put us in South Dakota for a reason.
This vacation was speckled with romantic little moments where I felt like my heart could burst. From things as simple as Husband searching until he found the perfect white flower for my hair to surprise me with, to hearing him say the words that he knows we were meant to be.
I know just how hard words like that are for him to say. And I know the damaged, dark place from which we’ve emerged. And I know just how grateful I should be to share the love that we do, and what I would now consider to be an amazing, unbelievable, steadfast marriage.
In a way three years feels like it has been a lifetime. But in another way it feels like yesterday that Husband grabbed my face in a grocery store parking lot and nearly sent me to my knees with a kiss full of youth and passion.
We aren’t perfect. I wouldn’t want us to be. But we are where we are supposed to be, right now.
And it feels, so good.
On our anniversary night we came in early from the pool and got ready. We shared drinks on the balcony, arms wrapped around each other, and took in the sunset.
I wore the dress I wore at our wedding reception, and he told me I looked beautiful.
We strolled along the boardwalk and ended up at Hula Grill, reservations for Jamison party of 2.
We ordered wine as the nighttime breeze off the ocean skimmed our sunkissed skin. And we talked about years past, years to come, children to be, and everything we are to each other.
I know that I couldn’t have loved my husband more than I did in that moment.
After all these years, trials, and obstacles, we made it. We are still so deeply in love. And I still thank God every.single.night for placing him in my life.
I’m not sure it would have mattered if we were in Maui or Murdo, South Dakota, this vacation and anniversary trumps them all!