Dear Gerard,

I sit at our kitchen table and watch as you run through the sprinkler in our yard after weeding our planter bed. Not running through it out of joy, but out of necessity to grab a work glove that you forgot to put away. In this simple moment, while Laidy sleeps and I sit, listening to worship music, that everyday action of you leaping through the sprinkler can speak to so much of our time together.

(July 7, 2007)

In a spare moment of a day off, you work to make our home look better. Whether it's organizing our collection of "junk" drawers, going through The Pile of mail, keeping the kitchen counter void of dirty dishes or milky bottles, giving Ella her FaceTime that she so earnestly needs now. And you have fun doing it all: as each task is completed, you can make the next one into a song, just like leaping through a sprinkler turns into a game instead of merely getting wet...

(1st Anniversary, photo by Nathan Board)

Contemplating asking for my hand in marriage 7 years ago, one of your trusted friends wisely asked you if you were ready to daily die to yourself. With that thought rolling around in your head, you've acted on it time and time again throughout these past 6 years of wearing a white gold ring on your finger. Meanwhile, me and my sparkly ring would sleep, scrapbook, read, or spend time with friends because you know that's how my Love Tank gets filled.

(2nd Anniversary, photo by Nick Nielsen)

You've freely allowed me to pursue my passions and encouraged me along the way. When I look to you wondering, "How is this going to work?" You calmly respond, "We'll find a way." And as simple as

your

leap through the sprinkler, because Heaven knows I have

no

vertical, we do.

(3rd Anniversary, photo by Justin Meyer)

I firmly believe that, with God, we can do anything.

(4th Anniversary, photo taken by Justin Meyer)

And it's been with God that we've scaled challenging times, car accidents, panic attacks, a masters degree, the passing of family members and dear friends, a combined 14 years(!) of teaching between the two of us, and one of the most difficult struggles: waiting for a child. Little did we know that on our 5th anniversary photo session, we were pregnant:

(5th Anniversary, photo taken by Austin Day)

Gerard, in the past 10 months, you've taken up all the grocery shopping when my bladder could no longer make it through one pass of the store. The bed still feels better getting in when you make it, the kitchen cleaner when you clean it, my feet happier when you rub them, the food tastier when you cook it. We can finish each other's sentences, anticipate the others' requests, calmly problem solve, and lovingly address conflicts better than when we started. Doing life with you makes my day-to-day one big, contented exhale because I know it's going to be OK and you're right there with me, most likely making what I've just said into a song from the radio. Because life is a song to you and you firmly believe that everyone has an ability to sing. 

(April, 2013, photo taken by Austin Day)

I admire who you are, and who you are growing to be, as a teacher, leader, hospitable neighbor, comedian, life-of-the-party socialite, husband, doting father, and follower of Christ. It's been an amazing ride and I wouldn't want to go on it with anyone else.

(6th Anniversary)

Thank you for loving me through the ugly tears, terrible attitudes, negative and harsh comments and still calling me beautiful when I least believe it. I vow to improve on making the bed more like you, cooking better (and more often), doing at least some of the grocery shopping, cleaning the kitchen more thoroughly, rubbing your feet every once in awhile, greeting you at the door more often and taking more of the dirty diaper duty. I will work to see you as the man that you are with the patient anticipation of who you are becoming, realizing you are not a god in my life nor The God of my heart. But you are certainly enough for me.

Happy SIXTH Anniversary my love,

Every year is an accomplishment!

Carrie

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