I never did that whole #MCM thing, but I found an old photograph this week. It was pre-marriage, pre-baby and pre-real life, and it was too sweet not to share.
Circa 2011... our two-year anniversary at the shed. Gosh, we look like babies. I guess in some sense, we were.
They say, "No one likes you when you're 23," and maybe some days, that's true. But we were crazy about each other.
Looking back at our early 20s from a 29-year-old's perspective is both terrifying and pleasant. What no one really tells you is just how complicated, exhaustive and critical those early 20s are.
But we made it. We have almost finished the years of our youth.
I am so blessed to have grown with this babe. We've seen each other through some of the WORST times. In fact, I'm pretty sure couples have divorced for less than what we've gone through.
Friends and family had their doubts. We did, too. There were definitely days I never thought we'd make it.
To be honest, sometimes, I'd hoped we wouldn't. The emo in me wanted to believe it would hurt less to lose you than to love you. We tried to let go multiple times... more times than I care to actually recount.
But somehow, for some reason, we always came back to each other, as clichéd as a 90s romantic comedy. Although, I guess ours would definitely classify as a dark comedy.
There are still days I want to throw every shoe at you, but the good absolutely outweighs the bad.
In almost eight years of doing life together, we have accomplished so much. We've endured countless emotional and physical embarrassments, such as falling off the bed naked, choking on movie popcorn and the hospital fart story.
We've conquered fears of flying, met with (and on occasion, gotten drunk with) with some pretty sweet bands, like Murder By Death, Matt Skiba and Gaslight Anthem, to name a few.
We found our faith, bought a pup, raised a pup, made a baby and even eloped (sort of).
There are countless more adventures I could write about: Florida, Riot Fest (while pregnant), Abi's wedding, you stalking me at the coffee shop when we were broken up, or even the time I thought you were going to date someone else and had to cut all ties from the aforementioned almost date.
Like I mentioned before, we were – ARE – crazy about each other.
You are my best friend, my other half. You are the one who was created for me.
You understand me better than I understand myself, and you love me with a selfless and relentless love only second to Jesus.
Thank you for picking me up when I consistently fall down. Thank you for reminding me who I am when anxiety and depression threaten me.
Thank you for working so hard so I can stay home with our son. Thank you for being a provider for our family: emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Thank you for telling me I'm beautiful, even though I feel like a cow and have lost faith in ever fitting into the T-shirt in that photo again. Thank you for being an amazing father and husband.
Maybe I never did this #MCM thing before because for me, it's not some simple sentiment. I can't post a photo and say, "You're hot, I like it," even though you absolutely are and I absolutely do.
Rather, our love has transpired to an extensive passion that has preceded anything we thought it could be. You are my forever man crush... and that is the sweetest image of all.
A version of this post was previously published on the writer's personal blog.