Mawage. mawage is wot bwings us togeder today. mawage that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dream. and wuv, twue wuv, will fowow you foweva. So treasure your wuv. ~ The Princess Bride
Michelle mentioned that she wanted to write our wedding anniversary blog together, after all this marriage has involved both of us. In full disclosure she wanted to make it clear that there was nothing she would say without my knowledge and support, we tell each other everything. FYI that means if you have ever told her a secret it means I know it too. The blue is me and the black is Michelle. It's not that I don't have a lot to say it's just that she thought of things first and anything I thought to add ended up being redundant.
On this day 20 years ago I married the Love of my Life. Notice I call him the Love of life, not the perfect man. Because the truth is he wasn't, which was a really good thing because I was far from being a perfect woman! It meant we could learn and grow together through and because of the Love that we had for each other. So all my friends out there looking for the perfect person to marry STOP! You are doing it wrong, instead you need to be looking for the person who inspires you to be a better version of you, who will go through life with you, willing to grow, improve who they are, and above all else someone who will cherish and protect the Love that you have for one another at all times.
Seemed way too easy in some respects. In a sense it felt like we were playing house and it was ridiculously fun! We had a blast those first few years. Were there challenges, of course! When those challenges arrived we developed a habit of saying "Are you sure about this, Eternity is a really long time" Which was our way of saying does this "issue" really matter with the eternal perspective. We did however face some really big trials in those first few years to. Ones that would instantly cause us to question "are we going to make it?"
These years were hard! Not gonna lie! Having babies back to back, moving to a new city away from family, postpartum depression, kids with LOTS of medical needs, multiple miscarriages, including a midterm loss, I will never forget our trip to Disneyland after the baby died. Yes, two grown adults went to Disneyland without kids! Because sometime you need a little break from the real world and why not the happiest place on earth!?! It delivered for sure, along with sticking my feet in my beloved Pacific ocean in Huntington Beach.
It was probably a lot easier on me because I got to go be with adults all day. It could be tiring to come home from a stressful day at the office and have to jump in to help make dinner or clean up a kid created disaster, but at least I had some more variety to my daily routine and was not stuck trying to figure out how to keep two, then three, toddlers occupied. Juggle the countless doctor and therapy appointments.
But at least I had Dance! Even though it was with more kiddos, teaching and dancing got me through some really tough days!
The second middle.....
We almost didn't survive this...almost.
This is when we made the big move to Texas. Which left her alone in Colorado for 2 months caring for 3 children, trying to sell a house, while I primarily just had to go to work and do some house hunting. There were so many good changes moving to Texas for my family especially my son Devan! But it threw our marriage into chaos. Year 7 was rough, all the way through year 12. We each take responsibility for the events that took place during those years. Each are proof that in a marriage there are times when one person is strong and the other is not. Carrying the weight of the marriage on your shoulders can really take a toll. Satan is powerful and will find ways to make you see every negative flaw in your spouse! The two most important lessons I took from these years were 1. Communication is KEY to a successful marriage (Thank you marriage counseling, that was the best thing for us!) In order for us to communicate we had to form our own unified language instead of insisting that the other do it our way. 2. Thinking about your needs, what you want, what makes you happy, is a fast track to a miserable marriage. The last thing you need in your marriage is selfishness. I'm not saying your needs don't matter but what I am saying is when you focus on serving the one you love watch how quickly that comes back to you! Win Win!
The 2nd Honeymoon....
When Landon was born we were in pure bliss! Life was so good! The kids were all doing really well! That's not to say there weren't still challenges, (we were about to have 2 teenagers) but because of all the work Cameron and I had done we were better equipped to handle them. We were making sure that our marriage was the priority. We realized that in the end the kids would leave and it would just be us for eternity. One of the best things we did during this time was make sure to take trips, just the 2 of us. Including a very epic second Honeymoon! I highly suggest that!!
And now here we are 20 years of marriage later! It has been everything a marriage should be.... full of Love, heartache, hard work, laughter, pain, joy, uncertainty,Forgiveness and Faith lots of Faith!
The "Experts" will say...We should have gotten a divorce, multiple times. But which time should we have not forgiven each other, which time should we not have shown compassion, mercy, understanding, which time should we have forgotten the sacred promises we made to each other when we got married for Time and all Eternity?
An Autistic Child
The loss of a Baby
just to name a few
But what we have found is that a Marriage was never meant to be between 2 people. A relationship between two people is called a partnership, it can be very strong and powerful and can last a lifetime! But a Marriage is between 3 people, it involves God and is meant to last an Eternity. Involving God in our marriage is the only way I can answer how we made it through all those trials. If at anytime 1 of the 3 was not willing to put in the effort that still left us with 2 people fighting for the marriage.
People wonder how we are keeping such a positive attitude when faced with our current situation, and all I can say is that an Eternal Perspective makes all the difference. Instead of getting beaten down by the problem that is right in front of you, you can see beyond it, and know that there is a plan and that this is not the end. Believing that while you may not physically be together, your relationship continues to grow and progress, it helps you see the light through the darkness.
L=Looking for the good and
O= Overlooking the bad by
V= Valuing each other's worth and
E= Empathizing, or putting ourselves in each other's situations, "Walking in another's shoes"
We love to have things in our bedroom that reminds us each day what our purpose is. The Love scripture hangs directly in front of our glass shower. So every day as you prepare yourself for the day you can't help but be reminded of what LOVE is!
The Vow art is something I made for Cameron for Valentines one year. It hangs directly above our bed as daily reminder to each other.
Here is a short list of some of our favorite books and movies that have helped us:
The Power of a Praying Wife - Stormie Omartian
Between Husband and Wife - Stephen E. Lamb M.D., Douglas E. Brinley
Solutions for Families - Paula Noble Fellingham
The Divine Connection - Loyed Newell
Dads Who Stay and Fight - Greg Trimble
The Love Dare - Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Laurence Kimbrough
The Movie "Fireproof" goes with the Love Dare
we also loved "War Room"
And repeated watching of The Princess Bride, I mean for the love of Pete they fight their way through the fire swamp and he comes back from being mostly dead. Also "As you wish" seems like a good lesson on the afore mentioned selflessness.
Now for your 30 sec dance party.....
This one is a special one! I did get permission to share this...
In 2006 a very special song was released. My sweet Husband hated this song.... well challenge accepted, I would find a way to make him love it! So was born the "Sexy Back Rule" which is when ever Justin Timberlakes "Sexy Back" is heard no matter the place or time Cameron must do a little sexy dance. After which I thank him for bringing Sexy Back! Many people are aware of this Law, my kids, my friends, many of my dancers (the older ones), even my radiation team! It doesn't matter where I am.....the car, the store, work, if it comes on I must call him and say "Babe, guess what!?!?! To which he rolls his eyes and says "Really right now?" This is when I will pump up the music, Yep your bringing sexy back! I will make him go get the kids so they can vouch that yes Daddy is shaking his booty! Its been 12 years and it's still going strong! Now you know and can carry the tradition on for me!
My name is Michelle Kaley but I have many other names.....Daughter, Sister, Wife of 20 years to my High School Sweetheart, Mom to my 4 Beautiful Children, Ms. Michelle to my hundreds of Students, and as of 2016 Cancer Patient was added to the list.