Today it’s been 8 years since Mike and I got married. We dated just 4 months before the proposal and actually got married 2 days after our 6 month dating anniversary gift for pregnant wife  (just 8 months after we met)! We were only 21 when we got married and we still had a lot of work to do to grow up. But we’ve grown a lot in the last 8 years and I’ve learned a lot from him. Here are 8 of the best things he taught me along the way.

He and the kids are my family now! – 2 years after we got married,

 We already bought our first house, lost our jobs and our house was about to be foreclosed. So, Mike joined the USAF and we moved to Colorado. I have never lived far from my family (parents, sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends) and have had a hard time adjusting. But even 1000 miles from home, it was there for me. And I survived.

#2. You don’t have to give THINGS to someone to let them know you love them! – A few years ago the Air National Guard sent us to a Marriage Retreat. I learned our “love languages” there. His Words of Affirmation. Mine: gifts! (As if this were not a surprise). I just realized that he shows his love for me in different ways. He was doing them all along, but I ignored them. He’s sweeping the house… he knows I hate it. He pulls the lid down… honest… I never had to ask him! Mostly – they listen. I do not think so. But she can remember the weirdest things I said to her. And gives me words of affirmation. She always tells me she loves me, she. Words really mean a lot. I just had to believe them.

#3. Sometimes you can’t appreciate what someone does until you do it yourself.

 – He never understood my desire to stay home with the kids for the first few years of our birthday gift for wife after marriage. Never understood why I would choose this over making MONEY! He hated it when I complained about work and thought I just wanted to stay home and sleep, watch TV and do crafts. It wasn’t entirely wrong, I like to do all that – more than my fair share. But that’s not what staying at home means! Last year when I was pregnant with our third daughter, Little K, I decided to go back to work.

 5 months pregnant, starting a new job (which would lead to working from home.

 So it was a clever idea behind my adventure) and already has 2 kids… she knew she had to help. During the training weeks, from 3:30 to 11:00 in the afternoon, he got the real taste of an evening where 2 little people are completely dependent on you. They were 8 and 4 years old so they weren’t toddlers/toddlers. But still had meals to make, getting from school/bus, homework, bathrooms, bedtime routine, grocery shopping etc. there was. It was just a little taste of the night madness. enough to fully support my stay at home and really see it so we can run a successful home… no matter how much we enjoy it… sitting on the couch all day and eating bonbons (whatever those are) just isn’t an option.

#4. Family does not always consist of blood relatives!

 From friends I had before I met Mike and his family… I knew firsthand the truth behind that statement. But meeting Mike and his family… has proven that statement 100 times. Before Mike and I met, we had our daughter, Big K. She was 9 months old when I met Mike and she treated him like her own daughter from day one. When I went to see his family for the first time, they welcomed me and him with the widest open arms you can imagine. They love him from the bottom of their hearts and would consider him no less a grandchild than a grandchild born of their own children. That’s why I sometimes forget that he wasn’t there when he was born… but he and his family more than made up for the lost time!