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TEN.  Today marks a big day.  A huge day.  The Gent and me are celebrating 10 years of marriage.  
Thats a long time.  We were wee little babes when we were married.. at just 20 and 23.  
I'll never forget my bachelorette party - we went to a impromptu comedy club (four day weekend is amazing if you are in the DFW area) and they included me in their show.. me the girl not looking a day over 16 and wearing a hot pink cowboy hat with a veil attached.  They spent a solid 20 minutes making fun, and asking me if we were 'going to bed' after this because I will have 'hit my curfew'. They wanted to bring me a drink and then didn't because, well because I wasn't 21.  
It made for a great laugh, but I will never forget it.

Putting together words to describe my love for this man always leaves me at a loss.  I cant hardly express how thankful I am for him. We were young and naive to what marriage really entailed and how it would rock our world forever. We have been through a lot in 10 years - they say for better or for worse, and thats exactly the truth.  While every day/month/week/year hasn't been the most perfect, I can say for both of us that we wouldn't change a single thing.  
The good times, the hard times, the happy times, the sad times..
All those 'times' of our life together have molded and shaped us into the people we are today- celebrating these last 10 years.  We are a unit.  A unit that is stronger and more confident than ever before.  
I'll ever never be the one to boast 'the most perfect marriage advice', but a few things (how about ten things?) I've learned over the years..
--It takes work.  Work to fall in love with one another over and over again, every single day.  
--It takes grace.  Grace to love each other through it, no matter what the situation.  Grace when a pregnant Amber is being absolutely ridiculous.  Jordan, you show grace so well.
--It takes protection. Protection of your marriage is something we didn't figure out until much later in our years together.  Make your marriage a priority and never fail to hold it to the highest standard of protection. 
--It takes real and constant communication. We spend a lot of time communicating, and especially now after having kiddos we have found it to be most important.  Being on the same page of parenting and doing life together makes stuff just run smoother.  Often times arguments result from some kind of miscommunication.
--It takes a team effort.  We work as a unit.  Sure, we are both strong individuals, but together we are stronger. 
--It takes forgiveness.  Living our life with a spirit of forgiveness.  Sort of along the same lines of offering grace to your spouse, we should also offer forgiveness.  Early in our marriage (and while we were still so young) it was hard for both of us not to hold onto mental 'lists' or transgressions against us by the other.  Grudges, lists, and hurtful reminders do nothing but form a wedge in your relationship.  
--It takes effort.  SO much effort.  We spent a lot of time together before the girls were born, and now its more of a 'divide and conquer' to survive the day.  Since having kids we have failed many times to maintain our promises of regular date nights, but putting forth effort to get out of the house as a couple is so important.  Get a sitter.  Make the effort to get dressed - even if its just for an hour to grab a burger or chat over a cup of coffee.  We find it to be a breath of fresh air to our marriage relationship after going on a date, no matter what the size or shape.  
--It takes faith.  God is first.  Number one.  I learned a long time ago that it isn't about how or what I could do to control Jordan to make changes in his life - how he treated me, his walk with Christ, and how he carried himself in personal decisions he made.  I cannot change or worry about that of him.  I was not placed on this earth to be Jordan's personal Holy Spirit.  I vowed to be his partner for life.  All I can do is trust that he does walk with Jesus on a daily basis.  Growing his wisdom and his faith gives me security in his leadership of this house and his relationship with me.  
--It takes intimacy.  I am NOT a touchy person.  I'm not one that remains comfortable cuddling for hours on end while watching a movie or sleeping with zero space between us for 8 hours at night.  Jordan is the exact opposite. Our love languages are on complete opposite spectrums (I am words of affirmation and he is physical touch) but that doesn't mean I am not called to learn his love language and love him through it the way he best receives it and not the way I prefer it.  Being really really close to someone can be awkward and uncomfortable.. and basically take too much effort that I'm willing to give sometimes..  But, the reward outweighs it all.  Jordan is the one single person on this earth that I should be able to bare it all to- not just the physical, but emotional and personal as well.  He is my person.  He is going to be the one that watches me grow grey as our years go on and will still be the one to love me the most.
--In all the hard, I am reminded that it is so much fun.  It has been a sweet surprise that a decade later, it is still fun to be together.  When we are doing well, we are doing well.  Jordan and I both enjoy just being together.. we share a long history (13 years total) that is filled with stories and memories that don't require a ton of explanation as we reminisce.  He's my best friend.  Our marriage is work, but often times that hard work makes life easy to live.  We thrive on the like-mindedness that is held between our two heads.

I am so proud of being where we are.  Ten whole years of marriage.  I am so thankful.  So happy.  So emotional.  I am also SO postpartum, but I promise that isn't resulting in any or all of these emotions:)
We haven't learned it all. We are still growing and changing and going through the motions of this married life - and maybe by year 20 will have figured it out a little better.. but no matter what, we are doing it together.
Love you, Jordan Fort.
So much.


Unknown said...

Congratulations! I love the advice. It is all so true! My husband and I are going on 4 years and I am discovering lots of these things to be so true as the years go by!

Bri said...

I love this! I always say how hard marriage is, but sooooo worth all of the hard work! That's what makes the sweet moments so much sweeter. ;) Happy TEN YEAR Anniversary you two!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

This is so sweet! Happy ten years to you both! What an accomplishment!

Emily said...

It's interesting you bring up love languages. My mom used to tell me about love languages when I was child, but for all my love of personality typing, I never thought to consider love languages as it comes to marriage. Yup, I'm words of affection and he's physical touch (is that the vast majority of men???).

Bitzsoi said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Jordan, Amber! 10 years! Wow, what an accomplishment. The hubs and I are going to be four years and seeing you guys together for so long is such a huge inspiration. Wonderful!

Sadie Cummings said...

Congratulations to 10 years love. You guys are so inspiring to me. We are walking in your footsteps and knowing you can do it and do it well with the tough scheduling of a fireman is very encouraging. Keep it up you two! xoxo

MeganB. said...

Such a beautiful post. Happy 10 year anniversary. Haha, I loved the "So postpartum " part. Me too girly.I feel ya on that one lol.

Kristina said...

That picture is the best!! Happy happy 10 years! xoxo

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