Double tying that knot.

There is this guy.
Truthfully? I really love this guy.
I don't pretend to make it something it is not.
It is many things...
Happiness. Excitement. Adventure. Craziness. Spiciness. Sweetness.

Is it easy? Yes AND no. But mostly YES.

It has been pointed out to me by a few that I act like I am in love with my husband.
Can you believe it?
I am happy about this.
Because you know what?

I cannot swear on a bible and say "It has been a blissful, perfect 16 years".
It has been anything BUT perfect.
But I have a secret. I THINK that is why it is SO GOOD.

Can you believe there was a time this man and I were strangers?
And it was not before we were married.
During this lowest of low times, people would smile at me and say,
"Hi Shelli! How are you?" in that casual way people do.
My answer?
"I'm dying. Someone save me...please".
Except I would say, "Good! How are you?"
I did not know if I would still be married in the near future.

Why do I share this?

Hmmmm. I am not really sure.
I was just thinking today of how much I adore this man.
It occured to me for the millionth time that I may not feel so strongly
had we not almost lost each other?

I am not a marriage expert.
But I have learned and continue to learn lots of valuble stuff!
Can I share?

Communicate! About everything! Even if you think it is trivial!
If you feel like something is missing there, it probably is, so talk about it before you feel like you can't bring it up and it gets to the point that there is nothing left to say.

If you are going to talk about your spouse to other people - make sure it is always positive!
All you need is a support group to agree with you about all the areas you think your spouse is lacking in. Don't get caught up in that discussion!

Build them up!
You married him, so he knows what you think, right? WRONG!
It is work, but remind your spouse why you think he is sexy!
Tell him how much you appreciate all the hours he spends at work!
Tell him how excited you are to finally see him after a hard day with the kids!
Man he smells GOOOOOOOOD!
Encourage his interests and wow can he do an awesome flip on that wakeboard!
It makes you weak in the knees, so TELL HIM.

He comes to watch my tennis matches. How sweet is that?
I'm touched every single time he shows up.
I get 3 calls on Sunday morning from teachers who are sick and can't teach their church classes.
He rolls his eyes with me, but gives me the thumbs up that I can figure it out.

Kick it up a notch!
Didn't you used to do stuff when you were dating just to let him know how cool you were?
I mean...he wants me to try kayaking.
I'm really not that interested, right?
BUT... he would love it. Give and take. Why not try it?
He knows I will not take it up as a hobby,
but if you could have seen the look on his face when we were done going through a little
white water?
He was THRILLED with me. I had tried it. He was turned on.
Need I say more?

Enjoy each other!
We came to a point.
We could either head down the divorce road OR we could work VERY HARD to get it back.

It took time my friends. More than I thought it would.
It was not easy.
Patience, trust, vulnerabilities, insecurities, more patience, love, HOPE, selflessness, effort, kindness, time...so many things involved.
But the results? Oh boy. The results.

I am hoping you can see the results.
What if we had given up on all those things I just listed?
I believe more than anything that we come out stronger if we endure the storms.
Even if we feel no hope.

We are doing it.
We appreciate each other more.
We are a little more sensitive to each others needs.
We make time to be with each other.
There is sacrifice, give and take, and unselfish acts.
We are excited for the chances we have to enjoy each other.
We also are no longer naive.
Anyone can drift apart. At any time.

How happy I am that we made it back.
Even stronger.
Definitely stronger.

I love this picture. Notice the wedding dress in the back window of the car.
We were on our way to tie that big tangly beautiful knot.


donna said...

Thanks for sharing this post with us.

Jessica said...

I think you are so cool! I love how you just put it all out there.
When you said "What if we had given up on all those things" I pictured what you have today. A Beautiful family and a loving and exciting relationship with your husband. What a great message for all. "Enjoy each other!" and communicate. No one is immune.
You are inspiring.

...................................Kim.......................................... said...

I'm in tears. Wow. I had no idea. I love the honesty, goodness, and down right openness in this post.

I say amen to everything.

So happy you guys overcame everything that threatened to tear you apart.

We have to get together. You're a sweety.

Tami said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet post. There is nothing better than REALLY loving your husband!

Toni C. said...

You have some great advice there Shelli! Don't you wish we could have read that in a book somewhere on our wedding day and BELIEVED it? Rather than having to learn it the hard way... I'm so happy that YOU are happy. And I really hope you'll keep up with the kayaking and teach me someday, when my baby belly is gone and I could fit into a kayak.

Gramma Spice said...

Those "bad bumps" in our journey with the ones we love are inevitable. Life and love are precious and fleeting gifts...and certain kinds of love are worth fighting for. I'm so thankful you have a husband who is as wise and as strong as you are. Love you both SO much.

Elece said...

Shelli.... I know I am one of the people that have commented on seeing how much you love Trevor. Love is never easy all things truly good take work. You build it up and grow it always. Awesome stuff girl!!!!

RoxburghFour said...

I love it! Thank you for sharing and for your honesty. Most people hide all their troubles and want you to think their life is perfect. How wonderful that you dare to share. I know it has inspired me and will inspire all those who take the time to read. You guys are amazing.

Steph said...

Hey Shelli, you wanna teach a class for Enrichment on "Keeping the Fire Lit in an Eternal Marriage?"

I'm totally serious...

Come one Shelli-blog readers, encourage Shelli to say 'YES!" You will all be invited! I'll make sure of it.

deannegalloway said...

You're such a great role model for me. we really look up to your family. You guys do a great job! Thanks for sharing!

jill said...

A very heart-felt "thank you". Were those hard times around your 6 year mark? Just wondering......:)

Leslie said...

Shelli, that is one of the most beautiful posts I've read...and so honest. Thanks for sharing...it makes me want to squeeze my man!

Shelli said...

Steph - Ummm. Since I am no expert, teaching a class like that would be a bit overwhelming and AWKWARD! Yikes! And Jill...more like around the 10 year mark. :)

Mara said...

Thanks for the wonderful and refreshingly honest post, Shelli. We think you guys are wonderful and I'm happy you guys are happy--you both deserve it! =)

Krista said...

True... True, TRUE! So well put, Shell. I am going to have Brandon read it to remind him how I feel, AGAIN! Our men need reminders... oh, so much hangs on our approval and support and admiration... and then they treat us like queens! A hard lesson to learn, and relearn. Love you, Blue-eyed Tiger! So does Trev!

Rach said...

awww, what a good post! I loved it!

Trev said...

All I can say is wow! Honest, plain and simple, open, out there, and it moves me so much to read those things. Nothing so good could be expected to come easily. It's a slow and steady process to build up a marriage. Sometimes we slip and fall backwards, but having a partner to lift you even when it's so hard makes the marriage survive ..... and thrive! I DO love you, and know you love me, too! Thanks for always being there!

Wendi said...

Wow- you have a way with words!!! We have been there...and just recently., but in the last few months have found a greater love and appreciation for each other! It is work, but totally worth it! we love being around you and Trevor, you inspire!... and your friendship lifts us! THANKS.

jharmon said...

I could not have said it better! We both married amazing men, yeah us!
love ya!

Leslie said...

Thanks for sharing and being so real. Who would have guessed? I just assumed you guys have always been as happy as you are now. Your story can give a lot of couples hope and tools to work things out when they are headed down the wrong road.

Karen said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. Your husband is wonderful man to be sure, and he's got quite the catch in you. You are beautiful inside and out! Thanks for being such a positive influence on everyone who knows you, there in WA and here in cyberspace.

I love your guts!!