Today, my husband and I are celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary. Nine years — it’s kind of crazy to think we’ve almost been married for an entire decade.

But then I look at the picture above from our honeymoon and wonder who those young, skinny people are…I kid! (Not really.)

Throughout the past nine years of marriage (and four and a half years together before that), my husband and I have shared so many experiences that have shaped us as a couple. Together, we’ve finished high school, made it through different colleges, remodeled our first home, grappled with career decisions, and struggled to get pregnant…and that was all before we were 25.

We’ve gone from being kids to adults together, and despite our parents’ fears about us getting married so young (which I totally get now…sorry parents), we’ve only grown closer and more committed throughout the years.

Of all the things we’ve been through together, nothing has had such an impact on our relationship as becoming parents. And I think that’s pretty typical for most couples. Nothing has been quite as exciting, terrifying, stressful, and amazing…especially all at once. Seeing my husband become a daddy made me love him in an entirely new way. Watching him play with our boys and teach them new things will probably always be one of my favorite things to do, even when they’re all grown up.

Becoming parents ushered in a surplus of feelings. While I have more respect and love for my husband, I can also get way, way more irritated with him. He’s loud – as in, I think it’s physically impossible for him to walk and talk quietly. This was something that never phased me until I was desperate to get a cranky, teething baby to stay asleep. He has some other little quirks, but I know I do too, so I can’t complain too much.

Despite his clomping footsteps and inability to whisper, parenthood has changed our marriage for the better. My husband is my best friend, my PIC (partner-in-crime for the less acronym-friendly), and co-conspirator when it comes to torturing our threenager (all in good fun, I promise!). I wouldn’t have anyone else by my side as we navigate through what sometimes feels like a hurricane of toddler emotions. 

So, to my husband, happy anniversary! I love the family we’re creating together, but I can’t wait to enjoy a kid-free meal with you to celebrate!

A pretty typical picture for us these days...kind of stressed, a little tired, but still happy...even if it doesn't actually look like it!
A pretty typical picture for us these days…kind of stressed, a little tired, but still happy…even if it doesn’t actually look like it!

Heather Shotkoski My name is Heather, and I am lucky to be surrounded by handsome men! I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over ten years, and together we have three lovably wild little boys. I grew up in a tiny town near the middle of Nebraska, and after living in the "big city" of Kearney for six years, my husband and I found our way back to the small town life. I am a stay-at-home mom, and each day is definitely a new adventure with three rapidly growing boys. I absolutely love it!