Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Note: My Thanksgiving Day pictures will come up tomorrow (hopefully).

Yesterday was our anniversary (Nov. 23). Anthony and I have been married 11 years! We are notoriously bad at celebrating--and even remembering--our anniversary. You would think the fact that it falls on or around Thanksgiving every year would give us a cue, however our anniversary has still managed to slip passed us unnoticed on occasion. One year, we were sitting on my parents’ couch in Boise after Thanksgiving dinner, visiting with family and digesting our food, when my mom casually asked how long Anthony and I had been married. We looked at each other, calculating the years together. “Eight years? No, wait, we were married in ’96. It’s 2005, it will be nine years this year.” Pause. “Oh crap! Our anniversary was yesterday!”

I think the problem is our anniversary date. The holiday season distracts us and makes us poor. But after forgetting our anniversary in front of a gathering of laughing family members, we made a promise to never forget it again, and to make it a memorable day. This year, Anthony made sure he had the entire weekend off (that many days off in a row is rare lately), and we couldn’t resist just relaxing in our home with the kids. It felt so good to have nothing to do! No work, no school, no activities to plan, no babysitters to arrange, no suitcase to pack… it was great! We decided to take the money we had saved and buy a fireplace (something we have always wanted). We got the one at Costco (I’ll post pictures later). Yes, we know it’s not a real fireplace, but we are going to pretend it is. We made hot chocolate and sat around the digital flames, while the built-in space-heater blew warm air at us. It was a lot of fun. Then we all went to the movies--we gave the maid the night off, and put popcorn on our knees. We saw Enchanted, at Amy’s recommendation. Homer loved the whole experience, and sat quietly in his chair with his Slurpie and Kettle corn—so cute! It was a great day.

Warning: I am now going to brag shamelessly about my husband.

At times in my marriage, I have taken for granted what a wonderful husband I have. Today, I am going to share with everyone the top ten things that make Anthony such a great husband (in no particular order).

He is the nicest person I know. Nice is SO underrated these days. If I could give one piece of advice to young girls looking for a husband, I would say to find a man who is nice—not just on the surface, but to the depths of their sole.

He is the best dad I know (not including my own dad). Not only can he handle the kids on his own, but he also enjoys spending time with the kids on his own, and he excels at it (some of you with husbands who are great dads may think this is a given, but trust me, it’s not).

He has a killer immune system. This guy has never been sick in the 11 years that we have been married, and many years before that. He has NEVER had to call in sick to work, or missed even one day of school (when he was in school). Even surrounded by a house full of runny noses, hacking coughs, and vomit, he never catches a thing. How lucky are we?!

He is crazy in love with me. At least that’s what he makes me think.

He seems to be unaware of my shortcomings as a housewife. He does more laundry than I do, and thinks nothing of doing the dishes left in sink from the night before.

He supports my life ambitions and dreams. Some wives are content to raise their children, and take care of their husband and entire household--all monumental and rewarding tasks by themselves--but when I told Anthony I want to do all of that and more, and I would need his help and support, he did not hesitate to agree. He picks up my slack, and he never complains. (OK, sometimes he complains, but he truly wants me to succeed in my goals and be happy).

He wants the same things out of life as I do. We got married very young, and I think many people don’t really realize what they want out of life until their mid-20s, or even 30s. We both discovered new things about ourselves after we had been married for a while, and this can cause trouble for some marriages. I think the fact that we want the same things out of life is a little bit luck and a little bit self-sacrifice. We support each other.

He has incredible work ethic. He is loyal to his profession, and has honest concern for the clients who come into his pharmacy. Working in an industry that is extremely short handed, his company can count on him to pick up overtime shifts every week, regardless of the fact that he values the time spent away from our family more than the extra money he brings home.

He is willing and ready to sacrifice ANYTHING for our family. I don’t know any man who would do what he did the final three years of his doctorate program (maybe my dad would do this—you would have to ask my mom). When he got into the pharmacy program at USN, they informed the students at orientation that they could not complete this intense, accelerated program and have a job at the same time. Classes went eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, with no summer break. The school set high standards, and students were required to get 90% or higher in each course in order to pass, so they would have to spend every waking moment away from school studying the difficult science material. Of course, Anthony knew he had to keep his job—I had quit school to work full-time while he earned his bachelor’s degree, and we had both agreed that I should spend the next years at home, taking care of our little boys. He kept his full-time job (the ONLY student at the school to do so), passed every single class with 90% or higher, and averaged about 3 hours of sleep a night, for three years straight. This regular lack of sleep is so unfathomable to humans that when I would tell people this was happening, most would try to find a way to make sense of it in their minds. “Does he have a break in the middle of the day to take a nap?” NO. “Can he catch up on sleep over the weekend?” NO (he worked weekends, and the only thing he ever caught up on was schoolwork and family time). “Does he call-in sick to work or skip class to catch up on sleep?” NEVER. Because he went so long with very little sleep, I was always worried about him. About a year into this, I came across his Patriarchal blessing. In it, it said that he would be able to get by on small amounts of sleep for long periods of time. How crazy is that? Anthony hadn’t even remembered that part of his blessing. I slept much better after that (no pun intended). When he was about to graduate, a few of his professors found out that he had been maintaining a full-time job (he never used it as an excuse or complained) and were both shocked and impressed. He had done the impossible!

He is humble and modest. He would downplay everything I said on this list. “Don’t post that, Jenny.” That’s why I’m not going to show him.

Over the last few years, I have learned that having a great marriage takes more than marrying a great man. I have made a conscious effort to become closer to Anthony (something I didn’t think was possible) and appreciating his positive traits (yes, he has some negatives, were you starting to believe he’s perfect?). Just being in his presence makes me happy. The commitment I made to him as a na├»ve, 19-year-old girl was the best decision I ever made.

OK, I’m done bragging. If you made it through the whole thing (or even skimmed it), wipe the tears from your eyes, now, and blow your nose. I won’t put you through that again for an entire year; I promise.


Amanda said...

That is pretty amazing. I am so glad you guys are happy together.

sarastrasser said...

Very sweet, Jenny. I wish I could say the same thing. JUST KIDDING. I think Anthiny is a great guy and perfect for you. I am very impressed with the sacrafices that BOTH of you made while he was in school and you are both an example to me.

Erin Beck said...

I have to say everything you said about tony is true!! Amazing. Happy aniversary you two nuts

Amy Thurston said...

That was very sweet. Anthony is very much like dad, with out the paranoia. You are a lucky woman, but he is an evern luckier man!

abutler said...

That was a very nice post about Anthony. I've always thought he was a very nice guy. Happy Anniv.