10 years.

Ten years ago today my life changed and took on a course that I never could’ve imagined. I married Alissa Schmidt.

You think you know who you’re getting when you get married. You think “I can walk through life with this person.” Here’s the thing though: a good life isn’t a walk, a good life is an adventure. It has great days and bad days. There’s being a parent with no prior experience, bills, intense personal growth, cross-country moves, flared tempers without filters, being brought to tears together by something sweet your son says, and having all you stand for brought into question and finding that God and each other is all you really need.4987_114762400406_1410289_n

You can’t see all that in one afternoon where you’re young and dressed to the nines.

What I could see? I could see enduring integrity and character, inner beauty that radiated through outer beauty, honesty that whether it felt good or not, if you listened, it could make you better. And loyalty and love that were intertwined in a way that made me feel safer than I’d ever felt before. I’d say a pretty good base from which to jump off wouldn’t you?

What I couldn’t see? Where worry usually wins out, when push comes to shove she has a fearlessness that is inspiring. She will sacrifice her own needs for her family in a way I could never dream of doing. She mixes in just the right amount of common sense and heart into big decisions. She makes friends (like good friends with good people) because she knows it feeds for her soul. She can see the sacred in most anything. She is physically tough. I watched her recover from 3 births. She elevated the word “tough” to a whole other level. She loves to be right- wait, I actually did know that 10 years ago. She’s an amazing cook- took a gamble on this one. It wasn’t looking good there for a bit. These are just a few of the things that I’ve discovered about her.

My point is that 10 years brings so much out of a person and I’ve been happily bewildered and amazed how time consistently reveals that on March 22, 2003 I had only a faint clue of what Alissa Schmidt could do and be. Our life together has been marked by love, laughter, tears, forgiveness, honesty, kid-craziness, money-managing, negative people-navigating and faith-defining. You don’t go through these things as a static person, you grow and change and morph. And if a few of the basics are in place you bless the ones you love just by sheer virtue of living life with them. I am blessed. I am blessed to be married to Alissa Edwards for these past ten years. I am blessed to have fallen in love with someone that I keep falling in love with over and again.

Babe, happy 10 yr anniversary, I love you. I love that our “banter” has a ten year history and I’m excited to continue that conversation for the rest of my time on the globe. I’ve been thinking about it though… in Heaven- it’s me or the dog. 😉

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Jared Edwards

husband, dad, musician, fitness enthusiast, occasional blogger.

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