Thank you for asking me to marry you.
I would imagine that you had no idea what you were getting into back in 2002 when you popped the question… Let’s be honest, you’d been slightly coerced into the situation and before you knew it, you were living in Mexico with a constantly revolving pack of dogs that I adopt or foster without telling you. (Sorry about that.)
Thank you for learnin’ me.
You’ve taught me so much, Craig: grudge holding is a waste of time, knowing how to change a tire is important, grilling is an art, that I shouldn’t shoo away mosquitos (I should kill them) and that loyalty and consistency are virtues. You’ve shown me time and again to put space between my reactions and actions. “Don’t send that email, Kylee. Wait.” Doing life beside you has stretched me and grown me and I’m so thankful for you.
Thank you for laughing with me.
You laugh at every Will Ferrell movie ever made like it’s the first time you’ve ever seen it, and I love that about you. There is nothing better than YOU smiling… you laughing. There’s nothing better than you and I smiling and laughing together. I love that since we began, we laugh every. single. day. (Thanks for laughing at my jokes, too.)
Thanks for being my friend.
This summer when we traveled for two weeks while the girls were at camp was so fantastic. It was just us. You and I. Craig and Kylee. And we had so much to talk about it… we didn’t fill space with, “I wonder what the girls are doing” every other second. We just talked about us. And life. And it was good. And it reminded me, yet again, why we’re Craig and Kylee.
Thank you for being the amazing Dad you are.
The gift that you give our girls every single day, just by being present and involved, is so beyond what I could have ever prayed for. You love them, you show up for them. You teach them and guide them and make bows and arrows and wood stuff and all of that. They love you and adore you. And I’m so glad that we’re showing them what a solid, imperfectly perfect marriage looks like. I’m proud of us, Craig.
Thank you for your patience.
There are times when I’m a lot – a bit “extra,” if you will. There are times when we grate on one another’s nerves. There are times when we disagree. There are times when I’m not holding up my end of the bargain and when you’re not walking beside me, but instead, you’re walking behind me… holding me up. Thank you. Thank you for your patience and your openness to let me be. Thank you for loving me through the hard stuff.
Thank you for meeting me halfway.
At the Toledo Art Museum, on October 25th, 2003, you were waiting for me. You stood at the front of the Great Gallery. Slowly, assuredly, I walked toward you. Slowly, assuredly you walked toward me. We met in the middle of that aisle and then, we held hands and walked the rest of the way together.
The symbolism of that simple moment… it illustrates this thing we’ve built, Craig. It’s how we roll. We’re our own people, but we’re together. You are uniquely you. I am me. And we’ve made a choice to hold hands and do life together.
I’m just as in today, as I was then.
I commit my heart and soul to you again and again.
I love you. I respect you. I’m so happy that we have one another.
Life is good, Craig. Life is good.
Happy Anniversary, sweet man.