on marriage.

I'm not entirely sure how to start this post.  Lately my marriage has been resting on my heart and somewhere between having a fairy tale wedding and really diving into what marriage is supposed to be for two people, I feel completely lost.  Marriage is hard.  Really  really hard.  The memories of simple nights and easy love come to life in my mind and I want them back.  The butterflies your belly makes when he's around, spontaneous dates to little diners at midnight, and sweet sweet kisses that never ever feel the same.  I want them all back. My love for him is endless.  It is not, however, effortless.  I read a lot of things that talk about how love should be simple and unchanging.  It is always kind and should never cause anger yet here we are, eight months into our marriage and three quarters of the time we drive each other bat-shit crazy and have absolutely no idea why.  I went over to my parents last night to let out Boone, their little labrador who's not so little anymore and Beretta's brother.  The yard was perfect.  Little garden decorations were sticking out of the ground, every bird feeder was filled to the brim, and the house was immaculate.  I sat there with Boone's giant puppy head resting on my legs and I started to talk to him as if he were human. As if he was my best friend.  In my desperate search for answers, there was so much love surrounding me in my empty childhood home.  Love that spoke truth deep into my confused heart.  Boone looked at me with his curious eyes and tilted his head as the tone in my voice became real again.

Long before my wedding day, I placed marriage on a very high pillar.  As a blogger I often read other posts and find myself seeing every person's joys - often making life and love look a lot easier than what it actually is.  It continues to rest there, high in the clouds right along side romantic movies and love letters making every piece of my newlywed experience feel like failure.  We have this infinite love for one another but we sometimes fight and we sometimes shut down and I find myself blaming myself for doing so because according to what I read, marriage is so simple. God reached out to me in that moment and I felt his love and his guidance begin to refill an empty space in my heart.  When we begin to place things higher then where they belong there is always going to be failure.  Let's face it, love ain't in the clouds or the stars and it sure isn't in a blogger's one year anniversary post.  Love is in you.  It's in you and me and that someone sitting close by. It's the part of you that brings light to another person's heart.  It's the energy that fills your house even on the days of uncertainty.  Love is not simple and it does change and much like my parent's perfect yard and perfect home, love requires a lot of effort.

I kissed my dog on the forehead and drove back to my home, my lover's home.  I couldn't help but think about our times together and how much has changed since our midnight skillets at Denny's.  I thought about holidays with our families and sneaking out after dinner so that just the two of us could talk.  I thought about moving into our new home and having nothing, absolutely nothing to get our life started.  I thought about hiking and getting lost and laughing.  About the little tan notebook where he stores all of my letters which he continues to read day after day after day.  He was standing in the driveway when I got home.  I put my car in park and gave Beretta a kiss as she greeted me hello.  I looked into my husband's wounded eyes and fell into his sun kissed arms.  I had absolutely no recollection of what we disagreed on tonight and for all of the things that marriage is not, this embrace and this moment was so simple, so real, and so incredibly effortless.

There will always be changes in your marriage.  There will be growth and there will be setbacks.  There will be spontaneous love and times to be serious.  There will be anger and regret and every single day will be different.  Marriage is the kind of gift that you want to receive and then you do and you realize that it comes with really crazy instructions.  Sometimes it breaks and sometimes it needs a recharge.  It is, however, the type of gift that never ever ever gets put away or left behind.  My hope is that if you're reading this you can take with you that marriage will never be perfect.  Maybe you're just a girlfriend right now, maybe you're engaged, maybe you've been married 30 years.  Fall into their arms today and be grateful for the beautiful memories and for the hardest days.

Right there, in the middle of love and hurt and immense gratitude you will find your fairytale.