|Our first picture together - circa 2004|
I had just graduated high school, and he picked up a part-time job to help pay for a summer break filled with college classes; that summer job just so happened to be at the same pizza place I worked at.
Fast-forward a little more than a decade, and things are a bit different.
Our hairstyles have changed. We have a few more wrinkles around our eyes with dark circles underneath; the battle wounds of sleepless nights in this season of parenthood, you could say.
Our bank accounts aren't as fruitful as they once were.
We've moved five times and lived in three different states.
And that once-trendy Buick Regal? Well, that chick-magnet was traded in long ago eventually paving the way for a minivan.
But the love?
That's all still there.
Or when I wake up early to brew the coffee before he shuffles downstairs into the kitchen.
It's there in the moments of a kiss on the cheek as one of us is loading the dishwasher and the other is folding piles of laundry while trying to make sure our daughters aren't dumping their evening snacks in the couch cracks during the 238974th episode of "Thomas the Train."
It's there when he says, "I'll get up with her this time. You rest."
Love may look a little different now -- just like we look a little different than we did during the carefree days spent in our first apartment in Omaha, Nebraska.
It's there in the hard times. In the sad times and stressful times. In the unknown times. In the scary times where it feels like more is being thrown at us than we can handle.
It's there in the quick and occasional text message check-ins throughout the day.
It's there in the messy routines of paying bills, grocery shopping, balancing the checkbook, and emptying the dishwasher each morning.
Sometimes I feel like we barely have time to talk like we used to -- just the two of us -- because we're so busy tending to this crazy, busy, beautiful life we've made together.
But we wouldn't trade it for the world.
many years praying for, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Whatever love looks like in your life right now -- whether it's messy and hard or easy and carefree or maybe a combination of sorts -- I hope you find a reason to celebrate and embrace the people you love today.
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This post was originally published on 2/12/2016.