Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Look what I found: A love letter from a year ago


I remember being worried when you didn’t take out the garbage. Since we were married in July, we spent a month living at my grandmas, waiting for the next semester of school to start. You were working and I worked sometimes. You came home and some nights I had tried to make dinner. I remember my mom coming over and showing me how to make enchiladas and chicken crescent squares for you. So I usually cooked and then we did the dishes and one day the garbage got full. But you didn’t take it out. I didn’t know how to ask you to in a way that wouldn’t instantly label us as a husband and wife with duties and expectations so I did it. But it worried me. it worried me because you didn’t notice it. it worried me because you watched me do it and you didn’t care. And it worried me because I thought that for the rest of our lives I would have to take the garbage out- which translated to- I have to take the garbage out, open my own doors, carry my own suitcases, and etc. forever and ever because my husband doesn’t know how to be a gentleman. So the next day when I picked you up from work and you let me pump my own gas at the gas station I got back into the car and cried. And you just hugged me and apologized- confused- and probably a little alarmed. But you promised me you would never let me pump my gas again if you were in the car. 

That first month we laid on that bed upstairs and talked a lot. I remember wondering when our humor would parallel more than it did- when I would understand the things you thought were funny and think they were funny too. I remember running on the beach during our honeymoon and waiting to take a bunch of pictures of us, but feeling awkward making you pose a hundred times. Of course we played and laughed and cuddled all through those first weeks, but that’s not what I’m thinking about now. I’m thinking about laying on the upstairs bed at my grandmas house on our sides, looking at each other and wondering when we would develop into these people that fit seamlessly. Who laughed at the same stuff and loved the same movies and could talk without speaking. I told you everything I was thinking- always and probably too detailed. But that’s the thing about me and the thing about you. I have always made you listen to everything on my mind. And you’ve always been able to take it. Since our first week together you would listen and smile and tell me whatever it was was okay. Whatever I thought or felt was fine. You would understand, you would wait, you would be what I needed. And I remember you holding my hand on the bed right then, telling me that that you loved me and that everything I wanted us to be, we would. 

I got pregnant with Jax three months later, and let me just fast-forward this a little and say that any newlywed awkwardness went out the window when you caught my puke in your hands on our cruise. When we found out we were having a boy, I cried for an hour. I told you I didn’t know how to be a mom to a boy and than I cried harder because I was crying. You pulled our car into a parking lot and reached into the back seat and handed me a box with a cupcake in it. You let me say whatever I wanted to and you told me that there was nothing wrong with any of it. you hugged me and told me we were going baby boy clothes shopping and then you drove me straight out of our little college town to the closest mall. 

One Christmas I got sick of all our ornaments we had picked the first year of marriage. I wanted everything silver and gold. Jax was little and we put up our tree and I hated it. I wanted to go to Target that night to get different ornaments. I had this vision in my head and it had to be done that night. It was probably 11 and you didn’t want to get Jax in the car and go because it was late. So we stood in our downstairs with our Christmas stuff in a mess by our feet, and I was mad at you. you stood there and looked at me and I remember being frustrated not being able to explain to you why it was so important to me. I knew you didn’t get it. and you still don’t and you still wouldn’t- but just the same, you told me you wanted everything just how I imagined it and that you loved me and hated fighting with me- and you put on your shoes and you drive me to Target- and then Fred Meyer and then WalMart. You waited with Jax and then smiled when I opened the car door and got in with a WalMart bag of ornaments at 12:30 at night. 

All of these moments were dumb. I’m embarrassed to write them. I keep reading over them and the more I do, the more stupid I seem to myself. We’ve had big moments too. Parents divorcing, siblings struggling, etc. Situations that are actually hard and they should be- when we are at the same level. When we hold hands and are on the same page and see eye-to-eye. But those aren’t the ones that define you to me. The stupid things do. The stupid things that you didn’t have to do, but you did. Taking me to get Christmas ornaments at 11:30 at night. These are the best things I could think to write that show you. Because you have never met me half way. You always come to where I am.

When we were dating and in leadership at school together, I used to get kind of jealous sometimes. We were excited this one weekend for an overnight retreat- because of weather and stuff it didn’t go as planned, but we had breakfast together on campus and I remember you didn’t sit by me. I sat by my friend and we watched you go from person to person, making sure everyone felt included and special. I remember watching you around other people and sometimes feeling like your little sister. I have told you that before and you never get it- you think it’s weird. But it’s because I look up to you so much. It’s because when you would talk to everyone and then look at me and smile or drive me home afterward, I felt like the luckiest girl who had ever lived. You would drop me off and I would wave from my townhouse parking lot and wonder how I could keep you just to myself. I felt like that this morning. 

Jax ran into our room and my phone was dead on our nightstand. I didn’t know what time it was. I told him to look out the window to see if your car was still there and he said it wasn’t. I rolled over and rubbed my eyes and could hear Jonah awake in his crib. I wondered what time it was and how long ago you had left. But then you were in our room- with hot chocolate and donuts and a love note scribbled on the back of a piece of paper. You said “Happy Anniversary!” I had completely forgotten. I hadn’t even known what the date was. You didn’t care. You hugged me and kissed me and gave me a gift and then you left for work. 

We’re close now in the way I used to want. And you know me- because you come home sometimes and look at me and immediately take the kids out to play. And after I spend 45 minutes “getting ready for bed” in our bathroom, you are still awake, waiting for me on our bed because you know I fall asleep better when you’re awake. Sometimes I walk upstairs to the pile of laundry folded- the pile that I have moved on and off our bed for five days straight. Or you cancel a golf night with a friend, because you know I needed you when I didn’t even ask. And we will be driving and say something totally random at the exact same time. Or come up with the same crazy idea for dinner. And we finish each other’s sentences now and speak without talking. We laugh at all the same things. We know each other’s friends and understand each other’s families. Everything I wanted before, we have. Some of it has come with time, some of it is because of you. 

I think I’ll probably always feel like I can’t give you back enough. To sit across from you when you’re mad at me and tell you that I don’t care why we’re fighting, that I just love you and that’s all I care about. That’s you- and probably something I’ll always try to be. But what we have now is so much better than the image of us I hoped for in my mind. Two people, exactly alike and exactly the same- that's not what I want anymore. I want you because you're better than me. You're exactly what I'm not, and everything I need.

*written almost a year ago right around our anniversary, never posted. And now I love you even more!

8 comments:

  1. I love reading your posts because I feel so similar and you say it so good!! I've said it before and I'll say it again... I feel like if we lived by each other we would be real life friends hahah. I just identify with most of your posts. It makes me laugh to think about.... I probably sound like a creep. And it's also weird cause I feel like I SHOULD know you.... I knew Mckay for a minute in college when he was playing volleyball with and living with my cousin, Michael. And then I went to high school with Jan (fisher/Clark) .... Who is a mutual friend. Anyway.... Just weird how small the world is. And I guess since we don't live in the same place we can be Internet friends. But moral of the story.... Good post and I totally get it because my norman sounds a lot like Mckay. I don't know how many times he's said "I love you more than I want to be right. And fight" and I'm over there all pissed still..... It's stupid hahah. But anyway.... I'm done ranting.

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    1. We would TOTALLY be real life friends! We still can be! Even if we've only ever met online! Haha and yes! Such a small world! So funny. But ya I've definitely had to learn some humility in marriage. McKay and I are both oldest in our family so our bossy-ness can clash sometimes, but 9/10 times, he is the one apologizing first and then I realize that I was being even worse and feel awful!

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  2. i read every single word.
    how beautiful - how honest - how SO BEAUTIFULLY HONEST.
    i always love reading your stuff ali - because you don't sugar coat it, and it is still so incredibly lovely!

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    1. Thank you so much! I always wonder how people will interpret this kind of stuff- so that means more than you know! :)

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  3. #GOALS! Still following along with you and your cute family. Congrats on your new little one!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

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    1. Aww! Thanks Priya! I caught up on your blog too and you're as beautiful as ever! Hope you're doing great!

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