Right after Tom and I got married, we went to Costco and stocked up on some things. We bought a big thing of paper towels and a box of Ziploc bags that had several individual boxes of three different sizes of Ziploc bags. Five years, one cat, and two kids later we’ve finally run out of the paper towels and just one size of the Ziploc bags.
We barely use disposable products. I’ve given Tom enough sideways glances when he reaches for a Ziploc, and he’s learned that he and I have different definitions of what sort of situation justifies a paper towel.
We’ve been married for half a decade and the most gag-inducing, romantic drivel I can say is this: it’s so wonderful to be known. And Tom knows that seeing a wad of paper towels in the trash can ruin my night.
When Tom and I were engaged and enjoying pre-wedding festivities, people often asked me if I was excited, ready, or what I was looking forward to. I always answered that I was most looking forward to the “normal.” I was looking forward to waking up, going to work, coming home, doing laundry, and eating tomato soup for dinner because we were too busy to make it to the grocery store. I was just excited to do life with Tom.
That’s where we are now, five years in. We’re settled in to the normal, doing life. We’re settled in enough that sometimes I take for granted what a wonderful blessing it is to move through daily routines with this man by my side.
Getting on the same page about not using paper products sounds lame, but I think that sort of thing is what makes marriage rich. The mundane is often when we’ve truly seen each other and learned to care for each other. Five years of marriage isn’t that long, but it’s long enough to know that happily ever after doesn’t just happen, it happens in the midst of celebrations, conflict, and sarcastic comments like, “Hey, Tom. You do know where we keep the dishwasher, right?” It happens in compromise and forgiveness and two people giving 100 percent and saying “I love you” at the end of the night no matter what. God has been good to us.
Tom and I are still learning how to navigate “normal” as both parents and husband and wife. At the end of the day when it looks like a toy truck crashed through our living room and we collapse into bed, I can’t imagine being with anyone else.
I looked through our photos from last year and this was the only photo we have of the two of us. So instead here’s one of my favorite photos of us from our honeymoon. Back when we used to hike all the time, and stop on the trail and take photos, and Tom would sneak a kiss.
Here’s to five years, the rest of our lives to go.