Marriage,  Personal and Spiritual Ramblings

Our Eleventh Anniversary: Musings & a Marriage Playlist

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It’s 4:38 a.m. and I’m awoken by a child who needs his nightlight fixed…and a snack. When I crawl back into bed a few moments later, I breathe a sigh and lay my leg to rest across the back of my husband’s calf. He sleeps on his stomach, yet even in his sleep, we somehow melt into each other. I remember that it’s our eleventh anniversary, and snuggle closer.

We have always slept close – something that in many ways I have a love/hate relationship with. Even on the morn of our eleventh anniversary, we are still in a double/full bed. Not a queen. Not a king. A full. He doesn’t want to upgrade because he says I would be too far away. I have a hard time falling asleep when anyone is touching me. So after we cuddle for approximately 4.20980958903 seconds, I push him off, he rolls over on his stomach in a huff, and we fall asleep. It’s only been in the last year or so that we have started this thing we call “leg cuddles.” I’m not really sure why it took us ten years to figure that one out.

So now it’s the best of both worlds: I have nothing touching me from the waist up, but our legs are all tangled up together. I told him yesterday how much love, security, and comfort I gain from this.

It’s our eleventh anniversary. What can I say? The eleventh anniversary seems somewhat anticlimactic after the tenth. Hitting ten years seems like a huge milestone, especially given what those ten years held for us.

But the eleventh anniversary?

I got out ingredients to make a homemade cheesecake for our anniversary cake, but lacked the energy to make it.

Me: I’m too tired. I’ll just buy a cheesecake at the store tomorrow, because I don’t feel like making one.

Him: Oh yeah, I almost forgot. That’s this weekend.

Me: Yeah, tomorrow actually.

Him: I’m sorry, I forgot.

Me: I almost forgot too. 

We went away last month for a combination Valentine’s / birthday / anniversary so it’s not like we actually forgot. It’s just that the actual day has crept up on us.

What does this eleventh anniversary mean to me? This is the question that kept me from falling back to sleep in those wee hours of the morning.

In some ways, the past year was pretty uneventful for us. In other ways, it was the hardest yet.

He’s actually doing pretty good these days. Fairly “stable” (for him) and managing his anxiety okay. He’s back in school (online Bible college) plodding away at his degree, thanks to some pretty awesome people who believe in him and are bending over backward to make it work.

We still fight a lot, but I think it’s easier to laugh and use sarcasm about the little things than fight about them.

When we do fight, though, it’s harder. The issues are bigger. The stakes are higher.

Special needs parenting is what kicks our butts the most. Parenting + marriage is hard for any couple. But special needs parents have it twice as hard. In our case, we approach parenting from very different angles. Like, SUPER different angles. Like MEGA SUPER different angles.

So a few months ago, it all came to a head when we got in a bad fight over a parenting situation that neither of us would budge on. It will probably go down in the annals of our marriage is one of our worst crises – a crisis that landed us back in counseling – both professional counseling and counseling with our pastor. There were a few days there where I wondered if we would make it. 

And then a few weeks later, I was like, “It FELT like a crisis at the time, but now it doesn’t.” 

At the beginning of this year, I found myself posting the following on my marriage Facebook page:

I guess I think that with us, because of our differences, sometimes conflict is what leads to intimacy.

All that to say, our marriage is still really hard, really messy, and I don’t really see that changing.

But in the wee hours of the morning when I snuggle him awake and he doesn’t want to leave for work, I know we are okay. Not because we are ignoring the issues, but because we know that we are worth fighting through them.

That means that some weeks, we fight a lot and fight hard to sort through the issues. That means that some weeks I fill pages in my prayer journal begging God to move and give these two bull-headed opposites true oneness of mind and heart.

That means that once or twice a year we are going to spend money we simply don’t have to get away from our kids and hole up in the mountains, regardless of who wants to tell us we shouldn’t.

That means that some weeks we are going to set aside the issues and spend every evening binge-watching Netflix and cuddling instead of talking and discussing.

That means that some weeks, we will need a break and some space. He will play video games and I will go ice skating and we will breathe…and then come back together more whole.

That means that we are probably always going to struggle with the introvert/extrovert dynamic we have going on.

That means that some weeks we won’t have the energy to devote to our “issues” or “getting on the same page.” But some weeks we will.

That means that marriage won’t always be amazing and sometimes date nights will be mundane.

That means that every year we will celebrate our anniversary by decorating a cake, and I’ll plant a rosebush to remind myself that there is beauty in the midst of the thorns.

That means that marriage counseling – for us – will probably be a staple or a necessity.

That means we might just spend the next ten years in a double bed, and it will be okay.


As I laid in bed with my legs tangled up in his, I started thinking about the soundtrack of our marriage. I thought I would share some of my favorites. Here are eleven love songs for your eleventh anniversary.

Our 11th Anniversary Playlist

Our Eleventh Anniversary: Musings & a Marriage Playlist | As I laid in bed with my legs over his, I started thinking about the soundtrack of our marriage. Here are eleven songs for your eleventh anniversary.

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

When I wake up, well I know I’m gonna be,
I’m gonna be the one who wakes up next you
When I go out, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the one who goes along with you

If I’m working, yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the one who’s working hard for you
And when the money comes in for the work I do,
I’ll pass almost every penny on to you

And if I grow-old, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the one who’s growing old with you
When I come home, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the one who comes back home to you

When I’m lonely, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the one who’s lonely without you
And when I’m dreaming, well I know I’m gonna dream
I’m gonna dream about the time I had with you

When I go out, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the one who’s thinking about you
And when I come home, yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the one who comes back home to you

I’m gonna be the one who’s coming home to you

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Don’t tell me where we’re goin’
I don’t wanna know
I like the mystery
I can’t believe we’ve come this far
So far away from where we started off

And now I’m lost inside your stare
Lost when you’re not there
And everything I have
Doesn’t mean a thing if it’s without you

If it’s a dream
Don’t wake me up
I’ll scream if this isn’t love
If bein’ lost means never knowin’ how it feels without you
If bein’ lost means that I’m never gonna be without you
I wanna stay lost forever

You’re Still the One

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When You Love Someone

When you love someone
You’ll sacrifice
Give it everything you got
And you won’t think twice
You’d risk it all
No matter what may come
When you love someone

To Make You Feel My Love

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When You Say You Love Me

You’re the one I’ve always thought of
I don’t know how but I feel sheltered in your love
You’re where I belong

And this journey that we’re on
How far we’ve come and I
Celebrate every moment
When you say you love me
That’s all you have to say
I’ll always feel this way

Remember When

Remember when we vowed the vows and walked the walk
Gave our hearts, made the start, it was hard
We lived and learned, life threw curves
There was joy, there was hurt
Remember when

Chasing Cars

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they’re all I can see
I don’t know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

(We actually have this decal above our bed.)

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Every dinner doesn’t have to be candlelit
It’s kinda nice to know that it doesn’t have to be

Don’t you know that fairy tales tell a lie?
Real love and real life doesn’t have to be

Baby every little piece
Of the puzzle doesn’t always fit
Love can be rough around the edges
Tattered at the seams
But honey if it’s good enough for you
It’s good enough for me

Stand By You

Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you

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So Small

Sometimes that mountain you’ve been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
And what you’ve been out there searching for forever
Is in your hands
And then you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
Oh, it sure makes everything else seem
So small

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