This week marks 12 years that Alan and I have been married. God blessed the day I married my better half.
One of the best decisions I ever made was one of the ones I was most criticized for. I do think people’s opinions can be helpful, and I do listen to the advice of others. But what others? You have to be careful about which group you are listening to. Our closest friends and our parents never doubted us for a second. We had their unswerving support. It was our acquaintances and old friends that were shocked. (See, there was no Facebook back then to keep in touch with.) We had the support of those that knew the whole story, and the others were scandalized. “What!? I didn’t even know April was dating anybody!??”
We didn’t lollygag around. We dated for three months and got engaged. We were engaged for 5 months, and then we got married. We got married on the military’s time table because that’s what military couples have to do. People just couldn’t believe we did things so quickly. They didn’t realize we’d been friends and acquaintances for much longer than that.
You know what? I secretly enjoyed being ‘scandolous’ for once. It isn’t something I have experienced much. ;)
I remember vividly the day I sat with Alan, at a long cafeteria table, in Burke cafeteria, and realized that I had deeper feelings for this friend than I had even realized. We used to eat together, with a large group of friends, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I had even once observed (but kept to myself) that even on days when I did not eat with that group, Alan would still bring his tray over and have lunch with me and whatever friend I was eating with that day. We were friends. Pals. I thought that was all, and I hadn’t given it much thought–which was unusual for me, as I was something of a flirt in those days….
But there was that one day, when it was just the two of us, and Alan was talking to me about all of the great places he planned to go and adventures he hoped to have in his military career, that I suddenly felt this strong desire to go with him.
“Huh?” I thought, “Why do I care if Alan moves out west? A couple of boys that I’ve dated have already done the same thing, and I did not care when they left.”
“Wait. Do I like Alan?”
“Oh my gosh! I do. I like Alan!! I don’t want him to leave. I want to go with him.”
Once I figured all of this out, Alan didn’t stand a chance. ;) I had already racked up a couple of relationship failures due to playing ‘hard to get.’ Not this time. This time it was on. I would not chase him. I would not call him, but by golly I was going to act exactly how I felt: happy to be with him. I also made it a point to not flirt with others around him.
I even resorted to inventing a “group date.” My friend Katie was in town, and I told her, “Katie, I know who I am going to marry, and you have to meet him.” I called him up and told him a big group of us was going to Logan’s Roadhouse for dinner. He quickly accepted our invitation. Then I turned to Katie and said, “Oh!! Now I have to actually make a group.” I got back on the phone and quickly but carefully put together a group of friends that knew both of us, included boys that my friends liked, and well…….the rest was history. Alan asked me out before he went home that night, and we have been a couple ever since.
For a look back at our last 12 years, see last years post: 11 Years of Marriage
Do you know what made Alan so great? Do you know how we “just knew” it was right?
Well, of course we were in love, but also we used our heads. I think you could possibly fall in love with lots of people, but you need to be smart about it. We both had the same faith, morals, values, and work ethic. We both love to laugh and don’t take ourselves too seriously. The relationship flowed easily. There was no “Oh, I can’t tell if he really likes me” crap. We were just honest with each other and treated one another with respect. We complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I am a non-confrontational person. Alan will rise up to meet confrontation seemingly easily, and he can do it (normally) without being offensive. He’s an engineer. I would have never even gone near the Engineering school.
A friend of mine once commented, “Who wouldn’t like Alan!?” That’s the kind of man he is.
He’s the kind of man that has turned down what I consider to be a big and important job because he knew it would not be family friendly. He helps with chores. He fixes the kids breakfast. He’s absolutely hilarious. He’s faithful. He loves me–even when I’m crazy-stressed-not fun-April, he still loves me. He’s still super-good-looking too. :)
This was a hard year for us. Going to four children was exciting, but it was HARD WORK. Plus, he had a very big project going on at work. PLUS, he had to take the exams, apply to universities, AND move the family this year. Meanwhile, I was juggling all that comes with managing a family of 6–the housework, oh the housework!
It’s been a wild ride. It’s been 12 years. I hope we have 100 more.
I’d like to stop and take a look back at the wild 12th year:
I was standing in Nevada. Alan was in Arizona.
I called this our 3rd honeymoon. :)
I look forward to the 13th year. We will finally settle into a new house, we will tackle our first year of home-schooling–through the Classical Conversations tutoring service, we will be Californians, Alan will be in school, I will be blogging away, and who knows what else! That’s the fun of it.
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19: 4-6
We have spent all of July apart, due to this PCS move, but I will be with you tomorrow, Alan.