19 mileposts

This morning we have been married for 19 years.  19. One, nine.  To celebrate, here are 19 short snippets from our married life, one mile marker for each year. 

1.  on our first married Christmas, our little old green station wagon, fondly named "gumby," is on the fritz so G bikes in a blizzard downtown to Christmas shop, riding home on the slick roads with the purchases slung over his shoulders (90).

2. we give up our $200 a month basement apartment and move to the big city for my first big job and G's law school (91)

3. I quit the big job to accompany G to London for the summer (wouldn't you?), where he completes a semester of international law study abroad and we live on love and Tesco pot pies.  The concierge at our cheap hotel calls me his "lady friend" (I'm sure it doesn't occur to her that we are married) and suggests we push the twin beds together. (92)

4. Back in the States, G continues law school and I work and start a master's degree program.  Also: Baby hungry.  G, in his wisdom, suggests that I wait until I've really wanted a baby for at least three months in a row (somewhat fickle person that I am). Later: Lauren is born. (93)

5. G finishes law school, passes the bar, and we pack up and move east to Boston. (94)

6. G leaves for a long duty assignment with the Air Force.  Shortly after he leaves, I discover I'm pregnant and Lauren and I slog through the first semester+ by ourselves (whenever I hear the opening song of the video The Snowman, it still takes me back to tired nausea and headaches). Later: Maddy is born. (95)

7. Maddy scares us with a long "atypical seizure", emergency room trip, and worrisome testing over the coming months (years, really).  We discover the achy, helpless, tender side of being parents. (96)

8.  Move ourselves to DC, pocketing the moving stipend from the Air Force.  Decide never to do that again.  {Advice: always take the paid-for moving service.}  My brother Matt lives with us while he works in DC. (97).

9. We travel to Germany and Denmark on a space-available basis on a military transport plane (a nice perk of military service but not the most luxurious ride, as my then-6-month-pregnant body attested).  We have a "no room at the inn" incident in Hanover Germany, where G invokes the pregnant wife excuse and gains the man's pity and a room at "Uncle Tom's Hutte."  Later in the year, Sam is born. I'm the lucky patient who is on the receiving end of an intern's first ever epidural. I hold G's hand really tightly. (98) 

10. G is recruited by a DC law firm and leaves the Air Force to take the job. I am at home with three kids under the age of 5 and mostly love it. (99)

11.  We buy our first home.  Toddler Sam treats his dad like a stranger, since G works crazy DC law firm hours (leaving at 6 a.m. and home at 11 p.m. most days, including Saturdays) and serves as Stake Young Men's president. Something's got to give, we both think. We miss each other.   (00)

12.  9/11 was very scary for our little family, as it was for so many.  G finally makes it home at the end of the day in walking-train-walking-train mode.  One of the partners at his firm is killed on one of the planes.  We feel a new desire to reshuffle our lives to spend more time together and prioritize what matters most.  A few weeks later, we take the chance to move back to Boston, where G will be in-house counsel for a vaccine company.  And work better hours. Whew. (01).

13. Welcome to the this-old-house school of home ownership!  All of our $ and free time is spent trying to insulate/update/de-draft/repair our 110-year-old home.  Loved the character, but not the absence of insulation (02).

14.  I decide to try to go back to grad school, take the GRE, and start.  G is a phenomenal support and encourager and talks me down from panic several times (03).  

15.  Following our list of hopes & dreams compiled when we were first married (item #5: show our kids the world & value experiences over things), we take the kids to Denmark, the land of our ancestors.  And so the transfer of wanderlust to the next generation begins... (04).

16.    The year of the deer.  We hit two deer in a one-year span, totalling the car in one of the unfortunate incidents. (And the kids and I also get hit by a drunk driver later in the year).  We try to steer clear of dark evening drives and the deer mafia, who obviously have a hit out on us. And I graduate with my masters (05).

17.   I get into the PhD program.  See #14, rinse, repeat.  We look around and realize we've reached the parenting nirvana years: in-house babysitter, kids who get our jokes and who have a degree of independence (read: we can take a Sunday nap and know they will not get into trouble in the meantime).  Plus, they all still want to hang out with us!  (06).

18.  We decide to move: the kids are bigger, their friends are bigger & we need a little more space than our townhouse can give.  Three crazy purchase-and-sale agreements later (and a fair amount of roller coaster emotions + a couple of months of temporary housing), we land in our current happy place (07).

19.  G and I run a 10K together up and down a mountain in Vermont (to be clear, Greg runs it and I stagger in).  G takes a great opportunity and changes jobs, I take a semester off from my grad program and then start back up again.  Life is good. (08)

-->You are here! Let the 20th year begin. Our most memorable dance song played by the big band at our wedding reception?  The wonderfully cheesy country-western "Can I Have This Dance For The Rest of My Life?" Well,  here's to the best partner a gal could ask for.  I feel lucky that we've grown and worked and laughed and adventured together for these years, with the anticipation of many, many more.  We're still dancing...