Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dear Ryan,

November 19, 2005
Five years! Amazing how little time it seems looking back. 1/2 a decade!
We started out with things a little backwards, but God knew what he was doing. The first year wasn't easy, but I love the memories I have from it. (The now infamous envelope argument.) The morning after this picture was taken you hopped on a plane and went back to training. I think it set a good tone for what I could expect in the years to come.

I finally joined you after 3 months of marriage. I was about 4 months pregnant and we lived in that one bedroom apartment, an air mattress and one car! All for the sake of saving money. It was worth it. Thank you!

We skipped a honeymoon because you had training. It was a little over a year that we would finally get away for our first time ever as a couple. Kaelyn stayed with your mom and we went to Hawaii.
I love this picture of us. It makes me smile thinking of how much fun we had on our "honeymoon". How you got out of the stupid Kayak in the middle of Kanaohe Bay and I wouldn't get out with you because I was scared of sharks. Then the current pulled you away and I couldn't get the Kayak to move towards you. I still smile thinking of how horribly burnt our legs got.

2 Apartments, 2 Houses, 4 States, I would say we are par for the course of a military family. We have said goodbye, and hello

a lot in the past five years. I like the hello part the best. 
But while you are away, the kids and I have learned so much. I have grown so much because of you and your amazing attitude. You have such a desire to contribute, to do your best, to try your best and to help others, that spirit has rubbed off on me and our girls. I hope Nolen learns that from you. I also hope Nolen learns you since of Chivalry and Family. 

We have been there as we have had to say goodbye to those we love. We have held each other's hand, comforted each others breaking heart, calmed each other's fears, and leaned on each other for strength, hope, knowing that together we can do anything. Smiling through the pain, laughing despite the trails, loving no matter what, and celebrating across the distance.

I have watched you grow as a man. I stood there and proudly watched you take the oath as you were promoted to Captain.

I have watched you grow from an eager young father who didn't know much...

To a Dad who can expertly feed a baby while entertaining a toddler. We have been blessed with three gorgeous children, and I watched you rise to the occasion, and walk out of a deployment and straight into this.
You walked off a plane from one of the most stressful environments into the most stressful one, and you picked up Dr. Dolittle and you started reading where I had left off. I can't tell you how much you mean to me, or how much I admire your strength or perhaps it's your ability to find the strength to do what needs to be done. Thank you for letting me be weak in that situation, for letting me break down.

 I remember the first time you got to hold Nolen after he had "woke up", and the way he smiled at you, like he wanted you to know that he remembered you, and that it was like you had never left.
I know exactly how he feels, your smile, your presence and your face bring me such joy, a joy that even though we aren't together this year, it spans the distance.

Ryan, I am so thankful, so blessed and so wonderfully in love with you. I can't wait to see what the next 5 years hold.

Happy 5th Anniversary baby!
 Fly Safe and Sleep well.
Love always,


Anonymous said...

this post brought tears to my eyes. you're such an incredible woman, mother and wife. i'm keeping you and your beautiful family in my prayers.