Twelve Years

Today marks 12 years of wedded bliss for us.  This morning Tim posted these sweet words to me….

As I looked at our children this morning around our table I saw 12 years of our love reflected in their beautiful faces. I thought back to early in our relationship when I first started to feel love for you. I remember how I got emotional about things that I had never gotten emotional about. I remember telling a group of Age to Age kids that I loved them, it was so weird. I can remember thinking that you made me feel things I have never felt before. I can now look back on that and see that it was just the first stage of many stages of love that I would encounter in our life together. I then realized that each child is a representation of the stage that our love has transitioned through.

Isaac is a fun and exciting love. He came at a time in our lives when everything was new, our love was growing, and our relationship with the Lord was growing. Isaac is a sweet, care free person, who is always ready for the next day’s challenge. Isaac reminds us of our early marriage trials when I deployed to Iraq and our life took a 180 degree turn when I returned. Isaac had been away from me for half of his life, but he never let that phase him. He just took it like a man as he does every other obstacle that he faces. The amount of his life that I have missed is down to about 11% but it gets smaller every year. Isaac is a constant reminder that our love grows stronger through every stage.

Hannah is a deep and beautiful love. I will never forget the first time I heard her sweet cry when she was just minutes old. It melted me and I knew I would never be the same. Hannah is a mirror image of her mother’s nurturing love. She loves to care for every one else first.

Lydia is an unpredictable, yet sweet love. Lydia came into this world unplanned and undaunted. She showed us very quickly that she was not going to be another easy going Wood kid. Just when we think we have her figured out, she changes the rules. She is a constant reminder that through all of the ups and downs of our life, we still have the sweet love of our Father in Heaven telling us that he still has us in his hands.

That brings me to James. James is a culmination of our love. We loved him before we knew him. We pledged to love him no matter what. He is a gift from the Lord, a reward for 12 years of our ever growing love. No one promised it would be easy. No one said it wouldn’t be hard. But there is a little shy boy down the hall that looks at us through his said puppy dog eyes that beg the question, “does anyone love me”, and our daily journey to show that love go him is nearly Stage 4 1/2. When I was away from Isaac , I had a running tally in my mind of the percent of his life that I missed and since I came home that percentage has gotten smaller. James has been away from us for 94% of his life but that fraction gets smaller ever year as well and I know that the Lord will fill in the gaps just as he did with Isaac.

I am in amazement in thinking that our love still has many more stages to go through. I can’t wait until Stage 5 and then Stage 55

And now…well, darn it, he stole all my thunder.  He’s been doing that for the past twelve years!  And you thought this was going to be ALL mush didn’t you?  Yeah, what do I say in return to that?

Uhhhhhh…….

So, I decided to do a little photo post today to celebrate twelve years.  I have loved every year of marriage to this guy.

So young...so so young.

So young…so so young.

We were newly engaged in this picture, at a Christmas party for Shinn Funeral Service, the place where Tim worked and we lived when we first got married in 2003.

We were newly engaged in this picture, at a Christmas party for Shinn Funeral Service, the place where Tim worked and we lived when we first got married in 2003.

At my sister's wedding the year before our wedding.

At my sister’s wedding the year before our wedding.

On our wedding day, June 7th, 2003.

On our wedding day, June 7th, 2003.

Military years...this was when Tim was going to schools all over the place.  Isaac and I drove hours to visit him every chance we got and had the privilege to see many of the times he graduated from a school or was promoted.

Military years…this was when Tim was going to schools all over the place. Isaac and I drove hours to visit him every chance we got and had the privilege to see many of the times he graduated from a school or was promoted.

And then there were the military years....this was right before Tim deployed to Iraq for a year in 2008.

And then there were the military years….this was right before Tim deployed to Iraq for a year in 2008.

This was taken when I visited him on a break while he was training for deployment.

This was taken when I visited him on a break while he was training for deployment.

On one of his two-week breaks before he left for Iraq, a sweet friend flew him in to visit with us before leaving for the year.

On one of his two-week breaks before he left for Iraq, a sweet friend flew him in to visit with us before leaving for the year.

This was right after we welcomed Hannah and became a family of four.

This was right after we welcomed Hannah and became a family of four.

Here is the last military function we were able to attend together.  I was sick as a dog, but I am so thankful for this final sweet memory of the military.  You excelled and they were great years.

Here is the last military function we were able to attend together. I was sick as a dog, but I am so thankful for this final sweet memory of the military. You excelled and they were great years.

Taken two years ago...

Taken two years ago…

A ministry conference we attended last year...it was a great break, and my second time to visit the beach.

A ministry conference we attended last year…it was a great break, and my second time to visit the beach.

We are quite the pair at VBS last year.  The theme fit us quite well I think.

We are quite the pair at VBS last year. The theme fit us quite well I think.

One of my favorite things about being married to Tim is that he is my partner in kingdom work.  I love serving God alongside him.

One of my favorite things about being married to Tim is that he is my partner in kingdom work. I love serving God alongside him.

This was taken early this year...we had just welcomed James.

This was taken early this year…we had just welcomed James.

This year at LBC's Egg Drop.  Love being beside him.

This year at LBC’s Egg Drop. Love being beside him.

I have said many times that I would go wherever he takes me.  And I have!  I have ridden horses (and smiled through most of it even though I was literally dying inside from a heart attack!), I have learned the games of basketball and football and chosen favorite teams, I have driven to Oklahoma every weekend with a 1-year old in tow, I have swam in a lake where you can’t see through the water!  It takes a special person to get me, an ole stick-in-the-mud to do all those exciting things.  And I’m still ready for our next adventure.

I love you.  Happy 12 year anniversary, Tim.

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