You’re not the woman I married, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s what I hoped for.

I hoped that you and I would grow together, day by day, taking the complexities of life and learning how to simplify them.

I hoped that we would respect each other more, care for each other more, anticipate for each other more, during every day of our union—and that’s exactly what we are doing.

I had no reason to doubt that I would learn a little more about you every day, just as I had on the first day I met you. I knew you would continue to develop and learn more about yourself, your dreams and your passions, as we experienced life together.

Our personal growth and our growth as a couple is both individual and a team effort. Watching and supporting you (while certainly being supported by you) has been rewarding on more levels than I can even explain.

Although I am a little older than you, I feel as though we came of age together. Once we became a team we were, and still are, equal partners on the playing field. We may handle different responsibilities (i.e. you send the Christmas cards and I take care of the recycling) but together we are a unit.

It started out with proving that our marriage could endure our crazy work schedules. I watched you work incredibly hard and graduate from a student into a nurse. You fought for those children you worked with, and by doing so, you realized that you wanted to help even more—that you were called to help pregnant women and mothers. And watching you realize your dreams has been a gift.

Then we split our lives in half with the arrival of our daughter. You changed jobs and shifted into midwifery—helping all the ladies have all the babies. You were growing, chasing the idea that you could do better, help more, make it ‘further upstream’ to maximize your impact. We wondered if we could manage it all, handle it all.

Now, look at us. Now, we somehow juggle 3 1/2 jobs between the two of us while somehow also keeping track of three kids and a dog.

(We’re pretty awesome, BTW.)

Your ‘voice’ has grown, developed, matured. You are not the same woman I married, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.

You’ve started to reserve parts of yourself for when you need it and by doing so, not giving all of yourself away.

You’ve learned how to say no to things that distract you from what you value.

You’ve also learned that my dance moves are actually as fly as I have been telling you they are—admit it, I am basically JT. ?

You’ll look in the mirror after a shower and ask me “Am I still beautiful?” Of course you are, my love. I’ll say it right here right now—your body is not the same as it was when we got married, and neither is mine. I don’t want it to be.

It wouldn’t be representative of how you’ve become a mother three times over. You better believe that if I had a chance to show any scars I got from childbirth I’d be showing those bad boys off on Instagram every chance I got. I love your body. I always will.

The times I have cherished most with you are those quiet morning moments when we have five minutes to ourselves to wake up, talk and connect. You may think I miss you taking an hour to get ready for some fancy night out (ahem)—but, spoiler alert—I don’t at all.

I love going out with you, no matter whether you perfectly curl your hair or throw it up using one of the kid’s hair ties. I’ll continue to kick my (still) horrendous game and make you laugh.

You’re not the woman I married and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Because I love you today for who you are and I’ll love you tomorrow for the woman you will be. Just promise me that the only thing that won’t change is how much you love me (and my ‘JT-like’ dance moves).