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Marriage is: Choosing each other again and again (and again)

To my love,

Today, after I showered, I dried off, got dressed, and slipped my wedding band back on before I brushed my hair. For some reason, today I stopped and looked at my ring and thought to myself, What a funny tradition wedding bands are.

I remember when we picked it out together. I remember when you slipped it on my finger five and a half years ago. And even though the whole thing is a little strange to me (that some people symbolize their partnership with a ring)—I also think it's a beautiful tradition and a sweet reminder of where our story began. It's a reminder of the commitment we've made to each other. But engagement rings and wedding bands and wedding ceremonies and witnesses and signed documents are all more grand gestures of a couple's commitments to each other.

I'm noticing, more and more every day, that our commitment to each other is woven into our every day. It's in the small things, and the big things. The quiet things and the boisterous things. It's simple and special. Sweet and proud.

I see your commitment when you wake up at 3 am to calm our crying kiddo—even though you have to wake up in two hours. Or when I am on my third nursing session of the night and it's not even 3 am yet.

I feel your commitment when you gently rub my back or lovingly cover me with a blanket when I fall asleep on the couch. Or when I rub your back just because, or when I manage to make dinner for the family (no matter how much whining or fighting might be going on at the very same time…)

I see our commitment to each other every time you make me a cup of coffee in the morning, and greet me with a sleepy kiss. Even though you're rushing around trying to get out the door. Or when I make your cup first before making my own on a Sunday morning. (We're a different coffee flavor couple, you're "regular," I'm "hazelnut.")

I feel your commitment when I lock eyes with you from across the room and you make your way to me to see if I need anything. To make sure I'm okay. Or when I come to your defense when our family is giving you a hard time.

I see our commitment when we actually hold our budget meetings and talk about what we're doing well and where we need to be better. Because we're planning and saving for our future. We're bettering our lives and our children's lives.

I feel our commitment every time we talk about going on a family adventure together. And every time we take one. No matter how difficult it is, no matter how much we have to plan and pack—they are always worth it.

I see our commitment when we have to say "no" to that really amazing sounding bachelor of bachelorette party because we can't really swing it right now with three young children.

I feel our commitment when you accept my apology. When I curl into your arms and lay next to you even after (very) dramatically declaring, "I'm just going to go sleep on the couch!" 10 minutes prior. Or in the way we sit with each other—the only other person we'd want to be with—when we receive sad news like the passing of a dear friend or about a sick grandparent.

I see our commitment when you drop the argument. When you let me win. Or when I bite my tongue to let you get the last word—even when I may want to say more. (Sometimes a lot more if I'm being honest…😂)

I feel our commitment when we text each other throughout the day to check in with one another. Just to say hi, and let the other one know we're thinking of them. To feel each other even when we're not physically together.

I see our commitment when you wake up before 5 am and rush out the door to catch your train and work hard all day for your family. Or when I stay up late at night catching up on work.

I feel our commitment when you listen to my wildest dreams and cheer me on while I work hard to make them come true.

I think what solidifies a partnership most—even more so than saying your vows or raising a child together—is committing to each other over and over (and over) again. It's putting each other, and the family you created, above anything else. Above everything else.

It's choosing each other Every. Single. Day—when it's beautiful and inspiring, when it's hard and tiring, when it's fun and adventurous, when it's mundane and monotonous.

It's choosing each other through the highs, through the lows, and through every little bit in between—every single minute, every single second, of every single day.

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