May 15, 2005 is the day my husband and I exchanged vows in front of God and 130 of our closest friends and family members. May 15, 2005 was 12 years ago. Twelve. I can’t even believe it’s been that long. In all honesty, I feel as though it was just yesterday. Cliché. I know, but it’s true. I can’t believe we’ve gone from newlyweds to long-time married people with four kids who’ve been together almost half our lives at this point. It’s amazing, but time flies when you’re having fun.
I know I talk a lot about my husband, but there are just so many amazing things to say about him. Everyone who knows Craig will tell you he is the kindest, most selfless, most beautiful person on the inside and the out. He is the kind of person who makes everyone around him just a little better. He’s a gentleman to the core. I am so proud to call him my husband, and I am so proud our little boy gets to grow up with such a lovely example of what a real man looks like. I am just as proud our three girls get to grow up with such a shining example of what to look for and expect in the men they’ll one day marry and begin their own families with.
I could talk about Craig all day. He truly inspires me to be a better person, and he inspires everyone around him to be better. He’s just a gentle soul with a beautiful heart. So kind and thoughtful, always looking out for us first, and he’s always thinking of others long before he ever thinks of himself.
Let me share an example with you. Last year, he left the bank he’d been with for more than 15 years to make a major, exciting, and wonderful career move. When he left, several weeks of his vacation was still unused. The bank cashes out unused vacation time and pays the employee the cash value of it, but my husband made a request that they not do that. Rather than taking thousands of dollars in cash, he wanted to know if there was a way he could gift his remaining vacation time to a woman he’d worked with many years. Her husband had been recently diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and he thought giving her his paid vacation time to use so she could spend more time with her husband was a far more valuable use of that money.
When her husband passed recently, she sent my husband a lovely note thanking him for that thoughtful gift; she said that because of him, she was able to spend the last several weeks of his life by his side without worrying about work or money. What he did was selfless, kind, and beautiful; and it’s just Craig.
All the sweet mushy stuff aside, today is our twelfth wedding anniversary, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to share with you all 12 things about our marriage you didn’t know…which I know seems impossible given how much of our life I share on social media.
- We are kind-of high school sweethearts
I say kind-of, because I’m not his! We met on a blind date on November 2, 2001. He was a freshman in college, and I was a senior in high school. We met that night, and we’ve been together ever since. I consider us high school sweethearts, because we were both 18 and he was mine.
- We both knew right away
The night I met Craig, I knew I’d marry him. He said the same thing, but that he was terrified I didn’t feel the same…and it’s all my pesky little brother’s fault. This was back in the day of cell phones being relatively new, and my parents weren’t on board with that yet. I was probably the only high school student without one at the time! Craig called me the morning after we met and my brother answered the phone. He’s 3 years younger than me, has a mission in life to make me miserable, and he’s nowhere near as funny as he thinks (love you, jerk-face!). Anyway, he told Craig he’d tell me he called, and he didn’t. So he called again the next day, and my brother told him he told me he called – he did not – and made Craig think I wasn’t interested. Fortunately, when he didn’t call after a few days, I decided to call him and ask him what was up with that. We exchanged stories, I confronted my brother (who thought it was hilarious) and that was that.
- We got engaged at 19
Actually, I believe Craig was 20 when he proposed. He asked me to marry him on May 25, 2003. We were on a date weekend in Jacksonville, and we had dinner at the Chart House. I was 19, he was 20, and we’d been together about a year and-a-half. After dinner, we decided to walk along the river when we saw a fountain and thought it would make a great photo background. I handed another couple my camera and asked them to take a photo. They said yes, and I posed. I just remember thinking, “What is Craig doing tying his shoe right now? He can’t wait until we are done with our photo since these people are just standing here waiting to take one?!” It never even occurred to me he was wearing dress shoes that don’t tie, and I didn’t realize what was happening until the woman holding my camera started to scream.
That’s when I realized he was down on one knee with a diamond ring asking me to marry him. I have no idea what he said, but I do have a photo of the exact moment it happened.
- We waited to get married
We decided to wait two years after we got engaged to get married. We wanted to get life in order, which meant school and our first house. We began building our first house in 2004, and we wanted to be able to furnish every room with brand new furniture, and make it our own. We decided to use those two years to do a lot of saving for all those expensive things…and a super honeymoon!
- We don’t do time apart
We moved in together six months into our relationship when I graduated high school, and we’ve spent a grand total of 4 nights apart in our almost 16 years. Three of those were in the past year when Craig had a work trip in Phoenix and I had Fashion Week events in NYC (and I took his mom and my aunt with me!). To quote Craig, “At the end of the day, I just want to get into bed with my wife. If you aren’t with me, I don’t want to be there,” which should tell you how we felt about those nights apart.
- We are total opposites
I’m an irrational, anxious, perfectionist. Craig is a calm, wise, thoughtful soul. I need him. A lot. Otherwise, I’m sure I’d be in prison for something entirely ridiculous, like road rage or running someone over with my cart for not answering my 739359 excuse me’s in the supermarket when they park in the middle of the aisle and walk away from their cart.
- Craig is a much better parent than I
He has more patience. He’s the primary diaper changer, the get up at night when someone needs something (which is maybe five or six times a year, so don’t feel too sorry for him). He is the boo-boo fixer, the bath giver (I have a thing about grout and bathtubs that freaks me out and makes me gag), and the lunchbox-packer. I’m the reading teacher, the game school clothes picker-outer and their personal chauffeur when it’s time for school in the morning.
- We are super competitive
Like, super competitive. We compete with one another about everything from who has the longest golf drive (me) to who can come up with the most facts about our marriage to who can get undressed and into the shower fastest. We compete to see who can throw a baseball faster, who drives better, who is funnier. We’ve been known to race through the house to get to the bathroom faster than the other so we don’t have to use the girls’ bathroom downstairs or the twin’s bathroom upstairs(have I mentioned our 6-year-old is a huge fan of “Shaking it off” when she goes potty, and then sliding across the seat to stand and wipe? Yeah…no one wants to use her bathroom). We are competitive…and we love it.
- We are food snobs (and wine snobs)
Big time. Like super snobby snobs. And we are totally okay with that. Unless we are with other people, it’s highly unusual for us to have a dinner bill that’s less than $300. We love good food and good bottles of wine.
- We never go to bed separately
In almost 16 years, we have never once gone to bed at different times. We get into bed at the same time every night. After we fall asleep on the couch for about an hour, and finally drag ourselves to bed – because we are never more comfortable than we are at that moment in time.
- We really do have the most fun together
I love hearing other people tell us we look like we are on our honeymoon. That makes me feel so good, and I’m convinced it’s because we spend so much time laughing and talking when we are out. Our conversation flows so nicely, and let’s face it – we are both hilarious. I’m sure we are the only people who think so, but we’re pretty amused by us.
- We ignore one another pretty much all day
Seriously. He sits 3 feet away from me in our shared home office, and he has for almost a year now. We spend every minute (save for when we pick the kids up and take them to school or practice) together of every day, every week, every month, but we don’t really speak to one another all day. He’s working. I’m working. Other than a kiss when we walk by or a coffee refill and the once or twice a week we find time to tear away from our desks to have lunch together, we don’t really speak until after 5 pm. We might be workaholics.
We aren’t perfect. We have our moments, but we’ve learned a lot in our 12 years of marriage. We’ve learned that our problems are so first world. We’ve learned that we have it good, and we have no real legit complaints. We’ve learned that the honeymoon feeling doesn’t go away as your relationship gets longer. We’ve learned to grow together. We’ve learned to appreciate one another, to cheer one another on, and to be each other’s biggest supporter and best friend. We’ve learned a lot and we aren’t done yet.