(On August 12, we celebrated our 10th Anniversary. I started to write this that night…we have had such an amazing journey together and some great highlights.  But writing this especially our fifth year, was so hard  I stopped writing and have not even logged into my blog since.  I’m making this a two-part blog. Stay tuned for the next five years…I plan to post that around June of 2012…just kidding)

A lot can happen in Ten Years.

You can get married on a beautiful day, in beautiful weather, surrounded by beautiful people at the most beautiful ceremony and think that this is the highlight of your life….

You can go on a honeymoon to San Fransisco and stay at the seediest hotel there, and last one night(after you realize a woman is running a business in the next room).  Then you can stay at a nice place until you stay at the Ritz Carlton which is still nicer than any house you’ve ever been in. You see a very famous comedian, at a show, insult women and get very drunk. You get your first cell phone, which is bigger than your hand. You can almost get beat up by some bikers. And You can run out of money, and have to stay at a hotel on the way home where you are so scared you have to sleep with all the furniture propped against the door.

A lot can happen in Ten Years.

You can get a job as an aerobic’s instructor. You can shop for dogs until your landlord says you can’t have them, and then start looking for a new place.  You can drink wine and make gourmet cheeseburgers. You can notice your jeans don’t fit.  You can fight. A lot. You can watch the longest election result show…s…in history.  You move into a new place, plan to get a dog who weighs more than you, even though your pants don’t fit. You start college again, the house burns down.  You save your husband’s life, do 27 loads of laundry in a laundry mat, lose your couches and so many other things…and have to lie about your income to move into a dingy apartment.  Oh, and you’re pregnant, and there still is no president.

The day after you find out you’re pregnant, you find out you’re actually already 2 months along and then start getting sick instantly. You throw up right after eating chinese food in a parking lot. 3 times. And  even though he holds your hair for you, your husband is pale.

You only eat Pokemon mac n’ cheese for 2 months. You fall asleep right after dinner and have a new job working in the schools. You hold hands, but are so scared about the future. This apartment isn’t safe for a baby. Some people donate couches to you.  You have no money.  So you start looking at houses. You find a house even though you don’t have money, and somehow they give it to you for nothing down and then rent it from you as they build a house. You’ve fallen in love again, with a house.  And a heartbeat, you hear for the first time.  You are only 4 months pregnant and have gained 30 lbs.

You celebrate by getting ice cream.  You declare everything a celebration.  And you find out you are having a boy.  You buy little blue booties’, and keep tums next to your bed. And end up spending your First Anniversary with your in-laws and they treat you to hot chocolate.

A lot can happen in 10 years.

You can get a call in September and the world will turn upside down. You can watch every news channel and see the same image, live the same nightmare.  You are scared.  You put an American Flag in your window.  Your husband says he doesn’t want to be an appraiser anymore.  He wants to do something more. You can’t see your feet, and you’ve never been more afraid for your child.

You have gained 70 pounds.  He is born in less than 8 hours, sunny side up and only weighs 8lbs 5oz. You think most of it is in his head. You have complications and don’t get to hold him for over an hour, your husband names him Jonah Michael, after your Mother in Law Joan, and your Dad.  It is only the third time you’ve seen your husband cry, and he cries as he holds him and you lie there lights over you, in so much pain, hearing a surgeon, berate your less than perfect doctor.   You mom throws her back out watching your labor.  But your Jonah… He is perfect, even if it takes a week to figure out how to nurse. And a month to figure out he eats every hour and a half.  Your husband only gets one day off work.

Baby’s change fast, and so does your life.

Your husband decides he wants to be a police officer.  Your baby smiles for the first time. You get him baptized and everyone agree’s he is perfect.  You love your house and life, and friends.  You find yourself loving being a parent. You have no money, have only lost 30 lbs, and your son rolls over. Your husband hates his job and stops shaving before going to work. He start applying other places, and you become obsessed with the show American Idol. Your husband goes to work during the day, and at nights and weekends works as a reserve police officer.

Your second Anniversary is spent going to dinner. You leave the baby for the first time.  You are going for less than two hours and he kisses his reflection in the TV screen most of that time.

A lot can happen in 10 years.

Your husband gets a job where you went to college.  Your house sells before you list it.  It takes a lot longer to find a house.  You go to your best friend’s one year sobriety and find the house the next day. You don’t love it, but move anyway.  A week after you move, your Dad gives you a Dog.  You fire the air conditioning guy.  Your son’s first word is Amy. And you find out you’re pregnant. And this time you were trying.

You husband graduates from the Academy, and it’s very hard. It’s a hard job, and he works nights.  You watch a lot of reality TV, and eat a lot of ginger snaps.  You get lonely a lot.  And go to Starbucks once a week. You find out your OB is a lesbian, and your husband thinks her name sounds like she’s a pirate. She tells you… you’re overweight. You want to tell her, tell me something I don’t know. But you just nod,  and eat a whole pumpkin pie after the appt…because you can.

You find out you’re having a boy. You tell your other son, he pats your belly, and he names him Danny.  You spend your  third Anniversary with your little family, and then Amy comes over so you can go to a fancy dinner. You dress up in a maternity dress that makes you look like a tent, but when you wear your sunglasses on your head you feel young. You journal that night that you wonder if your husband is still attracted to you.

A lot can happen in 10 years. Your next son is born on his Dad’s birthday in a couple of hours. The doctor on call is amazing, beautiful, and you decide you’ll never see the other doctor again.  And  being a mom again…It is such an easy transition, though you forget what sleep is like.  You find out your friends are getting married. You are doing weight watchers with your best friend and losing weight. Your toddler throws great temper tantrums.  Your husband has a hard supervisor, it is hard. The baby smiles all the time, so easy. Around six months, you stop returning calls. You began to want to scream all the time, but when you open your month everything is silent. It is a very dark couple months.  Your husband calls the doctor and you find out you have post-partum depression. A friends moves in and see’s that you are a monster to live with, but does pilates with you every night. And Med’s make all the difference, and none of your alienated friends bail.  You go to four weddings, and are in one.  And you’ve lost 80 lbs.

You go to dinner on your fourth Anniversary in Yakima Washington. It’s free babysitting, ala parents, and you go to Red Robin.  If you can survive Post Partum by this point you believe you can survive anything!

A lot can happen in 10 years.

Daniel is the happiest kid you’ve ever met.  He loves to climb and laugh. He loves to put underwear on his head and run in circles. He inspires you…So, you run your first 5K and then second.  Your brother in law has been in Iraq for well over a year, so you’ve seen your sister a lot and she is getting ready to welcome him home and move to Kentucky. Jonah is in preschool and you feel like being a mom is the best greatest adventure of your life. So you decide to try again.

This pregnancy is different. You spend days on the couch making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the couch for your two children. You can barely stand half the time.  Jonah and Daniel both watch over 7 hours a TV a day. Emily and Amy come and clean your house. You watch church on TV. You faint on the day Pope John Paul 2 dies, and have to be taken to the hospital.  And the worst day of your life is on May 27, followed by an even worse day on May 28.  And you never get over it. The silence of not hearing her heartbeat gives you nightmares for months.

On your fifth Anniversary you go to Scandinavian festival for Amy’s birthday.  You all go back to her house afterwards, and she has a cake for you.  You head away for one night to Portland and go to dinner and spend the night at the Super 8, while the kids stay with Emily and Christina. You are gone 16 hours.

You have seen the best and the absolute worst.  Your husband pats your hair as you cry the whole way home.  He tells you he loves you no matter what, and you’ll get through this.  For the first time in months, you find hope. Because a lot can happen in 10 years.