Dear Evan: 5 Years

Dear Evan,

Five years ago today, a DJ made you get up and dance by yourself at the beginning of our reception, which was pretty much the definition of everything you hate most in the world (dancing and being the center of attention).

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Five years ago today, I unknowingly kept scooting away from you during the ceremony, because I was nervous you were going to step on the edge of my dress. We’re slightly off-center in all our pictures.

Five years ago today, your grandparents actually got up and danced, which was surprising to all of us.

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Five years ago today, we flooded the hotel lobby with smoke from the sparklers we used at the end of the reception, practically giving the hotel staff a collective heart attack.

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It was fun.

I’m thinking about all the exciting things we have to look forward to in our sixth year of marriage: Ian’s second birthday, continuing to get settled in Grand Rapids, welcoming our new baby into the world. You will hopefully publish some research papers, and I will hopefully write a book.

But it’s the mundane and unexciting that makes our marriage what it is, and I am so looking forward to that stuff. We’ll eat frozen pizzas and too much fast food. We’ll spend too much money on coffee, and we’ll try to force ourselves to have budget meetings every week. You’ll ask what’s wrong and I’ll try not to reply, “I’m fine.” I’ll brag about Gator sports, and you’ll ask how many players have been arrested lately. We’ll make a lot of student loan payments and fill our car with tanks of gas. You’ll browse tech web sites and I’ll scroll through Instagram. We’ll play cars on the floor with Ian and wonder if our newborn had enough to eat. You’ll sing Bob Marley songs just to drive me crazy. We’ll never keep up with the laundry. You’ll squish all the bugs.

It’s a good, good life we’re building. And one day, we’ll tell our kids stories from these first five years: how we found our first apartment only two days before we got married, how we filled out FAFSA forms on our honeymoon, how we drove to Turner Field to see Chipper Jones play baseball, how our friends gave us a car when we couldn’t afford one, how we cancelled our cable every year until college football rolled around, how we learned to love and communicate and live as a team.

Five years ago today, we said yes to a lifetime of good things and hard things, questions and answers, sickness and health. We said yes to doing it all together. And that’s what we have done.

You have given me 5 years of patience and encouragement, loyalty and determination, quiet and rest, fun and adventure. You keep me steady, and I can’t think of any better teammate.

Love you. Happy anniversary.

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