Seven years ago tonight, Spence and I sat side by side before a roaring (gas) fire in his upstairs guest bedroom in an ugly, overstuffed chair that once belonged to his grandmother. I shouldn't criticize the chair as it was a family heirloom (that's fancy for old and valuable) and was about to become the most significant piece of furniture in our 10-month courtship. I wish I had a picture of the chair because it was truly hideous, sporting all the colors of the 70s: avocado, brown, orange and tan. I'm sure it was stylish in its time. Anyway, we sat together in this lovely chair talking about this and that, when Spence suddenly said, "Do you want a cheese stick?" A beer or some popcorn seemed more logical, but I like cheese so I said, "Sure." And he went downstairs and brought back two cheese sticks. Thinking back, it's so funny how obviously nervous he was. He admitted later that he thought a cheese stick would settle the butterflies in his stomach. If I had known what was coming, I would have absorbed every moment, hung on every word. But I didn't. It was more like a fog of sweet words to which I enthusiastically responded, "Yes!" Then moments later I said, "Wait, did you just ask me to marry you?" I couldn't recall there being an actual question, and I worried that I had just jumped the gun and revealed my answer before he asked the question. This is so stupid, but even today I'm still not sure if he asked the question or thinks he asked the question or just made a statement that we should be together forever, but from that moment forward I made a promise to myself to cherish this man and absorb every single moment I have with him. On the outside, I do a terrible job of this. I take for granted all that he is and does. But on the inside (he likes it when girls talk about how they feel inside), I know the gift that God gave me, and my heart doesn't take a second of that for granted -- even if my actions often do.
Let me tell you what I love about my husband. He makes me laugh. He's soft-spoken and gentle, but he can single-handedly blaze a trail through the woods using only hand tools and grit. He's thoughtful and sensitive. If you hurt his feelings, he'll never tell you but he will suffer for days. He's talented. He can sing, write songs, imitate Elvis, fix things, build stuff like barns, pot racks, and porch swings, create beautiful furniture out of barn wood and tin, play guitar, operate heavy machinery, and paddle a canoe in class 4 whitewater (really class 5, but his wife frowns on this). He can spell and write grammatically correct sentences. He can read a book and learn how to do something completely new. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty, delve into tedious projects, or embark on extremely ambitious adventures that most people would think insane. He's incredibly patient with the kids . He's not even scared to take both them with him to the grocery -- or camping for a week! Most important, he was the one who remembered what was special about November 16.
I have no idea how I scored such a perfect husband. I don't deserve him. I'm a lucky girl.