It's hard to believe that 8 years ago today, my wife, Carrie, and I officially began our lives together. It seems like such a long time ago, in the best sense of the term. We have enjoyed so many different things together and have come a long way from where we started.
When we were first married we lived in a little Cape in Stratford, CT. Both of us were working and we didn't really feel the need to budget anything since there was no shortage of funds. Now, Carrie has turned into a coupon-clipping genius who is always grinning ear to ear when she gets home from the grocery store, eager to tell me of how much money she saved on groceries and which items she got for free.
Our last trip prior to children was to Disney World, where I spent a good deal of time as a child about my oldest son's age. We had such a blast and are eager to repeat the experience, both without kids and with kids. We certainly don't want to be among those parents who we have seen dragging their tired toddlers around, forcing them into "fun" as they continually meltdown before the eyes of everyone in the park. So, I think that we will wait a few years. Plus, the financial chances of us doing it right now are pretty slim. But we will return.
We are also eager to get back to Bermuda, where we spent our honeymoon at the suggestion of my cousin. Unbeknownst to my cousin, he set off a chain reaction after he went as not only Carrie and I went and stayed at the same resort, but my sister-in-law and her husband did as well for their honeymoon. It's going to take us a little longer to get back there, but it will be well worth the wait when we finally do.
After five years of marriage, God blessed us with a son, Dylan. He is such a combination of the two of us, but probably favors me in his sense of humor and desire to be the center of attention. 23 months and many miles later, God blessed us with a second son, Tucker, who is equally a combination of us, though I think that he favors Carrie in his introspective ways. Although Carrie liked the name Dylan, he was named after one of my all time favorites and his middle name was taken from Carrie's grandfather, who was a very special man. Tucker was named after my great uncle, a spiritual mentor for my father. His middle name was taken from Carrie's great grandfather and her maiden name as well.
Over many miles and minutes, God has taken us on an incredible journey. As we have been going through the book of James on Sunday mornings in church, one of our pastors shared this past week about "divine detours," things that may divert us from our own way but that God had planned all along. We certainly have had our share of those. If you had asked both of us on our wedding day where we would be in 8 years, I have a hard time believing that we would have been able to predict. But we wouldn't change it for the world. Although we have hard our share of heartaches and pain, God has bonded us closer together through His grace.
The journey here was hardly one that was done in solitude. We have had a host of supporters in the form of great family and friends. People have lifted us up in prayer, cried with us, laughed with us, and sat in stillness with us when there were no words to be spoken. We have seen family "graduate" to their "new home" and also have seen our family grow as God has blessed sisters, brothers, and cousins with children. I can only hope and pray that Carrie and I will successfully pass on the heritage of faith to our children that has been passed on to us from generations before.
Thank you to all who have supported us with words, finances, prayers, and much more. We never would have gotten here without you. Thank you, God, for Your faithfulness and grace, Your willingness to fix broken vessels, and patience to continually give second chances. Thank you to my wife, Carrie, my best friend, my confidant, my partner, my gift from God. I look forward to spending many more years together with you. You are the love of my life!