Today is our anniversary. And not just our wedding anniversary, it’s also our dating anniversary. You see I met my husband on a blind date Aug 2, 2008 and on Aug 2, 2009 – we got married. So this makes 9 years married for us this year. In keeping with tradition, that would mean that our traditional gift idea would be a willow. Weeping willows happen to be my favorite tree. Ironic? I think not. It’s very fitting and very perfect for this year approaching.

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Since embarking on a much more spiritual journey together as a couple in this last year, I feel as though this symbol is quite perfect for 9 years of marriage. The willow tree has several pieces of significance in cultural as well as religious symbolism. The first one being that it sends the message of flexibility. It’s one of the few trees able to bend at such extremes without snapping.

Flexibility in a marriage is a must, especially being married to the military. We have had to continually adjust our life, much like the willow tree bends to surrender to the process of life, versus fighting against it. Frequent schedule changes between day and night shift, 4 deployments, 2 PCSes, 4 hours in 6 years, 2 dogs, 3 job changes, enrolling in school, and 1 baby – We’ve been bending and flexing together as a unit. Even when sometimes we feel the pressure to crack, we find a bit more flex in our life to give a little bit more.

Not only is the willow flexible, but it is also adaptable. And marriage must adapt. From challenges in life and death, a marriage must adapt to it’s current situation in order to keep molding and thriving. We’ve had deaths in our family, birth, mental illness, loss of jobs, financial crisis, etc. We’ve seen a lot in our time together as a unit, but looking back, we’ve also grown so much together. Our communication has improved, our love is strengthened, and our outlook on life has shifted. Where once we used to pride ourselves in materialistic things, we now relish in simple weekends together as a family. Where once we used to spend large amounts of cash of presents, we now save for family vacations together where we make memories instead.

Our marriage is supported because we’ve continued to grow individually, we well as together as a unit. We’re still challenging one another, laughing with each other, and encouraging the other to learn and explore. We are our biggest supporters, the loudest cheerleaders. We do more than life together, we do heart and soul.

To the breath of my lungs, the beating of my heart, and the person I can fart in front of without embarrassment – Happy Anniversary my Love.