Goodbye Bikini, Hello Love.

Just last week I was sitting on a beach in Mexico with a piña colada on one side and my husband on the other. He was wearing a blue swimsuit that matched the blue of his eyes.

I was wearing a green polka dot bikini that actually made me feel quite uncomfortable, being preacher’s kid who grew up wearing athletic shorts to my knees (dubbed “Lord Shorts” of course).

But it was our honeymoon. You’re supposed to show skin on your honeymoon. You’re supposed to only wear skin on your honeymoon. Or something.

We were so cute, he with his 4-ish pack (everyone loses a few “packs” after college), me with my toned legs and flat stomach.

We were so young, him trying to remember how much to tip the waiter, me trying to figure out which fancy hotel bathroom product to use on my hair.

We were so in love.

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It seems like it was just last week.

Yet somehow one week turned into 7 years.

And that cute couple went from carefree 21 year olds to tired 28 year olds with 3 kids and a mortgage.

Piña coladas now give me heartburn, he’s down to a 1 1/2-pack (if we’re being generous), and there is not a bikini in the world that can (or should) hold up this thrice-childed body.

We haven’t gone on a trip alone together since Mexico, we have yet to celebrate our anniversary from last month, and our at-home Valentine’s Day dinner this year was interrupted 4 times by sick children.

He took a week off work this week, the first in a long time.

We celebrated by buying a lawnmower, calling a plumber, hiring a landscaper, and getting tubes in our son’s ears.

Somewhere in these 7 years, we became adults with responsibilities. Our “vacations” have become centered mostly around home improvement.

We are more tired than we’ve ever been and more covered in someone else’s barf than we’ve ever been. We can’t go out by ourselves on a whim, our DVR is full of quality shows we can’t find the time or energy to watch, and our weekend fun is now measured in productivity.

And yet.

As I look over at this man through the candlelight at our kitchen table as we Rock-Paper-Scissors who will get up from our dinner date to put our oldest back in bed for the 5th time…

and as I look over at this man through the candlelight of a restaurant dinner date as we decide if we should order dessert or just head home so we don’t have to pay for an extra hour of babysitting…

and as I look over at this man as he rummages through every cabinet to find the dinosaur cup with the green straw that has to be packed for the day of preschool we are already 20 minutes late for…

and as I look over at this man who takes a vacation day to hold our high-as-a-friggin-kite two year old before he is taken back for ear surgery…

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I’m thankful we’re 7 years past our beach selves.

Early years are great. Early years are fun. Early years are flexible.

But, oh, the sweetness that comes after.

The depth. The tenderness. The partnership. The intimacy.

It’s not always easy. Or sexy. I don’t always like him, nor him me. We disagree. Often.

But I sure do love him. So much more than that little baby love I had back on that beach.

Sometimes I tell my boys that as very, incredibly, stupidly much as I love them, I loved their daddy first. And still love him the most.

They need to hear that.

He needs to hear that.

I choose him, and this season in our marriage, a million times over.

I like our life, Mr. Brooks. I can’t wait for 77 more years (and hopefully a lot more Mexican beaches) with you.

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