Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On Being Grateful

We just booked a trip to England and France at the end of June. I have never left the country before and I've always always fantasized about doing something like running through the English countryside and visiting the Tower of London. (The place Anne Boleyn was imprisoned and finally beheaded. I have a thing for English monarchs and scandal. What can I say?) The fact that we are bringing the girls with on this trip and they will get to experience such places at 8 and 11 years old kind of blows my mind.

I guess what I'm feeling is that I'm grateful to be able to do such things in my life. This summer Jason and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and thinking back to 1997 it seems unfathomable that we would be in the place that we are now. Yes, we fully intended to still be together but back then I was used to a life in our Chicago apartment that we paid for with our student loan checks. I remember things like counting out all the money in my change jar so I could get on the bus to class, or sitting in the dark for hours because we blew a fuse and only the landlord was allowed the key to the basement to turn the lights back on. When Juliana was a few months old I have this memory of having to leave a full cart of groceries at the store because my credit card was declined. I picked her up out of the seat and bolted out the door, completely embarrassed.

We have been lucky in many ways to be in the position we are now. Things have been not-so-lucky too. We were able to buy our first home because my mom died and left me enough money that we could use for a down payment. If I could go back and live in that third floor walk up in Chicago with no lights and have her back would I do it? Without question. Does it mess with my mind a little bit sometimes? Indeed.

Jason has also been incredibly lucky in his career. But it's also more than just luck- he is pretty brilliant. Did I know this when I married a 19-year-old photography major? Of course I thought he was smart, creative and funny. I was also fully prepared to count out quarters from the change jar to buy Ramen noodles and take the bus wherever we needed to go indefinitely. I never thought about where we might be in 2012. (When we first got married, we didn't even think we'd ever have kids! Um.. oops.)

So this is me sitting here feeling overwhelmed with gratitude and frankly humbled by what I have in my life. Having a wonderful husband and two lovely daughters that are healthy and happy would be enough for me, but the fact that we get to share such incredible adventures together in this life has my head spinning.

Here's to 1997, two college kids getting hitched, and the great unknown.


  1. Your girls will be forever thankful that you guys included them in this trip. What an amazing journey life takes. Have a great time!

  2. Tracey - I love this post. My parents got married in a very similar situation - still in school and my dad actually hadn't even figured out what he wanted to do with his life. They had love and figured no matter what would happen in life, they'd figure it out together. Your girls are so incredibly lucky to not only have parents who have a relationship built on love but one that has grown so much in such a short time. I love hearing stories of what life was like when my parents got married and having the example they've set of working hard to achieve dreams they never thought possible.

  3. Thanks Renee. I'm so excited to be able to do these things for my kids. I feel like I had a really great childhood but I never would have dreamed being about to do something like this.

    @Angie- *sniffle* Thanks for saying what you just did.

  4. Aww, that's wonderful you can do that for your kids - and even more amazing that you appreciate it all so clearly and wonderfully.