Today, my husband and I celebrate 12 years of marriage. We were both young and just out of college when we said “I do” and little did we know the adventure that lied ahead of us.

We both came from families that had different pictures of marriage. My grandparents were married 56 years and lived the military life as my grandfather was a major in the U.S. Army. My parents were married 31 years where their roles were switched when my mother went to nursing school when I was in the third grade and my dad was the one taking us to practices and making dinner. My in-laws have been married 42 years and are living the good life close to family and lifelong friends.

There is no marriage alike, they are all different. And I am not here to give out marriage advice, I am by no means an expert. I knew from what I saw growing up, there were things I wanted in my marriage and things that I didn’t. But I think that we have done a pretty good job these past 12 years making it our own. Marriage is hard, it takes work and it will always be evolving. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve started to endure the evolution of life. We were blessed with two amazing sons, but have also suffered a great deal of loss. We suffered a miscarriage, I lost my grandmother, grandfather and father all in the span of 15 months.

But even with all of the low points, we’ve hit even more high points. We purchased a beautiful home in the country that we love. We travel, both near and far, and have been to some pretty amazing places. We have seen success and growth in our careers. We are always at some sort of sporting event watching our boys play where my husband is helping coach them, which was one of his dreams growing up.

We’ve been stuck at a fork in many roads over the years, but we always find our way together. I think one of the things that make our marriage work is that we have some similarities, but we are complete opposites and that balances us. Our kids love to say, “Mom is just a city girl who fell in love with a country boy.” However, I have come to love the country life and my husband can appreciate some things about the city. We don’t always see eye to eye and we have taken leaps of faith that have been good and bad, but we always take something away from it.

We are realists, we live our lives in the here and now. Sure, we have future dreams and plans, but I’ve learned a hard lesson that we are not always guaranteed tomorrow, and I want to live my life to the fullest each and every day. We very much live by the “work hard, play hard” motto in our house and I wouldn’t change one thing about our life together. It has definitely been an adventure and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Elizabeth Engelhardt is the publisher for the Seguin Gazette.

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