Thursday, September 18, 2014

Turns out we're pretty different.

Almost exactly 5 years ago, Ben told me he loved me.
I said, "what do you mean?"

Yep, you heard it.
Ben: I love you, Renee
Me: What do you mean by 'love?'

(Ladies, just let me know if you need any other romantic advice...)

This was our first picture together. It was blurry. Kind of like the next few months before we decided to get married :)

But seriously, we were babies.

(Speaking of babies, we got married so quickly people joked about a baby. That is an awkward joke by the way. Don't say that to people.)

Fast forward 5 years.

I'm sitting in church the other day. As the sermon is ending, I glance over at Ben's notes and I have a revelation: all of our differences are evidenced in the way we take notes at church.

His notes: 2 sentences, scribbled at the top of the church bulletin in black ball point pen.
My notes: 4 pages of cursive and arrows and brackets in pink ink, written in my notebook that I bring every Sunday and then will add to the box of all the notebooks from all the years of church notes.

He processes internally and then verbalizes one sentence that sums up everything neatly and comprehensibly.
I process out loud and after 3 hours of talking about all the angles and what-ifs and details, I try to articulate something coherent and simple. And usually can't.

He sees something he likes and decides, "yes."
I see something I like, research all the possible alternatives, and then wait for Ben to tell me to just choose already.

He looks at the menu for 1 minute, picks what sounds good, and closes it.
I read every entree description, ask the waiter for a couple more minutes (5 times), go back and forth between 2 or 3 or 4 options, ask Ben which I want, tentatively decide, ask the waiter his opinion, and then change my mind at the last minute.

He drinks 2 cups of coffee every morning. Quickly, efficiently, and in one sitting.
I drink half my cup slowly, and just keep refilling it over the course of several hours.

He likes to be on time. No... early.
I think time is flexible.

His car is neat. I recently commented on how I like how clean his car is and I wish I could have mine as clean. He responded, "well, I just take out everything I bring into it." (so simple, and yet so difficult.) There are cheerios all over my car. and coffee cups and gum wrappers and those green things from starbucks that are supposed to prevent spilling. And somehow there are also coffee stains.

The house is a different story. I like everything in its place. [I'm learning to cope with letting this go in our current season of tornadoes babies.] Laundry in the laundry basket. Toothbrushes in the tooth brush jar. Pillows neatly arranged on the couch. Toys in the toy cabinet. Ben likes the laundry on the floor, and the toothbrushes on the counter, and the pillows haphazardly thrown to the side, and the toys wherever Addie left them. [I should mention that he often puts things away because I like it that way, and that is one of the 4,239,388 reasons I love him.]

Needless to say, we are very different.
But, he loves me well.
And in 4 (ish) years of marriage, we have learned a lot about how to navigate our differences and how to love and serve each other. Mostly though, we've learned that there is more to learn about each other and about true love than we ever even realized.

It is hard and tiring and surprising... and yet fun and hilarious and awesome. 

And I'm so happy I married this man.

disclaimer: please do not judge us in this picture. it had been a long day of driving 500 miles with 2 under 2. after a beautiful (but tiring) wedding weekend. where 3 of the 4 of us stood up in it. and i was nursing. and we did the drive twice in 4 days. celebratory frozen pizza and wine were in order. and showers. we needed showers at this point. clearly :)