Matt and I took the kids out to dinner last night. We got to the restaurant nice and early, hoping to beat the rush. We still had to wait 15 minutes to be seated. We just missed ordering before a party of thirteen so it took a bit for our order to be placed. The restaurant was particularly busy for a Wednesday night so service was understandably slow. From start to finish, it was a much longer dinner out than I excepted. The kids were squirrely and loud. As they whined and played with knives and picked food off the floor and played musical chairs and bickered over crayons and laughed and scarfed down their food I just gazed across the table at my husband - completely and totally overwhelmed by how much I love this man.
Matt and I met in 1997, toward the end of our first year of college. My first impression was that he was a "very nice hippie". Years passed and we were very good friends. During the time our college years overlapped in San Luis Obispo we spent many hours talking about life and dreams and goals and family. But neither of us ever thought we would end up together, married and parenting 4 children. In 2001 I had just graduated college and I was preparing to get my teaching credential. Matt was finishing at UCSD and applying to medical schools. After not talking for almost 2 years we had a brief email exchange in which I learned he was a bit worried about the application (and acceptance) process. After our email exchange I sent him a letter, hoping to encourage him along in the process. Two weeks later I received a letter from Matt.
Prior to this letter, I never thought of marrying Matt. I admired the man he was but I never thought he was the man for me. But one sentence in one very dear letter changed all of that.
"I want to send my kids to you!"
The moment I read that line my heart skipped a beat and I thought,
"I want your kids to be my kids!"
The clarity God placed on my heart in that moment was shocking. After a month or so of mulling over my hearts desire to be with Matt I called him. Unknown to me, Matt had been mulling over his own thoughts. And he had decided to call me too - at the exact same moment. So for the first time in nearly two years we talked. It was a brief and awkward phone conversation. After a few more conversations that turned into face to face visits. And a long distance dating relationship that turned into a long distance engagement we were married in July of 2003. And the rest, as they say, is history.
My love and appreciation for Matt has grown stronger with each passing year. Matt and I both feel we've been blessed with a marriage we only thought possible in our dreams. The time we spend together isn't always exciting or romantic - but it is always appreciated and treasured. Matt is my most precious gift. And by God's grace he has gifted Matt and I with 4 beautiful children (and 2 more awaiting us in heaven). I thank God every single day that he gave me a heart to love that "very nice hippie" and worked out life so that my kids are indeed his kids too.