12 Years, 12 Points of Gratitude

newlyweds.JPGThis year I've been feeling a bit emotional about relationships. After several years with little activity on the wedding circuit, there's been so much love to celebrate -- within one year, three of my sisters and five other dear friends (!) have tied or will tie the knot. And on the other end of the spectrum, I've seen friends struggle in their relationships -- my heart aches mightily for them. So, following the tradition of my reflections on Jon and my 9th, 10th, and 11th anniversaries, today, in honor of our 12 years of marriage, I wanted to share 12 points of gratitude. Because as I have watched life unfold for us and our loved ones, it's clear that we should never take good things for granted.
Twelve reasons why I am grateful for Jon, in no particular order:

1. He always listens and hears me out, even when I'm not completely making sense.

2. He has helped me see that our different approaches to work and life can converge and complement one another. Small but important example: I tend to prefer to line up things on the calendar in advance. He prefers to wait until the last minute -- not to be lax, but because he prefers to see how he's feeling in the moment. I have benefited a lot from adopting this approach when feasible.

3. He makes self care time a priority -- both for himself and for me.

4. After supporting my career leap six years ago, he is taking his leap and doing a smashing job of it. Jon started his counseling psychology journey the week Laurel was born -- chipping away at classes while working full time, gradually accruing his bajillion supervision hours, and ultimately passing his licensure exam. I'm so proud of him.

5. He is supportive of me and my work, even when it is challenging to reconcile that new projects for me inherently place demands on him.

6. He pushes me when I need to be pushed. (For example, when it's clearly time to call my therapist...)

7. He is an incredible father. I know that he can do everything I do for the kids. Sometimes better, even.

8. He is on my side. This past year Jon defended my honor, as it were, in the face of some extremely challenging issues with a family member. Despite the stress of the situation, seeing him stand up for me was possibly the most romantic thing I've ever seen.

9. He still thinks to do the little things. Like bring me a latte and plate of cookies while I'm in the writing cave.

10. He still appreciates every meal I make for the family.

11. He makes me feel beautiful every day and never is short on compliments. Just last night, as we left for dinner, he said, "Wow, those are the perfect shoes for that outfit Christine. You look beautiful." Awesome.

12. He gives me foot rubs. Almost daily. And he offers, I don't even need to ask.

Thank you for an amazing twelve years Jon. I feel so grateful for this life we have built and am excited to see what the next twelve years bring.