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Six.

We’ve been married six years now. SIX YEARS. We’re offically closer to ten years than we are to zero…if you rounded our number, you’d round up, not down! A lot of life has been lived in the space of that six years. We’ve had a lot of wonderful, happy moments, with a handful of horrible, terrible, bad days thrown in here, because that’s just how life works. In six years we are lucky to have done so many things, been so many places, and made a million memories together.

When I think back to who I was on our wedding day, six years ago, I’m kind of amazed at how I’ve changed and grown. And when I look back at that girl, I realize that it’s only because of John that I’ve become who I am today. His presence in my life has influenced so much of who I am. I was really young when we got married…23 to be exact. The closer I get to 30, the more I realize how young I really was back then! I was a baby!

Photo by Jodi and Kurt

John and I started dating the summer that I turned 20. The very first birthday of mine that we celebrated together we went to Busch Gardens with another friend and he bought me a jello parfait cup at the Smokehouse as a birthday treat. I don’t even LIKE jello, but I ate it to be nice. I’ve known him since I was basically a kid, and spent a lot of my 20s growing up with him right there beside me.

A lot of marriages and relationships that start when you’re young don’t end up lasting as long as ours. People change, they grow apart. I consider myself lucky to have been able to grow up with John instead of growing away from him, but I don’t think it was an accident that it happened that way. I think he has consciously let me grow, learn, experience, whatever I wanted or needed to do. He’s always been my biggest supporter, my cheerleader.

I’ve watched him do this a lot over the years, but I saw it happen again just this past Saturday. We were out running on the trail together, and John, who is slowly easing back into training after having to take most of the last year off from working out due to an injury (and the surgery that the injury resulted in) started falling behind me. I didn’t really notice that he wasn’t right behind me at first…the sheer fact that he runs slightly behind me in the first place, is because I’m a brat.

(I feel like I should elaborate on that a little bit before I continue with my story) So, I’ve always been so much less fit than John…He played multiple sports in high school and has been lifting weights and exercising strenuously for more than ten years. I started running a few years ago and lifting weights regularly just two years ago. He’s always been the strongest person I knew and if he ran ahead of me, he’d leave me in his dust, so I always insisted he run slightly behind me and let me be the one to set our pace so that I wouldn’t pass out somewhere by myself on the trail. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t mind humoring somewhat diva like requests like that, so he’d allow me to run a bit ahead and set a pace that was comfortable for me.

Up until this past Saturday, we hadn’t run together in a really long time. I can’t even remember the last time we did, actually. I ran a few feet ahead of John, setting our pace, and I felt really good, so I started running just a little bit faster. A few minues passed before I realized that he wasn’t right behind me anymore. I stopped and waited and when he caught up, I asked him if he wanted me to wait and run slower for him and he said “No, you’re doing so great, go ahead and I’ll catch up.”

Tears are gathering in my eyes as I write that because I know that the reason we have made it through the past six years of what I call “mind puberty” (aka, your twenties), is because of John. Because he is better than me. Because he’s the type of person to not make me run slightly behind him because he’s not making choices based on the fact that he’s desperately afraid of getting left (unlike me…haha) and genuinely wants to watch me succeed.

In the past almost ten years since we’ve started dating, I’ve opened a business, left a full-time job to run said business, traveled to Europe and all over the US, run a marathon and two Spartan races. I’ve had a ton of life experiences that I might not have had if I didn’t have a husband who was willing to sacrifice, willing to put his own needs aside, willing to let me grow and do and learn. Where I was always slightly holding him back on our trail runs, he wanted to see me succeed no matter what. Instead of leaving the trail that day feeling like I was killing it running wise, I left feeling like I needed to step up my wife game. Rather than hold me back so I could run with him, John wanted to see me succeed. That’s the kind of person I want to be. The kind of wife I want to be. John is truly the better out of the two of us, and I’m grateful that I get to live each day with him at my side. Marriages aren’t always equal and there are times when I’m the one pulling most of the weight when it comes to the relationship, but I know that if I continue to strive to be like my sweet, kind, husband, I will for sure be better for it.

Six years into our marriage and I’m still learning new things about married life every day. I can’t wait to see what this next year of marriage will bring our way!

See more anniversary posts and other John and Katie things here!

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