And true to the "over-achiever" mantra so bestowed upon me as first-born of the Steve Fairchild clan, I have crammed LOTS into those years. Actually, we have. That's right, there's no more me, just we.
Although we got the cart before the horse when we were blessed with our baby girl, Kadence, our life has since gotten into the typical American routine. We have way more than we need and have lots to fill our calendars. Life is just life.
Since Sept. 18, 2004, three other children have blessed our family, bringing the Matt Oehlschlager family total (including us) to three girls and three boys.
Matt and I purchased our farm nine days before baby No. 3, Bella Rose, was born and life has not been the same. Our backs carry not only the weight of our own lives, but that of four child souls and a mortgage, cattle note and bills and bills.
Our vacations come in short stints when family takes a few kids here and there to relieve us. Right now, Matt has the kids at our pond fishing while I type in blissful, silent peace.
When I look back over the past five years, it feels like a roller coaster, like I'm sure everybody does. But as we embark on the sixth year of marriage, it feels like we're in a different season. No more new babies. No babies at all, actually. Masen (our youngest) is officially a toddler. And our oldest, Kadence, began kindergarten in August.
Our days are filled with noise and joy.
I'm not going to say our first five years of marriage have been a total joy. I don't think we could've had a rougher go at it, what with having four kids in four years, all while purchasing our peaceful little farm. Our obstacles have been many. Our battles have been many. But thankfully, Matt and I have weathered this first storm. Right now we are sailing on calm seas. But sure as the sun will rise, so will another challenge. And I pray that we are able to steady the ship when those storms arise so we can continue the voyage for another 50 years or more, God willing.
In light of our "big" anniversary, here are some words. Some words that don't contain the enormity your presence has been in my life, but hopefully show you a small glimmer of the appreciation I hold for you.
Thank you for your patience. Thank you for loving me when I don't deserve it. Thank you for my babies. Thank you for our farm — a life I never knew I wanted, but now wouldn't be able to live without. Thank you for giving the kids baths and brushing their teeth. Thank you for personifying the calm my freak-out personality lacks. Thank you for your faith. Thank you for calling me your wife and allowing me to call you husband. Thank you for all the diapers you've changed and all the pizzas you've bought.
The little life we've got wouldn't be what it is without your patient presence.