Nine years on the ninth day of the ninth month.

This is FPD and I, nine years ago today.

That’s right, we are celebrating our 9th anniversary on 9/9/09. This picture hangs above our bed and as I looked at it extra hard today, I thought “oh my gosh, if I could only tell that couple from then what I know now”. And, because I love me some country music, I thought of the song about the guy who sends a letter to his teenage self. If I could write a letter to the couple in the picture above I would probably say something like this:

Dear newly married FPM and FPD,

Congratulations! I know that you worked long and hard to get to this point. High school, college, FPM getting sick and almost dying, and you STILL made it! And, you did it together. That tenacity and willingness to work together will serve you well in years to come.

I know you talk long and hard about what the future will hold for the two of you. Without going into specifics, in many ways life will turn out a lot like you planned, but in many ways it will be very different. Helpful, I know. Just be open to new ideas and changes and you’ll do fine. Don’t flip out when things don’t go quite as planned (that one was meant for you, FPM). Let go of your idea of the way things “should be”, because they won’t be that way. They will be better. FPD will take a different path then you had planned because it makes him happy. And, FPM will find skills she never knew she had. You’ll have the MANY children that FPM always wanted (don’t worry FPD, it was a MUTUAL decision). The children won’t come to you in the way you expected. And, they won’t look a whole lot like you. That turns out to be ok too, because that becomes an important part of your life as well. And you’re happier than you could have ever imagined.

So far you’ve been very lucky, blessed to do everything you’ve ever really wanted to. You will continue to grow together, in faith and love. I’m proud of the two of you. So, no real advice other than, keep loving each other. But, if I were to go all ‘Back to the Future’ on you I would warn you that there will come a day when your second son colors on the wall in green crayon and you have to spend the day repainting the hallway. Don’t be too hard on him. Later on you’ll find out that his little brother really did it.

All my love,

FPM of the future,

who is off to call FPD on his cell. Yes, that’s right. In the future, you can EACH afford a cell phone.