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You’re my lobster.

Dear Zach, 
Three years ago today, I watched your Turning Blue ceremony in the same city where we currently live. I felt pride, I felt nerves and I felt excitement as I waited to run and jump on you after the time we spent apart while you were gone. Of course this wasn’t the case, as PDA in uniform isn’t allowed, so I asked timidly “can I touch you?” in which we would later laugh about as I watched your dad pin your infantry cord on your uniform.

“Can I touch you?”

We grabbed a quick lunch as we waited for the reverend to marry us, squirming with excitement and anticipation. We didn’t have the wedding every girl dreams of; there was no big ceremony, no reception with fancy food and a first dance, and no one other than our parents at an intimate location. I wore white and you wore your dress blues, and we would later be forced to separate for the evening while you returned back to the barracks. You had graduation the next day and unfortunately, the army didn’t care that we had just said “I do.” 

I watched you graduate with more pride than I had ever felt in my life. I watched my husband march across the field and in a way, I watched my life change courses too. I was now a wife, to a soldier none the less, and I was so excited to begin this new journey with you. We spent the rest of the weekend together, giddy at the thought of our new relationship status and dreaded the goodbye that was to come. You had three weeks left for Airborne training and I was headed back to Ohio, without you. But we knew it would be nothing compared to a lifetime together and we said our goodbyes until next time. 
Well I decided I needed to come back down the next weekend because I just couldn’t stand to be apart from you anymore! So we spent time in Atlanta with friends and soon enough, the weekend ended. Three weeks later, we received orders to Fort Drum, New York. I quit my job, met you there, and we would spend five weeks together before you deployed to Afghanistan. Poof; in a blink of an eye, you were gone. And just to make things a little more exciting, we found out I was pregnant. 
So we spent our entire first year of marriage apart; you came home exactly 4 days before our 1 year anniversary. Everyone says the first year of marriage is hard but for us, it was no different than what we had already known. We were no strangers to being apart and although you were thousands of miles away, in a war zone and putting your life on the line, it was normal for us. As strange as that sounds, being apart is normal. 

First anniversary
Our second year of marriage was a lot of fun. We spent our time with our son, with friends that had turned into family, and exploring the beautifulness of upstate New York. You had a few trainings here and there but for the most part, we were together. A lot. And we loved it. Every single minute of it. I’m not saying we didn’t fight, because of course we did. But it was over silly things and it never lasted more than a few minutes. We knew how important it was to enjoy the time we had together and live everyday as if you were deploying tomorrow. 
So we celebrated our second anniversary with a little nature walk. We strapped on the baby, grabbed the dog’s leash, and took a long walk in the brisk New York winter weather. We looked back on the past year and smiled, and clinked our glasses to another year of marital bliss. 
Second anniversary
In a few short months, we learned that we were expecting baby number two. We were overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t wait to add another little bundle to our family. I’m sure people rolled their eyes and had their opinions but we couldn’t have been happier. We wanted a big family, we wanted to be young parents, and we wanted our children to be close in age. So you spent the summer rubbing my belly, we picked out a name, and we prepared for our move as you made the plunge to change careers. We packed up the house, I headed to Ohio, and you headed to school for more training. 
Those four months were tough. Tough on us, tough on Nolan, and tough on our marriage. We had gotten so used to being together that we forgot what it was like to be apart. I was stressed, you were busy, and it felt like we had taken a step back. We didn’t love each other any less but the stress of everything seemed to be putting more negativity on us that excitement. So you graduated school, we spent the holidays in Ohio, and then packed everything up and headed to Georgia. A few days later, our princess was born. 
As we celebrate three years of marriage today, I can only say that I love you more than the day I married you. We’ve had our good times and we’ve had our bad times and hell, if anything, that makes us normal. But to me, you’re anything but normal. 
You’re exceptional. 
You’re a wonderful husband and a wonderful father. You’re amazing at what you do, and you are kinder than anyone I’ve ever met. You drive me bat shit crazy somedays… when you crunch your cereal or I can hear you breathing from across the room. Or when you want to be touching me at all times throughout the day. 

But I love that you love me. You tell me I’m beautiful and that you love me, each and every day. You kiss me like you mean it. You hug me with every ounce of emotion, and you bend over backwards for our family. I could not be married to a better man and I thank God everyday for “stumbling” upon you that summer four years ago. 
As I learned while watching Friends, lobsters mate for life. You’re my lobster; you’re the Ross to my Rachel, and I love you to pieces. 

To three years of marriage and many more, I love you. 
-Me

 

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