When my husband and I met, he already had his bachelor’s degree and was working on his Master’s. As the first in his immediate family to graduate from college, he wanted to make a career out of helping other people make it to college. Of course, I found that very appealing.

So we talked for a long time. We lived in the same dorm so we saw each other all the time. We were “just friends” for about eight months. During this time I had the biggest crush on him and he acted like I was just one of the many women he had in his life as a friend. *sigh* I wanted to be more than friends but didn’t know how in the heck to get out of the friend zone.
Then one day, we were sitting in my dorm room and he asked me for a piece of paper and a pencil. I raised an eyebrow as if to ask, What for? He wouldn’t say.

So I gave him what he asked for and waited. He wrote something down and then folded up the paper and gave it to me. I unfolded it and read the note. “I know you just got out of a relationship, but when you feel like you’re ready for a relationship, when you’ve had time to figure out what you want, keep me in mind when that time comes along.” My heart fluttered. Really? After all this time, he felt the same way I did? He wanted to be more than friends too? I THINK I JUST WON THE JACKPOT! We started dating almost immediately and have been inseparable ever since. That was 2004.

Now eight years of relationship and five years of marriage have passed. And I find it amazing that I actually love him more now than I did way back when, when I thought I would explode from being so giddy all the time. I’ve written a lot about my struggles—my insecurity, self-doubt and rocky transition to motherhood—and he has been the constant in helping me overcome them.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was hyperventilating. I was young, I was in college and babies weren’t in my plans for at least another five years. But my boyfriend never wavered, never let me see if he was scared too. He held us together while I freaked out. He’s a pretty quiet guy, but he’s consistently there when I need him.

We were just two young kids, growing a family and trying to figure life out. I know he had to have some of the same concerns and questions I did, but he was our anchor. He kept his head down and kept moving, never once complaining about the long hours at his job or the demands I put on him at home or the tireless work of being a good dad. He never once complained.
So on our fifth anniversary, I thank him today for being so reliable.
For believing in me when I decided to start my own business.

For pushing me to keep going when I felt like that was too much for me.
For being a strong role model for our kids.
For fixing the internet when it goes out, or fixing the printer when I’m on deadline for class.
For picking up dinner on his way home when he knows I’ve had a busy day.
For surprising me with little “Just because I care” items.
For tickling our kids until their cheeks turn red.
For giving our kids as many kisses as they can stand.
For listening to our kids when they come to you with any concern, large or small.
Thank you for being my rock. I couldn’t do this without you.

Guest Post by Tara Pringle Jefferson, The Young Mommy Life