Fourteen years ago, we walked Purdue graduation together, then began our married life with a journey to Arizona for Tyler's first job. We were young, half-way fearless, but mostly cheap, so we slept in the back of our U-Haul to save money on our drive out. It was a fourteen-footer (see fourteen is magical!), and with hardly any furniture to our names, our 6'3 and 5'10 frames had plenty of space to sprawl out on sleeping bags for the night. We even put safety first and jammed a wood block in the top of the back door since we couldn't lock ourselves in from the inside.
See, I did use my college education for something other than changing diapers. Street smart, I tell ya. Unless you're talking about being locked in the back of a U-Haul on a drive out West in the middle of blazing July heat.
Good thing we spent the weekend in Chicago celebrating, because on our anniversary night we're taking four energetic children to the local fair. At fourteen you splurge, and then you get practical, because there are traditions to keep and family night fair deals that can't be missed. Tonight we won't talk about dreamy love. Instead we'll talk about the outrageous cost of fair corndogs, how three year olds can't possibly behave in 100 degree heat, and we'll encourage our mini 4-H'er with gushy words about his coin collection displayed in an egg carton.
All in the name of love, of course.
At fourteen, fancy Chicago meals turn into conversations about our kids, and leisurely strolls down Michigan Avenue turn into photo shoots of elite cars that our boys will absolutely flip over. At fourteen, we choose the American Girl store over Nordstroms, and she doesn't even own one yet. Afternoons in famous city parks freeze in time long enough to answer texts from a nine year old, who is beyond excited to report that his grandma is playing Hearts with him while the little ones nap. Quiet hotel moments become beautiful times of prayer as husband and wife, lifting our family - and each of our children specifically- up to the One who made it all possible fourteen years ago today.
Fourteen has changed us. Physically, demographically, and in numbers.
And fourteen couldn't be sweeter...