Number 10

It's crazy how quickly time passes when you're an adult. I spent what felt like decades as an idealistic teen praying I would meet "the one." And then I spent an actual decade after being a teen wondering if I'd meet anyone even a little bit normal. Along the way, I gave up the idea of there being only one right person for everyone. But I never gave up on finding someone who I could be my whole self with, who accepted me for me. It took awhile, which shouldn't have been a surprise; my life has always been somewhat slow to bloom. I'm grateful I was older when I met Mike, grateful I had years as a single adult to get to know myself and learn how to be present for someone else. It took what seemed like forever for us to meet. Now ten years together have zipped past. They haven't been perfect, but they've been solid. I'm a lucky girl.

Mike's steady, logical personality complements my more emotional, impulsive tendencies. He not only laughs with me, he gets my jokes, and he's great at cracking his own. Most of all, he has lived up to my favorite line in the vows we made: he never fails to support my dreams. When I was miserable in my corporate writing career, he encouraged me to launch my creative business. He did lots of grunt work for that company--entering inventory into the computer, sometimes for hours; lugging boxes and tables to craft and trade shows. He hauled packages onto the red line during his morning commute and shipped them from the Sears Tower post office on his lunch break. When I decided to write, he supported that, too. He read multiple drafts of my first novel for me, even though women's fiction isn't really his thing. He's an anchor that keeps me from blowing off course; he's a compass that helps guide me back.

It bears repeating: I'm a lucky girl. 

Oh, and those kids in the picture? They're lucky as well. They hit the jackpot when they got him for a dad.