When we first got married, we had plans. Good plans.
I was going to go to law school, he was going to pass the CPA exam. I'd graduate and work in some ridiculously high paying job long enough to repay my loans. We would travel the world. We'd buy some amazing little house near the beach somewhere, then, only after all that, we would have kids.Two of them. One boy, one girl.
Everything would be fabulous and we wouldn't have anything to worry about.
We had great plans.
Not even halfway through law school, and a couple days before my husband's 23rd birthday, we sat in uncomfortable chairs in a doctor's office and heard the word no one wants to hear.
Life got complicated, in a hurry.
All those plans got tossed aside, life decided we were walking a different path than we ever intended. Given two weeks to try and get pregnant before he underwent radiation treatments, it worked.
I went from an ambitious law school student to a scared wife who clung to the hope of an uncertain future.
Until I lost the baby.
We were left with no child, with the very real possibility of never having them without help, and still with an uncertain future.
Had I known then what I know now, I would have dropped out of school that day.
We tried for almost a year to get pregnant until we sat in another set of chairs in another office and received confirmation that we would not be able to get pregnant without IVF. The radiation had done too much damage.
At that exact moment, I was already pregnant, we just didn't know it yet.
My son was born, premature, three days after I walked across the stage and received my diploma from law school.
Life threw us another curveball.
I kept pressing forward with school, enrolling in an MPH program part time. Still thinking I was destined for greatness in some career someday.
Baby number two came, then number three. We realized in a hurry that we'd outgrown the tiny house we could barely afford that was nowhere near the ocean. We moved to the middle of the country, even though I was one class from finishing the MPH and already enrolled in a teaching credential program.
I left all of it behind.
I'd gone from the ambitious career woman to the one who let it all go, and left it over a thousand miles away, for my kids.
Since moving here, we've had a bonus baby, the one that surprised us all. Even though I didn't think he'd ever be here, I can't imagine my life without him.
I never became that high powered attorney. We never bought that cottage by the beach. We never traveled the world.
Last weekend, though, my husband took me on a trip. One he'd been planning for months. One that lasted just over 24 hours, but that took us to so many of the places we haven't yet been.
He presented me with a passport. Not a real one, but one that held previews of the places we would go, both someday and this weekend. The he gave me tulips, his favorite flower and one of the symbols to the world of his family's native land, The Netherlands.
The first place we went was The Botanical Gardens in Denver, where we sat beside the Monet pond and ate fancy cheese and drank French wine and took pictures of water lilies.
From there, we went to the English style Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast in a historical area of Denver, a home that housed illegal alcohol production during Prohibition and belonged to a woman who was friends with the unsinkable Molly Brown.
After checking in, we left for another unidentified destination, but we got there this way. He rides these bikes all the time for work, and thought it would be fun to travel around town the way so many do over on the other side of the pond.
We rode to an Irish pub where we drank whiskey and listened to music and eavesdropped on old Irish men with old Irish accents.
Then we rode to the 16th Street mall, where we had dinner at Maggiano's. He'd made reservations and told them it was our anniversary, so we got the best booth in the place and free champagne. He ate everything. (I think he's really part Italian).
He timed everything so we would get back to the room just before sunset, which we watched from the hottub on the roof.
The next morning, we ate breakfast on the patio with the squirrels and the birds, then headed out again. He took me back to the central area of Denver, and before I knew it we were here.
This was all part of a traveling exhibit of the reproductions of the works of Michaelangelo and Da Vinci. It was amazing.
We finished up the day with fish and chips at the Tilted Kilt, then returned home to the land of broken dishwashers and constantly hungry children.
Someday we'll get to Europe for real, but for now, this will do.
Life has changed our plans, but I wouldn't trade this for the world.
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