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Dear Derek

On one hand it seems impossible that we’ve already been married four years. On the other hand, I feel like we’ve been together forever.

Dear Derek,

Though I celebrate us every day, today is a special day for words. Fours years ago we promised to love, cherish and hold each other in good times, bad times, sick times and healthy times. We’ve been blessed with mostly good and healthy times, but I know that we can withstand the bad and sick times. I have no fear about our capacity to handle what may come. It will come, eventually. But you are my greatest pillar, ally and partner in all that we do.

Thank you for loving me extravagantly, even when I don’t demand it or deserve it. Thank you for being thoughtful and for always taking the extra step to make sure that I know you are always thinking about me. Thank you for making a celebration of things that deserve to be celebrated. Thank you for being an active participant in our household, in even the daily, mundane tasks of life. Thank you for being organized, clean and efficient.

Thank you for being a provider, a saver and a decision maker. Thank you for being the hardest working person I have ever met and for never settling for second best. Thank you for being responsible with your time, money and priorities. Thank you for thinking of our future and our family at all times.

Thank you for giving me the freedom to be who I am, be with my friends and family and be an individual person. Thank you for doing the same. Our own identities have never been lost, even though we are one. Thank you for sending me on (and even planning) fun times with my girl friends. Thank you for going on trips with your guy friends. I cherish these relationships so much and I believe they make us stronger as people and as a couple.

Thank you for loving my family, even when it means three family get-togethers in one week or silly calls from my brother when he is driving or a weekend with the kids. Thank you for thinking of their needs, offering your help and support when they need it and being willing to sacrifice when times call for it.

Thank you for taking care of your mom. For loving and respecting her. For walking Cali over there just to say hi, running over to do quick tasks and having dinner together on Sunday nights. For making holidays and birthdays a priority and always putting so much thought into how to celebrate and what to give her that will bless her.

Thank you for the father I know you will be. The head of our household. A man who is firm, but loving. A father who is a leader, an example and a softie. I know that no matter how many kids we have or if they are boys or girls, you will be thankful, grateful and forever smitten with them. I know there is no one I would rather raise my children with than you.

When I look back at the times we have had together I am filled with so many feelings. There were years when we walked through the fire, but I believe it refined us. Melded us together stronger than steel. We are unshakable, unbreakable. Together we are building the most beautiful life.

No matter what may come, you are the one my soul loves. You are my best friend. You are my home. You are my forever.

I love you!

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