Sweet 16

**This post was originally published on Medium when I wasn’t sure if I would keep this blog**

We started out as two friends who knew each other as elementary kids, became best buddies in high school, and fell in love in their mid-twenties.

It was a quick courtship. We already knew the weird little things about each other. Already knew about each other’s exes and families. Already farted in front of each other. We had already said “I love you” because we had already loved each other deeply as friends for years.

When you brought up dating — or at least being interested in being more than just friends — it seemed crazy at first, but then the most natural thing in the world.

Our beginning was so sweet, so fun. I remember feeling like a cartoon with heart eyes bugging out of my skull every time we were together.

My prayer was that after years and years of marriage, it would still feel so sweet and so fun.

Now we are sixteen years into this marriage thing.

Together we have lost a parent, six grandparents, a niece, family friends, two pregnancies, a pet, an appendix, a gall bladder, a tumor, three lymph nodes, a hernia, a job, a headful (and most body) hair, relationships, our cool, our sanity, control.

Together we have gained three children, brothers and sisters-in-law, seven nephews, five nieces, a godson, life-long friends, a job, three college degrees, a company (part of one), a Nintendo Switch, a deep appreciation for how short this life is, and sore stomachs from laughing so hard — especially late into the night when we should be asleep.

Our love has grown and changed over the past sixteen years, but we still hold hands often, still say “I love you” every time one of us leaves the other, still email all day long (and text all day long when one of us travels). We still watch shows that no one else watches (lately it’s been A&E’s biographies on pro wrestlers. WHY? I have no idea) and play Animal Crossing together almost every evening. And neither of us can sleep well if the other isn’t in the bed.

Not all of the past sixteen years has been sweet, but how we love each other has only gotten better.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.