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  • Kristen Kehoe

Thirteen Years to Thread and Twine.

Tahoe, 2022. Thanks for the view, Jess and Devin <3

For thirteen years of marriage, they say the proper gift is lace--something to show the intricacy of blending our lives together. Adapting that to a more modern day, they say textiles, possibly even furs--a fabric to show the comfort and warmth and security of the life we've built together.

...Ummmm, well, the dog sheds like it's her job, rubbing herself on everything in order to ensure that even when we open the fridge we see specks of black dog hair, so if that's the comfort and security we need to identify our 13 years together as're welcome, honey. Oh, and that couch we ordered over eleven months ago finally arrived this week. Bam. We are nailing this thirteenth year, Old Man River.

In all seriousness, doing my light Googling this morning, while contemplating which aspect of our years together I wanted to talk about most, it hit me how much the concept of lace makes sense. No, there is nothing lace in our home, save that wedding dress I've got boxed up under Liv's bed, just in case she stays a midget and can actually where it one day. However, this year alone we've proven that our goal is not to spend our lives together, parallel, side-by-side. Our goal is to spend them together. Connected, learning new things that might have once been mine or yours, but have suddenly become ours. Sometimes, this makes for a messy relationship. I can't sew, but I'm betting lace is not easy to deal with. But when you get it right, and fuck do we get it right, River, it's so gorgeous.

Tahoe, 2022.

Which brings us to today, our thirteenth year as life-partners, and fifteenth years as lovers, where we read books together (my 4 to your 1), ride mountain bikes together (thanks for waiting for me and not judging when I kicked my bike in a rage yesterday), paddle board together, hike together, watch tv together, and pretend to home-improve together before making an appointment for someone else to do it for us ;) And, most importantly, we dream together. I think this is the thing that makes those messy moments the most worth it: the dreams we cultivate together, just to share in the joy of them. They are a someday, hopefully soon kind of thing, a list that keeps growing and is as complex as it is simple. Kind of like us.

Tamarack, 2022. Nailed this selfie...obvi.

There are days where we don't communicate well, Old Man River. Days when your tone and my attitude force us both to take a step back and say, "goddammit." Those are the complex days, and I know there are more on the horizon. What good marriage has all easy days? But the days like yesterday, days when we take a ride together and you give me pointers that I do my best to remember while also remembering how to not fall ass over tea-kettle again, days when we walk into a restaurant sweaty, in Crocs (me) and Birkenstocks & socks (you), with dirt on us, and don't care because Oh my god, this place has a permanent happy hour menu...those are the simple days. The days we mostly live in, because we've learned that blending our lives means being more than partners. It means being together and learning and struggling and just goddamn loving. And I do, love you, that is. Kind of ridiculously.

August 1, 2009.

So, Old Man River, happy thirteenth anniversary. There's no one I'd rather thread and twine my time with than you. Love you always.


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