year 23 starts today.

Did you know the Lead is a writer? He wrote and framed this poem for our fifth anniversary. We were two kids in and trying to live dreams that seemed to have been squashed overnight by God.  We were just surviving daily on what we had been given when we had grown up in our own perspective houses.  Him, yelling. Me, avoidance. It was a perfect pair. Five years in I can remember thinking, man we have a long way to go till death do us part. We weren’t even 30 yet. Babies trying so hard to be a family on every account. Both of us stubborn as hell.

We struggled so much.

Yet, here we are. Year 22. Twenty Two years you have called me your bride. Twenty Two years and God has hacked off our rough edges and is honing us into more of what He desires us to be as people. So that He is more glorified in our relationship. Somewhere around year 17 he took our hearts and smashed them together again and said in His own loving and grace filled way. “Tony, you be you. Kelly, you be you. Your love will grow from this one thing. Don’t worry about the other person just stay close to Me and I’ll show you how your words and actions can radiate me back to them so they can be reminded to stay close to me.”  It was a game changer.

When we come to the end of our lives and we have to part, I’ll shout it from the roof tops that the only way we stayed married all these years is God. He is the reason I love the Lead so much. He is the reason I can put my own agenda aside and faithfully walk next to a man who loves Jesus just as much if not more. Sure there are things I still get annoyed with but honestly they are trivial compared to the state of his soul. If I can influence that on anyway I need to stick close to God so that I can do it honestly and with integrity.

Year five has come and gone. Year 23 starts today and I am so joy filled that we both didn’t stop loving each other at the same time over the years. Because your love Mr Lead carried me through some dark days and off the beaten path adventures. Tears fill my eyes over the Christ like love you have shown me.  I love you and will forever My Lead.


a lesson learned.

Sitting at the table that night I beamed with pride over the delicious dish I was serving. Only 2 short years and two babies into our marriage I was placing on the table a dish I was sure was going to please, delight and be enjoyable to the Lead and I was excited.

Back then I read recipe books like novels, circling ones I wanted to try and planning many meals over the course of the days to ultimately shop for, prepare and then serve to my little family. I was the sole person to cook mainly because l I didn’t work outside the home. Home was my job and I took it very seriously. The Lead would come home night after night to a homemade meal and I was living the dream of being able to frugally prepare a meal for him. I was so proud.

It was on this night that I made manicotti for the first time. Setting it on the table I remember I was hungry and tired from the hard work it took to prepare this meal. Have you ever stuffed manicotti shells?


It was on this night 10 minutes after serving this manicotti to the love of my life I would be finding myself at a drive up pay phone calling my mother bawling for the first time ever over the events that had just transpired.

She told me to leave him that night.

I didn’t of course listen to my mother that night.

22 years later and I still haven’t cooked manicotti for him.