Editors note: setting up this blog is a 10th anniversary gift (along with a new computer) from Trey to Julie. This post is written by Trey as the starting point for Julie to get back into the blog. Please excuse my very poor writing compared to hers.

Ten years ago today I woke up to a sore throat and immense hope for the start of this journey of marriage. What I didn't know is that it would be an adventure beyond what I thought and in directions I didn't know were possible.

It's cool to me now that our marriage decades happen to coincide with our introspective nature about the calendar decades. In that spirit let's review the greatest hits of our last 10 years and what I've learned about Julie.

Second Half of Obama's First Term (2010 - 2012)

Just like Obama, the first couple of years of the 2010s were formative, crazy, and would contain one of our signature accomplishments. We started off living in an always-almost-finished remodel of the house I bought for my flunky college friends to destroy and we (let's be honest, mostly I) slowly learned how to be a decent spouse. I took a demanding job at a startup and Julie struggled valiantly to be the most liberal person anyone had ever met (which is not even that liberal) at an evangelical Methodist church where she was eventually pushed out mostly for my mistake of suggesting to a kid that the Earth wasn't created in 7 literal days – side note: how do you even measure the day before there was a sun?. While Julie worked at a youth camp we were called very directly to Africa.

We spent most of 2010 figuring out what "Africa" meant and then loaded up a few suitcases and bought a one-way ticket to Durban, South Africa.

We were young once!

What I learned about Julie at God's Golden Acre was that she is an incredible nurturer and has a huge heart for kids.

Obama's Second Term (2012 - 2016)

We arrived back from South Africa just in time to vote for Obama a second term. We lived in Lubbock for almost the entire second term and we had our Clementine, discovered about Julie's Chiari Malformation, started the adoption process for Asanda, Julie's dad got West Nile and ended up partially paralyzed, brought Asanda home, and then lost my dad. It was a tough sequence.

This was some years of shaping and moulding our depth. Julie's intentionality and hard work was essentially what pushed us through this time. She was the one who took care of every detail of the adoption and organized our life enough to be able to have a baby and eventually at the very end of this 4 year period move to Austin. We sold our house in Lubbock and bought a house in Austin all in about a 45 day period! I started a new job at a very cool place.

The Trump Years (2016 - 2020)

With our new lives in Austin we have learned yet a new level of reliance on each other. I protested against Trump and honestly think he's the worst decision "we the people" have ever made. Julie taught our girls about the value of women and have moulded all of them into the incredible kids they are now. Then we had our long awaited baby Solomon. He's such a joy and light in our lives.

Conclusion

I love this person. She's so much more than I knew she was in 2009. She's a persistent and loving mother. She makes our kids feel safe, protected, and free. She's a constant source of encouragement for me and has allowed me to grow in leadership and depth. I love her more than anything.