Maybe it’s because we’re coming up on our 10th anniversary this year, or maybe it’s something else altogether – but whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking about us a lot lately.

I don’t write about you much, if any, on my blog. You’re a pretty private person and I try to respect that. But I couldn’t take this journey through Lent this year without including you somewhere in my letters.

Because darling, you are one of the single most important people I have ever known, or will ever know.

Over the last 10 years, you have made me not only feel beautiful, but believe that I am. You have believed in me in every goal I set and cheered me on when I reached it, or held me tight when I failed. You’ve nursed me though 5 surgeries and countless colds, flus, headaches, and heartaches.

You are the voice of reason and calm when I feel crazy and irrational. You point out the good when all I see is bad. And you just hold me when I just need you to hold me.

We’ve had to make some hard decisions together, but I’ve never second-guessed a decision we made. Some of MY decisions, yes, but ours? Never.

The influence and impact you have on my life is daily. And not just on my life, but Reagan’s. And that’s where you shine the brightest. You do and have done more for my daughter than I ever would have even expected. And you don’t do things for her out of expectation or obligation because she was part of the “package deal” when you got me. You do them because you genuinely love her, just like she was your own. You also make me a better parent, strengthening me where I am weak and having my back in all situations.

You teach me about unconditional love and grace and have showed me what it looks like to walk away from an ugly situation as the bigger person.

You’ve made me laugh and make me laugh, daily. You aren’t afraid to act a fool and do whatever it takes to get a smile out of me.

You show me both how hard and how simple marriage can be. And even though we’re going on 10 years, you still ask me out on dates. You still buy me flowers. You still tell me every day that I am beautiful. And you still kiss me like you mean it.

You treat my family like gold, encourage me to keep my friendships a priority, and support my journey of faith, wherever it takes me.

I know you’ll never see yourself like I do, and no amount of words will change that. But I’m going to keep telling you. Because you are one amazing, wonderful man, Shey Winstead. And I love you more than I will ever, ever be able to express.