On this day seven years ago, two families gathered together at a lodge tucked away in a military base, watching as two kids said, “I do,” to each other.

Well, technically, I think we said, “I will.” I don’t know why everyone makes a bit deal out of “I do,” when every wedding I can remember attending has the bride and groom saying “I will.” I guess it’s because “I do” signifies the here and now, while “I will” indicates an on-going commitment, which (let’s face it) is what marriage is. You may now, but WILL you in five, ten, twenty, fifty years??

But I digress….regardless of the lexicon, we made a commitment to each other in front of our families, friends, and God to love one another no matter what. If only she had known what she was getting into….

Seven years later (minus one day), I slept on the couch after an argument that I don’t even care to detail, mainly because it was probably one of the dumber arguments we’ve ever had. I think the sentence, “Stop telling me I’m mad at you, because you’re really making me mad…..” How’s that for stupidity (and yes, it was me who came up with that jewel of couples ammunition). I didn’t even realize that it was the night before our anniversary when I stormed up to the living room, which made me feel all the more guilty when I woke up the next morning and realized, “Oh yeah, today’s the 11th. Well, crap….”

My wife has one simple rule – do NOT wake her up unless I absolutely have to. My job is to wake up while it’s still dark, get myself ready for work, then start getting the boys ready for school, all while not disturbing my wife, who prefers to be left alone to wake up at her own pace. I do my best to honor that request, although it’s difficult to pull off on some mornings when one of the kids refuses to get out of bed. You try talking loud enough to wake someone up while simultaneously NOT talking loud enough to wake someone else up. It’s not easy!!

On this morning, I decided that it would be worth the risk, and I woke my wife up anyway to make sure I told her happy anniversary before I left for work. At this point in our marriage, we’ve come to appreciate acknowledgement, so — I’m sorry, my youngest son is sleeping on the couch right next to me as I type this, and he’s got a nose whistler that is driving me nuts. Be right back….MUCH better!! — I felt that it would be in my best interest to at least acknowledge that A) it was our anniversary, and B) I was sorry for being stupid. If there were a speed-dial for apology reasons, stupidity would be in my top slot.

I’m sure seven years ago, this beautiful bride never once thought that “I will” would one day mean, “I will tolerate the massive stupidity and stubbornness that is my husband, and I will do so with love, grace, and just enough attitude that he’ll hopefully not do it again, but even if he does, I will again deal with it.” And yet, seven years in, she’s still here, and she’s still dealing with my stupidity. It’s not like she doesn’t have her work cut out for her already; we have three sons, so her day already consists of massive amounts of head shaking, forehead smacking, utter disbelief. Add me into the mix, and….let’s just say there are some nights that I earn my spot in the couch.

But in the end, that’s what “I will” means. Sure, we loved each other on our wedding day, which is where “I do” would fit, but we didn’t say that. We said, “I will.” And you know what? We still do, and still will!!