Disclaimer: This is another sappy love story so if you make it to the end, don’t say I didn’t warn you!


Today marks five years with my kindergarten sweetheart. Some of you may have read our little love story or how we ended up with four years, three houses, and two kids.

That morning of kindergarten I already began plotting when I walked up to my now best friend and asked who Russ was. Needless to say, all I learned that day could not prepare me for the life God had so perfectly planned for me. So on our fifth anniversary of our special day five years ago, here are five things that I love about Russ Tysl.

1. He talks. All.the.time. Seriously. Those of you that know him know he loves a good story, especially when he laughs more at it than anyone else. Last night, for example, he couldn’t stop laughing long enough to actually tell the story! We were all crying laughing at him. He tells story after story after story (yeah, we are those people still there at the end of a party because Russ is still talking) and he lies in the best way possible to his students to get a laugh out of them or his basketball players. He talks to our boys and narrates for them all aspects of the day because remember that time I accidentally told him we should be like “radio announcers” to our kids so they hear language all the time. Yeah, he may have taken me a little too seriously.
2. He laughs. All.the.time. He laughs more at himself than anyone else and you can’t help but laugh with him because he thinks he’s so funny, you don’t want to miss it (see previous example). He makes our boys laugh, he makes me laugh and he really makes my mom laugh out loud and she’s not a laugher like that. What’s worse though is that if you keep laughing at him, he means he’s going to keep going. My future sister-in-law learned the hard way last night. Because she kept laughing, he kept talking. We tried to warn her.
3. He cries. More than I do. It’s kind of a struggle because he is so emotional and sensitive and I’m just not really. His friends are totally going to make fun of me for sharing this! He cries more at movies than I do. Just the other day, I completely failed as a wife. I jumped all over him for leaving our high chair out in the rain and letting it ruin. I left to go for a walk without saying anything to him, only telling Kuy I love him. Yeah. I failed. I know. I get it. When I got back, he was getting dressed and getting to leave and with his tears in his eyes, he said he was sorry for leaving it out in the rain, he just forgot and it really hurt him when I left like that to walk even if it was only for 20 minutes. He said Kuy looked at him and said, “I love you, Daddy.” He just looked at Kuy as he choked back tears. Yep. Obviously, he married a huge winner! He’s almost perfect and I’m failing.
4. He listens. But he listens to whatever I say and takes it to heart and talks me through thrift store purchases and rug decisions. Because he’s good like that.
5. He loves. So deeply it hurts. It hurts him when I say hurtful things. He’s not like most of us that just brush it off or get mad back and say hurtful things. He apologizes and takes it all in and I realize every day through him the grace God gives us. On the failing high chair day, I passed a house with trash bags on the windows and I realized how stupid it was for me to get so upset (not that I didn’t know but in my head I was trying to rationalize). Russ’ love for me and our boys runs so deeply that I don’t know how I miss it some days. He does the laundry, packs us for school, changes more diapers than I do, and how dare I complain ever?
Twenty-five years ago, God knew my needs before I did and gave me Russ. That fateful day in kindergarten changed our lives and the way we loved.

Russ is so much more to me than my husband. His love, laughter, tears and wisdom I am grateful for daily.
Thank you, Lord for this blessing because I truly do not deserve it.