Matt is graduating with a second Bachelors degree on May 1.  That is 38 days away.  Not that we are counting.  This is one of the most exciting times in our lives and we face many important decisions in the future.  Looking back over the past 8-1/2 years I see the impact of all the decisions we faced.  Decisions about where we should work, how we should manage our finances, how to further our educations, where we should live, how we should spend our days and evenings, how should we renovate the house, and whether to start a business have made a tremendous impact on our lives, we are excited with any change and looking forward to our new duplex apartmernt design.  We are keenly aware that decisions we make today will affect our future and those decisions should not be faced lightly. But it is clear to me that one decision I made in life had an immense impact on who I am today. That was the decision to marry Matt.  The decision of who to partner with in work and in life is more important than any of the smaller decisions you face.  Any partnership – including business partnerships, long term roommates, and especially spouses – will impact every aspect of your life from education, to work, to family decisions, and ultimately to future plans. Your decision on whether to get married and who you get married to will impact every decision you make in the future.  When you say “I do” you are joining together with one other person.  You are no longer autonomous.  You are more than a team.  You are one. Marriage to Matt has made me a better person.  He is my most supportive cheerleader and my biggest encourager.  He understands my strengths and weaknesses and points me toward activities that cater to my strengths.  He has sacrificed many of his hopes, dreams, and desires to help me and I have sacrificed many of my hopes, dreams, and desires to help him.  And we have never regretted any of our sacrifices.  We take joy in knowing that we are moving forward together.  All of the amazing things we have accomplished over the past years we could never have done separately.  I am amazed at what we can do as a team and I rejoice that any sacrifices we have made have been worth it.  I would never do it differently. So as you face the future and consider the options before you, remember that any partnership is an important decision.  Entering into a partnership requires sacrifice and compromise and it will impact every decision you make from that point forward.  A good partnership will enable you to accomplish more than you could alone, but a bad partnership can mean disaster.  Today and every day I am thankful that I partnered with Matt.

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