Years 3 - 10 we both settled in but a lot happened that could have really brought a lot to question:
My wife finished her Masters in Speech and Language Pathology and got a job right away in the public school system
That same year I received my faculty appointment (same one I have now)
Both of these events brought a lot of stress. Starting a new job for both of us made adjusting to the idea of finally being grown up all that much harder. I know, in our 30s and finally we figure we have grown up.
That same year we moved into an ohana house built by my FIL. My in-laws allowed us to stay there so that we could save enough money for a down payment on a house. Less than a year later my FIL was diagnosed with cancer and was given six months to live. We become part time caretakers while working full time (my MIL of course carried the largest burden of care). I did not mind it one bit. I felt honored to care for this man that took me into his family.
A few months before he would die, my wife was pregnant with our first son. I still recall one early morning (about 3am) when I was changing my FIL's IV fluids he looked at me and said he liked the name "Kenji". What that meant is that he wanted our son's middle name to be Kenji. I still remember going back to bed in the Ohana unit and telling my wife... she cringed. I knew she did not like that name. But, I was not going to deny him that right to give our son his middle name.
My FIL died Jan 1999. Almost six-months to that day, my oldest son was born. I was on cloud nine... I was sooooo happy. I was elated with the idea of holding this life in my arms. Ok, screeech... changing diapers, not so happy. But, I got used to it. I would say the two years that followed my sons birth were at that time the best years of our marriage. We were clicking along... I pulled my weight. My wife went to working half time and she loved being a mom. And, I loved her more at that moment than I had all the years prior.
More to come... buying a home, second son and the news about our first son.