that first year

anniversary blog I'll admit, I started this post back in August because I worried I wouldn't have a thing to say. Or rather, I wouldn't know how to take something so big and cram it into a blog so little.

I've never been so good at boxes.

I'm going to let this post go where it may. It might be messy and disorganized. It might be super cheesy - be warned. But it will be honest. That I can promise.

I had a life before you babe. I've been single way longer than I've been married. I didn't date hardly at all. Mainly because no one asked and partly because it made me nervous to get that close.

My first real date was when I was 22. The one where the guy picks you up, opens your door, and takes you out to dinner. At least, that's what I thought a first date looked like. Mine looked a little different though.

He rode his bicycle over and asked me to "hop on".

I tried to be cute and sit on it with him.

Bike tire POPPED.

So we walked...pushing the bike...with a popped tire.....mortified.

So I had this life, I had these plans and dreams and ideas. And while I know all of that existed, all of it had meaning and purpose, I can't remember things as well before you.

I know, strange. But if I am being honest here, I just can't.

A few dear friends asked how this year has been and I hesitated, "You mean, 2015 or since September 14th?"

I started from September 14th.

Because in that single moment, on that day, everything in my life changed. And while I knew it would feel different because all my married friends told me so, in all honesty, I didn't believe them whole heartedly.

And, I had too many nerves to really listen.

I could've never understood the idea of loving a person so much that when their late or forget to call, you worry. You worry because life seems so cozy and safe with them and you know good things can be taken away.

You know better than to think we're guaranteed or entitled to anything in this life.

I didn't understand how someone so stubborn as me could want to set a few of those big dreams and ambitions aside. [Don't worry, they're still there.] They still nudge and pull at my heart. They're still the things I pray for each and every day.

But being with you, loving you well, matters a heck of a lot more.

And you never see my ideas as unimportant, you never push them down. Even the ones that would require us to move or sell things. Or the ones that bring me tears. Or the ones I bring up and change the very next day.

I didn't understand being a complete sassy-bratty pants, making a mess and not cleaning it up, saying hurtful, mean words to another human and have them love you through it.

Have them not keep a single score of right and wrong.

Have them want to hold you closer, even as you fight and push them away.

I hope we talk a lot about this first year.

I hope we catch each other in the kitchen one evening, years from now, the house a wreck, dinner cooking on the stove, the littles running and screaming and we just stop and smile at each other.

I hope we smile at what we've built and how it all began.

I hope we hold tight to this year because it's been more growth and vulnerability than I've ever known. But I hope we embrace each new year too - welcome each chapter of change and growth and forgiveness with the same loving arms as year one.

Because it isn't always easy. 

You have to choose love. On the days it's effortless, when you're nuzzled in that sweet spot of his neck or have the most fun day ever.

When you knock knees under the table while sipping coffee and it feels as though time can actually stand still.

And on the days it comes hard. When you've hurt one another and said words you didn't mean.

That process of choosing and loving and growing is what builds a marriage, I think. It's what holds us together.

Because it's not about how far we go in our jobs or how many plans we cram into our schedule. It's about showing up for each other - every single day - for better or for worse. It's about making room in your heart for another person. Making room for the bitter and the sweet.

It's about having fun and not taking things so darn seriously all the time.

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It's about celebrating how far we've come. If it's one month or one year.

Because this is fragile sweet man, so incredibly fragile.

Bottom line is this: I love you babe. You're the best yes I've ever made. And I am excited for how God shakes things up, moves us around, changes our hopes and dreams to love each other better - to love the people around us better too.

Cheers to you boo bear, cheers to us.

xoxo

my delight

FullSizeRender (4) The shop was really quiet.

Granted, it was 8:00am in the morning.  So, chances are, folks [including me] were waking up slow over a cup of a coffee.

But today was different.  Today we were loud and giggly and joyful.  Today, we seemed to forget everyone around us was real quiet and we shouted and moved around and made lots of noise.

I mean, we weren't exactly shouting.  We were just making a lot more noise than everyone else. And normally, I am so mindful of a space, of blending in, of following what other folks are doing.

And sometimes, that's exactly what we should do.  I mean, we shouldn't be yapping on our phone during a movie or play.

But for some reason, I stopped worrying if we were being too loud and just thought, "Friends, I think we've made it."  We've made it to that space I always hoped we'd get too.  One that takes time and commitment and vulnerability.

We've made it to the space where we are really close, where we really get each other, where it's okay to come just as you are.

It's encouraged to laugh really hard in a quiet room.

It's okay to admit it's been a few days since you've showered.

It's welcomed to vent about work and people that test your patience and moments where you feel really awkward.

You can share all of that.  I delight in you and you delight in me.  And those things, they don't define how I see you.

I LOVE this place.  I love it so much.  It makes me giddy and hopeful and childlike.

It reminds me that building community in a place you never expected to land is totally and completely worth it.

It also reminds me of a time when Matthew and I were dating.

We were way passed the just getting to know you stage, but, I wouldn't say we had arrived to the place I described above.  We liked each other and all, we celebrated our differences [and bickered over those differences] but we still held back a little.

I remember standing by my car in the parking deck.  It was a Sunday.  I didn't particularly like Sundays while were dating.  The whole long distance thing made Sundays hard because it meant saying goodbye.

I lurv Sundays now.

Any who, we were standing there, facing each other, the moon was full and bright.  I always did like this part - the part leading up to a smooch.  Can you feel the romance?

Matthew leaned in, ever so sweet and slow, to give me a kiss and..

FART.

Yes.

He farted.

Then he shrugged his shoulders, laughed, and gave me the smooch anyways.

And before you think I am completely bizarre and crazy to go there [maybe I am], to switch from a sweet coffee date with girlfriends to a, uh, fart.

Hear me out.

Because as silly as it sounds, as bizarre as it all might seem, I thought, in that moment, "Yup. We have arrived."

FINALLY.

We are real people.  We're people who make mistakes and sometimes don't know what to say and forget to call each other back and say things we don't mean.  We're people who fart. [If you dislike that word, my apologies - I'm done:)]

We're people who bust a move in the kitchen, only to trip over our own feet. We're people who cry during and after a really good Hallmark movie.  We're people who get really attached to characters in books and shows and wonder, "Are they doing okay??"

We're people who send photos like this to their husband while he's out of town for work.

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Maybe it's the warmer weather and lighter days.  Maybe it's the changing seasons, one from turning inward to the other pushing out and through.

I'm not sure what it is, but lately, I've been aching for the unfiltered and the un-staged.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good photo of freshly baked bread or bowl of soup on instagram. For reals.  I really, really do.

But more than all of that, I crave to see and share and tell what's happening during the in between.

The part after a really good homemade meal.  Where you're just left feeling so full and grateful you sort of get quiet and stare at the one you love from across the table.

The part during an argument where you finally let go of needing to be right and just decide - this it isn't worth the fight.  Want to make up instead?

Maybe it's my love for stories and the simple.  Maybe it's my fascination with people and where they're headed and where they've been.

I'm really not sure.

All I know is that Wednesday was good and raw and full.  And I didn't have to do a thing to make that happen.

Sometimes we just gotta come to the table as we are - bruised, giddy, sleepy, overly caffeinated and grateful.  And welcome others to do the same.

Because when we do, it's really delightful.