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'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.
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.
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.
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.