This morning I woke up with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I can't believe that today is Andrew and my four year wedding anniversary! It seems pretty nuts that on this day in 2010 I was having one of the best days of my life. What's so interesting is I wrote a post about our anniversary two years ago and still say the same things about our wedding! Milestones such as this always make me super sappy, but I will try and stay focused. Even though it's been awhile, I may have slacked in the "making a professional photo album department". Last night I decided to start creating one. It's clearly time. It was actually a really lovely way to go back and remember each detail of the day. As I was going through them, I realized not only has so much physically changed since then, but mentally as well. I have so much more clarity and understanding of what marriage is.
When I look at these photos I am instantly transported to that mixture of feeling contentment, excitement and pure joy all at once. I feel so fortunate that Andrew still makes me feel that way. When he walks in the door, I still get giddy. You should see the scene here when he comes home. The puppy is charging toward him tongue out, the baby is squealing with delight and I'm running to the door to give him a kiss. I genuinely feel like I still want to jump up and down and say "Marry me! Marry me!" just like I did as we were saying our vows. I do NOT take this for granted.
As I was looking through these images, something became so clear. The saying "It takes a village." couldn't be more appropriate. Holy Moly. There were SO many people who were instrumental in that day going as smoothly as it did. When I look back at the photos I can't help but feel... SO LOVED. You can see how supportive my friends are, how excited my family was and most importantly the way Andrew and I are looking at each other in every.single.photo.
One of my all time favorite photos is the shot above of my mom, sister and bridesmaids all helping me get ready. I mean... how crazy is it that this shot wasn't posed?! I actually needed that many people helping me get dressed! And they were all SO on it! I have the best friends. But really, this photo captures the essence of sisterhood. When you need something, your true friends will gather around you, hold your hand, put your shoes on, button a gazillion buttons and make sure a picture was taken to document it. This photo is literally the reason I do what I do. I want to help be that person for as many women as possible. It's like I'm your own personal bridesmaid. Sheesh.. that being said, please don't make me trade your gin and tonic out for water every twenty minutes and help you go to the bathroom all the time. THANKS!
Wow. So much can change in four years. It doesn't seem like that much time, but so much has happened! Four years ago Andrew and I were living in Connecticut and our lives were COMPLETELY different. Now, I have my own business, a baby, a dog, a house, and I live across the country! I mean... that's just the start of the changes that have occurred! I'm so lucky that I was able to go through all of theis with someone who is totally and completely by my side.
When you commit to someone the way you do on your wedding day, they are just words that you WANT to mean. That's why you choose to stand up in front of everyone you know and say "You are my person... for the long haul." Or something like that. haha But they aren't implemented yet. We have been together for 9 years and I will say that our journey has reaaaaally been different since we started dating. But ultimately, I sincerely feel that from the moment we said our vows to each other our lives changed. This was something that surprised me. I thought, "Hey we have been together a long time. Not much will change." That just simply wasn't true. Something became completely different in us as a couple after our wedding day. We didn't know it was possible, but we both felt so much more "together".
Then, when we had Zoe, a brand new phase began. Having a baby shifts that love and commitment in a whole new way. You have to become a team in a much more intense meaning of the word. It's not like "Who is going to do the laundry and who is going to make dinner." It's like "I'll tag team dinner, laundry, garbage and walking the dog if you bathe, feed and rock the baby to sleep while standing on your head and singing a lullaby." Oh and by the way you are going to be sleep deprived and hungry and your mission is to not take it out on me. This year more than ever I have a new appreciation for who my husband is, and who we are becoming together.
I don't think I realized when we got married the true definition of the word. This is what my new definition of marriage is as of July 10, 2014:
Marriage is understanding.
Marriage is commitment.
Marriage is unconditional love.
Marriage is passion.
Marriage is helping to clean baby poop situations and laughing about it after.
Marriage is apologizing.
Marriage is appreciating the small things as well as the big.
Marriage is communication.
Marriage is growing together.
Marriage is deciding together to fix what's broken.
Marriage is letting yourself be seen and them loving you all the more for it.
Marriage is trust.
Marriage is scratching your husbands back (because he asked nicely) but REALLY not wanting to and secretly wishing you didn't promise to do that in your vows....
Marriage is so much more than love. Marriage is a love that grows and changes and molds and becomes something even bigger and more precious.
To my main man, my partner in crime, my hubster, and my love. Thanks for going through this journey with me. I'm pretty much the luckiest. Here is to being the cute old couple holding hands and wine tasting at 95.
All Images by Barnaby Draper Studios
To see my post from two years ago (with our wedding video attached) click here.