Once upon a time...

11:16 PM

 ....just three years ago, a boy and a girl stood in front of their family and friends and promised each other to love, respect and remain faithful for the rest of their lives.  He promised to provide for her, she promised to be his safe place.  He promised to always be there for her, she promised to be his En-Gedi.

    Was it really only three years ago?  How is that possible when in so many ways, it feels as if an entire lifetime has passed since that magical day.  So many changes, so many experiences, so many decisions and forks in the path….

   Who could have guessed that in just three short years, that blushing bride and dashing groom would be parents to the most beautiful, incredible little lady, with baby sister on the way?

    Sometimes I feel as if I hardly know that girl those pictures.  And in a sense, she doesn't really exist anymore.  I have grown and changed in such a myriad of ways, it would take a lot more than one blog post (or 50, for that matter) to cover.  I have gone from "single" to "taken" to "wife" to "mother" in such a short time, it would be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all and lose sight of who I used to be...and of who I am.
   But one thing remains...memories.  There were many things that weren't perfect about that day, don't get me wrong.  It was by no means, flawless.  But one of my favorite parts of the entire day was the ceremony.  The music, the Father's blessings, the vows...it just was holy.  I have never felt the presence of God quite so literally in such a large gathering of people. 

    Another moment I will never forget is the "first look".  Randy and I didn't wait to see each other until the walk down the aisle because we wanted to be able to relax and have fun taking pictures, and not make our guests wait.  It was so special to be able to see each other for the first time that day without anyone else around but the photographers, and just take in the moment of it all. 

    This picture (above) is possibly my all-time favorite of Randy.  I told someone once that when we're old and gray and dying it will always be how I remember him...how I see him in my mind's eye.  That flaming red hair, twinkle in his eye, and that classic ear-to-ear grin that causes creases in his face.  It's engraved into my memory.  Nothing could ever take it away.

    The entire day long, from the breakfast with the ladies to the setting off on our honeymoon, I felt like a princess.  My dress wasn't anything fancy and I forgot to wear flowers in my hair (which, if you know me, is paramount to complete disaster), but somehow, I still felt like Kate Middleton.  I know now that it was love, pure and simple, from my groom.  I just felt it so acutely, so overwhelmingly.  In his eyes, I was ravishing, and I could have literally rolled out of bed and been wearing a burlap sack and the day still would have been a dream come true. 

    Sometimes I feel so shallow because I start to lose sight of those feelings and I find myself slipping into self-doubt.  I go to weddings and I see the stunning gowns, elaborate hairstyles and taste the decadent food or hear the perfect songs and I start to compare...that silly, pithy little game where everyone loses.  I wish I would have had this, or that, or done this differently, or that differently.
    And so that's partly why I am taking the time to write some of these things.  To remind myself of the glory of that day, and not allow myself to forget.  To not let my own human weakness dull the radiance of that day and everything it stands for.  To serve as a reminder to me when life gets "real" that God has a plan.  I know He does, or He wouldn't have worked so hard to bring us together.
    We were surrounded by so many loved ones who helped us and supported us in countless ways.  I am so grateful for everything that everyone did to make our day a success.
       I am so thankful for everyone that had a part in my day.  I humbled and blown away by the generosity of everyone, and the selfless way they all pitched in, and gave of their time and efforts.
 Absolutely loved this little guy's outfit!  Reminded me of Anne of Green Gables' time.
    This picture (above) takes on new meaning now that I am going to be mama to two little girls soon. Will the time really fly just as fast until their wedding days?  I am not even close to ready to think of letting them go yet, and thankfully I won't have to for some time.  But when that day comes, my-oh-my will I be a hot mess.
    And for your information, no, we didn't smear the cake! 
    I love this shot from the reception.  Randy and I had just given our "thank-yous" and I guess the crowd was cheering for a kiss or something and he was egging them on.  After which he gave them what they wanted.:)  One of my favorite memories.
   The reception was fun from beginning to end as well, and open mic was filled with heart-felt tributes, stories, poems and songs.  I laughed, I cried, and just tried to take it all in and freeze each precious moment.  So many wonderful people in one place, cheering us on and rooting for us and saying, "You guys are gonna do GREAT", either in words or in action.  It was like one long, giant hug from everyone you know and love.  It was amazing.
   Thanks Randy, for everything you've brought to my life in the past three years.  My life wouldn't even be a shadow of what it is today without you.  I thank you for the love, the adventures, the patience, the laughter, the understanding, the encouragement, and the support that I have been blessed enough to experience.  I thank-you for being the best Daddy in the world to our little girl, and can't wait to see you fall in love all over again in June.

Bring on the next 3 years.  

Or for that matter, bring on forever. 

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  1. loved it! as always...the photo of you guys in the boat is my favorite! Happy Anniversary!

  2. so beautiful! Hope your anniversary was special!

  3. Courtship story? :)

  4. That is so good Shelley. So glad you waited for the right one.


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