Four years ago today, I married my best friend. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, my mom and I spent a lot of time together, planning every last pink-and-green detail that formed from the creative juice in my mind during our year-and-a-half engagement (that is, except the individual green pears with pink ribbon placed on each dinner plate to mark The Perfect 'Pear', which my mom patiently and considerately talked me out of). Anyways, during one of our many mom-daughter chats, I asked Mom what she remembered about her wedding day.
"Not a thing," she answered casually with a laugh, "it's all just kind of a blur."
While I can almost guarantee my mom didn't put the hours and hours required into tying pretty plaid ribbon onto 300 wooden streamers in the days leading up to her wedding day, I couldn't believe she didn't have story upon story of vivid detail about what I thought was the most important moment of a young girl's life. I told myself I would be different, that I would remember everything.
Surprising to say, after just four years, there are things about my wedding day I don't have memory of. I have pictures (surprise), and videos that capture our expressions, our words, and the people who helped make our day special. And there are several glimpses I remember as if they happened yesterday. When strung together, these glimpses are enough to help recreate a day that truly was one of the happiest...
...I remember a Hallmark card with a vase of pink peonies on the front, given to me by my mama the day before the two of us sought out and cut every pink peony in the little town of Allison. I remember a sweet little note, the words 'your wedding day,' seeming so surreal, and being so thankful for the mom that I have.
...I remember being so pushy with Beau about not forgetting to bring the letter he had written for me to our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding. We both wrote letters to each other to read quietly to ourselves while we stayed apart the night before our wedding. I put so much time and energy into my letter, and was so worried Beau would casually forget his in the hustle and bustle of things. Friday night, when the rehearsal was ending and we stole a moment away to say goodbye, we went to exchange our letters. Beau proudly presented his and I forgot mine in Cedar Falls!
...I remember seeing Beau for the first time on the north end of the church while my bridesmaids peered through the window blinds from inside. I twirled in a circle to show off my satin dress and remember wrapping my arms around Beau's neck and kissing his cheeks. While Karen snapped pictures and made us feel like celebrities, I remember feeling like I was walking in a dream.
...I remember feeling slightly horrified when our photographers led us to a brick building that used to be my Uncle Scott's mechanic shop. I held my dress up above my knees to miss the pile of dog poop and stared at the bright green paint that donned the side of the extremely run-down building. We complied with their requests, and trusted that their photography eye was better than ours. The pictures by the green wall, and the ones playing on the rusty staircase are some of my all-time favorites.
...I remember my dad so vividly, just minutes from walking down the aisle. While the music played and the wedding party laughed and chatted in the back of the church, my dad held back from the commotion. Not usually one to show emotion around us, he kept looking at me funny, and gently rubbed my arm as I slid it through his. It was a quiet moment between the two of us. A moment where the tender actions and look on his face spoke much louder than the words he whispered as we began that journey down the aisle.
...Our famous unity candle. It did not light. And as my Uncle Tracy sang one of my favorite Keith Urban songs, Beau stuck his index finger into a crevice of hot wax, attempting to find the buried wick. We laughed in desperation and I shared a look of plea to my pastor, who eventually helped us 'disguise' our mishap. It ended up being a really sweet moment shared between Beau and I, one of my favorite memories from our day.
...I remember the clouds. The huge, overpowering, fluffy white clouds that filled the sky and tempted the rain card at us all day. The rain held off, but on the way to the reception, a huge rainbow filled the sky. I loved it because I knew as we all drove to the reception site, everyone was following the same thing.
...I remember feeling as though I was living in a fairytale. A little like Cinderella. After months of planning, I didn't want that clock to strike midnight so fast. I wanted to slow down time, even stop time, for as long as I wanted.
...I remember my bustle broke. Megan, my sister-in-law's, sister-in-law, came through with some pins and helped create a faux bustle in the bathroom, just in time for the first dance.
...I remember Sarah, my forever friend, dancing with a make believe air guitar all night long. I remember the dollar dance taking forever, and my candy bar being wiped clean before I even had a chance to see it.
Four years ago, I married my best friend. And although there are pieces of that day that seem to get foggier the older I get, the cake, the dress, the candy bar, and the 300 pink-and-green streamers don't seem to matter much anymore. It's about the man I got out of the deal. A man who is not only my best friend, but somebody who teaches me more about life, and love, and now, parenthood every day. He's smart, he's funny, he's honest, and he's kind. He gets me more than anyone else, and takes pride in making a life for us. Most of all, he's a great dad. I feel so blessed to be his other half.
I used to think your wedding day was THE best day of your life. And while the wedding, the dress, the pictures, and candy bar turned out pretty amazing, it's every day since that's been the best. The simple moments spent building this life together is what it's truly all about.
Happy Anniversary, babe.