I do…

It’s my anniversary today. Ten years with the same guy, and six of those married. I’ve been watching anime on Saturday nights with the same guy for a decade. We’ve been laughing at YouTube videos together for 10 years. We’ve had to watch each other grow and change for 10 years.

Please don’t confuse our tenure with endless bliss and fantastical romance. Our love story is a beautiful one, but not because of how much it resembles a romantic comedy – it DOESN’T resemble a romantic comedy at all. This relationship has made us both stronger. We’ve experienced euphoric highs, and pain staking lows. We almost called it quits in 2014.

Six years ago, I stood at an altar with my hands wrapped in his and I repeated the lines that our officiant spoke that were to be my vows. Being that I am a writer, and English is his third language, he told me he didn’t want us to write our own vows. I obliged, understanding the circumstances. However, on this sixth anniversary, one that I wasn’t sure we would make it to just six months ago, I do have some important vows to write…

We said, “I do,” as so many other couples have before and after, but “I do,” continues long after the ceremony ends.

I do reflect fondly on the decision we made to marry six years ago.

I do cherish the family and life we’ve built together.

I do see how we’ve changed, for better and for worse.

I do love that you love my faults.

I do love your faults, too.

I do appreciate that you go easy on me when I am hardest on myself.

I do accept my share of responsibility for allowing our marriage to become what it once was.

I do thank you for being willing to try.

I do want us to have more kids.

I do look forward to our future.

I do…always.

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My Best Friend’s Wedding

Me and Allison, circa 2009. We've been friends since high school.

Me and my bestie, Allison. We’ve been friends since high school.

On a warm, summer day back in July 2013, I sat in my living room sorting through boxes of baby items that had been given to me by friends and family. I was 37 weeks pregnant, meaning I could pop at any time, and my newly engaged friend Allison came over to keep me company as I prepped for my baby’s arrival.

We sat on the couch fawning over tiny onesies and tiny baby socks, and we talked of her impending wedding date. She described a slightly rustic scene at one of her favorite places, Big Bear Lake, and then told me that she wanted be to be a part of the team who would help bring this day together in her mind. I sat across from her exhausted from pregnancy and hormones unsure of just how I’d ever be able to do anything else besides pee constantly and straighten up a nursery, but I gladly agreed to lend a hand and ear to my friend who had done the same many times before for me.

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My wedding day, 04/04/09

 

Life began moving really fast after that. I had my daughter not long after that day, and she almost became an honorary member of the bridal party, attending bridesmaid meetings, showers, and building herself into the itinerary of the big day. Meanwhile, Allison juggled the woes of adulthood while also wrestling with the woes of being a bride. We spent many nights hashing out details, ironing out emotions, and happily anticipating what was to come. In those days, I learned a lot about the meaning of true support that friends give. Through holidays, birthdays, bad days, and great ones, true friends always carve out space for one another, even if just to send a quick “I love you” text.

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Team Bride for Allison’s Bachelorette Party

The culmination of all of the planning and anticipation happened yesterday through Allison and Brian’s glorious and lawful union. It was an interfaith ceremony, honoring Brian’s predominately Catholic roots, and Allison’s Jewish ones. With the fresh wooded scenery of Big Bear Lake as a backdrop, they exchanged vows and rings, and made promises to treasure the covenant of their marriage through patience, kindness, and love. I couldn’t help but feel emotional at watching one of my best friends join her life with someone equally as sincere and kind hearted as she is. The icing on the cake was getting to stand with other good friends as she did so.

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Team Bride in Big Bear for the Big Day!

Overall, it was a gorgeous wedding, featuring gorgeous people, and filled with gorgeous emotion. As I jumped around the dance floor, exhausted but still lively, with my baby in one arm and a cup of water in my other hand, it dawned on me that all people should get to witness goodness of emotion as we did. Though life is grand with expensive dinners, fine wines, and fancy vacations, it’s also pretty grand when your heart melts at watching two other people joyfully and willingly link their lives together, or when you can plop your 10-month old baby into a Bjorn and take her out onto the dance floor to cut a rug to Super Freak.

 

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Candid bride.

 

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Allison + Brian Photo credit: Candice Benjamin of Candice Benjamin Photography, http://www.candicebenjamin.com