Thursday, June 1, 2017
This will forever be one of my favorite photos of us. My mom took this right outside the Black Hawk Hotel on the morning after our wedding with my little point and shoot. Mom and Dad had to come pick us up from our suite at the Black Hawk because our cars were still parked at the reception. Your tux is wadded up in your arms, my dress draped over mine, and we were filled with so much joy, still letting it sink in that we were in fact married. Of all the professional wedding pictures taken that day, this is the picture I always think about, for it was the very start of my life with you.
We both say that the first summer of being married will forever be one of the happiest little seasons of our lives. We didn't have much - a set of hand-me-down furniture from Gabe and Beau's parents, a good amount of debt, a kitty named Jade, and a tiny little duplex off Ansborough Avenue in Waterloo. It was this duplex where we broke out our new pots and pans and silverware set, and learned how to cook with our Bobby Flay cookbook and no dishwasher. We spent a lot of nights in that kitchen, or snuggled up on the L-shaped couch in that cozy basement, or on the back patio around that glass table that was left for us, with a Cribbage board, a bottle or two of $3.99 Merlot, and Jade staring at us through the window. We'd sit out there, often halfway through the night, and dream together for hours about where we wanted to be in ten years, what our family would look like, and how we wanted to spend our days. You'd talk with this twinkle in your blue eyes about growing your business, building a house, and adding little blonde trouble makers to our family, and I'd halfway listen but mostly want the night to never end. I was always, and still am, most content just being right here with you.
And now here we are, ten years in. And the life we're living looks a whole lot like the life we used to dream about in that little duplex on Ansborough. You've grown your business, we built our dream home, and we're in the thick of raising two little blonde trouble makers. And although those nights of drinking Black Swan on the back patio until 2 in the morning have been replaced with me catching up on the kids' Shutterfly books while you snore away to a Cubs game beside me, in many ways I still feel like those newlyweds. You still get that twinkle in your eye when you talk about our life together, and I still try my damnedest to hang on to these moments and live in them deeply. And I am still most content just being right here with you.
We've done a lot in ten years. I taught high school kids for half of that, said goodbye to the school I loved, and trusted God to take me back to college. I started and finished a Masters, and started and ended a doctorate. We bought a cute little house, sold that cute little house, moved in with Mom and Dad for four months, and built a farmhouse, in a new development on a quiet cul de sac in the middle of town. ;) We adventured in our own backyard, all over this great country, and to the tropics, and said yes to the greatest adventure of all - becoming parents to Cruz and Mila. You grew your business, I grew my blog. You started playing guitar, I started taking pictures. We fell in love with a church, made a lot of great friends, became small group leaders to college girls, and started paying a lot more attention to this Jesus guy. We watched a lot of Fixer Upper, a lot of Cubs' games, traveled all the way to Waco to stay in the Magnolia House, and even watched those Cubbies win a World Series. We laughed until we cried, cried until we laughed, and learned that loving this hard isn't always easy, but always worth it.
Happy TEN YEARS, babe. Looking forward to drinking some Black Swan and dreaming about the next ten with you. Halfway listening, and halfway just wanting to go to bed because, well, I'm tired and can't hang as long as you. I love you, and still am most content just being right here with you.