We were married beneath the oak trees in The Spring because we love columns, warm weather, and sweet iced tea. Lots and lots of sweet tea. I selfishly love shooting weddings, because it reminds me of the promise we made (on a very sunny day). Marriage isn’t easy. On a wedding day couples do everything together. They open up and publicly trade promises, vulnerably declaring their visions of forever. They share a kiss, and ours was pretty spectacular! They dance. They are honored and celebrated with encouraging words from family and friends. They laugh. They leave hand-in-hand, and spend the week (or for us three weeks) of shared last name in some sort of relaxing paradise. Brunch daily. Sleeping in. Our honeymoon was one for the books in Europe. We visited 5 countries. (Ireland, England, France, Switzerland and Italy)
“Connecting”. Exploring. Breathing. Holding hands. Pushing pause on the busy and taking in the beauty of their love and all that surrounds them. They return to an apartment or house full of new towels and appliances, they nest, they make meals together and sit at their dinner table together. They might hug when they get home from work, and leave love notes and flirty texts that make their hearts flutter. You’re lucky if you get this once the honeymoon is over. As time passes, dinner makes its way to the couch, notes are less frequent, flutters are replaced by small annoyances and disagreements about who takes out the trash, the dirty dishes in the sink, or the beard hair left in the sink (HIS hair. Always. Stuck to the left over tooth paste).
Sweatpants happen all to often. The dirty clothes pile up, the dogs make the couches smell, and resentment is all too easy to find in each other’s mannerisms and small, insignificant disagreements, such as who holds the remote, and who doesn’t do enough around the house. The three-tiered cake they cut together is forgotten. The kisses are few and far between. The frequent battles and disagreements of daily life and competing schedules and commitments create the distance that all too often lead to a lonely camp out on the couch, the stinky couch. We’ve been there. We are the opposites that attracted. We fight. We struggle. We cry. We hurt. We feel pain. We attack and aim to destroy the heart of one another, simply because we want to win against the spouse we’ve turned into our live-in opponent.
But, what we intentionally have to remind ourselves is of the promise we made to each other on the day we stood beneath the oak trees in The Spring. Super glue the shattered pieces we promised to forever and always. We pick up. We fix. Together. My wedding dress is sitting on the floor in the back of a closet. Your wedding accessories are buried in our disorganized , cluttered moving boxes as we live at my in-laws until we move into our house. Our wedding blender is still in the box. We still can’t decide on a restaurant without getting in an argument, and the outdoor or E channel is a bad mood waiting to happen. Don’t even get me started on hunting trips.
And on those seemingly starless nights I’ve spent on the couch or alone in bed, I restlessly miss him because my feet are cold when he’s not there to warm them as we sleep. Marriage is warm feet. And knowing dinner on the couch is still dinner together. Marriage is the unexpected heart flutter when your husband has a dance party with our dog the day I had a miscarriage just to make me laugh, or it’s coming home to a clean house or the laundry being folded. And, maybe the laundry wasn’t folded perfectly, but it’s folded. And, marriage is being at peace with imperfect towel folding (I actually suck at folding towels). So, this is my toast to you. Thank you for building our family a home. And taking the trash out when it smells like a coon ass died in it. And taking me to LSU and Saints games. And for being Chef BoyarDave and cooking the most delicious meals.
And for taking me to see beautiful California. And for making me feel peace with the world simply by keeping my toes warm when I sleep. Thank you for the promise you made to me one year ago. Thank you for getting Baptized with me as a newly married couple. Thank you especially for always making me laugh. Thank you for the frustrations that force me to remind myself of that promise. Our obstacles are what help us remember. And, for our real, raw, vulnerable, imperfect marriage.
Thank you for the mess-ups, and for always forgiving mine even if it means days of anger and pain. Your heart is so good, and you make mine better everyday. Thank you for adding together the big numbers when I’m in over my head. Thank you for sacrificing our resources and your time and energy so that I’m able to follow my dream. Thank you for continuing to dream. Thank you for practical birthday and Christmas gifts. Thank you for saying nothing when I’m eating a whole bag of reeses peanut butter cups. Thank you for keeping the door closed and running the fan after you’ve managed to read an entire cabela’s magazine in the bathroom. Thank you for accepting sweat pants and no make-up on editing days and still finding a way to make me feel beautiful. Thank you for not going insane when Taylor Swift is on repeat for days on end. Thank you for being willing to eat leftovers of which I fear only 1 day later. Thank you for teaching me the value of living with what I need rather than what I want, but being patient when I come home with another bag of clothes from Target or Dillard’s. Thank you for the fact that I have pretty china. How you let me pick that pattern I will never know. Lastly, thank you for making me a mommy. I am forever grateful for the forever mess we have. Together.