July 2nd, 2011

I cannot believe Brian and I have been married a year! Time flies.

Everyone says your wedding day is the best day of your life, but in my case, that is absolutely untrue. It was the start to the best time in my life. I loved that day, I was so happy to be able to celebrate with everyone I love, but I am most thankful for the marriage I have experienced since that day, and continue to experience and appreciate even more as time passes. I do, however, have so many vivid and amazing memories from that day that I will cherish forever.

I’ll never forget how I felt, waking up last year…at 5:45am. I was too excited and anxious to sleep in! I loved having breakfast with my Mom, Dad and Abbie. It was simple, sweet and a very needed calm minute before the craziness that was about to ensue. I went down to meet all of my bridesmaids to get ready, and had an absolute blast getting hair and make up done with the most important ladies in my life. And thanks to Tylie, we had awesome music to set the mood!

The whole morning was joyful and light-hearted, I had no nerves at all. And with a simple text from Brian around noon to say he was excited and feeling better (his bout of the stomach flu that week was NOT fun!), I was SO ready to see my groom at the end of the aisle!

I got dressed, and I remember the joint effort (largely my mom, Abbie, and Meredith) tackling the buttons down the back of my dress. Then, it was time to see my Dad for the first time. I had waited my whole life for the memories I would have this day, with him. And he did not disappoint! He gave me a hug and instantly, I felt like Daddy’s little girl playing dress up like I had so many times before.

But this time was different. He escorted me to the car that would take us to the Chapel. I’ll never forget the sight of my two handsome brothers “guarding” the Groomsmen door so Brian would not see me as we left the hotel. I love how awesome they both were that day…and every day! A girl could not ask for better big brothers, I am certain.

My parents rode with me to the Chapel and, for the very first time, nerves fluttered in my stomach. I was anxious and excited…I was ready! My Bridesmaids joined us and we spent the last few minutes before the ceremony laughing together. I love my girls so much and am so thankful each of them was apart of this special day!

We lined up, and one by one, I watched them walk down the aisle. I remember Abbie looking back before she walked, and I got a huge lump in my throat. As I watched my baby sister walk through the door, the realization that my immediate family was about to drastically change became abundantly real. I gripped my Dad’s arm, and looked up at him through tears in my eyes. It was a bittersweet moment, one I will never forget. He saw right through the tears, held me closer, and began to walk me to the door.

I remember the moment I saw Brian. The bittersweet sentiment completely dissipated, and I was so incredibly excited. He looked so handsome, he took my breath away. And we began to walk. The closer we got, the more ready I was to be by his side. For life. And that is exactly what we promised each other. I loved our traditional vows, the verses from 1 Corinthians that were read, and Michelle singing “Be Thou My Vision”. I am so grateful for the vows our parents took with us; to be ever for our marriage, and to never come between us. I loved our Pastor’s comparison of marital love to that of a mother’s, and I loved that his charge to us was to love each other through our commitment, and not only through romance.

I’ll never forget the elation of being pronounced as Brian’s wife and experiencing those first few–very surreal–moments of married life together, with our wedding party and families. I remember “Party Rocking” all night long with all of our family and friends and having the time of my life with everyone Brian and I love so dearly! Our first dance to “Everything”, our last dance to “At Last”, asking my Dad to dance with me, and crying during Abbie’s heartfelt toast. I remember looking around the room and being struck by the beauty of it all, not a detail overlooked. It was exactly how I envisioned it: tons of candles and gorgeous floral arrangements, all thanks to my mom’s incredible hard work.

I loved seeing everyone that has meant so much to Brian and I individually, celebrating with us together. And I just loved all of the dancing. I could have danced all night!

I will never forget all of the laughter shared, the love felt, and most importantly, the commitment made between Brian and I.

It was the perfect day. But it does not compare to the year that we have had since. We have had so many wonderful adventures, we’ve had trials to overcome, we’ve had lessons learned, fights, tears, laughter and joy. And our love has grown exponentially through it all. I am so blessed to be sharing my life with my best friend and I look forward to many more years, many anniversary celebrations to come.

I love you, Brian. Happy Anniversary!

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