Brett’s cousin is getting married this weekend.
Brett is officiating the wedding, and Caleb is the ring bearer.
Between two of my men’s involvement in the wedding and the fact that I love love, I am in total emo mode going into this weekend.
Brett’s beautiful, sweet cousin who was TWELVE when he and I got married is now old enough to be a bride.
Someone hold me. I cannot be old enough for this moment.
Because I can remember my wedding like it was yesterday.
And if it weren’t for the four children living in my house that, according to science, each took nine months to gestate…therefore making me not twenty-three anymore…I could hardly process the fact that I’ve been wedded in holy matrimony for over a decade.
Ten years have passed in a moment, but who I am now is much different than the starry eyed bride who spent hours writing vows that I am not sure I’ve ever read again.
That whole submission thing got a little dicey the moment my new husband brought home a dog. That shed all over my brand new (to me) house. You could say I had a strong opinion about it.
It’s not that I intended to dishonor my vows. It’s just I am not a dog person.
The dog went to live with my parents as soon as our first son was born, and we haven’t owned one since.
In case you’re wondering if I’ve become any more precious of a wife.
Spoiler alert: I haven’t.
Dog lovers, I know you think I’m inhumane. But if you could see the amount of poop I’ve had to clean up over the last ten years, I think you would side with me on this one.
Marriage, like most things in life, is something you cannot at all anticipate.
Sometimes it’s easier than you expected.
Sometimes it’s harder than you ever would have thought.
Sometimes your spouse gets sick.
Or acts like an idiot.
Sometimes you act like an idiot.
Or get sick.
Sometimes life is just really hard.
And sometimes it’s really fun.
When you make vows, you’re doing so with exactly no marriage experience.
I am not saying this out of cynicism. I love marriage, and I love being married. Somehow, marriage has actually been a pretty easy road for Brett and me. I think it’s mostly because he likes to have sex. And knows the best way to get that is to keep me happy.
I told you I wasn’t precious.
But now the mystery as to why we had four kids in six years has been revealed.
I got lucky…no pun intended…that I am more in love with my husband now than I was ten years ago when I stood on the altar promising to love him forever in front of 350 of our closest friends.
If I could have known then what I know now, I think my vows would have been quite different. I probably still would have lied a little because I was marrying way out of my league, but they might have been something more like this…
I promise to learn to cook for you when I would prefer to eat out every meal.
I will learn to cook vegan, paleo, vegetarian, fruitarian…whatever phase you happen to be in…because I know you want to live long for our children.
I promise to stay up til 1 am folding your socks. Even if I have to turn them all right side out. You could learn to take them off without flipping them inside out. But since I mostly lied about submitting to you, I will let it slide.
I cannot promise I will ever enjoy the movies you pick. But when you rent Twilight when I am out of town, I promise I won’t make fun of you. Too much.
I promise to fully support all of your wild dreams. Except the ones I find stupid. I have my limits.
I promise to respect your need for alone time. Because you overlook the times I am a raging psycho. And you realize all I need is a break from the kids.
I promise I will perfect a chocolate chip cookie recipe. But I am sorry not sorry said chocolate chip cookies are the reason there is now more of me to love.
I promise to birth the four most beautiful children in the world. But when they do something stupid, they’re your children. Not mine. It’s science.
I promise to fight fair. And you know by fair, I mean I will give you the silent treatment until you cave and apologize. Because, you know, the sex.
I promise to love you unconditionally. Except for one day a month. Then I will vehemently hate you. You know why. I know why. But if you say why, well, you’re too smart to do that.
I promise to forgive you quickly. But only because, when you can tell I’m mad, you make me laugh so hard that I can’t stay mad. I both love this about you and kinda hate it.
I cannot remember the promises I made to you on that cool February afternoon, and I cannot remember the promises you made.
Because lofty promises and precious vows aren’t what really counts when I look back on the last decade.
I would have thought the high and low moments are what define a marriage, but I now realize it’s actually the little moments that count the most.
It’s the small things that are just ours. How you laugh when you’re just being kind and how you laugh when you truly think something is funny. How you just know your clothes will never be ironed. But they’ll always be clean. How you yawn when you’re having an uncomfortable phone conversation and pace when it’s a valuable one. How you may have been a professional football player and have an intimidating stature, but you’re the most tender, sweetest man I know.
Sweet friends, I apologize for getting all emo on you. Marriage is just the most beautiful, craziest, most fun institution on the planet.
But I don’t want to pretend it’s perfect. It’s been a long and hard year for Brett and me. Not so much as a couple but individually. But the individual frustrations have, at times, overflowed into our marriage.
Whether you’re struggling through the first year of marriage…or wondering if you’re still in love after a few decades of really hard things…or somewhere in between…think back to your wedding day. Laugh at how ridiculously naive you were. But then picture your starry eyed, so in love, the world is ours for the taking (probably thinner) self. Remember how that girl felt looking into her new husband’s eyes.
Think of all the little moments you have that are just yours. The private, sweet, hilarious, tender, thoughtful, and wonderful moments you’ve had along the way. The moments no one else sees. The feelings no one else feels.
As I enter this wedding weekend with all the feels…and thinking about the man I fell in love with and remembering all of the special moments we’ve shared…it has made me fall in love with him all over again.
And when my amazing husband reads this, he will not feel all the feels. He will look at me with a huge smile on his face and say, “Someone’s gettin’ lucky tonight.”
Because some things will never change.