Wove. Twue Wove.
Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I DID have to quote The Princess Bride in the title. Why, you ask? Because today Will and I are celebrating eleven years of marriage.
"What's the big deal?" You're probably thinking. "Isn't the ten year anniversary supposed to be the big to-do?" Well, yes, it is, and had Will and I actually been together for our anniversary in 2016, I'm sure we would have gone all out. Unfortunately, the Army saw fit to send Will to Fort Knox for six weeks last summer, so we once again (yes, we're used to this by now) missed the chance to celebrate the big One Oh. This year, though, it's going to be wild. It's going to be epic. And by "epic," I mean we hired a babysitter and we're going out to dinner.
As I always do on this date, I think back to the day when Will and I said our vows, and began our life together. I remember the smallest details; the smell of flowers, perfume and hairspray in our hotel suite where my bridesmaids, my mom, my aunts and cousin got ready.
The bright, beautiful colors of our church, and how they blended so serenely with the music of the quartet, and my friend Laura's sweet voice.
How I was SO sure that I would be able to hold it together during the ceremony, because I was so happy to finally be marrying the man I loved...only to see Will burst into tears as soon as he saw my dad walking me down the aisle, and I lost it. Both of us cried throughout the entire ceremony.
The excitement and sheer joy we felt at the end of the ceremony, when we were really, truly married. For better or worse, for the rest of our lives. What exactly does one do after a moment like that? Run across the street to your favorite Italian deli/bakery, of course, and get advice, blessings, and best wishes from all the Italian guys.
The speeches at the reception. The cheeseheads the groomsmen purchased at the mall the day before (because when a bunch of guys from the South attend a Wisconsin wedding, well, clearly the cheeseheads were a necessity). The fun, upbeat, freaking INCREDIBLE music that my cousin, an accomplished DJ in Toronto, played throughout the night. The delicious wedding cake. Dancing our first dance to "Con Te Partiro," by Andrea Boccelli. Dancing with my dad to "Blue Hawaii," by Elvis (the only way I would go to sleep as a baby was if my dad rocked me and sang that song). Everyone, young and old, jumping out of their chairs to dance to "Cella Luna."
A few years ago, I was talking to a friend of ours who was a guest at our wedding, and we were reminiscing about the whole day. "Wouldn't you like to go back and do it all over again?" She asked. I thought about it for a second, because on one hand, I kind of did. The whole day was just so much fun. Everything about it was magical. But on the other hand...no. I'd rather keep my memories of that day, and hold on to them tightly for the rest of my life. As long as I live, I'll remember the way Will looked at me when he saw me in my wedding dress. I'll remember the way we clutched each others' hands, looked into each others' eyes, and smiled through tears as we professed our vows.
No, everyday married life certainly doesn't look like our wedding day all of the time. I'd venture to say that most days it doesn't. Much of our life revolves around our four small children, and the Army. We've had some epic fights. We've cried together, worried over our children together, navigated our way around the uncertainties associated with military life, and we've said too many tearful goodbyes, holding on to each other as tightly as possible, not knowing if that would be the last time we'd ever see each other. I can truly say, after all these years, there's no other man on earth I'd rather walk with every day, through all of life's adventures. Will, I've loved you for so many years, and some days it still feels incredible to know that you're mine. I'll continue to love and honor you for the rest of my life, just as you love and honor me. Happy anniversary.
*All pictures by Front Room Photography, in Milwaukee, WI. Sorry for the not-so-great uploads; it's kind of hard to take good pictures OF my wedding album.