Thursday, July 11, 2019

5 Years


5 years ago today, on a super hot late afternoon on the lawn of The Memorial House at Memory Grove, surrounded by beloved friends and family, AJ and I said "I do" to forever.

 I knew that day some of the things that our future might hold. I knew we'd create a life we loved as much as we love each other. I knew that while we are both whole and content as individuals, we became our best versions of ourselves by being together. I knew we'd create a loving home where we'd feel comfortable and welcome in the people who mean the most to us. I knew we'd have children someday and share the love we have to give. I knew we'd laugh and laugh until we can't breathe. Often. I knew we'd look to our parents' wonderful happy marriages as a source of inspiration and modeling. I knew the strong friendships each of us brought to the table would continue to aid us in becoming all we were meant to be and a support in our life together as a couple. I knew we'd embark on our walk of faith together, praying and learning together. I knew being together would always be a safe place to land.

Even though I was firmly confident in all of those things (I don't think I'd have walked down the aisle if all those pieces weren't in place), I knew parts of our story were at the hands of fate. To say yes to forever when you don't know what forever looks like is bold, it's daring, and yes, it's risky. I think because marriage is so common, we can tend to lose the absolute radicalness of the act of saying "I do," when the "do" is unknown. What exactly will be asked of you? Of him?  What is this relationship going to need to withstand?  It's a true (and worthy) leap of faith.

When I think back on the last 5 years, I think of so many of those things I knew "for sure" on July 12, 2014. I think of inside jokes, deep conversations, amazing experiences, fabulous evenings, and the merging of our separate lives to become "The Steeles." But I also think of some of the darker parts too. I think of snapping unnecessarily after a long day. I think of stupid fights, sharp words, letting the sun go down on anger. I think of mistakes, "I'm sorry's," and more than a few "You drive me crazy"comments (Part of being married, I think, means knowing that you are, indeed, sometimes a little crazy. Own it, he already knows).

But to me, the true testament to this past 5 years is a blending of both the good and the bad. It's never 100% perfect but it's us and we take the good and the bad. But we take it together. When I was in the hospital in 2016, trying desperately to keep our daughter growing inside me, and every day, every hour really, was truly life or death, I broke down. I tried so hard to be brave, but around AJ, I just let it all go and one day I unraveled and lost it while showering. I had gloves and plastic bags on my hands to cover all the IV's and keep them dry, and AJ came into the tiny hospital room shower, fully clothed, and washed my hair while I sobbed. That is marriage. That is what I hope in 5 more, 15 more, 55 more years from now, I will think of.

Life is a messy, beuatiful tornado of emotion, love and hurt, joy and pain, and moments that you wish you could fast forward and moments you wish you could freeze and swim around in forever. But through it, we stand strong in the mess, because really, life's about who you're with. And I'm so thankful we're with each other.

Cheers to 5 years of married life! We are celebrating this milestone this fall with a trip to Maui and we are so looking forward to it. And here's our first dance video because I'm just feeling so nostalgic today!

Savor Your Sparkle,

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