June 26th, 2004…I had just turned 23 that month and today was the big day. I had it all laid out – the church with the steeple, the wildflowers in my hair, my perfect white dress, and…the man. Oh, that sweet boy I fell in love with. That boy was young and unsure and so authentically himself that I couldn’t shake it – I wanted to simply be with him all the time. Being the wild girl who dated the rebels drowning in their own egos, he was such a shift – like getting to the top of the mountain and seeing the beautiful view and not simply the intense uphill climb of fighting for my place in a relationship full of inflated pride and machoism.
Before I walked down the aisle, I got to see my sweet soon-to-be father-in-law, with tears in his eyes, overcome with love for his son and his new wife. I saw a man so full of love and openness – despite any hesitations he may have had for his young son diving into marriage, he was 100% supportive and happy for us, and it hit me again why I chose Nathan for my husband.
He comes by it honestly. He is true to his core – all his flaws and imperfections, and all his amazing strengths. He is loving and creative, playful and funny, and has the most powerful energy of anyone I know. Not only the literal energy of getting up in the wee hours and going all day, but the energy to immediately change the dynamic in a room just by his presence – to put people at ease, to speak his mind, and to entertain, inspire and challenge, all with an open and genuine heart.
Eleven full years. We have lived it. We have truly lived. We have grown so immensely, especially in the last year. We have laughed, cried, argued, debated, played, loved, challenged and encouraged. And we have inspired each other.
Last year I talked about the lessons I’ve learned after a decade of marriage, and I could add to this list continuously. Now, in our 11th year together, we are moving mountains. We are letting go of limitations and allowing ourselves to pursue a life that is purely what we choose it to be, regardless of the cultural norm. We have travel plans, we have our home on airbnb, and I’m launching this business.
The 11th hour is a phrase in the King James Bible that means “late in the day.” It’s been used countless times to reference “go time.” This is where things gets serious and we address where we are – have we accomplished what we want? Are we ready for what may come?
In this eleventh year, I commit to you, Nathan, to stay focused on our family, to keep our marriage as a top priority, and to push you and challenge you with our adventures while not letting my stubbornness get in the way. Thank you for reminding me daily about what true love is about – the give and the take, and the responsibility to be a team player and not simply live by my own agenda. Thank you for accepting my flaws and challenging and inspiring me to bring out my own inner awesomeness. Thank you for pushing me to receive, and stepping up to ask when I may not realize what you need.
Here is to a year of…
I fall in love with this incredibly sexy and wise man more and more every day, and I encourage you to create your own list of words that you want your year (and your marriage and family) to be about!