Happy Anniversary, Darling

I woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning today. The birds are singing sweetly, so I grabbed a hot cup of coffee and sat out in the garden for some morning prayer. I couldn't help of thinking that it was not sunny and warm on this day four years ago; in fact it was cold and extremely rainy. Blake and I were planning a beautiful outdoor ceremony to exchange our wedding vows underneath an enormous, ornate oak tree that stands magnificently on my grandparents' farm. We had been prepping that spot for weeks: mowing and weeding and cutting peonies from every available neighbors' yard to place in jars along the aisle. I was so incredibly bummed when I woke up that morning to a downpour. They always say, if you want to hear God laugh tell Him your plans, right?

Today I am remembering how blessed Blake and I were with a wonderful wedding party and wonderful family that worked their tails off that day to make sure that it was everything that we had envisioned. My bridesmaids were constantly reassuring me that the rain would stop and we could still exchange our vows under the oak tree. They prayed over the day and they prayed over me. Much of my family were working up until the ceremony to ensure that everything was set up beautifully for our guests and that seating was dry.

And guess what...the rain did stop (thank you Lord!) and we exchanged our vows under that large oak tree, surrounded by our closest friends and family. Only sprinkles of rain fell on our faces as we held hands and smiled at one another, and our guests smiled and laughed as they sat beneath their umbrellas. It was the most wonderful day, and I wouldn't have changed a thing...even the rain. Moments from that day have been forever ingrained in my mind, the moment that my dad placed my hand in Blake's and we were all three crying, Blake and I exchanging our hand written vows from pieces of yellow notepad paper, assembling our unity cross that now sits beside our bed in our home, placing our vows and pictures in a time capsule to be opened every five years.

Blake and I still hear today about how neat our wedding was, and how it was the most beautiful ceremony they have witnessed. This makes me smile every time I hear it. Our wedding truly was special in every way, but it was not by our doing...it was because of the love and selflessness of our family and friends, and the love and graciousness of our Lord, that made that day beautiful.

So I'll end with this. A few weeks ago Blake and I had the honored privilege of working with Julie Paisley at the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas for a styled anniversary shoot. I was pampered with professional hair and makeup (something that I have never experienced before!) by the talented Natalia Issa! Julie picked out the dress that I would wear, and Blake wore a dapper blue suit. We enjoyed our time together, walking along the river during the session, remembering our wedding day and our vows to one another. Tourists were walking by us, taking cell phone pictures and congratulating us. We truly had a blast, and to have portraits that commemorate our feelings from that day as we reflected back on our wedding...well, those are priceless! Thank you, Julie, for this special gift!

And to you, Blake: Happy Anniversary, darling. By the grace of God, we have accomplished so much: making our house into a home, joining the most loving and caring family at our church, building a business, learning about new cultures in foreign countries, growing closer together with each passing day. You are without a doubt my dearest friend and my role model; the one person that I adore making memories with. These past four years have flown by, but they have been made wonderful by you.