9 years ago today, I woke up on a beautiful June day. I nudged two of my best friends who were still sleeping and said, 'It's Today!'
Back then, 'Today' was my wedding day. The day went so quick, that if I try to remember all the details it appears like a commercial you fast forward through. It was here, and it was gone. But each year as we celebrate our anniversary I like to sit and reflect and remember everything I can about that special day. I thought it would be fun to make a list of my top most memorable moments. In no particular order:
1. The immense feeling of love I felt that day as all our friends and family came together to celebrate us.
2. All my girls, and mothers, and sisters getting our hair done together in eager anticipation for the day.
3. My grandfather standing before us, such an incredible example of a good man, husband and father asking us to 'repeat after me'.
4. The quiet and 'private' moment we setup where Sean could see me in my dress for the first time. The look on his face, and the giggles and tears from my bridal party who spied on us from around the corner.
5. Walking down the aisle with my dad who sensing my nervousness, patted my arm and just smiled.
6. Brent's (Sean's brother) best man speech. We tease him now, but having him be there standing by Sean's side, and being THAT nervous was so endearing.
7. Dancing with my dad for the first time in my life where I wasn't standing on his toes.
8. A photo I have and still cherish of me with all of my girlfriends. Some of which I've grown closer with, some who our relationship has remained the same, and others who over the years we've grown apart.
9. The moment during our ceremony where the ice sculpture deliverer dumped a bucket of ice that echoed throughout the entire hall and I realized that 'weddings are never perfect'.
10. My first dance with Sean as a married lady and realizing that I could not be any luckier.
11. Watching our family members approach the DJ and request songs like, 'celebration' and 'YMCA' and have them turned down. They sure did stay true to my 'do not play list'.
12. Our friend Darren, and one of Sean's groomsmen removing his dress shirt during a dance and revealing a t-shirt with 'I fear no beer' and then watching him use the dress shirt as a prop in his dance moves.
13. Looking around wide eyed for my grandparents as the song 'baby got back' played. Feeling the judgement, but only caring a little.
14. Looking around during the reception at nearly everyone on the dance floor, jumping and dancing and smiling and thinking, 'now, THIS is a party'.
15. Driving to our hotel, IN my Honda Prelude, STILL wearing my wedding dress.
16. Starving to death (as most brides do), ordering pizza, and falling asleep with the box on my chest (in my wedding dress still).
I knew that day as Sean and I stood together that I loved him. I had no idea how much. I had no idea that with the birth of each of our children it would seem to double and triple. As the years pass we've matured, we gain more respect for each other every day, more understanding, and strengthen how we operate as a team. This is not to say we have not had our rough patches, that we are perfect, or that we both don't have days where we want to ring the others neck.
However, if Sean can make it 9 years screwing the toothpaste lid on for me, and I can pick up the clothes off the bathroom floor for him, and together we can survive this thing called parenting I think we'll be alright.
Today, after a frustrating afternoon, a horrible commute and two stops to pick up the kids, I drug them into the local Fred G Meyer for an anniversary card. I stomped around the store, my hands wrapped tightly around each of their hands as they bounced and flailed and asked for a new pillow pet. I regretted my tardiness in this task. I still had two more stops before home, and a mountain of laundry to do, bags to pack, and food to buy for our 4th of July weekend. Ian's birthday is in 4 days and I have nothing for him. I even maybe laugh out loud a little at the irony of the cards I was reading which said, 'Happy Anniversary'. I thought they should say something like, 'Tired Anniversary' or 'Wish we could celebrate our Anniversary', or 'Let's at least shoot for 5 minutes of adult conversation on our anniversary'.
I looked for the shortest possible line to pay and ended up in a line with just one woman in front of me. As I dig for my wallet I see the MOUNTAIN of clothes and accessories she's purchasing and the (for lack of a name on his name badge) potential brand new employee ringing her up. My eyes grow wide, if it were possible steam may have come from my ears and I prayed for calm, peace, and serenity.
All I wanted to do was beat Sean home so I could write on his card and un-wrap the take-out I planned to pick up on the way home. Maybe if I had the time to put it on a plate (because that is less ghetto) I'd feel better.
The woman glanced over at me and reads the cover to my card which of course read, 'Happy Anniversary'. She then looks down at the bouncing bundles of energetic JOY who were pleading for a snack and says to me, 'Is that all your're buying?' I say, 'Yes, they were all out of straight jackets'. She laughs and takes the card from me, and asks the cashier to scan it for her. 'Have a happy Anniversary' she said.
I thanked her profusely and I may or may not have teared up at this random act of kindness. I try to perform these acts spontaneously throughout the year and this was the first time the karma was blatantly returned. And it was in a moment when I needed it most.
I made it home with our brown bag of food, a card, and some renewed perspective. I don't think that woman will ever know the profound effect she had on me. But I do plan to pay it forward.
To Sean, who after 9 years is still putting up with me I thank you deeply. I was so lucky to find such a dedicated, driven, and 'mostly' patient man to live this crazy life with. Nobody knows me better or deeper and there is nobody I'd rather deal with the bad or celebrate the good with. I write this in hopes that one year from now we are just as happy, and maybe a little tan after a well deserved week somewhere tropical and relaxing where children are not allowed.