Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
Encouraging words, inspiration, and heart-worthy content.
Travel guides from our favorite destinations.
Outfit inspiration & style guides.
Seasonal decor ideas & inspiration for every room in your home.
LISTEN TO THE BEST DAY PODCAST!
Oh my goodness, I am having trouble masking my emotion as I am currently sitting in my favorite coffee shop in downtown Woodstock. I just re-watched our wedding video and may or may not have cried, and now am shuffling a “Wedding Day” playlist as I sort through all of my thoughts. I know I have been wanting to write this for awhile, and now with tomorrow being Justin and I’s five year wedding anniversary, today seems like the best time to sit and gather my thoughts. So here I am, with my honey bee latte and my pure barre socks still on (addicted I know) trying to slow my heart beat because I am just plain giddy, but I also want to sort out my feelings of my heart, and share them so maybe just maybe someone finds a little bit of encouragement.
Now quick disclaimer, this post will most definitely be my most vulnerable and most personal by far so, heads up. And for all those thinking the personal and vulnerable should stay away from here, well please know for some reason I feel like I am supposed to write it and share it. So here I go. And if that bothers you, then don’t keep reading and have a nice day! 🙂
I remember from one of the very first moments when we began dating (early, I know) but I remember in that moment wanting this guy standing in front of me to be in my life for the long-haul. It was a feeling that overwhelmed me, being 16 years old at the time, but I knew when I looked at him that he was all my heart could ever need and want in this earthly realm. So quickly I fell, I fell in love faster and harder than I even thought possible. And despite all the changes we navigated through in those early years of dating (Justin is a year older so we experienced the “my boyfriend is in college, while I am still a senior in high school thing for a year) the one thing that was constant and certain in our hearts and minds was that this was it. We were committed to each other and this relationship from the very early days. Now, some critics might say that we didn’t have time to develop and grow as individuals. However, I believe we both had the incredible opportunity of watching and supporting one another as we navigated through college and established the beginning of our careers, but doing so as a unit. He watched me and was there for me when I lost a very close friend to cancer, he watched me and was there for me when I battled depression the year(s) after. He was there for me as I learned to be a teacher and supported me constantly as we navigated the beginnings of adulthood and all the changes that it brings. And through it all we have learned and grown oh so much.
And I can remember so early on in those years of dating, knowing that this man was my husband and so many nights I spent dreaming and dreaming unable to fall asleep or even rest my eyes because I was just so incredibly excited for a life with him. A life that we could share and grow together in. And as the years of us dating grew, the love that I had only grew stronger and stronger. And I remember going to Myrtle Beach for the weekend because I thought he missed his roommates and wanted a quick weekend at the beach since we both had been taking a ridiculous number of hours in summer classes and working. And I remember not wanting to be on the beach that moment because it was hot and I was hungry and sweaty in my maxi dress and felt uncomfortable being surrounded by so many people in swim suits while we were dressed up. But then before I even knew what was happening, we were standing at a place on the beach that was so symbolic, a place where I crushed so hard, yet not reciprocated at the time. And as we were standing there, I remember feeling so overwhelmed in the best way possible, and before I even knew it, time stood still, earth stood still, every single person on that beach disappeared and there he was, dropping down to one knee, with a sparkling, absolutely gorgeous ring in his hand, asking me to make him the happiest guy in the world and to be his wife. The best yes, I have ever said.
The next 11 months of wedding planning and the expectation and desire of walking down the aisle to him and to our future was something so incredible special. And the feelings when those chapel doors opened that day, the amount of joy that overflowed throughout my heart, and all I have to do is watch our wedding video over again and be reminded of those same exact bubbly feelings!
And I know that we have only been married for five years, there are people all over the world who have been married for so much longer. Yet, I feel like in these short five years I have learned so incredibly much. I have learned about myself, about human nature, about weakness, about strength. I have learned how I can be so incredibly selfish and oh so stubborn. I can be needy and irritable and so undeserving of the love that he gives. Yet he gives it. He has seen me on my worst days along with my best ones and loves me just the same. And what is so remarkable is that this love that I feel so immensely caught up in, is just a fraction of the love that Jesus gives. So freely given. Nothing that can be done to earn it, on the best and the worst days.
Yet, in all of those moments, those really hard moments. Moments where we were the worst possible versions of ourselves, in those exact same moments we decided over and over again, to continue to choose one another. To continue to fight for one another and this marriage. To continue to say YES, we are going to make this work. I can’t begin to tell you how many times the locked doors became unlocked, the alone in the closet hiding space became a place for two, and tears and hate turned into joy and love. And in those same moments, those exact same moments of frustration, we re-committed our love and promise to one another. A promise to love unconditionally, without fail. A promise that for better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, a promise to each other until the end of time. Marriage has taught me so much about grace. The ability to have grace for someone else. To extend grace freely. The position of a heart to put someone else before your own needs. To selflessly give love and expect nothing in return. (And believe me this is something that I still struggle with daily, but being married to this man, makes me want to continue to try and love, placing his needs and heart above my own. Because truthfully, that is what love is. And if that is what love is, then I want that to be imitated in our marriage. Marriage is pursuing the other constantly, supporting and encouraging the other no matter the failure or the challenge. Marriage is saying goodbye to the pride and recognizing the strength in vulnerability. Marriage is honesty. Marriage is respect. And a promise to continue to wake up each day committed to making this work.
Another thing that these last five years has taught me is that I want to get married again. (To Justin of course). But now, knowing what marriage is and means and feels, I want to say my vows again because I feel like they would be so different. And they would mean something a little more fierce. (Not that they didn’t before, but with 5 years of marriage under our belt, I want to be able to make that promise again, so until we are able to have a vow renewal or something like that,