I have so many things I want to share about this moment in time, when Steve and I stood in front of one another, celebrating the ten years of marriage that was behind us, and committing ourselves to the 50+ years ahead, with Chloe, our heart, witnessing this action of love. It’s taken me so long to write this blog post, because I can’t express the emotion of that time, or how it has imprinted on my soul even more starkly than the day on the beach when we said ‘I do’ for the first time. Not because we meant it any less that day, but because this time, we exchanged vows of our own heart in place of the traditional ones we stumbled through the day we became Mr. & Mrs.
I realize that I may never find the words to describe this experience, so instead, I will share the vows I cried and laughed through that day…
“From the minute you first took my hand, the world became clear, as if I had needed glasses my entire life, leading to that moment, the I finally could see clearly, not through my eyes, but from my soul. That day I realized there will never be enough time on this earth, because I want to live forever in your arms.
Suddenly, I knew my purpose, to be in love with our life, every minute of it. And that purpose hasn’t come without challenges. Our story almost ended before it had a chance to truly begin. I can never take that fear and pain away that you experienced that night, holding my hand, praying that I’d live to hold yours again, and to meet our baby girl.
But I will remember that I was given a chance to live, and promise to try to remember every single moment, what a gift I’ve been given. I have and will fail, time and again but I refuse to give up, because I know nothing is more perfect than “us.”
I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. Only then would you realize how amazing you truly are. You love without fear or regret and are a constant example of patience, intention, sacrifice and joy.
Watching you become a dad, actually, let me rephrase that. Watching you be a dad to our daughter, (because it is this perfect role you instinctively were made for), has been such a delight. From the talks to my little belly, to announcing you picked out the name for her way back in high school, and the bonding you did for the three days I was too sick to get to meet our precious baby, when you were stuck between your two loves, trying to be there for us both.
This role for you is the best that I’ve not only seen in you, but am proudest of. All I have to do is listen to your conversations or jokes or see you two cuddling to be reminded how perfect God made the two of you to be together.
You have patience in spades. Like that one time I turned a summer trip to Europe into a Parisian vow renewal and anniversary session of my dreams, complete with a wedding dress, flowers, flower girl, and a handsome man in a sharp suit…
But that’s because I feel my life is a dream. Where I feel happy and so loved that my heart could explode. The kind of dream that you at some point become aware of its importance and never want to wake up. But yet I do, everyday next to you. Another day full of jokes (some better than others), pranks, adventure, hanger here and there, but underneath it all, unconditional love.
Your eyes tell more than words could ever say. I see the rest of our lives when I look into them. Eyes that know me, see me exactly as who I am. We have a tailor made love. A love so incredibly powerful, it’s wrapped around my soul, quiet, fearless, unyielding, perfect in every way. With every breath the present becomes the past. And if He should call me to his side, I will leave with 10 lifetimes worth of love received by you and her.
I promise to show up everyday, despite the hardships and the odds stacked against marriage. I will put in the work to make this love last a lifetime. I will do the hard work, so that the good times are even sweeter, knowing that sacrifice, and intention has taken place to get to the joy and celebrations.
I believe that grace and mercy define our love. I am unworthy and promise to nurture this gift you’ve given me, and above all never abandon our love. Although we may make wrong turns, stumble and fall at times, but as long as we are hand in hand, nowhere is lost, wrong or unfamiliar. I will always carry it with me, ensuring you are never further than a thought away.
I promise to celebrate you, pursue you, listen to, land love you more than each day before. You are my melody, the song of my soul. I promise to grow old disgracefully together, living one adventure at a time, there’s no place in this world I’d rather be than wrapped in your arms.
I was born to love you, and will do so until my dying breath.
Finally, I want to promise you something you promised me on our 6th anniversary. Wherever life takes us, we will go together. And not even death will undo what we have done with one another. We have created something that will reverberate on forever. We have loved. We will walk into eternity with each other’s love stitched like sweaters around our hearts. And we will live forever knowing that when we gave our lives to each other, we changed eternity for the better.”
I couldn’t leave this post without showing these beautiful images that Julie took of Chloe, the budding wedding photog that she is, directing us for a photo. She told Steve to put his coat around my shoulders and walk with me. Isn’t it so sweet how simply children see love? A gentleman gives a lady his coat, so that’s beautiful to her and she was over the moon that Julie let her capture her vision.
Finally, thank you to Julie for not only capturing, but witnessing our love in action. These images are timeless and priceless to us!
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