September 07, 2012

10 Years

Ten years ago today, my friend, Jessica, and I woke up at the crack of dawn.  We went out to a farm and set up a zillion tables under a beautiful tent.  We spread out tablecloths.  We made center pieces.  We were a giant sweaty mess (all before 9 am) with a to-do list a mile long.  It was the morning of my wedding day!

I was young and poor and my parents had just gotten divorced so I really wanted to be a good steward of their money and do as much wedding stuff myself to save a buck.  For days and days Jessica and I worked our little fingers to the bone trying to make it perfect.  (She's awesome like that!)

Me and Jessica in 2001
With only a few hours to go until we all needed to begin getting ready for the ceremony, I ran to my mom's house to take a quick shower.  There was just no way we were going to get it all done!  I walked in to see my groom sitting on my mom's couch looking dazed, anxious and like he'd been shot with a tranquilizer gun.  He took a look at me all sweaty and disheveled and asked what I'd been doing.  "Sweetheart,  I've been out there making our dream wedding happen!  Can you do x,y,z to help me get finished?"  He looked at me with pure panic in his eyes muttered, "BUT I'M GETTING MARRIED TODAY!"  (Ummm, me too buddy, but chop chop!)

Bless his little, scared, nervous heart.  I'd be nervous marrying me, too!  After all, we were babies- just 21 and 24 years old! We had no idea what marriage meant!  All we knew is that we were crazy about each other and never wanted to be apart.  We knew we'd be broke, but we didn't realize how hard it would be to pay the bills on love.  We knew we wanted kids way down the road, but we didn't realize that "way down the road" was God's secret code for us getting pregnant just 5 months later.  When the preacher asked us in pre-marital counseling what we'd ever do if we had a special needs child we said, "The right answer is 'love it', isn't it?"  without a thought about how freaking hard that would be!  To sum up, we had no clue what we were doing. 

We'd been dating for about a year and a half when that precious boyfriend of mine took me out to the Old Spagetti Factory for dinner.  I was wearing an entirely too short black skirt and a blue button down.  He was wearing jeans and a blue sweater.  It seemed like any other date night- except that the boy was acting weird.  I even wondered if he was mad at me because he was just so quiet that night.  After dinner, he took me on a carriage ride through downtown Louisville.  The carriage driver would not shut up, but it didn't bother me.  I thought he was just telling us cool stories about the city.  But Kamron was trying for some romance and the man's mindless chatter was not setting the mood.  He leaned up and asked the guy if he minded keeping his commentary to himself for a little bit.  It was then I began to suspect something might be up because usually Kamron is too easy going to let something like a tour guide's talking bother him.  He sat there being quiet and nervous and finally took a deep breath and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.  I thought that never had two people been more in love.  I could not keep my eyes (or my hands) off that boy.

Us (as really young pups) taken the weekend after we got engaged
We set the date for the wedding for almost a year later- September 7, 2002.  I bought my dress off the rack at a discount Bridal shop (with a wad of ones I'd been saving from waiting tables) and felt like the most beautiful woman in the world in it.  I helped my mom pick out her dress and I've never seen my mother look more stunning.  I felt like our wedding was the most perfect wedding that had ever been recorded in the history books. 
Our wedding day was so special!

Me standing on the staircase in my grandmother's house.

Be still my heart.

Arriving at the ceremony in a carriage with my dad
Walking down the aisle
The ceremony


Dancing our first dance to our song- Led Zeppelin's "I'm Gonna Crawl" (sexiest song ever recorded)  We may also be the only people alive who used this as our wedding song. 

We said those same vows that everybody says.  We promised to love, honor and cherish in good times and bad.  I meant them when I said them, but the depth of those words is something that has grown over time.  When you say those vows with starry eyes in front of God and everyone- you never think that there will be bad times.  You never think that there will be times when you both don't even want to look at each other- much less be married to one another.  You don't think about the times where you call your best friend so ticked off and tell her that you wonder what in the world you are doing with this person.  You don't realize that the "in sickness" part means loving someone through post partum depression or the man cold.  You don't realize that those hypothetic special needs kids you talk about in pre-marital counseling will one day become your two boys and you don't stop to think how therapy and doctor visits and day to day care will take a toll on even the strongest relationship.  You don't stop to think about how laundry and household chores and stress at work and stock market crashes and paying bills and struggling though days with no money in your bank account will conspire against your marriage.

But you also don't realize when you say those vows, how you will grow deeper into love over the years.  Not the fall in and out of love ooey gooey junk- the real stuff.  Like the love that grows exponentially the first time you see your spouse give birth or hold their child for the first time. 

Or how that love will grow when you watch him playing songs on the guitar to a baby in a swing.  Or how when you see him dance with a tiny infant around the living room you feel like your heart is going to burst. Or how you feel when you see him teach your children something that you never could.  Or when you watch him grow over the years to be an incredible father. 

You don't realize how much that love will grow when that man thanks you for sacrificing your life outside of your home so that you can stay home to take care of the babies that just seem to keep coming.  And you don't realize how much you'll appreciate how hard he works so that staying home is an option for you.

Or how it didn't occur to you ten years ago how much that love matures and multiplies when you overhear your husband praying with his kids as he's putting them to bed.

And you don't realize how much deeper you'll love him when he makes a folder for you of instructions for "just in case" something happens to him and how much you'll appreciate that he  wants to take care of you so badly that he's willing to think about things that aren't fun to think about.

You don't realize how much you'll love him when you come to him with this crazy notion of adopting and fostering kids and he puts your dreams and desires ahead of having a carefree and easy life so that you can fulfill your life's passion.

You don't realize how much bigger your love will be when your firstborn brings home a perfect report card and you look at each other and marvel that you made that TOGETHER.

You don't realize that watching that man show his sons how to swing a bat will be sexier than flowers and tight jeans.

You don't realize how much more his "You are so beautiful" will mean to you now when you are 31 and not quite as perky than it did when you were 18 and skinny and stretch mark free.

Nope- you don't realize when you say those vows that all those superficial things you feel on your wedding day fade and what you are left with are little moments- moment that show you the real character of a person. You don't realize when you say those vows how 10 years of snotty noses and falling asleep in front of the tv and fighting and holding hands and taking kids to and from school and picking up things from the grocery and going on vacations and taking kids to the doctor and watching swim meets and good times and hard times all pile up to build a life.  This is never the life that I would have imagined for us 10 years ago.   It's better.  I'm so glad that God's plans for our marriage and our family were better than anything I could have dreamed for myself.  

Kamron Terry- thank you for building this crazy, amazing life and this incredible family with me.  You are the only one I'd want to ever be on this journey with.  Happy 10th anniversary!  I love you.  -m

To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.

~ David Viscott ~

**In honor of our 10 years together- there is a Vintage Pearl Faith, Hope, Love Ring giveaway going on our Millions of Miles facebook page!

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