Tag Archives: blessings

Sometimes, you just realize.

Sometimes, the seemingly smallest things stop you dead in your tracks, and make you realize what a crazy, amazing, blessed life you have.

Something as small as this – a promotion Facebook did to celebrate their sixth birthday – creating a video of your first and biggest moments on Facebook, and I sit here in a puddle of tears, in awe, over what the last six years has brought me, and conversely, what I have made of it.

…my first moments on Facebook include my beautiful Nala and Kayla, seeing Nala as the very first picture made me cry right away, I miss her so, but equally love that this was the start of my six years. Because soon after was when I began my journey, and where my kitties became my companions, my support, my laughter, when I was sad, when I was alone, when I was learning to be myself again.

…one of my more popular posts was this one, from September 2012: “I am pretty sure I am the luckiest girl alive – with M” the day after our engagement. Even in that less than two years, and less than 4 since we met and married, that statement couldn’t be more true then, or now.

…my most popular posts were our ‘surprise‘ marriage, and becoming homeowners. Both of those have me beaming with pride, love and blessings.

It’s so funny how something as ‘trivial’ as a social media gimmick to promote Facebook’s ‘birthday’ has me sitting here in stunned silence. The last six years have been nothing short of life-changing forever. From a then 28 year old married woman who knew nothing about herself, to a divorced 29 year old starting fresh and from scratch, in quite literally every way, from home, to finances, to self, to body, to love, to today, 34 years old, married to the love of my life and in what could very well be our ‘forever’ home, and I am feeling unbelievably blessed.

e86a3f50e69e0d14be3b5948c851da5fSometimes it truly is just taking a step back and reminding yourself where you came from, where you are today, and where you can go from here. The possibilities are endless.

<3

On taking a chance…three years later.

Three years ago today, I walked into a restaurant, anxiously awaiting my date to arrive. It was my self-proclaimed ‘last ditch effort’ at match.com, after almost two years of on and off online dating, I was ready to throw in the towel and do some soul searching. But there was this guy that caught my eye, as if every single word of his profile was written AT me, and I couldn’t resist, I had to take one more chance.

He walked through those doors and I had nervous anticipation. What if he wasn’t who he said he was. What if he wasn’t what I expected him to be. What if…it was another letdown. But as soon as he got closer, all of that melted away. Because he already *seemed* to be who I thought he *might* be. And when he greeted me, I looked into his eyes and I saw…him. And it felt right, and familiar, in a way, and my anxieties quickly dissapeared. As soon as he guided me to our table, placing his hand gently on my lower back, I melted. The small touch of chivalry…just spoke to me.

And from that day forward, three years in the making, here we sit. That was the beginning of my first (and last ‘first!’) date with M, the man I was meant to meet and  marry. It blows me away every time I think about the last three years. Of where we have been together. Of what we have experienced. Of the love that we have cultivated. Of the best friendship that we have built. Of the life we brought together. Of us. Of the home that we now live in…and? The marriage that has united us, forever.

Three years ago, there was no way I would have ever guessed that, fast forwarding to today, my life would be what it is today. Five years ago, I would not have believed, or perhaps trusted, that my life then, broken, alone, heart shattered, would transform into the life that it is now.

It honestly makes me speechless. It gives me chills. And a wave of thankfulness, blessedness and happiness washes over me.

Three years with the man that has made me believe in true and utter love, to the soul love…the love that you see with the catch of an eye, the turn of a smile, the comfort of a hug and the passion of a kiss.

Love that – had I not gone through what I did, had M not gone through what he did – that would never have happened. Love that came together because of what we both went through. And again, that brings us both to the realization, yet again, that we were brought together because we were meant to. Because we trusted, had faith and took a chance.

Truly.
Truly.

Where our story continues…celebrating ‘at home’

Wow, I really don’t mean for my posts lately to be so far apart ;-)

But, this delay came with good reason. I wanted to share the next in my little mini-series on celebrating our marriage and our new home, with family and friends, this past weekend.

You see, several months back, I sent out a ‘save the date’ housewarming invitation via Facebook to our closest friends and family to make sure the people I cared about most could come and celebrate with us for our wedding reception thinly veiled as a housewarming party. While yes, it was indeed a party for both, we truly envisioned this day being the day we would celebrate with those that were not with us in wine country on our wedding day, and share in the joy of the next stage of our story.

And this weekend, that very celebration commenced. While not all of those I hold dear to me were able to make it (life happens…), we had such an amazing turnout of family, friends, coworkers and barre n9ne ‘family’ – it was just incredible. From family all uniting together, and even my aunt from Minnesota flew in to celebrate with us (meant the WORLD to me), spending the afternoon talking and laughing and showing everyone around the house, to playing with my niece as she ran like the wind through the yard, playing, and ‘showing off’ as she carefully walked across our stone fence holding auntie’s hand ever so slightly as she went, to the feeling of pride spread across our faces as we showed our family our home, some of which were seeing it for the very first time.

On to wave two of the party, the friend ‘part’ and we had that moment of….crickets…are as many people going to come as said they would?! As we looked around at the 18 bottles of wine, countless cases of beer, mounds of appetizers, catered BBQ and two ginormous cakes. And then suddenly, in a wave, a flurry of people came, and celebrated, and it was just the most fun and blur of an evening all wrapped into one (now I totally get how a) people say their wedding reception was a blur…this in itself was a blur and I felt like I barely saw M all night and b) how tiring throwing big parties really is!!).

As we wrapped up the evening after about 10 hours of nonstop activity, we opened some of the gifts our families and friends brought us and were just blown away by the thoughtfulness. From the stone my sister Jen gave us with our last name engraved on it for the yard to the wine box holder to store wine for our first, third and fifth wedding anniversaries (with a special bottle tucked away in the fifth ‘holder’) from Jess, to the carefully selected bottles of wine, to personalized wall plaques and pictures, we just felt so happy, loved and honored.

Collapsing into bed, I don’t think I have ever smiled more. In the home we have now ‘christened’ with family and friends, in our first big party, everything just felt more right than it has ever been. Our story…where it continues, feels complete. In every way. <3

6-30-2013

Where our story continues…M’s perspective.

M decided to write his own blog on our marriage, and with his permission, I am sharing it here for you all. Reading through this brought tears to my eyes…and though I am not one to put much behind a palm reader, but it is pretty incredible, isn’t it? I continue to feel so blessed, incredibly loved, and connected to M, as we begin our walk through marriage, it is the most settling, happy feeling I have ever encountered. Life has led me – and us – here, to this very place, and I couldn’t be happier. <3

Enjoy.

~~

You know, I’ve never doubted for a second that life is above all things unpredictable.  You live, you die….everything including happiness is optional.  If you told me three years ago that I’d be happily re-married to the absolute love of my life, I would have told you you were looney tunes.  I had given up. I figured “one strike, and you’re out!” I remember going to a palm reader at a haunted house the October after my separation from my ex and the person told me I’d be remarried within 5 years. I should have saved her business card for a rainy day. Anyways…and then, it happened. I went from down and out, single, battered and bruised…to back on top (TWSS) feeling like I’m on top of the world.

She’s truly the love of my life.  We’re the best of friends and companions, the best of lovers, we love so much of the same things, and our families love the both of us. Outside of marrying the absolute best woman in the whole wide world, I’ve also inherited the best brother and sister-in-law combo that a guy could ask for. As this would be both our second marriages, we opted for a small, intimate engagement with close friends in wine country. Close friends, wine, marriage… kinda like peanut butter, jelly, and bread, right????

The scene plays over and over in my head.  She was so beautiful in her wedding dress as she is always beautiful no matter what. So what if it was 110 degree at the top of an arid, grassy hill.  The view was amazing! And as our close friends watched we recited our vows. Now, I’ve always been a procrastinator and my motto always has been “why do calmly today what you can rush through like an absolute maniac tomorrow” but I actually had worked on these vows for quite some time.  In fact, what I recited was version 7. It seemed fitting. I knew it was right because reading them to myself actually evoked a deep emotional response, something that for me is very difficult to do.

Our good friend, Jim, was our JP and he married us. When it was my turn I started to recite my vows and had to pause a few  times to make sure I could go on. I looked at the page, I read, but, honestly, I didn’t look at the page for a lot of it, because a lot of it came from deep within my heart.

I told her that when I said “I love you” I was making her a promise. I promised to love her forever. I promised to keep her safe. I promised to respect her. I promised to stand with her when the world seemed against her. I promised to support her in every way. I promised that her life would be mine and vice versa. I promised to hold her tight, to make her laugh, to hold her hand…I promised I would be her’s if she’d be mine (taken from Mumford and Sons)…I promised I would support her through anything she wanted to do with her Barre9 carreer, and, yes, her LuluLemon habit. But ultimately I told her that I felt like I was the luckiest man in the world….because she loved me back. And I truly still feel that way. I always will

And, then, that was it. We kissed. Everyone clapped. We all smiled. It was a special day. A day I won’t soon forget. One time, about a year ago, she planned this elaborate surprise party for me. I give her credit, it was awesome. I walked into our old apartment…SURPRISE!!!!! Everyone was there….everyone important to me. Friends from every circle intermingling, talking, laughing, mixing together….it was, what I truly believe, what heaven would be like. But, I was wrong….heaven wouldn’t be that. Heaven would be all those people, our families…..in wine country, on that hill…laughing, talking, just being together. Not a worry in the world, just love, innocence, safety, and total utter satisfaction.

I hope I get there….. someday.

<3 his face here.

Where our story continues…our vows.

Writing our vows felt so daunting at first…but once we got into writing them together, the words just flowed, and every time I read them, I cry. We wrote ‘overall’ vows that we each spoke, and then ‘surprise’ vows that neither of us saw from each other, until they were spoken to each other on June 30, 2013. In this moment, the world melted away, and all I saw in those moments was M’s face, tears in his eyes, tears streaming down mine. The most beautiful moments of our story, in that instant.

~~

Our vows:

I choose you to be no other than yourself. To love you for who you are and trusting and embracing who you will become. I will respect and honor you always, and in all ways. I will walk with you, hand in hand, through life’s struggles and uncertainty and never leave your side. My heart is committed to you, the love of my life, and my light, now and forever.  I will be your biggest supporter, encourager, lover and partner.
I take you as my best friend, the beat of my heart, and my home, to have and to hold in tears and in laughter, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish always. You will never walk alone, as I am giving you my hand to hold and my life to keep, from this day forward, in this world, and into the next. I love you.
My vows:
I once wrote that my life is amplified with you in it. And that couldn’t be more true. You make my happier than I have ever been. You inspire me to live more, love deeper, and be more than I ever thought I could be..by just being you.  And you’ve taught me what love truly is, how to show, speak and feel love like I have never felt before.
While I almost want to say that if I had to live my life over again, my only wish would be to meet you sooner and love you longer, but I truly believe that our lives have shaped each of us for who we are, and our paths met at the exact time they were meant to, hand-shaped and hand selected by God, to bring us together, because where we have been in our pasts has brought us here to today, to where we were meant to be planted.
You are the most respectful, driven, honorable man I have ever met, and I am honored to soon call you my husband. I love you more than I ever thought possible, and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together, where our story continues…forever.
M’s vows:
No matter what I say to you today, no words can ever describe how much I love you. You gave me a card recently, and in it, the author wrote ‘I love you means so much more than three words.” When it comes to me and you, I love you means so much more than three words. Every time I say I love you, I’m making a promise to hold you tight and never let go…to protect you from harm, to support you in every challenge, to hold you close, to defend you when you are scared, to keep you warm when it’s cold, to make sure you never feel alone, to respect you always, and when you feel like the world is against you, to remind you again and again, that you are the most awesome person I have ever known.
Every time I say I love you, I promise that I’ll be yours, if you’ll be mine, forever and ever, until the end of time. To hold your hand, just because, to make you laugh, just because, to share in your pain and sorrows, and cherish you, to cherish us, because in the end, aside from all those little things we let get to us, aside from our successes and failures, our careers and jobs, aside from all others…in the end, most importantly, what we have is each other, and I promise that for the rest of my life, I will hold us above everything else.
I promise to support your lululemon habit, I promise to support your endevours with barre n9ne. I always promise to share with you good wine (even if it’s in the ‘princess glass’ some of the time), to build a home, and God willing, a family. To make you feel beautiful every day of your life. I’ll be your best friend no matter what, no strings attached. Because I love you and promise I’ll love you till the very end. And on that fateful day, when I say I love you, know that I’ve always loved you more than anything and anyone and that I’ve always been the luckiest man alive, because you loved me back I love you and promise I always will.
~~
As I sit here in tears, re-reading these words, I am in awe. That this man, the beat of my heart and the love of my life, loves me so much, just as much as I love him. I feel like the luckiest, most blessed, happiest woman alive. And I thank God every day for this very man, this very life, everything.
<3
<3