Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed about my wedding day. The white dress, the flowers, you know, all the material stuff that fairy-tales are made of. Twenty-one years ago today that dream came true. After a quick engagement I married my best friend. It was an absolutely perfect day and I honestly couldn’t have asked for much more.
We were both so young. I was 20, Mike 23. Our whole lives ahead of us. Now we’re married. Over the next 21 years we have aged a little (ok, a lot…), grown together, started a family and lived a life full of up’s and down’s, laughter and tears, achievements and disappointments.
As I sit back today and honestly reflect over the previous 21 years I have come to understand a lot. That young girl who wanted the big dress, the fancy decorations (bristol board, sparkles and tissue-paper flowers…lol) has grown into a lady whose focus has certainly shifted over the years. The material, symbolic items that made my wedding day “perfect” played such an insignificant part of our marriage. Sure, the day should be special and all you ever hoped it to be, but after that day, what does all the “stuff” mean? What does it all have to do with the many years that follow?
On my wedding day I didn’t know what the future held for us. None of us know that. But looking back now I can honestly say my “perfect” day has been every day since August 10, 1991. That’s what has made our marriage. Going through the struggles, rejoicing and enjoying in the successes, appreciating the calm, and standing strong through the storms. THAT is what has made our journey “perfect”.
I have been with Mike for half of my life. We chose to be together. We committed to each other. And to be able to say that today, 21 years later we are still together, happy and looking forward to many more years together excites me. I’m proud of us. I’m proud of what we’ve become. I’m proud of the struggles were have conquered together. Are we the same people we were 21 years ago? Not even close. The events we have gone through, the changing times of our world and the addition of our children have certainly altered the young bride and groom of yesteryear. We’ve grown up a lot. We’ve had to. I’ll be the first to admit I was an “all about me” person for a long long time. I was pretty high maintenance. Mikey might say I still am some days 😉 but that young girl has grown into someone that I am happy to be proud of. I have learned through some pretty hard lessons that it isn’t all about me. Much of our happiness is because of me and because of Mike and the people we have become as one.
We have also learned that our marriage isn’t about us alone but it incorporates our circle of family and friends, as well. Many people have come and gone from our lives over the past twenty-one years and each of those people have left a footprint in our world that has brought significant growth to us both. We are truly blessed and equally as fortunate to have an amazing support system beside us. Many of our dearest friends have been with us since day one and even though these are people we do not necessarily see on a daily (or even weekly) basis, their support, encouragement and love has guided us through some of our darkest days. We have added many new relations to our lives over the years as well, not always in the most conventional of ways, but nevertheless, we are proud and honored to call many of these people friends. So many doors have been opened to us as a family and our world has expanded in ways that we never imagined possible.
As for our extended family, what can I really say? They have been our backbone. They have been our sounding blocks, they have been our salvation. We are truly blessed to have a family that cares about family. I can’t help but sit here with a smile on my face.
So as I put the finishing touches on this entry I realize that yes, we are 21 years older than we were on our wedding day, we may move a little slower, have a little less patience some days and gripe about silly, insignificant things but we’re here. 21 years later. I’m proud of that. I’m really excited to now be counting down to our 25th (with a trip to Nashville in the plans) and to see what other adventures come our way.
If you’re reading this you have obviously played some type of role in our lives. Be it big or small, trust me when I say it has been significant. Thank you for what you have added to our world. We are who we are because of you.
Until next time….