our first year

May 14th, 2016  was the most perfect day. When I say perfect, I mean it. As I sit here reflecting on the past twelve months, I recognize the beauty of our wedding day even more than I did while wearing white. I realize the absolute miracle of marriage, the type of comprehension no one can ever fully prepare you for.
My husband chose me. For the rest of his life.

 Photo by Sally Cavanaugh

Photo by Sally Cavanaugh

During marriage counseling, I vividly remember one February evening with Sean and Heather (our dear friends who are also pastors). The four of us were sitting in our apartment eating tacos and talking about God's intentions for marriage -- how it is a choice, but it is also a calling. Sean went on to say how he and Heather felt a divine calling to one another; and that indeed, there is an incredulous amount of grace and beauty in being specifically called to love another person with your whole heart, for your whole life. 

After they left, I began writing my vows to Will.
I promise you all of my love, as I truly believe my heart
was designed to be yours.

 Caye Caulker, Belize | Our Honeymoon

Caye Caulker, Belize | Our Honeymoon

Let me tell you, there's this hidden meaning of the word "honor" that is not revealed to you until you pledge it to someone else. 

I promise to honor you, cherish you, and support your passions. 

 Wheat harvest, 2016

Wheat harvest, 2016

May I also mention that promising to love someone "for better or for worse" is raw and it is real. When Will and I said "I do," we had absolutely no idea what the following months would bring.
Bliss? Of course. 

 Dillon, Colorado | July 2016

Dillon, Colorado | July 2016

Adventure? Of course! 

 Spain, France, and Italy | August 2016

Spain, France, and Italy | August 2016

God also presented us the most difficult season of life we've ever known. I could have never imagined that 3 months following our wedding, we'd be begging God to save my Dad's life. 

 August 26th, 2016

August 26th, 2016

I could have never imagined that 4 short months following our wedding, I'd be speaking at my Dad's funeral.

 November 16th, 2016

November 16th, 2016

I believe there is always a blessing to be found; there is always a reason why things happen the way they do. What this season of devastation and complete sadness taught me was not a lesson of death or mourning. I discovered a new depth of my love for Will. I learned from his strength, I learned from his sadness.
I learned from his character.

 December 21st, 2016

December 21st, 2016

If you know Will, you know he just keeps going. So, I kept on going, too. We focused on choosing joy amidst the sadness. 
This saved me.
In a time I could have easily shattered, Will saved me. 

I will love you unconditionally, through all seasons of life.

 Our first home, March 2017

Our first home, March 2017

In our first year of marriage, we have learned a lot about living.
We have also learned a lot about marriage -- the strength it takes.
The grace it creates. 

 Amsterdam | April 2017

Amsterdam | April 2017

The art of true love is forever a craft. A journey, an adventure.

 Rudenko Photography

Rudenko Photography

Happy first anniversary, my love! 
I promise to love you for always, for you are my foundation, my truest friend, and the greatest blessing I've ever known.