Nine years ago, I put on a beautiful white dress and walked arm in arm with my dad down the aisle to my beaming, crying, groom. It is a moment that’s burned in my brain so vividly. Our wedding day was stunning, relaxed, joyful, and truly just fun. The days since that summer day of “I do’s” haven’t all been easy. We’ve had moments of selfish pursuit, angry words, bitter feelings, frustration, and grief. But, for better or worse, we’ve overcome those hardships and have landed here- 9 years later. Those few hours of a wedding celebration set the firm foundation for the life we’ve created since then. And oh, what a life it’s been!
We haven’t traveled to faraway lands, we haven’t made millions. But we’ve made a comfortable home that has an open front door for others, we’ve worked hard together to bring babies into the world, we’ve driven down long dirt roads with our kids laughing in the backseat, we’ve had dance parties in the family room, and we’ve baked, and eaten, way too many chocolate chip cookies. And today, 9 years after we said those vows, we walked our son into his first day of kindergarten.
Just like that the little boy who made me a mama is wearing an excavator backpack and holding a John Deere lunchbox as he gives me the “I love you” sign and walks through the classroom door. That sure can wreck a Mama’s heart! It’s surreal that 9 years ago I was anxiously awaiting the days that I am living now.
I was a naively carefree 22-year-old when I walked down that aisle. I had a plan for our lives. I had a timeline. I thought if I worked hard and lived a moral life, I would somehow have control over this plan going exactly as I thought. In these 9 years though a lot of those plans have crashed and burned. Getting a career in the field I had worked for failed, getting pregnant took longer than I thought, Colton’s birth was the exact opposite of what I had planned and wanted, miscarriage happens, adoption placements fail. And through it all, I was refined and somehow ended up here, 9 years later, with a life way more meaningful than the one I had planned out 9 years ago.