One year ago last week, I twirled around in the most gorgeous dress I had ever seen in my life. I gushed at myself like a little girl who had just put on a princess dress-up costume for the first time. I put flowers in my hair and red lipstick on my lips. Beneath the trees, I took the hands of a man who had shown me self-less love, patience, grace, and how to let go of my perfection-driven dreams for a life of easy, carefree laughter. We've been married a year now, so here's to you, my sweet husband.
The days before our wedding, I had cold feet. I knew you were the one, but life was about to change in the biggest way I had ever known. In a really silly way, I started to grieve my single life. I knew relationships and everyday life was about to change in a huge way. All morning, I was panicking. I hate being in front of a crowd/showing affection and I was about to do both of those things at the same time. But as I walked down that grassy hill, the cool blades of grass brushing against my bare feet, a peace that surpasses understanding hit me in a wave. Because I knew God was bringing me together with my one. You're it for me.
I look back at my panic the week before the wedding and have to laugh. Because this life I have with you is the best thing I've ever known. Even with everything we've been through in the past year, I wouldn't trade this past year, with all it's difficulties, for anything else in the world.
Through unemployment, through knock-down-drag-out fights, through losses of relationships, through personal heartbreaks, through financial troubles, through oppression, through anxiety and a dark depression and one wisdom tooth removal surgery (you're welcome for all the videos you have of me being ridiculous), my desire to love you fiercely and strongly has only been reaffirmed time and time again.
I remember this time last year, we were ooshy-gushy over calling each other "husband" and "wife". It felt foreign, awkward. Calling you husband no longer feels foreign. It feels comfortable and safe. (Which is why I probably talk and brag about you any chance I get). I like that. I like the familiarity of being your wife.
I remember us both practicing saying my new name still sounds awkward to me. I mean, "Annie Skinner" was an awesome name, one that I adored and still kinda miss. But despite your last name being hard to pronounce and spell, and strangers continually calling me "Annie Dem-zack", I took your name because I'm proud to belong to you. (I'm sure I'll get used to my new name eventually) ;)
We've had our growing pains to be sure, but I love this life I have with you. Happy First Anniversary, my love!