Four years have gone by. In a blink it seems. Wasn't it just yesterday that we were spending weekends by the harbor, watching young kids party on yachts and stuffing our faces with gelato?
Has it been that long since we shared five-hour long conversations into the wee hours of the morning on opposite coasts for an entire month before I confessed:
"It feels like you're ... "
"Go ahead. Say it." (I could tell you were smiling, even over the phone.)
Do you remember the moment I sat nervously in front of our parents at dinner as you asked their permission to begin a courtship? Or the time you told me we were going to dinner after church and we somehow ended up at your mother's house where I met your family for the very first time? (I never did forgive you!) And how your mother asked me how many grandchildren I would give her even though we'd only been dating for two months?
I do :-)
I still remember the butterflies from when our love was fresh and new. The thrill of simple experiences shared with you - afternoon walks, Starbucks runs, your first 5K. How we tried our best to show each other our true selves and agreed to walk away if either of us had reservations.
And most of all, how easy it was to be with you. The absence of red flags, arguments and drama. It was ... effortless. Refreshing. Scary.
From the beginning you were intentional. Focused. You told me, "I'm pursuing you. And I want to begin a relationship that leads to marriage," and I almost choked on my tongue. At the time, I didn't realize that you were protecting me, us really. Taking the lead. Setting boundaries for our relationship.
In a little more than a year's time, we would be standing in front of our family and closest friends, publicly pledging ourselves to each other. I will never forget the moment they opened the doors to the hall and I saw no one but you at the end of the aisle, waiting for me while Renee murdered, "How Deep the Father's Love for Us."
That was four years ago today. Or so the calendar says.
A lot has changed since then. We mourned the loss of close loved ones together. Became parents (!) Changed jobs. Made adult purchases. Saw each other change.
But in all the ways that count, nothing has changed at all. I am still thrilled by the simple, day-in-day-out of being with you. Morning conversation before you head to work. Evening walks with Lincoln. Dinners around our table.
You are still wooing me. You give grace when I make us late. And that time not-so-long ago when I lost your keys. And my wedding ring. You listen and try to understand my endless rants and frazzled emotions. You tell me I'm beautiful when I feel a mess. Believe in my dreams when I'm too tired to have faith. Surprise me with flowers or my favorite drink or snack just because.
You are still taking the lead. Still protecting our growing family. And you are still so very, very easy to love.
Maybe that's why the past four years with you have been the best four. The sweetest. The most memorable. So cheers to us. And to you for sticking by us. And to (Lord willing) many, many more.