It's hard to believe that this day 365 days ago , with shaky hands & hearts, we promised to stick together for life. 

 photos by Alicia White

And although that day would remain one of the happiest and most beautiful days I ever lived, if you had told me what was just waiting for us up ahead, I think he & I would have ran away... 

I've heard a lot of times people say that the first year is the hardest year... trying to figure out new routines, each other's "lesser" habits. Personality quirks and communication break downs- but- none of those were what made this year feel like a roller coaster that didn't seem like it was ever going to stop...

Instead, we navigated a lot of :

  • others expectations of us
  • family dynamics
  • fatigue
  • growing careers
  • great disappointment and heart ache
  • hosting a friend through a tough life transition
  • extensive sickness
  • some depression
  • and the worst... endless bugs... (I truly have PTSD from all of it)

And the hardest part of it all was that a lot of these things were external circumstance. Nothing was directly involving us, but everything deeply affected us...

I think as a society we do a beautiful, but somewhat out of balance job, of helping couples successfully plan for one day of their life. Don't miss hear me. It is a sacred day, a special day. A day that truly deserves all of the honor, joy and praise- but- there's so much more life beyond that one day...

Days that are lot less extra and way more ordinary. 

And I truly believe that it's in the navigating of those hard waters where we discover if we can make or break the storms. 

The truth is, a lot of couples can't... and a lot of couples don't.... 

So how do you avoid that from happening? I'm clearly no expert. But despite so much potential to let the great seas of life over take you, I think what holds two people together is the true realization of just how much the other is your:

  • helper
  • safe place
  • part time counselor 
  • encourager
  • life explorer 
  • frequent laugher 
  • coffee connoisseur
  • first kiss good morning 
  • last hug goodnight
  • secret keeper
  • dream pursuer 
  • forever friend 

There's so much freedom in realizing that more than likely, your spouse's number one priority in life is to support you in all things. No need to read into things, or make things more dramatic then they need to be. Speak kinds words and don't keep everything locked away hoping they'll somehow read your mind. There's really no need for a defensive heart. Release yourself of worry or anxiety until they give you a reason to doubt them. Don't be afraid to seek counseling. You don't know it all and its worth your investment. Don't place any expectations on someone you wouldn't put on yourself. Always share when you feel like you've lost your way. Be vulnerable and believe the best in that person. Cheer them on, even in small things. We all need encouragement every day. Believe in their dreams and trust that yours will come to pass. Always speak a better word and laugh often. Cling to that person on your hardest day and celebrate with them first on your best day. 

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If I've learned anything in 365 days, it's that He's made me better.

Happy anniversary to us babe. We did it, We've done it & We always will... 

photos by Erica Serrano

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