One year ago today, I was sitting in a nail salon with my feet in a tub of warm water. My maid of honor sat on one side of me, and my sister-in-law sat on the other. It was just hours before my wedding rehearsal, and for the first time in days, I was finally getting a chance to relax. The typical Florida summer routine was in effect: afternoon thunderstorms. But I could have cared less about the rain. I didn't care that the humidity was making my hair extra frizzy or my face extra shiny. I was getting married in less than 24 hours. I was less than one day away from marrying the love of my life. The man who I had known since I was 16. The man who had swept me off my feet when I was 18. The man who was there with me and for me for so many big events in my life, and who would now be a part of every major event in my life from now until eternity.
The night before the wedding, I barely slept. All I wanted was for it to be 2 p.m. so it would be time to greet Joey at the altar. When it was finally time to get up, I took a shower and settled in front of the TV to play Guitar Hero before the girls and the makeup and hair people arrived. The morning seemed to drag on forever, and I could barely sit still. Once my hair and makeup were in place, all I could do to stay sane was keep making laps around the house. Making sure all of the girls liked their hair and makeup, and everything was okay with their dresses. Playing with my dog. Eating (I did a lot of this the morning of my wedding). Flipping channels between Bridezillas and Elizabethtown. When the photographer arrived, I was relieved to finally put on the dress and know that I was one step closer to walking out the door and arriving at the church.
The skies opened up around one, sending down buckets of rain and making my dog run for cover from the thunder. It poured the entire way to the church, and all I could do was smile and (attempt to) dance in the back of the limo.
Sitting in the back of the church was the worst. I was so close, and incredibly antsy. My bridesmaids stood around me fixing my dress, touching up my makeup, getting me water--anything they could do to keep me from looking at the time. Just before we headed down the aisle, someone started singing "Going to the Chapel". We were so loud and laughing so hard, the priest had to come in and tell us to be quiet. Apparently the entire congregation could here us.
And then it was time. One by one, the bridesmaids left until it was me, alone with my father. I don't remember exactly what he and I said to each other. It wasn't much. I remember having to ask the wedding coordinator not to open the doors. I needed to adjust my garter one last time to make sure it wasn't going to slip down my leg. Finally, the doors opened and, at the end of the aisle, there was my prince charming. My hero. The man I knew I would marry the moment I laid eyes on him.
One year ago yesterday is the day my life really began. Everything that happened this year--the infertility, the unemployment--none of that matters. What matters is that I'm with the one I love. I couldn't imagine myself going through any of this with anyone else. So tomorrow isn't a time to think about all of the struggles we've had during our first year of marriage. Tomorrow is a time to be thankful and feel so blessed that we have gone through those things. It sounds crazy, I know, but it's made us stronger. We've had so many obstacles to overcome in the six years we've been together, I am confident we can take on anything that crosses our path.
Joey, if you're reading this, I love you so much. You are my rock, my lover, my partner, and my friend. One year down, many MANY more to go. :)