I'm particularly excited for the time away because having two young children and a newborn is not exactly easy on a marriage. That time after the kids go to bed that we typically use to reconnect and relax together has temporarily disappeared to make room for bathing and nursing baby girl, and for stockpiling sleep before the late night feedings begin. We know it will come back eventually, and that seasons like this refine our relationship in different ways--forcing us to be a team and trust one another even when we don't have time to talk through every decision. But we're still exhausted. And so the idea of a long walk and a quiet restaurant where we can stare at one another for awhile sounds pretty awesome.
Standing here in 2012, looking back, it's hard to believe that we got married when we were 23. That seems so incredibly young, and my twenty-three-year-old self, as I remember her, seems so immature. But we've grown up together, experienced the shaping, hard moments, and the glorious ones, as a team. It's just our particular path, but I really do feel so blessed that every memory I have of adulthood includes Jim.
The picture above is my very favorite from our wedding. It was taken just after we left the sanctuary--when the ceremony was over and the guests were out of sight and we could finally stop moving for a moment and acknowledge, this thing is finally done. I love the photo because Jim is holding me in a way that is protective and strong and yet vulnerable, which is a dichotomy that I treasure about our relationship. I remember being absolutely certain, in that moment, that we would never let each other go. And by God's grace, so far that's been true. Two cities, several jobs, a couple of degrees, and three children later, I still feel like we're on a great adventure together. Like we haven't even seen half of what God has in store. So today (and every day) I'm thankful for my husband. Happy anniversary!
p.s. I had to scan this photo, and the dusty glass that protects it, because it's become stuck to its frame over the years--isn't it hard to believe that ten years ago, most photographers weren't using digital cameras? If you're curious, you can read Jim's and my story here and here.