Seven years. I can't believe it. It doesn't seem like it's been that long. And, yet it seems like a lifetime ago. Seven years ago, we were on our honeymoon... after a week of partying, celebrating, and joining our lives and families forever. At the time, it didn't seem like a big deal. Brad and I had been together for four years and we were so close with each other's families, that it really just seemed like we were formalizing what we had already been... an old married couple. :)
Everyone thought our wedding would be stressful. We got married at Myrtle Beach and I planned all of it from Kentucky, while finishing college and working a job. All the details were taken care of in the simplest of ways. I called people that I found online and asked them what they charged and if they were available on July 5. If they were and the price was right, they were hired. Everyone, except me, was nervous that something would go wrong. I wasn't nervous... not because I didn't care, but because it wasn't what I wanted to focus on. I wanted it to be fun. Nothing more, nothing less. Just fun. I didn't want to stress. I didn't want Brad to stress. I just wanted to spend the week with our family and friends at the beach and get married to the love of my life barefoot on the beach. We had no back up plan for the rain. Everyone thought we were crazy, even if they were all too scared to say it to me. lol.
We had rented a huge house for the wedding party and our families to stay in with us. It had a pool, a hot tub, and two full kitchens. It was two blocks from the beach. We held the reception around the pool on the back patio. It was all easy. I found the minister online and asked him if he would officiate the wedding. It turned out that he was incredibly nice and I could not have chosen a minister any better if I had interviewed ten. He kept it all very short and sweet, like we requested, and laughed at how laid back we were about it all. I wish Cilla had been a photographer at the time, that would have been fabulous, but she wasn't. So, I called some random lady and asked her to do the wedding. It all worked out. The cake had white chocolate seashells on it and brown sugar for sand. It also had my grandparents' cake topper. Oh yeah... I didn't leave out all traditions. I had borrowed jewelry, a handkerchief that Cilla and I both held in our weddings and that hopefully Bailey will hold in hers, a blue garter, and of course, a new wedding dress (my mom got married in jeans, so that shot that in the foot!). :) And, in true redneck fashion, we had a pig roast for the meal. It was delicious... even if Brad and I barely ate any of it. (Taco Bell was eaten after we left the reception). And, who could forget the nasty horrible things that my brother and the boys wrote all over our car? It was on there for weeks and took major scrubbing to clean. Thanks, bub. :)
The day of the wedding was rainy. It didn't actually rain, but it looked like it would downpour at any given moment. We were getting married at 4:30. At 4, I had to send a message to Brad, asking what we would do if it rained. Yes, we had refused to think it would happen, but it actually looked like a possibility. Brad's response was perfect. "We'll get married in the rain."
I was surprised when we got to the beach and saw that Travis and Bret had set up small tiki torches to create an aisle. They had even written our names in the sand. There wasn't a raindrop anywhere, but people all over the balconies were watching and cheering us on. We stood on the beach, barefoot, and started this crazy life together. I could not have been happier.
The reception was a blast, too. We were all sweltering. BJ (Brad's best man) and Bret decided to cool Brad down by throwing him in the pool. One look at Cilla and we both knew what was next. She just laughed and said, "Do it!" Brad picked me up and in we went... dress and all.
Seven years later. Two kids. A mortgage. A slew of credit card debt. Constantly fixing broken cars. Always wishing for new things like dining room chairs, new French doors, or a new laptop. Spending weekends on the boat, at the pool, or at the ball field. Loving our kids more with each day. Supporting each other in all of our choices. Making decisions together. In love. Some things might change with time... our lives certainly have. But only for the better. And some things stay the same. I love Brad just like I did the day I said, "I do." I probably love him more for all of the things that we have gone through together... He's picked me up and dusted me off too many times to count. And, even though there are days that I could punch him for something he's said or done (we are a very normal couple in that sense), I know that we are perfect for each other.
Thanks, babe, for a wonderful 7 years. I hope that we make it to that 58 year mark we were talking about the other day... :)