You think you're in love on your wedding day, but you aren't...

It's 7:08 AM as I write this. The cats are screaming for breakfast, I'm on my second cup of coffee and still in my pajamas. I've been up for two hours now. At 5:00 am anxiety set off an internal alarm clock and even though I was desperate for just another hour or two, the buzzing in my mind wouldn't stop so here I am. I meant to write this anyway, so now is as good a time as any.

Eight days from today I'll probably be in this exact same position, sleep deprived and anxious and still in my jammies, but instead of catching up on admin work I'll be packing for a big trip, a flight that leaves at noon to carry me across the country, across the pond, and deposit us into London. That's because Chief Dude and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage. We are the kind of people that can't be bothered with proper window coverings or flashy jewelry or luxury cars, but give us a reason to celebrate and you'll find us booking flights. After 10 years of marriage and 14 years together, if there's one thing we love to do together, it's to be together somewhere new. 

Which brings me back to waking up at 5:00 am in the grips of anxiety. I've got lots to do before going airborne and there's no time to waste. I'm going to brew another pot of liquid motivation. But, before we take off, I've got something I need to say, and I'm scheduling this post to drop on the day of our anniversary. 

You think you're in love the day you get married, but you aren't. 

Not nearly as much as possible.

Because 10 years later, I'm here to tell you, I was an idiot the day I married my husband. I thought I knew what love was. I thought I was IN love. I was so naive. The love I feel for my husband 10 years later makes the love I felt on our wedding day pale in comparison. It's a kind of love you can only comprehend when you finally experience it. Words don't describe it. Songs can't sing it. Paintings can't show it. It's more poetic, has deeper notes, and more vibrant colors than you can possibly imagine. When you've found your person, when you've made the right choice and given over your entire lifetime willingly, your imagination can't possibly fathom the depth of what is yet to be. 

Maybe in another 10 years, I'll look back on this post and laugh at myself. Maybe in another decade, I'll consider the words I write today plain and simple, the mark of a young woman who thought she understood what love meant after a paltry 10 years only to find out that there's a whole new, deep sea level kind of love she had yet to explore. Things that I could have never even thought possible 10 years ago have happened, so many things I never even imagined or planned on. 

Planning is for the birds, I've learned. I basically scrap together a general idea of what I want out of life, give it some effort and hope for the best. I've learned that holding on too tightly to an imaginary life keeps my hands from being able to catch on to something better. I don't broadcast my personal history here, but let's just say that because I had an unconventional past, I'm lucky. I had no preconceived notions of what my life was supposed to look like, no predetermined destiny from birth with familial obligations and expectations. In fact, the expectations for my life were pretty low, you could literally step over the statistical bar set for people like me. Someone could look at it through the lens of pity, or through the lens of luck- I never gripped too tightly to anything. I had nothing to grip onto. I used to hate it, but now I can appreciate the beauty that freedom. Same goes for this marriage of mine that I'm in. Never of us planned on getting married that first date. I had no imaginary perfect husband. Yet, here we are. That's not to say there aren't basic expectations of a marriage. I expect my husband to be faithful, and I know he expects the same of me. That's pretty much it though, even if leaving the dish in the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher is cause for a snide remark from me. Or the irritation he suffers when he has to shake out bits of tissue from the laundry, as I'm prone to forget them in my pockets. These are the details that make up our daily life as a married couple who found themselves unexpectedly committed.

If you're reading this, if you've invested this much time of your day to be bothered with the ramblings of an early-middle-aged married woman, chances are you've got matrimony on your mind. I heard a quote recently that sums of my sentiments in a nice, pretty package, and it's what I'll leave you with. When asked how long I've been married, I will steal this line and use it lavishly, "Not long enough". 

 Our actual wedding day. We were married in the Las Vegas Art Museum. Our budget priorities were venue, food, and everything else was a distant second. Plastic plates and handmade centerpieces, sure. This mural by artist Paul Morrison was worth it. Photography by  Sue Altenburg .

Our actual wedding day. We were married in the Las Vegas Art Museum. Our budget priorities were venue, food, and everything else was a distant second. Plastic plates and handmade centerpieces, sure. This mural by artist Paul Morrison was worth it. Photography by Sue Altenburg.

 God Bless Sue, God Bless Photoshop. You'd never know from these photos that I was dealing with 24 year-old severe acne. Also, you're skinnier than you think. I referred to myself as "husky" at this time and had a poor self image. I wish could have seen myself then the way I see myself now and fully appreciated my smaller waistline. 

God Bless Sue, God Bless Photoshop. You'd never know from these photos that I was dealing with 24 year-old severe acne. Also, you're skinnier than you think. I referred to myself as "husky" at this time and had a poor self image. I wish could have seen myself then the way I see myself now and fully appreciated my smaller waistline. 

10 year wedding anniversary (4).jpg
10 year wedding anniversary (6).jpg
 We celebrated 5 years married with a trip to Mexico and a photo session at the Mayan ruins. I had a meltdown with my hair, the humidity was foreign to me and had me in tears an hour before shoot time. Rob tried to calm me down, operative word being tried. Obviously, it worked out

We celebrated 5 years married with a trip to Mexico and a photo session at the Mayan ruins. I had a meltdown with my hair, the humidity was foreign to me and had me in tears an hour before shoot time. Rob tried to calm me down, operative word being tried. Obviously, it worked out

 Company photos circa 2013 by  Mindy Bean . I adore her and this photo, especially because it makes us look like we live in the Hampton's and have life figured out. We didn't. We don't. That's the power of great photography. 

Company photos circa 2013 by Mindy Bean. I adore her and this photo, especially because it makes us look like we live in the Hampton's and have life figured out. We didn't. We don't. That's the power of great photography. 

 Another round of company photos, this time circa 2015, when  Stephen Salazar  made us look sexy AF. Every married couple deserves a photo that makes them feel like they got the #powercouple thing on lock down.

Another round of company photos, this time circa 2015, when Stephen Salazar made us look sexy AF. Every married couple deserves a photo that makes them feel like they got the #powercouple thing on lock down.

 Our most recent photos to date, the closest ones we have to us as we hover near the 10-year married mark. Our ultra-rad girl Jodi over at  J.Anne Photography  made sure we got some personal portraits amidst a company shoot, which is a feat considering she was wrangling 12 excited hair and makeup artists and chasing the sun. We are so grateful that our friends would give us what is most precious to them and irreplaceable... their time and talents. Actual footage of what it's like to shoot The 'Co  can be found here . 

Our most recent photos to date, the closest ones we have to us as we hover near the 10-year married mark. Our ultra-rad girl Jodi over at J.Anne Photography made sure we got some personal portraits amidst a company shoot, which is a feat considering she was wrangling 12 excited hair and makeup artists and chasing the sun. We are so grateful that our friends would give us what is most precious to them and irreplaceable... their time and talents. Actual footage of what it's like to shoot The 'Co can be found here

 Real life. Oh the places we'll go, and the adventures we've had. From Haiti to Alaska, 10:00 am cocktails on Mardi Gras at Bourbon Street and New Years Eve on Jaco Beach, Costa Rica. From vegan dive bars in Colorado Springs to 5-star multi-course meals in San Francisco. Hiking (and getting lost) in Sedona, ball games in L.A. with questionable Airbnb rentals, lost luggage in Miami and buying too much wine while drunk on a Napa Valley tour. Champagne toasts by the fire on NYE, Christmas'es when the past caught up with me and I cried in our closet. Halloweens where I forced you into a costume balances out the platters of snacks I made you for NFL Kickoff Weekend. The five-minute-dash to get me out the door on time. From knockdown, drag out fights that would terrify onlookers to moments when were lobbed stress back and forth at each other like a game of hot potato. Taking turns to talk the other one off the ledge. All of it... #worthit.

Real life. Oh the places we'll go, and the adventures we've had. From Haiti to Alaska, 10:00 am cocktails on Mardi Gras at Bourbon Street and New Years Eve on Jaco Beach, Costa Rica. From vegan dive bars in Colorado Springs to 5-star multi-course meals in San Francisco. Hiking (and getting lost) in Sedona, ball games in L.A. with questionable Airbnb rentals, lost luggage in Miami and buying too much wine while drunk on a Napa Valley tour. Champagne toasts by the fire on NYE, Christmas'es when the past caught up with me and I cried in our closet. Halloweens where I forced you into a costume balances out the platters of snacks I made you for NFL Kickoff Weekend. The five-minute-dash to get me out the door on time. From knockdown, drag out fights that would terrify onlookers to moments when were lobbed stress back and forth at each other like a game of hot potato. Taking turns to talk the other one off the ledge. All of it... #worthit.