I can’t believe 2 years have already come and gone! So crazy!! At what point can we no longer call ourselves newlyweds? haha! What a crazy 2 years it has been. We moved to a new city, I started my big girl job, Branden started medical school, we got a dog and I started a photography business! So many new experiences and adventures. As much as I would love to sit here and go on and on about how blissful these first 2 years of marriage have been, I can’t. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride. Sure there’s been plenty of newlywed bliss throughout the last two years, but there’s also been some not-so-great times. I’d much rather be honest with you all then just pretend that everything in our life is perfect.
When we got married on July 14, 2012 we were two fresh college graduates about to enter the real world for the first time. We had lot’s of big changes coming up in our lives and we were very excited to get to experience them as husband and wife! A week or two after the wedding, we moved into our new place in Norfolk and I started my first full-time big girl job as a software developer. A week after that Branden started medical school at EVMS. So much excitement in a short period of time- but also a lot of stress. Medical school and a young marriage are two things that don’t go very well together. Branden’s school obligations have been quite stressful and time consuming. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like it will all be worth it in the end, be we know it will. So all this stress really started to affect our relationship. We’ve been dating since high school, but had never really been put under a “stress test” like this. Our newlywed bliss started to turn to frustration and we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know how to handle the stress as a team. We quickly realized that we were not prepared for what we had signed up for. But rather than give up, we went to work and started to figure out all the things that we didn’t know before all of this.
You always hear people say that love is a verb, not a noun. It is an action, not a feeling. I never really knew the true meaning of that fact until now. When we got married, we were looking forward to all the “feelings” of love. It’s easy to love someone when all the warm mushy feelings are there, but what about when they’re not there? What happens when life and stress turn the other person into someone that no longer seems loveable? What happens when you are no longer receiving the love and attention that you want from the other person? These were the situations that we needed to learn to handle. We quickly learned that these situations are where it is most important for us to make the choice to love each other- “choice” being the key word. Love isn’t something that is just there or not, it’s a choice that we make. We have to make the decision to actively love the other person, even if it means laying down our own wants and not getting anything in return.
When I look back on our wedding day, I see two people that are very different than there are now. We have grown so much since that day- both as individuals and as partners. I’m so thankful for all the lessons we’ve learned, even if some were the hard way. We went through some pretty dark times, but I am very happy to say that we came out of it in a better place than we were before. We still have a ways to go to get to where we want to be, but the path is clearer now and the future is brighter. I look forward to all the new adventures to come for us!
Now enough of the serious stuff! :-p Here’s some pictures from OUR wedding day!!
I LOVE this shot of my Dad and I! I was so nervous leading up to the moments when I walked down the aisle. A mixture of nerves, tight dress and lack of food. But when we turned the corner, I was all smiles and my dad was just so smitten. Love it!
Did I mentioned it rained on our wedding day? Well, it did. hard.
My mom made our wedding cake! She used to make wedding cakes for years and came out of retirement to make ours! So thankful for that!
For our groom’s cake, my mom made a cake of a famous golf course hole. We had a contest where guests would try to guess the course and hole number. The answer was hole #17 at TPC Sawgrass!
These images of Branden dancing with his grandmother are so special because she passed away a few months after the wedding. She had been talking for years about how she was going to dance at Branden’s wedding, and I’m so glad she got the chance! We played “Could I have this dance” by Anne Murray for them to dance to and she sang the whole song!
And here are a few shots from our Honeymoon in Maui!! Ahhh take me back!!!
On our first morning in Maui, we drove to the top of Mt Haleakala to watch the sunrise from ABOVE the clouds! So crazy!
Sunset dinner cruise!
We also had an underwater camera with us for our snorkeling adventures!
Sea turtle! You’re not allowed to get within a certain distance of them- it’s a federal crime with a hefty fine!
Fast forward a year and we’re celebrating our first wedding anniversary! I used our fine china to make a fancy dinner for Branden. Then we enjoyed our wedding cake topper! It was actually really good! I never would have known it was a year old!
Since my mom made our wedding cake, she made the cake topper a surprise flavor so we wouldn’t know what it was until we cut into it a year later! It was orange vanilla swirl! So good! :)
Fast forward another year and it’s our 2nd anniversary! We grew our own lilies for our wedding centerpieces in my parents yard. So now each year the come back and bloom just in time for our anniversary! Here’s 2 iPhone shots of them in my parents yard a week ago and then in a vase out our place a few days later! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect- we had SEVERAL blooms to enjoy in our house all weekend!
I decided to use some of these lilies to make a replica of our wedding centerpieces! Love it!
Our original plans for our anniversary weekend got the boot because of Branden’s schedule at the hospital. So instead I decided to surprise him with a fancy fondue dessert! So glad I had so many pretty lilies to decorate with!
The toasting flutes from our wedding! And the fondue was SOOOO good! I made a milk chocolate and white chocolate version.
The crystal candlesticks belonged to my grandparents! And the napkins are from our wedding!
Henry was never too far away ;)