Five years ago on May 26 at 5:00 pm at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills, AL Brent and I exchanged our vows! Hard to believe that it's already been that long. It's so much fun to look back and reminisce.
My favorite memories of that day (other than marrying my best friend, of course):
-The music. It was by far the most important detail to me. I was settled on the music before I was engaged and long before I had decided on any other detail. I refused to proceed down the aisle to "Here Comes the Bride" and leave to the traditional wedding march. Instead, I walked down the aisle to a banjo and incorporated lots of modern bluegrass music, like Nickel Creek and Allison Krauss. All of the music was live. I had some AMAZING musicians that were able to pull of exactly what I wanted. It was perfect.
-Since the wedding was so late in the day, I got to spent a lot of time with my bridesmaids prior to the wedding.
-At my parent's wedding, my dad wrote my mom a song. My grandfather walked my mom down the aisle a little ways while my dad sang to her, then my grandfather proceeded to take her down the aisle to give her away. At our wedding, my grandfather walked me 1/4 of the way down the aisle while my dad played the same song and my mom sang it. Once the song was over, my dad walked to me, my grandfather sat down, then I walked down the aisle. I was ADAMANT that the banjo must not start playing until I was ready to walk down the aisle with my dad. Again, amazing musicians, perfection. Not to mention I had a wonderful wedding director that coordinated every detail very well.
My dad taking me while my grandfather walked back to his seat. Such a sweet moment.
-My photographers were great and just added so much laughter and joy to the day!
-The flowers: pastel hydrangea and peony, my favorite in case anyone cares to know :)
-My reception with a 60 something year old man for a DJ. I danced the night away while my new husband stayed as far away from the dance floor as he could (with the exception of our first dance).
My MOH and I singing Whitney's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" at the top of our lungs
-My dress. I adore every stitch of fabric on my wedding dress. I love the men I bought it from, Gary and Clarence, at Bridal Bliss in Homewood. However, I do not recommend the person who altered it for me. SUCH A PAIN. So much that a week before the wedding I found myself at a fabric store frantically searching for something that matched the lace because the seamstress paid no attention to what I wanted and MADE MY DRESS TOO SHORT!!! No worries, God even cares about those details and provided the perfect match of lace.
The worst part of the day: My hair. I hated my hair. Absolutely hated it. It was nothing like what I asked for.
The whole wedding party
In five years we have:
-lived in FL and AL and in six different houses/apartments. Four years and five months were spent in our house in Huntsville, so you do the math at how much moving was accomplished in the other seven months of our marriage.
-raised a spastic Rat Terrier named Sanibel, named after our favorite vacation spot Sanibel Island, FL
-raised a beautiful, compassionate, intelligent, hilarious, loving, wild almost 2/12 year old named Lily
-had our only two memorable arguments over pizza and pancakes
-enjoyed discovering and making memories in a new city on our own
-poured our hearts into the lives of many youth at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church and loved every minute of it
-been forced by circumstances to be fully dependent on God from our first year of marriage. Incredibly thankful to be learning this so early in our marriage.
-spent many moments in prayer seeking His will for our marriage
-greatly rejoiced because of the joy that comes from obeying the Lord
-seen MANY prayers answered, big and little
When we got married, where we hoped to be in five years:
-after no more than 5 years of living in SW Florida, finally back in Birmingham with family. Huntsville was never on the radar.
-I would have 5 years of teaching 4th grade under my belt at Mirror Lakes Elementary School in Lehigh Acres, FL (this is one of those jobs I never had the opportunity to start because we moved before the school year started)
-Brent still with Ferguson
-a toy yorkie named Lola Mae (yes, I had my dog's name picked out before my children's names and Sanibel was named Lola Mae for less than 24 hours until Brent knocked some sense into me)
Where we are:
-living in Birmingham
-landlords and renters
-Brent working as a banker
-I have 4 years of teaching experience at 4 different schools. Two of those years were at LLCA, a fantastic school. I'm totally spoiled now and don't think I could teach anywhere else! I am now teaching 2 year olds at a church daycare.
-Lily has thankfully adjusted well to all the changes that have taken place in her life in the past 5 months
-Sanibel is living with my parents because, although we love her very much, we aren't paying $500 dollars just so she can live with us
How we dreamed of celebrating this anniversary:
-a week long vacation on Captiva Island at South Seas Resort where we honeymooned
How we are actually celebrating:
-We are having a "staycation" since we are
running walking the Orphan Run 5K, 5 kilometers for 5 years. But, this is no indication that at year 26 we will be running a marathon! We will celebrate with dinner at The Melting Pot, which has become tradition.
After the race. I actually didn't walk as much as I thought I would. Just a lot of slow running :). My unofficial time was 39:47 and Brent's was 50:00.
My family before the run
And after the run
I wish I had a pic of when I crossed the finish line. I caught up with my dad on the last K and we ran over the finish line holding hands. 5 years ago, he walked me down the aisle. Today, he pulled me across the finish line! The only thing missing was a banjo playing as we finished!
-Honestly, we have no clue. We are open to whatever and our "yes" is always on the table for anything the Lord chooses to do. We try not to make plans because, as you can see, they aren't going to happen quite like we expect.
-We are passionate for orphans, so adoption/orphan care of some sort
-More kids either biologically or through adoption, or both :)
-We are currently praying about and hoping to go on an international mission trip next May with an organization that cares for orphans. We want to go for three reasons: we are commanded to care for orphans and want to go to them and meet them face to face, we've never been on one as a married couple, and we want to see if full time mission work is something the Lord has in our future.
-We love being back in Bham with family, but we are ready to go when and if He says go.
I recently found the audio of our wedding and listened to it. The pastor that married us prayed that we would fulfill the unique plan that God has for us as a family. It is a blessing to hear that prayer and then look back on five years of that prayer being answered. I love Brent with my whole heart. God chose him for me, that we would glorify Him as one. He is literally the most selfless person I know. He loves me as Christ loves the Church and he is a fantastic father to Lily. Looking back on our marriage, it is obvious that the Lord has been at work in every detail to conform our lives to His will. By His grace, we are focused on His plan alone and we are excited for what the next 55 years will bring. He is working in our hearts, constantly preparing us for our future. May we be used to make Him known!
Happy Anniversary Brent! I love you always!