I bought a gold, sequined dress and sky high heels for our anniversary three years ago. We went to Vegas, had a fabulous time, and took one of my favorite photos of us–tipsy and happy in our beautiful hotel room after one of the best nights out we’d ever had. Six months later and three months pregnant, I packed that dress away feeling fairly sure I would never wear it again, but still loving it too much to let it go.
Carl graduated, we sold my truck, I had a baby, and our next anniversary we spent apart while he started a new job in a new world.
We moved across the country, bought a house and an SUV, and spent our next anniversary together but pretty low-key as we were still learning the area and I was still afraid to try on most of my pre-baby clothes.
We built stalls and fencing and moved our horses. Our pipes to the barn froze and we spent a whole winter hauling buckets of water from the house, and when spring came, we started major renovations on our home. Then it was our anniversary again, and wouldn’t you know it? That gold dress and those sky high heels fit like a dream. : )
We didn’t go to Vegas, but fireflies and stars will always hold more glitter and shine for me than any city lights. There was no expensive hotel room, but I sang my daughter to sleep while she ran her finger over my red lipstick and tried to put it on her own lips. And when she was out, I turned on the monitor, slipped back outside, and danced by the fire, whiskey in hand, with my man thinking to myself that I’ve never had so much to celebrate.
I love you, Lew. Thank you for everything. : )
this was the lower-level, back, right section of our barn two and a half months ago:
And this is that same section of our barn now:
That first set of pictures is not how the barn looked when we bought this place. Back then it had a sloped cement floor, but Carl busted it all up with a jack hammer and piled it outside the barn so he could make the stalls big enough. He has spent every spare moment since mid-September putting this together so my horses could safely ride out the harsh, New England winter.
Did Carl always dream of a farm life, you ask? . . . No. Has Carl ever built anything bigger than a cabinet before? . . . No. Did Carl always want to renovate a 1930’s dairy barn to safely and happily accommodate three horses? . . . shockingly . . . No.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s more than true love. That is dedication, discipline, research, sleep deprivation, hours and hours of hard work in the freezing cold after already working a full day in the office . . . AND true love.
I’m a lucky girl and I know it. : )
When we got married, I was twenty five and he was twenty seven. We had been dating for five years, three of which from different states and we’d been through a lot. Looking back, we didn’t know much, but we had at least two things right: 1) We knew we wanted each other for life. 2) We knew that keeping what we had would require humility and unconditional grace. Two of my favorite photos from our wedding ceremony are the ones of us washing each others’ feet–a symbolic act declaring our intentions to build our marriage on that humility and grace.
It was my turn to double down on the promises I made on our wedding day when Carl received a job offer in Massachusetts. I had a job and life I loved in Idaho that I gave up to be home with our daughter across the country so he could have that opportunity. But today, he finished the process of doubling down on the promises he made to me. Today we completed the final step to becoming homeowners and not the owners of a home in the suburbs, with a white picket fence, within walking distance of a thriving downtown the way Carl imagined he would be living before we got married. We are poised to become the owners of MY dream home, which I have lovingly dubbed “Mac n’ Cheese Manor,” an ancient wreck of a farmhouse on nearly nine acres in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
It has taken him months to find and then negotiate a price we could afford for this beautiful mess and he did it for me, because without a place like this, I wouldn’t be able to bring my horses home, making my family whole again. And, of course, we need a place like this so I can have the chickens, cat, and pig I’ve always wanted as well. And the goats. And . . . well, you get the idea. ; )
This is love. Give, take, lead, follow, dream up some dreams, smush those dreams together, then work side by side to make them reality. And take a lot of pictures along the way! ; )
Happy Valentine’s Day! <3