One Year. . . One Beautiful Year

One year and one day ago, my dress was white, my feet were bare, and my lips were saying "I do" to the man who stole my heart. Eric and Chayli Baer, for a forever that lasts as long as earthly life does.

That was such a beautiful day. It didn't matter that it rained or that my dress was slightly stained. It didn't matter that the punch ran out or that we forgot to sign our marriage license and had to get reluctantly roped back inside after we'd already made our escape. We made the best of everything, and it wasn't hard at all.

How is it that time sometimes seems to steal that ability? You fall in love, and you tell yourself that you're never going to get used to loving him. You tell yourself you'll do everything you can to keep that brand-new swirl of exhilaration that is so unbelievable and so uncontainable. Every day you choose to see the best in him, and for a while you can't even believe you'll ever see the worst.

But then one day you realize. . . you've gotten used to loving him. Not in every area, certainly, but here and there you see his flaws. Some of the little things he does so innocently become annoying to you. He doesn't do everything right. (Neither do you, come to think of it.) You still love him--of course you do--but there's something older and more comfortable about that love, and it allows you to say and do things that you have to apologize for later.

No matter how hard you try to cling to it, that first explosion of love sometimes has a way of getting lost among the coals and ashes of everyday life.

But maybe that's what an anniversary is for, to pause and reflect and get lost in each other again. To reconnect. To find that carefree passion that made you feel like you were living a dream. To choose to love, and to love deeply. . .

Don't get me wrong, I think we'd both say our "explosion" did quite an amazing job of making it through all that treacherous territory of the first year. According to some sources, the first year can be pretty awful. Ours wasn't. But time away together never did any harm, and we weren't about to let our first anniversary pass by without making it special somehow. So we went away, and as we went, we found it again, all those butterflies and dreamy eyes that were so much a part of our dating days. . . and somehow, butterflies and dreamy eyes are even better when they've had time polish them up a little and when there has been faithfulness and graciousness and truthfulness giving them a foundation.

We went to Redmond, and even though I'd been there so many times before, it was like a different place with Eric there with me. I never imagined on all those long-ago shopping days with LaVay that one day I would be there with my husband on our first anniversary. But there we were, and it really was like we were dating again. For a moment there was nothing to stress us out, no major responsibility to think about, nothing but being together and enjoying it to the fullest.

And enjoy it we did. A few of the funnest moments were actually repeats of dates we'd taken. . .

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Our first selfie. And still one of our favorites. (December 2014)

Big coats--his black, mine brown--and a walk in the cold. We walked, like we did on that first unofficial date, and the street lights threw magic into our laughter. We were wearing those big coats again, and I was as in love as I was the first time we wore them, so long ago. He was smiling, and he was mine.

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Recreating that first selfie. . . needless to say, it didn't turn out as well. (November 2016)

 

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We stopped at Detroit Lake on our second date. . . (January 2015)

A surreal landscape of solitary stumps and stubborn water. We smiled as we took a picture, but this time his arm was around me. The fog from a year and ten months ago was gone, and so was the slight awkwardness that came with our second date. I was smiling, and I was his.

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And again on our first anniversary. . . (November 2016)

 

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A carriage picture when we were dating. . . (January 2015)

Pictures in a pretty little carriage. Browsing in bookstore after bookstore. Drinking coffee. Listening to love songs. Remembering. . .

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A carriage picture now that we're married. . . (November 2016)

We had so much fun, both in the remembering and in the "newly doing." I'm amazed again and again at the man God has given me. No one is perfect, and no first year is perfect, but I'd say ours came pretty close. We have the Father to thank for that. He has been so good. We can honestly say we've never been happier, but deeper than that happiness runs a joy that only comes from Him.

So once again. . . thank You, Father.

And thank you to my Eric. . . you've added more beauty to this extraordinary life than you know.

[And if you're married and your "explosion" is more lost than it is found, give it back to the Father and then twirl the one you love off on an adventure like you used to take when you were dating. It's really not that hard. Sometimes all it takes is. . . well, you figure that out. You did it once; you can do it again. And if you need any ideas, ask Eric. :)]

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