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4….Years…Later

This is coming a few days behind our actual anniversary because I wanted to make sure to include Ethan’s spoiling of me when he got home from work. But before we get there, here’s a trip down memory lane…

Ethan and I met in college. His room mate dated my best friend.

He had graduated and the fall of my senior year, neither of us were even supposed to be on campus. I happened to go down to see profs, he was getting masters stuff squared away and helping his sister move in.
I passed him in the coffee shop and said, “hi.”

I proceeded to text my best friend that I thought he was cute to which she responded, “oh my gosh you guys would be so great together.”
Because I’m me and had nothing to lose, I totally started talking to him all of the time and straight up told him I had a crush about a week in.

He more or less said, “That’s nice. We can keep chatting but I’m not sure I’m necessarily interested.” So I kept talking to him. And I guess I was saying the right things.

8 months later he asked my dad if he could marry me and I had NO idea. My parents told him he had to wait until I graduated/finished student teaching. He proposed the Saturday after I’d finished.

We had spent a solid year driving an hour between our two houses, taking turns, almost every weekend. We weren’t super long distance, but 20min difference and we probably would have seen each other more often. It was honestly crazy.

We proceeded to take stunning engagement pics in March in about 34° weather at the Jersey Shore.

Little known fact: I forgot to write my vows. Straight up. Nothing. Didn’t even remember like 20min before the ceremony. I realized I didn’t have vows written when our Pastor said, “and now Ethan and Anna will exchange their vows.” Ethan had beautiful vows typed up on his phone. I went rogue and it still makes me cringe to this day. BUT we did something extra special that I feel helped make up for my lack of preparation.

I got 1in ribbon in 8 different colors. We laid that ribbon out at my bridal shower for those in attendance to write well wishes, prayers, & blessings. I then braided them all together for our Hand Fasting; done by my Grandpa Tom.

“Hand fasting is an ancient tradition symbolizing the binding together of two people in love. Tying the Knot. It will bind Groom and Bride together with the strong bonds of love. With the entwining of this knot, I tie all the desires, dreams, love, prayers and happiness wished here in this place to your lives.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears form your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
The knots of this binding are not formed by this cord, but by your vows. You hold in your hands and hearts the making or breaking of this union. May your marriage be blessed with patience and dedication, forgiveness and respect, love and understanding.

Once upon a time we snuck into the library on campus.
By sneak I mean we kinda guilted the security guard to let us in.
And by “we” I mean a well meaning guest who felt bad that the weather was terrible and knew that the orange chapel could not be our only wedding pictures.
In about 15/20min, we managed to take a bajillion pics with our full wedding party, and just the 2 of us, for some of the most incredible pictures of the day! Perfect for an English Teacher and Theologian. To Kate’s credit, she did a heck of a job editing our Chapel pics, and actually received messages from people after pictures were posted congratulating her on how incredible she did. For real. I can not stress the orange of that Chapel. She is magic.

A lot of Brides think about details, but I took things to a ridiculous level. You’re probably thinking I mean crazy prime rib reception food, meticulous matching bridesmaid dresses, etc. Being that I begged to elope, I can promise that wasn’t the case. By ridiculous I mean insanely meaningful and unless you KNEW to look for the details you wouldn’t know they were there.

Both of my biological grandfathers have passed on. I got ready for the day in my maternal grandfather’s flannel shirt. My brother carried my paternal grandfather’s Bible.

My “second mom” Shelly was a history teacher. I grabbed an “Illustrated History of Medieval Europe” as a nod to her, as she had passed from breast cancer that Spring.

I like to think I was a trend setter, and did a Navy manicure with the snowflake detail.❄️

The 3 hymns played as guests arrived were favorites of my grandfathers and my great-grandmother.
The processional for our wedding party was “As the Deer,” the song my mother walked down the aisle to.
While dating, Ethan would call me his “beloved,” which happens to generally be one of my most favorite words. I walked down the aisle to Kari Jobe song, “Beloved.”

I try not to ask for much- I really just want some chickens. But Ethan kept asking me what I wanted. Special food? A gift? And I kept telling him “no” because I really didn’t. But he sent me a text and said he was bringing stuff home whether I like it or not. Well, I mean, I’m not going to complain.

We’re pizza people. We had pizza as our reception food. My dad haaaaaated it until the day of and he realized it wasn’t so bad after all.😂 So he came home with our favorite stromboli! I also got a bouquet of flowers and some of my favorite chocolate/mint candies.

After the girls went to sleep we snuggled up and watched, Big Band Theory, snacking along the way.

We’ve never done the big flashy date thing- except that Tran Siberian Orchestra concert.😂 We like each other, and each other is enough. Even though we drive each other crazy. One day he’ll put his socks in the hamper and one day I’ll put gas in the car before the light comes on. Probably not, but we can hope.

Things I’ve learned in 4 years of marriage:

  1. Counseling is your friend. Living with another person is hard, no matter who you lived with or grew up with prior. Marriage is different. It just is. Get counseling. There’s no shame. It doesn’t have to be weekly or even monthly. But a few “check-ups” will always be worth it.
  2. Laugh. Often. From your belly.
  3. Water is not a lubricant.
  4. Make plans but be prepared for God to laugh at them. Twice we “planned” children, twice God laughed and gave us exactly what we wanted….but His own special twist.

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