The Day I Married My Best Friend
It's interesting what I've written about in the last almost 9 years I've had this blog. I wrote through a divorce and all I divulged was that I was moving and feeling more stress than normal. There was absolutely no information about the divorce whatsoever. I'd like to think it's entirely due to wanting to protect the other party, as he isn't co-writing to share his side of things, but if I'm more raw, it's because I've felt embarassment over relationships that have ended. The same goes moving forward with an amazing man who was crazy enough to blend families with me and whom I've been with for years. I don't say much and that is a disservice.
Despite Dane's many attempts over the years to discuss marriage with me, I deflected the conversation until the moment I was ready to have it. I had therapy about this specifically - in my NLP Practitioners training actually - and one morning it was game on marriage conversation. I realized that it wasn't about not wanting to get married, it was the embarassment I felt with my kids. The older kids had seen me in - not one, but two failed marriages and the younger kids grew up going back and forth to their dads and saw one failed marriage. The morning Dane and I chatted, I told him I'd reach out to my oldest daughter, but I would absolutely understand if she didn't want to be involved and if that was the case, we would elope quietly and let people know later.
Here was the surprise - on the day I faced the discussion head on with Dane and reached out to my kids. My oldest daughter was happy and excited and wanted to be involved. So I messaged my next oldest daughter, who felt the same way. Then Dane messaged his sister to see if we could have a wedding in her backyard and if her husband would be the grillmaster. And I continued to talk to each of my kids and Dane to his kids. Surprising to me - not only was everyone on board - they were excited to the point that we set a budget and parameters and our kids and Dane's sister planned the entire thing. We showed up and were surprised.
The person we chose to perform our ceremony wasn't ordained, so we knew ahead of time the legal side of signing our paperwork would happen separately. It was a really special, quiet ceremony we went and did alone. From getting out of the car, to returning back to our car was 12-minutes, and that included chatting, paying and taking pictures. It wasn't exceptional because it took time, it was exceptional because we shared it together with joy, fun and a bit of sneakyness because no one knew.
I wasn't sure what or how I would post about getting married. Then a friend - who wasn't at the wedding, but was getting pictures via a friend who was present - tagged me on social media. I know she had the best intentions, but I wasn't expecting to see my own wedding photos (photos I hadn't even seen) show up on my news feed announcing my wedding before I had even decided how or if I was going to announce it. I decided my reaction was completely up to me, said thank you and knew it was time to let my guard down, let people in, and share this message of love in my life.
The ceremony was the part we were looking forward to the most. We flew my daughter and her 8-month-old son here and he was my ring bearer. I'm gramma to a beautiful 2-year-old who was my flower girl. The food was amazing and all of our kids were involved, our extended family members and even the few friends present. It was a combination of the love and support we had accumulated over our years together. The weather was perfect - the smoke from nearby fires was gone for the day - and it was beautiful to have everyone together.
My friend Lacey and my oldest daughter fixed Dane and I up years ago, and as another absolute blessing, they agreed to do the toast, which was another favorite part of the day. It was part serious and part fun (can you see the laughter?!), and it meant so much to have them do this.
Our 10-year-old daughter isn't biologically "mine" and she was very, very excited we were "finally" getting married. She asked her Dad and siblings to help her make a card for me asking me to adopt her. She was so nervous to give it to me and because the siblings knew - my daughter caught a photo of it. (I'll write another post about this and adoption).
Eleven kids were there, which at this point can be a challenge. Both of Dane's brothers and his sister were there, lots of cousins and a couple close friends. Since our friend that was doing the ceremony ended up having an emergency appendectomy, Dane's brother performed the ceremony for us, which we loved. It was an easy transition since we had already known the paperwork would be signed separately, so we weren't stressed about finding an officiate.
Taking the time to read through all my past blog posts this summer made me realize how little I've shared about the toughest and most beautiful parts of my life and how much I want that to change. Thanks to some excited friends who jumped the social media gun on announcing my wedding - it helped move me out of my comfort zone and share with you one of the best things in my life. The day I married my best friend.
This man makes me pee my pants laugh on a regular basis. He's the person I can share my worst days and my most proud accomplishments with. He's my ultimate cheerleader and support. He believes in me when I don't see it in myself. He's stuck with me in tough times and high fives me in life. We share values, family, life, love, and no matter what pops up in life, he's 100% on my side. I admire his work ethic, how hard he studies, what a phenomenal Dad he is, how much he goes to bat for those he loves, his patience (including with me), and his zest for life. Every day he makes me want to be better than I am, and that is important for me to share. You can get beyond past hurt and thrive. You can find a love that leaves you breathless. The world needs more success stories, and I'm proud to share mine. Below are the vows I wrote when our officiant ended up in the hospital and Dane's brother jumped in (the morning of the wedding). Things don't always go to plan, and that's OK. It was still the day I married my best friend.
I vow to be there when you start Netflix marathons and finish actual marathons.
I want your worst—give me your wild hair days, burnt coffee, misplaced keys, splashed shoes, lost receipts, broken computers.
Give me your horrible endings to shows we watch, muddy walks with the dog, lost coffee mugs, missing belts, goofy dances in the kitchen, and singing loudly in the car.
I promise to always drive the speed limit, even on the freeway as people speed past me
I promise to cuss loudly at video games
I vow to snuggle you as often as possible
I vow to make you really really laugh out loud until you pee your pants.
I vow to always try one bite of any meal you create
Let’s be that couple, those people, and have the time of our lives, share children and grandchildren and wild adventures until we grow old disgracefully together.
Let’s be examples of passion and love to everyone that meets us. Let’s kiss often and let others see and feel how much we love each other.
Give me your every day and I will give you my love to make it alright
I vow to be the best parts of me that fit perfectly with the best parts of you
Although I will be imperfect, I pledge to be sensitive and respectful of your unique talents, abilities, and quirks and remember those quirks are the most endearing parts of who you are
I pledge to lend you strength for all of your dreams, be your best friend and biggest cheerleader (even if I don’t understand the rules of the game)
Through our union, we can accomplish more than we could alone.
I promise to remember that neither one of us is perfect, but I will strive to remind myself of the ways we are perfect for each other.