Today marks eight years of being married to my wife Elizabeth–an incredible, creative, wise, humorous, strong, passionate, and beautiful woman whom I’m grateful to have in my life. We got hitched at the Presbyterian church where Elizabeth grew up in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The rehearsal dinner was held the previous night on the church grounds, underneath open-air tents. The tables were covered with yellow fabric with a jar of pepper jelly made by Elizabeth’s dad Rick. Elizabeth and I painted each jar yellow and stuck a tiny red pepper ornament on the lids. We dined on crab legs and other yummy Louisiana food while having a wonderful time with the wedding party, close friends and family.
The wedding ceremony and service, held in the early evening, couldn’t have been more perfect. In addition to exchanging rings and vows, we celebrated communion and recessed to the jazzy theme from The Peanuts.
Afterwards, Elizabeth and I crammed into the back of a teeny-tiny white Ford Fiesta that Rick (who as a near 7 footer was scrunched up over the steering wheel) had rented. The reception was a blast. A lot of smiling, hugging, dancing and (for us) little eating and drinking. When the reception ended, we were in bliss but also extremely exhausted and unlike most couples found ourselves eating cold reception food and watching Silence of the Lambs on the free HBO in the hotel room later that night. Romantic eh? (As a side, it’s kind of fitting that to celebrate our 8th Anniversary, we are going to dinner tomorrow night and then to the Alliance Theater to see the debut of the Stephen King play, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County with music by John Cougar Mellancamp and T-Bone Burnett.)
We were so tired the next day that we canceled our short getaway to Mobile and opted to stop at Casino Magic Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi (which no longer exists since Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods wiped it out more than a year later). We got in a long nap and then had a nice dinner in the hotel before hitting the slots for a few minutes. (A few months after, we took a more permanent honeymoon, a gift from my mom Sharon, to St. John’s Island. Ahhh paradise.)
A lot has happened since we got married: We’ve visited New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, moved twice, bought two cats, had a baby (our daughter Katie who is almost 4), bought our first house, bought a dog, gone back to school (Elizabeth), become an aunt and uncle to a precious baby boy (my younger brother Ben and his wife Rachel), made new friends and kept in touch with old ones, and had various other encounters, experiences, challenges, joys, and pains. We are blessed and thankful for the last eight years and all those who have been a part of our lives–folks who have shaped our understandings of love and marriage and supported us through both the good times and the bad.
Happy Anniversary Elizabeth. I love you and the amazing life we have together. And I’m looking forward to the journey ahead. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all that I have not seen.”
Whatever the “not seen” is, I trust that God will presently guide us through it together.