year one

 

Year one has passed, seemingly as fast as it came. But at the same time I feel like waking up in Texas to marry my best friend was so long ago already. One of the greatest days of our lives and the beginning of a new chapter that has been unfolding ever since. This year was a lot of things. Beautiful, challenging and everything in between but you, you are my forever constant. You are my rock and have become even more my very best friend. Here’s to us, over a decade of love and a strong year one of marriage.

Over the past week we stayed at a beautiful airbnb to celebrate what this year has meant to us and to escape the city to find peace and serenity in the mountains. Over the week we hiked so of the most scenic views we have ever experienced and found a new shared love of the stillness that you can find at the summit. I have so many amazing pictures to share but for today, on the day that we got married last year, I want to share some reflecting that we did this week.

On the last night of our stay, with the sun setting over the mountains right outside our window, we opened up a box that we had stored letters in from our relationship. This box was given to us by our dear friends on our wedding day and had inside it a bottle of wine for when we have our first fight.

The idea is to store your vows and sentemental things from the wedding in this box and when you are fighting to sit down instead with a glass of wine and read your vows.

Now, we probably should have opened this wine on a couple of occasions, but since we didn’t, we decided that our anniversary was a good time to sit and reflect over a bottle of red.

 

After the wedding we had placed not only our vows into this box but also love letters from high school, sweet notes from our wedding week, valentine’s day or just because. We each read notes that we had written out loud to each other and had literal tears of laughter streaming down our face as we read the things we wrote about one another when we were 14.

We have come a long way in our expression of love. Understatement of the year.

Then, after reading all of the letters and our vows out loud to each other, we separated into different rooms and wrote reflections + new vows for this year in our small notebooks that we wrote our vows in. Each year we will fill these notebooks with new perspectives and promises, only to read the entire thing through the following year.

What I wrote:

Year One: what a year it has been.
A master’s degree finished, a PhD journey started.
Saying goodbye to our lives we loved in Texas and moving on to St. Louis.
The tears, the adjustments, the inspiration and the realizations.
The surrender and the leaning in to each other and away from the fears we held about the future.
The love we shared, the groundedness we discovered. 
The questions, the ideas, the late nights and all the times you delivered coffee in bed to help me brush away my slumber; they all made this year what it was…
monumental.
It was beautiful, frustrating, hard, perfect, messy and so true to us.
We came home to ourselves as individuals, which strengthened our bond exponentially. 
We have learned what we need and supported each other through the stress and the clear-mindedness.
We have discovered our love for the mountains, and for the peaceful connection we have express while hiking this week.
We are ready to start a family. We opened the tequila. We cannot wait to slow down into a simpler life.
Teddy, this year, you became even more my best friend, my lover and my hero. 
I vow to push us to take more trips, but stop being so stubborn.
I vow to love every bit of you. For all that you are and all that you have yet to be. 
I vow to be more patient, loving and understanding.
I vow to never stop loving you first-before all else.
I vow to balance you.
I vow to always be yours. 
I vow to continue to be your very best friend.
Here’s to year one. I’m proud of us.”

What he wrote:

“Year One and Counting,
Ashley,
I was right.
(mumble, imagine that)
Our wedding day was a new beginning. After more than ten years together, marriage is a new journey- a new adventure. 
With new places and different faces; with each step I know you better.
Year one has brought many things, from tears and laughter to hope and uncertainty. 
We have moved to a new city, started new jobs, left old friends, met new people, and tied loose ends.
We have taken up new habits and left old ones behind.
We have been scared and happy and lonely and loved, we have felt beaten and lost and have risen above. 
Together, we have done so much. 
Together we have struggled. 
Together we have conquered. 
Together we walk through life in love, forever.
It is difficult to express in words how I feel today.
But I am filled with joy for so many things. 
I am proud of our first year as husband and wife.
Despite challenges and disagreements we continue to work as a team, a unit, a family that relies on each other for strength.
I am so inspired by the journeys we are on, whether the path is clear or uncertain, we keep searching and striving toward our purpose. 
I am thankful for the times we spend together, for the feeling of being unconditionally loved, and for the chance to share this live with my best friend. 
After one year, sharing so many happy moments, learning so much about you, and sculpting our lives together, I can only imagine what our future may hold.
A new place to call home?
A munchkin on the way? 
Different perspectives on life?
A new trail to blaze?
Our adventure continues.
I can’t stop loving you.”

As the sun sets on this year, I am overwhelmed with happiness. I know how damn lucky I am to be married to such a pure heart and my best friend. I love us. That is all.

(In no way is this any sort of announcement of babies, by the way!) Just talking about possibilities.

I can’t wait to share all of the rest of the adventures we had this week!

xo-ash.

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