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To my dear Husband: Happy First Anniversary!


My dear husband,

Falling in love with you was quick and easy. A whirlwind romance. Our wedding day was full of joy, laughter, and love. God’s presence was so evident as we declared our vows to love and cherish one another.

And here we are, already celebrating our first year together. You have been the happiest man ever, declaring you have the most beautiful and amazing wife in the world. While I would not trade our first year of marriage for anything, for me it has been of a combination of feelings. Such joy and growth in marriage, changes and transitions, and the ups and downs that happen along the journey.

All I can say is thank you!

Thank you for showing me such grace and forgiveness. I know more of God’s grace now than I ever did in all the years of Sunday School.

Thank you for loving me so well. I am one of the luckiest women. Thank you for how very often you tell me that you love me, you find me beautiful, and speak words of affirmation into my heart and life.

Thank you for how you challenge and grow me. Two stubborn people in love. Yet we are stronger together, better together, and truly compliment one another.

Thank you for how you take care of me. Whether attending school events with me, making me dinner, or just holding me when I feel sad. You have loved and cared for me throughout this year.

Thank you for the times you are silly and make me laugh.

Thank you for all the memories we have made together this first year. Quiet Saturday mornings, buying our first Christmas tree, watching the World Cup, our first time traveling together, watching ocean storms, the Noah movie, your graduation, Easter Sunday baptisms, our picnic on the beach, and so much more.

Thank you for waiting forty years for me. For allowing God to prepare you as you trusted in His timing. Thank you for living your life fully for God while you waited.

Thank you for being you. You are beyond everything I hoped, dreamed, and prayed for during all the years of waiting. You complete me.

I love you so very much.

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Six months of marriage!


I freely admit that I am a romantic. At times, I am a hopeless romantic. Needless to say, I was excited to celebrate six months of marriage with my handsome husband. We had fun experiencing a new little Thai restaurant with delicious food and a great atmosphere.

We have actually celebrated each month of our marriage. While we did not formally celebrate, we did rejoice in each new month. For a couple months, my wonderful husband even watched our wedding video with me.

While I am a romantic, there were actually several reasons why I have marked each month of our marriage. The most important reason being that I love my husband. With each passing month, our marriage truly gets better and better. I am so grateful to God for how He fashioned us for one another and brought us together.

The other reason I have marked each month of our marriage is because of all the life changes I was experiencing. Each month meant I was just a little more adjusted to marriage, work, and living in a new area.

If you were to ask us about our first few months of marriage, it is actually quite funny how different our perspectives are from that time. Stephen was the happiest man alive. My husband is normally optimist, positive, and energetic. Add on top of that an enormous dose of excitement and happiness and that gives you a picture of my dear husband. Stephen proudly showed off our wedding pictures to anyone and everyone he met.

The first few months of marriage were wonderful for me. Long distance was finally over. I was married to the man I deeply love. We had many sweet newlywed moments. The first few months were also difficult for me. We were adjusting to marriage, developing stronger communication, and finding our rhythm as a married couple.

Our four month wedding anniversary happened to fall on our date night. On this peculiar evening, I was exhausted from work. Our lack of plans left us wondering what we would do with our evening. God came through for us. Our wedding pictures showed up in our mailbox. Perfect timing. As we looked through thousands of pictures that captured fun, joy-filled and unforgettable memories I realized that this month was significant. At four months of marriage, I felt like we were settling into a wonderful season of our marriage. We had made it through the first few months. God faithfully grew us closer together as a couple.

At six months of marriage, we are enjoying a sweet season of marriage. The best part of marriage is simply being together.

My mother recently described our dating period as a “whirlwind romance”. I could not agree more fully. While it was certainly an exciting and special season, it was also filled with months of long distance travel and constantly saying goodbye. The best part of our marriage is simply doing life together. Waking up together, spending quality time together, enjoying the simple things of life. Life is better together.

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2013: Best year of my life!

My 13 highlights of 2013. Enjoy!

1. I said YES!
Stephen asked me to marry him in NYC. Thanks to his best friend Mark, Stephen pulled off an incredible engagement story.

2. Wedding dress shopping
I had the time of my life trying on wedding dresses. I enjoyed modeling every style of wedding dress with my mom, bridesmaids, and flower girl. I fell in love with the perfect dress!

3. Engagement photos in Philly
I have the best sister who also happens to be an amazing photographer! Stephen and I had so much fun going around Philly with Ben and Natalie. The day flew by!

4. Half Marathon with Jonathan
This was the first race my brother and I ran together. I was reminded of how powerful it is to have someone running alongside you. The thrill of crossing the finish line never gets old!


5. Wedding Showers
I have never felt so loved by others!!! After 8 years of teaching at my school, it was finally my turn for a shower! My mom threw me a beautiful shower in NY with family, friends, and sweet old ladies from church. My bridesmaids surprised me with an Anne of Green Gables shower. Big hats, tea cups, and raspberry cordial. Lastly, my church family gave me a powerful time of prayer and encouragement.

6. 31st Birthday
Celebrating my birthday is a highlight for me every year! This year I celebrated with two of my favorite people, my best friend and fiancé!

7. No more goodbyes!
After eights months of long distance travel, FaceTime, and constantly saying goodbye I was beyond excited to pick Stephen up from the airport the week of our wedding. I was never so happy to see him and be done forever with goodbyes!


8. Our wedding day!

I loved every single moment of our day! The ceremony was worshipful, the reception was a blast, and we spontaneously ended the day with pictures in DC. One of my favorite moments was when Stephen twirled me around and we danced our way down the church aisle to the song “Oh Happy Day“. Such pure joy… We are married!!!


9. Honeymoon in New England
Life is better together!

10. Getting Settled in Boston
God provided a teaching job in Boston and a home by the ocean. We were so grateful for each person who helped us get settled! My parents were our first house guests and my mom spent hours setting up my classroom. Our friend John moved all my belonging up to Boston and stored them for us until we were married. Our friends Mikala and Tom were a huge help to us.

11. Rebekah’s visit!
This fall I missed all of my friends in Virginia. I was excited when my best friend Rebekah came to visit. In our short weekend together we hiked a mountain, went apple picking, made pumpkin pancakes, and explored Boston. There is nothing like a visit for a “bosom friend” to cheer you up!

12. Our first Christmas together!

13. New Year’s Eve
We entered and ended 2013 with our good friends Micah and Jannat. We recounted all the memories we had together in 2013 while making plans for new adventures in 2014!