Love; it will not betray you, Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free. Be more like the man you were made to be…

A letter to myself on our wedding day five years in retrospect.

Dear Beautiful Bride,

Today is the big day. You have stressed and worried and wished you NEVER had done a wedding but simply eloped. TREASURE IT! It will likely be the last time in your life that most of the people you love will be in one place. Because the miles are long, the years are short and humans often can not behave themselves and act like cordial adult humans.

You are beautiful today, tomorrow and always. You will look beautiful. Christopher will make sure your hair is gorgeous and your curls wont fall out because he is magic. You will always be beautiful even when you do not feel it.

Take pictures (maybe make sure the camera is charged), dance some more, laugh, relish in it. Make sure Uncle David knows your are “cutting the cake” although on second thought don’t because his photo bomb is one of your most favorite photos ever. Record the speeches. You will wish you had. Soak up the love and joy.

Soon you will leave for your honeymoon. Get ready. It will surpass your wildest dreams. You and Ryan will fall more in love with each other, Iceland and travel.

Oh baby, it’s just the beginning of a lifetime of adventures. You will travel more than you ever dreamed in the next five years. Travel will become your greatest teacher, passion and saving grace.

Spoiler alert you will spend anniversary five in Greece.

The years ahead, they hold things that are harder than you could dream. You will live, you will grow, you will survive and you will come out on the other side a better,stronger version of yourself and with a better marriage. And beautiful girl although the hard times are abundant so are the good times and take care to note and remember them. It is so easy for the traumatic times to be seared into your memory forever. But cling and hold onto the pockets of light in life for they will help illuminate the oppressive darkness.

Mama will get sick. It will be trying, frustrating, you will wonder if she is going to die. She wont. You will lose faith in the healthcare system and it will be hard but a humbling experience for your career to be on the other side of the hospital. Ryan will be a rockstar through all of this. You will wonder what you did to deserve him. You will look back and wonder how you lived that spring and summer but you do.

Oh precious, precious girl you will sit in a hospital room at UAB and you will say, I always have felt like Ryan and I will have a hard time having a baby but maybe this, you being so sick is paying our dues. Tender-heart, you will lose your first baby girl at 13 weeks pregnant the following year. This will almost destroy you and your marriage (that is totally normal). Keep putting in the effort, keep communicating, keep going, even when you do not feel like it. You make it. Ryan again will be your rock. This time will be the darkest of your life. Grieving together will not be something you are good at. Try going to couseling together sooner than you do.

But also here you will also find the greatest love. To others and from others and for Riley Kate.

You will take Em to the trampoline park. You will be sitting there literally looking on with joy thinking this is the most fun you and Ryan have had together since March. And then Ryan will break his ankle. He will be out of work. He will lose his job. You will fret and worry and all will be ok. It possibly might lead you on your bravest adventure yet. Eventually.

There will be other hard times, family difficulties, you will make some wonderful friends and they will move away. You as always will have a hard time taking things on and carrying the weight of them even when it is not your weight to carry. This is infuriating to you but it is what makes you you and your heart and love and empathy so big.You will spend the better part of 2018 wondering if love truly wins in the end. There will be times it certainly does not feel like it. I wish I could tell you love does win and that love is big enough to overcome all but I can’t. I’m simply not sure yet. But keep loving and keep living anyways.

But oh the joys.

You will buy a cute house right where you dreamed it would be. You will spend hours doing home improvement together and it will be a joy for yall.

The friends you will make. The love you will experience. The snuggles. The good food. Eventually you will learn to laugh off the trashcan situation.

The trips. Oh the trips. Iceland. Chicago. A cruise. Italy. California. Paris. Banff. Nashville. Memphis. The Beach. The Mountains. Chattanooga. And then Greece. And you get to do it all together.


You have more people than you can count that love you and you love more people than you can count. Your heart will break open with love for Riley Kate but the cracks will leave room for more love to give and receive for the entire world.

Best of all you have someone in your corner. Even when it feels like no one’s there and you are lonely. Also normal at times in marriage but do a better job of communicating how you feel. That’s on you not him. He can’t read your mind but also thank God he can’t right?

These five years will grow you and stretch you because change is going to happen. You won’t always love the events that happen but you will be proud of the woman you are five years from now. There is so much growing to do always I can’t wait to see the woman you are in five more years.

Marriage is hard work. But all good things are. You will feel stuck in a rut and like you go through the same things over and over. Try, fight, work through the tears to communicate because it is all worth it. The only thing to do is to believe in love. Believe love will win and love is enough to triumph over all. Because without love to believe in what else is left in life.


Your braver, bolder, stronger, more loving yet slightly older version of yourself

I'd Love to hear your thoughts

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