Sunday, October 30, 2011

From the Beginning

Sweet Caroline,
I met your father in 2008, when I was 21 and he was 24. We had no idea what was in store for us down the road - joint bank account, arguments over the temperature in the car, or you. Mostly and most wondrously you.
Your dad took me on our first date on March 11, 2008. He took me to a Moroccan restaurant in downtown Savannah. I was immediately impressed by this man who was so bold to take me to a place where you sit on the floor, eat with your hands, and are surrounded by half naked belly dancers. It was no dinner at Olive Garden, to be sure. As yet another handful of rice missed my mouth and fell onto my carefully composed outfit, I thought, "I could get used to a relationship like this."
He continued to pull out all the stops to impress me. Fancy dinners, live music shows, and even a silent film festival. Within the first week, it was hard to remember a time when we weren't always together. I fell asleep at his house the night of our third date, and I don't think we've slept apart since.
Always impulsive, he proposed to me on June 21, a mere three months into our relationship. He got down on one knee on the steps of the Cathedral where he'd picked me up for our first date, and where we'd marry 10 months later. I wholeheartedly, without hesitation, said yes. Had a friend told me they were going to marry the man they'd been dating a whole three months, I would've called them crazy. But as you can see, sometimes crazy works out for the best.
Planning our wedding was one of the most stressful times in our young relationship. No matter what, divorce, death, or the strange notion of "renewing your vows", I will never get married again. You can hold me to that. Our ceremony was gorgeous. We got married on April 18, 2009 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia. After a nerve-wracking week of rain, we woke up to a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky. I was so nervous with the pre-wedding preparations that my maid of honor drove my car to each of our appointments. I married your father in a beautiful white gown, with a 6 foot train and intricate pearl and lacework. I never felt more beautiful as I did that day. I think I was crying before the doors to the church even opened. I wept the whole way down the aisle, never taking my eyes off the wonderful man who'd asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. I gripped his hand through the whole ceremony, and he would look to me as the priest was speaking and mouth a simple "I love you". I knew that Saturday was the beginning of a very long, happy life together. When we reached the end of the aisle, my dad, your "Papa" let go of my hand, shook Alex's, and handed me over. His only daughter. He let me go to join your father and become a family of our own. We have built this family together rooted firmly in love, honesty, and laughter.
Our priest reminded us to always remember that day, and how we felt. He said that our wedding was a beautiful representation of pure, honest love. We loved each other so much that we stood before God, family, and friends and promised to love each other forever. God, our family, and friends loved us so much that they watched and smiled, sharing in our joy. It was the best day of my life... until the day you were born.

I love you,

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