You look, and all you may see is a middle-aged man, a blonde in a dress, and some pine trees.
But I see the hands that rock my babies to sleep, embrace me in tender hugs, lift my chin to meet him in a kiss, lift me up when I’ve fallen.
I see the smiles that mean inside jokes, funny things our kids say, dreaming bigger than we would admit to anyone else.
I see weight gained and lost – and not just around our waist but lifted from our shoulders and hearts as well.
I see the mountains and trees that are our new home for now. A place we (I) resisted for so long but can see a small piece of why we are here.
I see the story, the magic, the marriage. I see us.
And this is why I believe in anniversary sessions. Because every day our story changes, and in that change is beauty. I treasure these photos of our Now more than I do our wedding photos because I love HIM more now than I did then, and I think that shows in the way we embrace, smile for the camera or for each other.
Three weeks after our anniversary session was our family session. It was such a different experience for me because I was worried about the kids – their hair, their clothes, their behavior, their smiles. I wanted it done fast and I wanted it done right (though I was very aware it would never be “perfect” and I was okay with that too). But it was such a contrast to the experience I had with just Adam. When we met up at the Reservoir, all my worries melted away and we just spent an hour together, giggling and jumping into lakes. When the kids are involved, my worries don’t melt until they’re back at home eating their reward of ice cream.
I get it. The kids grow up too fast, the moments are fleeting, children’s faces change and their bodies get almost unbelievably tall in one year. I get it because I’m in it, too. Twelve months seems like it brings a lot more changes to our children than it does to us…..but is that really true? Don’t we change and grow just as much as they do, even if it’s not as visibly noticeable for us as it is for them?
I want my kids to have happy marriages. I want them to know what a happy marriage looks like because they were raised with parents that had a happy, thriving marriage through it all. When this busy life of raising kids is all said and done with, when they’re out of the house and I have to pick up the pieces and find a new life for myself, he’s the one that will stand by me. He’s the one lying in bed next to me, holding the door open for me, driving in the drivers seat, still holding my hand, ready to start a new adventure. I’m going to nurture that relationship above all else. Will you, too?