To my sweetheart,
Can you believe it has been a year? 365 days have passed since we promised each other until death do us part. I am going to tell you a secret, I was so nervous to get married. Terrified actually. How many times had people told us "marriage is hard?" I interviewed anyone that would answer my questions, and begged for the answer to this. "Why is marriage so hard?? Please tell me so I can prepare.." Everyone had a different reason, or list of reasons, but nothing offered me a concrete answer or put my worries to rest. Only you can do that. You were calm and steady, you talked me through all of the stress of wedding planning and held my hand through the worries inflicted by others.
Being with you has shown me that marriage is "hard", but not like I thought it would be. Our marriage was hard when I got sick on our road trip out west from MI and you drove the entire way, with your sunflower seeds and without a complaint. It was hard when I worked 12 hour shifts (and you work just a few less than that)..so you would have the apartment cleaned and dinner on the table for me at 8PM, with a smile. It was hard when I told you I wanted to change my career and completely choose to operate on faith rather than with my current paycheck, but you listened until you understood my heart, and openly accepted this choice. It was hard every single time that I was in a bad mood, or tired, but you always seem to brush that off, and turn anything into a positive. It was hard when I had a migraine and ruined our day off plans, but you spent the entire Saturday trying to make me comfortable instead of complaining. It was hard when I cried about having to work on Christmas Eve, so you woke up early to make an entire holiday meal for me to have before work. It was hard when I changed our lifestyle to become healthier in so many ways, and you realized that we would be better doing that together, you came right along my side as always. It was hard when you moved in with someone who likes the blankets folded a certain way ;) but you learned a whole new standard of "clean" and just rolled with it. In this last year I have seen all of my faults, not because you point them out, but because you so lovingly accept them. I was terrified to get married because I let other people's words and marriages get into my head, I didn't fully understand what being married to you would be like. I didn't realize that our story could be anything that we wanted to make it. You make marriage easy, fun, and the best decision I have ever made. You have shown me, in just one year, how to be a better person in the smallest of ways that make the largest impact. I am slowly learning how to be as forgiving, loving, and compassionate as you are, even though you don't hold me to that standard.
Remember we picked a song to have our first dance to with the lyrics "I thought I loved you then?" I am so grateful for these words because they are perfectly tailored to my feelings about us. I loved you Riley, so much. Enough to stand there in church, in a white dress, and promise my life to you. But those feelings don't even compare to today, when I witness you being the perfect gentleman over and over again, even when I don't deserve that. You are kind, loving, patient, humble, and faithful. You choose to love me no matter what and I will never stop thanking God for creating us to be together.
This October 14th has me doing so much reminiscing. This morning I have looked through our wedding pictures, watched our video, listened to our song, and thought about all of the joy you have brought me in just one year.
And I thought I loved you then.
Happy Anniversary sweetheart.