Monday, October 19, 2009

Never Before Seen Footage

(Editor's Note: Last year Michael and I collaborated on our anniversary post by listing the things we'd learned about each other in our first year of marriage. Since we're celebrating two years together, I thought it'd be fun to have two posts and asked if he'd want to write one. Surprisingly enough, he agreed! Below is mine and I'll post his when he sends it my way. Could be today or later this week.)

Today is our two-year anniversary! Two whole years! I told Michael the other day that we've lasted longer than most Hollywood couples, so that's exciting.

The first year flew for us. Every once in awhile we'd look at each other and say, "This is so easy!" And it was. We had a wonderful wedding. A fabulous honeymoon. We purchased a great home. We made new friends. We kept up with old friends. We cooked together. We cleaned together. We did everything... together.

Let's take a look at year two. It began as perfect as the first, with a fantastic anniversary trip, the birth of our nephew Evan, and a beautiful holiday season. We celebrated New Years with some of our best friends and looked forward to 2009 with anticipation and hope. I laugh now when I think about the first few months of 2009. We'd spent way too much over Christmas and had put together a very tight budget to get us back on track. A week later Michael lost his job. You all know the story, he was without a job for a month and then we opened the search to Dallas and he landed a job within a week. Then we lived apart for 9 weeks. It was hard. So hard. Of course I remember thinking, "This isn't fair. This isn't how life is supposed to be." And then one day I woke up and realized that whether it's fair or not, it was our life. Our one and only life. There will always be beautiful moments and there will always be terrible moments. I quit a job I adored, moved to Dallas and we quickly purchased a home. Two months later I started working at a job that I felt was below me. Sometimes I still do. But today I think about Michael and I am so thankful. So thankful for him losing his job. So thankful we were forced to uproot and move to a brand new location. So thankful I have a job at all. Our first year of marriage was easy. Too easy. We needed these trials because it made us realize we are a very strong couple. And understanding that is so powerful. We can and will get through any adventure (good or bad) together, and we know we can do it with grace.

Recently I looked through all 900 (!!!) of our wedding pictures one by one. Most of you know this already but our photographers never gave us our album. They were a hit-and-run and did this to many couples in Tulsa. Long story short--we don't have a wedding album. I found it so interesting, some of my very favorite pictures this time around were not the ones we chose to put in our album. We had selected the album pictures a month or so after our wedding and were still so "in the moment" of wedded bliss that we got rid of the ones that weren't perfect. Pictures where my smile was crooked, pictures where we're laughing too hard, pictures where we're not looking at the camera, pictures of ladies sewing me into my dress, pictures of us standing and waiting for someone to bring us the cake knife because it wasn't on the table, pictures of us at the end of the night when we were both a sweaty mess, pictures of.... real life. Instead we chose the ones where everything looked gorgeous. And perfect. And posed. And nothing like us at all. After two years of marriage, I realize the pictures I love now are the pictures of real life. Our real life together. So today I'm not showing you the best of the best. I'm showing you the best of us. And really? That's all that matters.

Tonight will be the third time we recite our vows to one another and I can't wait.

I Meredith, take you Michael to be my wedded husband.

And I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful wife;
In plenty and in want,
In joy and in sorrow,
In sickness and in health,
For as long as we both shall live.

(You're the best. Love love. Merdi.)


Emily said...

Happy Anniversary!!! You were a gorgeous bride, Meredith!

Ashley said...

that was very sweet :) Love the pictures!

The Emerson's said...

happy anniversary! i loved reading your sweet little story! you are so right. it is important to struggle, so that you appreciate the good times even more! annnddd, i love the candid shots! such a beautiful, happy, in love couple!

Suzanne said...

That is so sweet! Not gonna lie, it made me tear up a little when I read your vows. You and Michael are such a sweet couple. Congratulations on 2 years :)

Leslie said...

And here come the tears. It has been quite the year, hasn't it? And I know I've told you before, but your wedding was SO. MUCH. FUN!

Susie said...

And I'm crying real tears...
Love you so much. You and Michael are such a blessing to us!
Love - Mom

Aubrey said...

I think the "real life" pics are even more beautiful than the "perfect" ones. And that's saying something because the perfect ones are AMAZING.

Happy anniversary, Mr and Mrs Haynes.

Erin said...

Happy Anniversary! I can't believe your wedding was two years ago, wow time flies! What an amazing wedding. You two are a wonderful couple, we feel very proud to be your friends. I also loved Mike's post :) You two are made for each other ;)

Happy two years!

Mrs. A said...

found your blog from Jax and just wanted to say we share an anniversary date!! 10/20/2007 was pretty much the greatest day ever!! Hope you had an awesome anniversary I know my Mr. and I did.


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