3 Years of Wedded Bliss

I’m writing this post early and scheduling it to automatically post itself tomorrow night (but if you’re reading this then it’s technically “tonight” or “right now”. Man, the future is complicated.) because I know for a fact that I won’t be around to do it myself. Wanna know why?

Because I will be out on the town celebrating my 3 year wedding anniversary with my darling husband!

I know it’s not normal to meet your husband at the tender age of 17, but for myself, I could never picture it happening any differently.

When I met Clayton, my home life was challenging. My mom and I were struggling to make ends meet, I was adjusting to my sister living 2 hours away at college, I had a non-existent relationship with my father, and all of us were trying to heal the wounds left behind after escaping an abusive home life several years prior. To put it plain and simply (and mildly cheesy), Clayton was a life raft cast out to me at precisely the right moment.

Falling in love as a teenager is a selfish, dramatic, what-romantic-movies-are-made-of kind of love, but it’s a pure love. You love that person simply for being there. And I did. And I do. But I am incredibly thankful that Clay’s and my relationship continued to blossom past the “he’s my boyfriend!” and “she’s my girlfriend!” stage and grow into something deeper, more mature and nurturing. At the early stages of any relationship, especially a teenaged one, flaws are overlooked and annoyances are deemed endearing all for the sake of keeping the coveted “in a relationship” status. But as a relationship continues to develop, accepting the flaws and annoyances rather than just overlooking them becomes essential in learning how to love someone completely and unconditionally. Clayton demonstrated that (and continues to do so every day) by choosing to love me, even at my most unlovable.

My closest friends and I all got married within the same 2 or 3 years of each other. While it was commonplace in my circle of friends to meet their mates at an early age, I can easily recognize that this is not the average for most people. Even looking back on my own wedding and my relationship with Clayton, I can see that 22 and 23 years of age is considerably young to be entering into such a lofty commitment. However, as I said before, I can’t imagine my life any other way. Clay and I had a rare, wonderful opportunity that most couples can’t say about themselves—we not only grew up, but we grew up together. A lot of people have said, and I typically agree, that you can’t know and love another person until you fully know and love yourself. While I do believe this to be true, I feel like myself and some other lucky souls out there are the exception to this rule. Being a “we” while I was becoming me (that’s a tongue twister), helped me become a more patient, selfless, giving person than I would have been had I navigated my formative years solo. I’m not saying that I am the world’s most patient, selfless, giving person (far from it), but I know that I’m better because I had Clayton.

I keep a stationary box under my bed that holds all of the letters Clayton wrote me in high school. Since we lived in opposite ends of the state, we relied heavily on snail mail to communicate during the long stretches of time apart. I love that I still have those hand-written letters and all of the pictures he colored for me, and I love that I can pull them from their box and relive our early history any time that I want. While the letters are an outpouring of puppy love and teenage sentiment, they are momentos of the most precious time in my life that I never want to forget, no matter how embarrassing or cringe-worthily cheesy.

In several of his letters, Clayton told me he was going to marry me one day and that we would have a life and family of our own. While I never questioned the fruition of his promises, I'm still delighted that Clayton is a man of his word and wanted to continue the fairy tale even when it became muddied or challenging. We entered into our holy union three years ago today and, as I said in my wedding vows on December 6th, 2008, I greatly look forward to continuing to be Clay’s wife and partner until the Lord calls me home.

For our previous two anniversaries, Clay and I have managed to slip away for weekend getaways. However, due to the nature of my job change and the increasing costs of Christmas, we are very happy to stay at home and celebrate in our own city this year.  Thanks to signing up for a new cable service, we received a $100 Visa gift card and tonight Clayton will take me to Janko's Little Zagreb for the best steak in the Midwest before we head to the movie theatre to see Arthur Christmas.


  1. It's really awesome you still have those letters. Last semester as I was poking around my Grandmothers house for a project, I found the letters that my grandfather wrote her. So precious. Hopefully one day your grandkids will find those. Lets all be mushy and say awwwww :P

  2. i love this! :) happy anniversary you two love birds!

  3. Happy, happy (belated) anniversary! How was Arthur Christmas??

  4. Thank you all!

    Lexi, I thought the movie was really cute! I've seen a few live-action films in 3D, but was not that impressed. But a cartoon in 3D is awesome! The film also had a great preview for a movie coming out soon called Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. That movie looks adorable!

  5. This was beautifully put together. Like I cried reading it. I'm so dorky. Congrats to both of you and your incredible relationship!


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