My Forever & Always

Photography by Chelsea Rochelle
This is a story of MY forever & always.  As I sit down to write this, there is so much running through my mind and so many things that I want to share with you all.  Hopefully I can piece it all together in a concise well written post.  This really could be a chapter book, because after all, the past 10 years of our marriage has been much like a beautifully written chapter book…a book that you just don’t want to put down.
But this is simply OUR love story…a story that I find to be incredibly special.  Certainly no more special than any one else’s love story but so special to me, to US.
I also can’t write this story without sharing that this is also a story of great loss and heartache.
Our first chapter should start before we said “I do”…back to when we first met.  I was on vacation with a few girlfriends and he was there for a friend’s bachelor celebratory weekend.  Then HE was there, that night…that night that my life changed.  That night that fate and destiny brought us together and that night that we knew after talking into the wee hours of the morning that there was something very special there.  Our deep love for one another began that weekend…
Fast forward to 2006 when we celebrated one of the most important most special days of our lives.  The day was October 21st and it was a day that will forever be engrained in our minds and our hearts.  On this day, we promised before God and before our closest family and friends to love each other forever and always, through sickness & health, through the good times and the bad times, and that is exactly what we have done for the past 10 years.  And along the way, we have welcomed our children (and 3 puppies) into our family and boy have our hearts loved deeper than we could have ever imagined.
This year we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary, such a milestone yet such a short chapter in the story that we are writing together.  We’ve grown so much in 10 years time and our love for one another and our love for our little family has deepened beyond comprehension and beyond measure.
For our 10 year wedding anniversary, we recommitted to one another by renewing our vows in a very intimate ceremony…it was just the two of us and our children.  It was perfect.  My heart just explodes thinking about it.  It was such a special time for us and we wanted Reins & Addison to be right beside us, watching their Mommy & Daddy “get married again” (so they would say).
Peter did not know that I had planned a “surprise” vow renewal…when he arrived, he thought he was meeting me for our “anniversary dinner” but little did he know, we were there waiting for him, waiting to “get married again”.  He and I had previously talked about renewing our vows for our 10 year wedding anniversary but we never followed through with planning anything.  It was important to me to plan this surprise for us.  Peter was so surprised and so joyful…I”ll never forget the smile on his face when he walked through the barn doors and saw us standing there.  Reins & Addison were also so excited to be a part of our “wedding”…they felt so special.
Although this was such a joyous occasion for us, it was also filled with great sadness.  Just a few days before we renewed our vows, a very dear friend suddenly passed away.  We were mourning the loss of our friend and trying to make sense of everything all the while celebrating 10 years of marriage.  I went back and forth about not moving forward with this surprise but then I realized that life is short and that we may never get that time back.  It was hard but we also realized at that time, more than ever, it was a tough reminder to count our blessings and to take advantage of opportunities to do what we were doing because life is not guaranteed.  We prayed and we cried during our renewal…what a blessing it was to be able to stand in front of God and recommit ourselves all the while thinking of our friends who wouldn’t have the opportunity to do the same one day.
We are both so grateful to have had the opportunity to renew our vows in the presence of our children.  We certainly hold each other even more tight now and we count our blessings each and every day.
As Peter’s wife and as Reins’ and Addison’s Mommy, I feel so blessed and beyond lucky to call them mine.  We have many chapters ahead of us and we will continue to have our fair share of ups downs but one thing will always remain constant…our love for one another and our love for our family.  We will continue to write our story as Husband and Wife and as Daddy and Mommy.
HE is my forever & always.  THEY are my forever & always.
Homestead Manor for providing their beautiful space to us…arms wide up with such a warm welcome.  For working so closely with me to pull off this surprise and for the delightful staff that assisted us before and after our renewal.
Eliza J Dresses for providing me with such a beautiful lace dress, which was so perfect for this occasion.
Shane & Company for providing my stunning “something blue” sapphire & diamond ring as well as providing handsome cuff links for Peter.  We are so grateful that you were a part of our vow renewal.
Madison Dennis for making me feel so beautiful…she did an amazing job on my makeup and I felt like a bride again.
Deidre DeFelice for always working her magic on my hair and making sure that my vision came to life.
Meeshs Bakery Franklin for the beautiful and incredibly delicious cake.  We may just have to order a cake for every wedding anniversary now.
Ruffled Feather Events for taking my vision and creating such beautiful bouquets and boutonnieres. 
Scott Baker, our friend, for officiating our vow renewal and adding such beautiful personal touches.
And last but certainly not least…
Chelsea Rochelle for being a part of our special day and for capturing it so beautifully…we will forever cherish the images from this day.