On My 11th Wedding Anniversary

I flipped through my wedding album last night in preparation for writing a post about my 11th wedding anniversary for today. I was caught off guard by how much had changed since those photos were taken 11 years ago.

Marriages have ended. Grandparents have died. Friendships have ended or dissolved with time and distance. Children have grown into adults with children of their own.

It may only be a small slice of a lifetime, but 11 years is more than long enough for entire lives to change.

There is of course always a level of comfort to be found in impermanence, but it’s also a little disheartening when you see it manifested in your relationships. We tend to  assume our loved ones, whether family or friend, will remain beloved. Even the most cynical among us clings to this last shred of optimism regardless of evidence to the contrary. It’s what keeps us bravely forging new relationships, forgetting once again that the odds are in favor of an eventual end.

We try anyway.

And looking at my wedding album, I’m reminded of why we try.

Despite the faded friendships and the painful divorces, there remain a handful of faces that represent relationships that have survived the last 11 years. My mother. My father. Jared’s parents. My maid-of-honor. Our brothers, my sister, and my cousin. The years have changed them, but they are as much a fixture in our lives today as they were when we were 19. They’ve stuck by us through our foolishness, encouraged our grand adventures, and held our hands when we fell on our butts.

They are why we keeping putting ourselves out there with strangers.

Their love and loyalty give us courage and inspire us to open up our lives to even more.

Of course, it’s not just our parents, siblings, and select friends who have remained. It is, after all, our 11th wedding anniversary. We, me and Jared, are still here, too. Still in this marriage after more than a decade. We are even more in love now than we were at 19, and certainly more knowledgeable about what the hell it really means to be a husband and a wife.

We’ve stuck by one another through our foolishness.

We’ve encouraged each other’s grand adventures.

And we managed to find a way to hold each other’s hands when we fell on our butts.

It has, at times, been hard as hell. But it has been worth it.

I worry sometimes that the happiness I have in my life really is unique to my situation. I worry because you don’t have Jared, and I honestly can’t imagine sometimes how you do it. I’m sure that sounds silly, and maybe even arrogant. I don’t mean it to. The logical part of my brain tells me that happiness is possible without him, but my heart cannot make sense of that concept. He has contributed in some way to every single thing that is good about my life, from my children to my dreams and everything in between.

He is the reason that I try.

He is why I keeping putting myself out there, even when I am afraid.

His love and loyalty gives me courage, and inspires me open up our lives to even more.

Happy Anniversary, Jared. I love you. And thank you for, literally, everything.

(No, I’m not pregnant in these pictures. I was, however, just three months postpartum so those upper arms and extra chins are totally justifiable. One more reason to practice abstinence until after the wedding photos, kiddies!)

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  1. Bre says:

    Tears. This is simply beautiful. I love it and both of you!

  2. Laurie says:

    Beautiful! Happy Anniversary to you two! Those photos are fantastic. I love how he is kissing your cheek and grabbing your wrist in the second photo. You look like an angel staring off into the distance. Just lovely.

  3. Toni says:

    Happy Anniversary!! It’s amazing how quickly the years pass by…it really is. Our 11th is this year too…I can hardly believe it. What has happened to those year? So much…but at the same time, seems like not enough. You guys have so many great experiences ahead of you…I hope you can view EVERY day as an anniversary. Congrats!

  4. Nanna says:

    Tears as well. I remember every single detail of that day and how beautiful you were. Congratulations to the two of you. My daughter AND my son.

  5. Sarah Morgan says:

    You are both so lucky – and everybody else is just lucky to know you! Congratulations and love and wishes for many, many, many more beautiful anniversaries!

  6. Donna says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  7. DeannaBanana says:

    Happiest Anniversary to both of you, may this be the beginning of your best year yet.

    Now then, you have to produce a picture of the cake. With the bridge….heh.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Not just a bridge – but a water fountain with pink water and lights under the bridge!

      Oh yeah. We were fabulous. lol

      • DeannaBanana says:

        That is awesome on so many levels! Clearly, you are going to have to provide photographic proof. Pink water and lights…hahahahaha!!!

  8. rachael says:

    Your cake is fabulous. Totally what I would have picked in about 1987;).

  9. Hockeymandad says:

    Happy anniversary guys. Congrats on 11 years!

    I’m wondering, in the second picture, what are you looking at Britt that has you so locked in thought? I cannot tell if you are wondering what you just did or is Jared trying to make up for something he said? Hehe, you guys were so young, like us!

  10. happy, happy anniversary. i wish you both a continued lifetime of love, peace and yes, happiness.
    so much love to you both.

  11. Megan says:

    Happy Anniversary. Here’s to 11+ more years, happy, healthy years full of new experiences and adventures. May these next 11+ be the happiest of your marriage so far. Much love to you both.

  12. mel says:

    11 years today, is a huge accomplishment.
    Congrats and Happy Anniversary!

  13. Darla says:

    Congratulations!!! Eleven years is a hell of a lot to celebrate, my friend!

  14. Sheila says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  15. Big Granma says:

    A very Happy Anniversary to both of you. The years do fly by and sometimes we wonder how as we don’t seem to think it has been that long. Ours will be 59 in april and it really doesn’t seem that long.


  16. martymankins says:

    Happy Anniversary to you two. Looking at this photo, you two haven’t changed much at all. And that’s a compliment.

  17. Mandi Bone says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  18. Allyson says:

    Happy Anniversary, guys! I know how you feel, Britt. I often wonder how other wives/girlfriends survive not having my Pete as their husband/boyfriend. I can’t imagine a better man. But Jared seems good, too. :-)

  19. Lisa says:

    Happy Anniversary!! Much happiness to you both!

  20. Sunny says:

    I think I’ve seen that cake on cakewrecks :D Happy Anniversary, here’s to few dozen more!

  21. Karin says:

    Congratulations! I with both of you many more years of happiness!

  22. Awwww……I love this post! I am so glad I am still considered a friend even though we haven’t talked in what FOREVER?! I am sorry I didn’t shoot you a text yesterday on your anniversary. There’s no good reason why I didn’t, I was in a lot of pain with an absessed tooth, but there’s no reason I couldn’t have text! I am sorry. Cheers to another wonderful 11! I love you both!

  23. Jamie says:

    What a great post. And I love that thought…I have a Jared (though he was christened John).
    What would I do without him? Have four times, fives times as many more. j

  24. Connie says:

    I’m getting all teary! What a beautiful post! Wishing you and Jared many many more wedding anniversaries!

  25. anymommy says:

    You are gorgeous. I love this post. Happy anniversary to both of you.

  26. Aww … happy anniversary!

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