Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My First "Wedding"

I use the word "wedding" loosely, but if that is what you call getting legally married, then that is what we had four years ago today.

A little background for those that don't know: Patrick is my highschool sweetheart. We started dating in January 2004 when I was a Junior, and he had already graduated in 2003 {thus, I am not HIS high school sweetheart}. Things were great for a couple months, and I was smitten. Then we hit some rough patches and were off and on for several years. Sometimes we were together, and I attended a couple graduations of various Army schools. For some others, we weren't on speaking terms. We danced at his mom's wedding in 2006, and I remember him asking me if I would still marry him one day even if he reenlisted, because he was about to re-up for six more years.

Anyway, after all this back and forth, we finally decided to put a stop to it in April 2008. I was still in school at OSU, and Patrick was in Washington. We rekindled our relationship over the phone, and he deployed just three days after I had reached out to him after over a year of not speaking. We made plans for me to come visit him during his leave that July, and booked our wedding venue for June 13, 2009. I counted down the days til I could see him again, and July finally arrived. I flew to Washington, and we had planned for me to stay until early August, then I would go back for my fall semester at OSU. Patrick had talked about maybe buying a house, but he would be deploying again in just six months and didn't want to have a house sitting unoccupied while he was gone. I suggested having a courthouse wedding just to get the extra BAH so we could buy a house, then even suggested that I could just stay here and live in it.

We looked into the courthouse thing, I even got a cute little white dress, but someone told me it wasn't as romantic as it is in the movies. They said you are just in line at the courthouse with the criminals waiting to hear there charges or go before the judge or whatever. That didn't sound very appealing to me...We talked it over, and Patrick didn't want to do anything ceremonious since we were having our wedding in the Church the next summer. I looked up people who could perform marriages near us, and found a pastor who actually lived in an apartment complex down the street. Awesome! So we make arrangements, and had the most un-ceremonious wedding in the history of weddings.

On a Thursday night, we  knock on the door and no one answers for a little while. We almost chicken out because it was a pretty sketchy apartment complex and we were thinking "wow, THIS is where we are about to get married..." And just as we are going to turn and walk away, a man with spiky hair, horn rimmed glasses, and huge holes in his ears answers the door. Obviously we are pretty surprised by his appearance, given the fact that he was a pastor. After making sure he was indeed able to marry us, and have it count, we go inside. We signed our lives away on a little piece of paper on his small, round bar table with his wife and our roommate at the time as witnesses. His wife was equally "colorful" with retro glasses, pink hair and tattoos. If you would've asked me at any point in my life before this night if I would ever get married by a punk preacher and his punk wife, I would have laughed. But that is what happened!

We did go on to have a beautiful "real" ceremony at St. Patrick's Church in New Orleans the next year to make our marriage official before God. I will write another post about that later, maybe on our next 4th anniversary (June 13, 2013).

I feel so blessed that he is still my best friend, with whom I am very much in love four years later. That's like 20 years in nowadays terms with people divorcing left and right. And I consider our marriage to be in great shape, as our only arguments seem to center around taste in decor, and sometimes my (lack of) housekeeping. I'd say after having two kids in two years, if those are our only problems we are doing pretty ok! Patrick is a great husband, and a great father, and I am so lucky to share my life with such a wonderful man.

And now I will leave you with some photos taken roughly around our anniversary each year, except for the ones, which were taken a couple months after we got married the first time.

This was in November 2008. This is a candid shot that I think is hilarious, I was complaining about being cold, and Patrick was talking to my dad.

This one is better. Oh to be young and thin again. Maybe one day. (Just thin though, obviously I can't go back in time and be young again.)

This was right after our ceremony, we took a horse carriage ride around New Orleans on the way to our reception site. June 13, 2009.

This was taken as we left the hospital with our daughter, on June 27th 2010, a month before our 2nd anniversary, or two weeks after our first, depending on which one you use. Confused yet?

Here is our little family in July 2011. Abigail had just turned one, we had our 2nd and 3rd anniversaries, and I was about 14 weeks into cooking little Patrick, Jr.

And here is our little family's most recent picture, from June 2012.

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