Three years ago today, Jesse and I were dancing the sunset away. Blissful, exhilarated to be husband and wife, and excited for the days ahead.
What a wonderful three years it has been!
Jesse is currently leading his jr. high youth group, and I opted out of making the hour long trafficky drive to go to Pastor's Bible study tonight to stay home and make chocolate raspberry cheesecake instead (recipe to come!) and wait for my handsome husband of three years to come home for a night of wedding video-watching, cheesecake eating, candles, and Martinelli's (we'll save our wedding champagne for a year that I'm not pregnant!)
After work today, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up the things I would need for cheesecake. When I put everything on the conveyor belt, the guy at the register asked how my day was going.
"Pretty well," I smiled, "It's my 3rd wedding anniversary, and I'm heading home to make cheesecake to surprise my husband when he gets home from work."
"Wow, three years," He smiled back and leaned in, "So, has it been everything you imagined?"
"Even more wonderful!" I said as he handed me the receipt.
I thought about it on my way home.
Was it everything you imagined?
When Jesse and I were freshly engaged, we looked forward to things in married life like serving God side-by-side in a congregation, dinners together in our own home, and not having to say "goodnight" at the doorstep anymore.
I certainly didn't imagine the way that my heart would skip a beat when I heard his engine in the driveway, or the way that smelling his fresh cologne in the mornings would send a flutter through me. I didn't anticipate a husband who would take joy in preparing breakfasts for me while I got ready for work, or that he would get so excited about my homemade meals. I never imagined the pain of losing a family member---and the comfort that Jesse would be to me during that time. I didn't think about days when I would be so tired that I would just need a good cry, or how lovingly he would carry me to bed after I fell asleep in his arms on the couch. I didn't imagine getting upset when he was late coming home at night from church--or the way that I would melt into his hugs the moment he opened the door. I didn't imagine that a guy could feel like a radiator during the summer---but that even in the sticky heat, I wouldn't be able to sleep anymore without being wrapped in his arms. I looked forward to becoming parents with him, but I never imagined how lovingly he would care for me during my pregnancy---the trips to the hospital when I was so sick that I needed to be rehydrated with IVs, the hours he spent holding my hair back for me as I got sick again and again, his loving coaxing to get me to try to eat something. I never imagined the thrill of feeling our baby kick under Jesse's hand, or the way the belly-kisses Jesse gives our Little One before he leaves would melt my heart.
I imagined wonderful things when I anticipated marrying Jesse.
But in the last three years, if I've learned anything, I've learned that love only deepens, new ways of loving arise, and the days ahead only look more exciting.