A year ago today, I woke up at 6am, unable to go back to sleep, even though it was a Saturday and I could have used the rest. I was at my parents’ house, and I went downstairs to make some coffee and found my parents already awake, coffee already brewing. (I guess the early rising runs in the family.) For the first few hours of the morning, things were normal- my dad and I went and got pastries, my mom and I went for a walk, I lingered over the paper- and then, suddenly, it was eleven o’clock and it was time to go to the hairdresser and then get makeup and after that I didn’t come up for air again or get a moment to think until 2am, and we were married. I remember little snippets of that day really clearly: John calling to say the car that was supposed to take them to the church was nowhere to be found so they might be late (AWESOME); walking down the aisle out of the church; running in the pouring rain from the reception to the hotel next door and arriving soaking wet at the hotel bar we’d invaded to keep the party going. But for the most part it’s a big blur of happy and excited tempered by the tug of knowing I didn’t have time to sit down and really catch up with the people there who I hadn’t seen in ages, these people who had traveled so far to be with us, and the urgent sense that I had to drink it all in, enjoy every moment of it, because it was going to be over faster than I could imagine. I am pretty bad at sappy “what this person means to me” writing. I tend to lapse into trite predictability, and can’t seem to find a way to capture, in words, the way someone’s presence has changed my life. People seem to expect a good moment, a story of “My wedding was the best moment of my life because….” but that’s not really the way I think of it. Our wedding was a great party, which was important to us- we wanted everyone to have a great time, to drink, to dance. And it was amazing to stand up in front of the people who are most important in our lives and say, officially, “see? This one who I told you was different, was better? I was right. This is right. This is what we’re choosing for ourselves, to commit ourselves to each other for life. How great is that?” But the truth is that it didn’t take a wedding to make our relationship permanent. Shortly after I first met John my life shifted, settled, got better. It’s not that there was a magic spark moment when I knew I’d found “the one,” but more of a jointly-understood realization that this was something bigger, and a growing into that together. From very early on, John and I started living our lives as a “we.” We didn’t stop doing the things we wanted, or become attached at the hip- heck, I moved to Massachusetts in the very first months of our relationship and we lived apart for a year- but it was just always there, we always knew in that sort of heart of hearts way, that we would end up together, sharing our lives, permanently. When we got engaged, I insisted that I didn’t want a long drawn-out engagement. Though my mom probably would have preferred waiting longer, would have loved a late spring wedding on the patio at the country club, we chose a date seven months away, in November, the tail end of fall, when the warmer air is giving way to the colder and the last of the leaves are clinging to the trees. As excited as I was to have a wedding, I was much more excited to just be married already, to get on with the business of building our lives together. Planning a wedding felt like being on hold- waiting for the real life to start. We’ve spent a year in the real life now, made our way through a winter into a spring, survived a summer of living apart and back into my favorite season, fall- and it’s hard to believe, frankly, that a year has gone by already. But it has, and tonight we’ll crack a $20 bottle of wine and eat the year-old hunk of our awesome wedding cake that’s been hanging out in our freezer and our etiquette-book defined tenure as “newlyweds” will expire and we’ll keep on living, together, as we’ve known we were meant to do since we first met six years ago. It’s shaping up to be pretty great. Happy Anniversary, John. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.