I had NO idea what I was getting into on my wedding day
Twelve years ago, the double doors in our sweet little community church opened up, and my daddy walked me up the aisle to my groom.
It was a 5 o'clock ceremony, held on a beautiful winter's evening. The church was filled with candlelight, our favorite people and the spirit of my mom. (I mean, to pause an ongoing severe snowstorm just long enough for her eldest daughter to get married? Well, she had her hand all over that one. Thanks, mom.)
I was so excited to become Mrs. Delaney. I had only been waiting since I was 13-years-old. Leading up to the wedding, I had heard so many stories about cold feet and about second thoughts. But not this girl. I knew that this man was the one that my heart was meant to hold forever. And ever. And ever.
But 12 years later, I look back on our wedding day, and all the moments leading up to it. And do you know what I realize now?
I realize I had no idea what I was getting into. Not a clue.
I mean, I said the vows. I repeated the words that the minister asked me to. I put the ring on his finger, he put one on mine, and we kissed.
But I didn't really, REALLY know what I was signing up for.
I didn't realize that this man would truly become my best friend.
I mean, my dependable ride or die through all the moments with. A forever constant in my life.
What I did know was that it was easy to continue to love him through the easy moments but I also realized to not run away from the hard moments. Rather, to embrace and lean into those moments, hand in hand with him because it was through those moments that I learned to love him more.
I didn't realize that this man would be my strength in all the crazy, without once ever reminding me how easy his life would be without my, ahem, life baggage.
I didn't realize then that one day when we were no longer in our twenties, but rather in our thirties and forties that there would be no other place I'd rather be on a Friday night, than cuddled up on a couch with him surrounded by our babies.
OK fine maybe I did realize this, because again, I was envisioning these moments since I was 13-years-old.
...And that's not all.
On that day 12 years ago I vowed and committed to being a wife. But what does a 24-year-old know about being a wife? Nothing.
I didn't realize that being a wife meant not keeping a score card. Some days he does more; some days I do; some days we're equal. And let's be real: some days no one does anything. And that's perfectly okay.
I didn't realize that being a wife meant always putting our relationship first. Me and him. We are a team. And the more we love each other, the more this team wins at life.
I didn't realize that being a wife meant not complaining about the underwear on the bathroom floor, or the dirty jeans left on the bed. Because, at the end of the day, those things do not matter. You know what does? The fact that he hugs me and kisses the top of my head the very moment he walks in the door from work, and that he tucks in our babies every single night without fail. Underwear and dirty jeans? Well, they pale in comparison to this. Learn this lesson quick, my friends. Like, stat.
Through all the realizations and revelations, 12 years later, we are still here. Lessons learned, stories to tell, many moments of success and many moments of failure.
But the fact remains - we are still here.
...And we're just getting started.
Wherever you may be with the one that you love, my advice is to be there. Just be there. And stay there. Next to the one that holds your heart - as you hold theirs.
For you, too, just might be lucky enough to not know what you are getting in to. I'll cross my fingers for you.
Heather Delaney can be found freezing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, in Newfoundland, Canada. She is a wife, mother, sister, and nurse, who's happy place is with a pen in one hand, and a cold coffee in the other. You can follow her adventures of motherhood, wellness, and positive living either on Facebook, or on Instagram at @thelifejoybuilt.