Happily ever after

Just a warning. Grab a cup of coffee or tea before reading. It’s a little longer than my normal posts.

Did you ever have a really great day? You know, one of those days that you say you’ll remember forever. I did. It was 16 years ago today. Of course I’ve had many great days since then but this was the day that I married my best friend. He’s a great one. A keeper. And we had THE wedding. It was huge. It was an event. And it was my favorite wedding ever.

Sometimes the subject of the size of my wedding comes up & I have to giggle. I’m always afraid that people won’t believe me. At the time, our church had a capacity of about 600 people. We filled it. We even had to put out extra chairs to seat everyone. We had dancers, special music for my cousin that had passed away a few months before, candlelight, a song from my parents and then a huge party after! The evening was amazing. But you know what the best part was? It was the boy waiting for me at the altar. 

I met Ken when I was 11 and he was 14. It was not love at first sight. I was just entering middle school so I really wasn’t looking for a husband at the time. But we quickly became friends and grew up in church together. He never dated much and I loved every boy who came into sight. And then…one day things changed. Ken moved from goofy friend to goofy boyfriend material. Not sure what happened, but he started catching my eye. It felt like it took forever for him to notice me. Yes, he knew who I was but had no clue that I wanted to become his girlfriend. Not long after, things changed again. He noticed me. He had that spark in his eye and eventually told me that he (gulp) loved me. It was the best Valentine’s Day ever! And from then on, it was heaven.

At the time, I was 15 and he was 18. I’m not sure what gave him this idea since we grew up in church together and my parents knew him quite well, but he asked my dad for permission to date me. My dad told him no. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16 but Ken was more than welcome to come hang out with our family. And that’s what he did! (I told you he was a great one.) We dated like this for the entire year. Looking back, I’m sure this is why we’re both so close to my parents now. We saw movies with them, went to dinner with them, went to Disney with them, had cookouts with them. Whatever my family was doing, Ken was right there with us. They were great – not your typical parents. Someday, I’ll have to tell you all about my parents. But today is about Ken. 

Four years later we got engaged. Since I still lived at home, he went to my dad and asked for permission (although I’m sure he would have asked my dad if I had lived 3,000 miles away from home). This time my dad said yes. And so did I! I’ve heard people say that we were so young to be getting married at 20 and 23. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just knew he was the one. I knew I’d be spending the rest of my life with him. I knew I’d have his children one day. I just knew. 

We spent almost a year planning the wedding. It was my best day. Almost everything little detail went just as planned. We had the prettiest ceremony with the most beautiful decorations (thanks to my parents) and the biggest bash of a reception I’ve ever attended! It was the perfect start to our perfect marriage. OK, maybe it’s not perfect. Maybe I’d like him to take the trash out without being reminded and I’m sure he’d rather I kill bugs on my own by now. But as a whole, it’s perfect. Someone told me a little while ago it was evident that we were happy. That might have been the nicest thing they could ever have said to me. I’m so happy that even other people can see it. I don’t have to convince anyone that I’m still in love after so many years. 

So today’s photo is my wedding shoes. I loved these shoes until they gave me blisters. That was probably my fault for wearing them so long so I won’t hold it against them. These are the shoes that ushered me into my Cinderella life. These are the shoes I was wearing when I said, “I do.” These shoes took me from Amber Cunningham to Amber Long.

Happy anniversary, honey!

125/365:

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