Eight years ago, we woke up today on what felt like the biggest day of our lives. After spending a year of high school, six years long distance dating, and one year of living together - we were fi.na.lly. getting married. I was putting on my white dress and you were pretending to be super cool and calm.
Eight years ago felt like it was going to be the biggest, best day of our whole lives.
And it was big
and it was great.
but certainly not best.
because after eight years of being your wife, its nearly impossible to choose the best day....
there was the next morning, waking up as husband and wife and confessing that although the wedding day had been incredible, it was much better to just be the two of us together.
then there was that evening watching the sun go down on the catamaran on our honeymoon in Jamaica.
there was the morning that I tapped you on the shoulder and let out a yelp of joy while holding a positive pregnancy test in front of your face.
there was the afternoon we signed our names a million times and received the keys to our first home and we ate dinner that night in our new place and since we had not a single thing moved yet, including plates or cups, we ate the pizza over the box in the middle of that wide, hollow kitchen.
there was that night in the car over to the hospital when my water broke two weeks early and we kept repeating with giddy disbelief, 'can you believe we are seriously going to have a baby right now?!'
or that morning that they handed us that tiny baby boy and we could barely believe that we were lucky enough to finally earn the names Mum and Dad.
the day that we moved back 'home' to our house on the mountaintop and slept, all three of us together, on that air mattress on the middle of the living room floor for a week and half while we painted the upstairs bedrooms.
then there was that day at the hospital where they gave us the baby that looked like a real life angel and we both gasped in surprise at how we already recognized her and how lucky we were to have a sibling for our first baby.
and the day we held a midnight celebration in our kitchen with our two kids over take-out Chinese food because Coach Daddy's team won their first game.
there was that time that we giggled endlessly while we waited all day in the delivery room for that serene and peaceful baby to arrive and then her brother and sister carried in a birthday cake as big as their heads - well past their bedtimes, and none of us could believe how lucky we were to get to keep that squishy baby.
And the day the school bus pulled away with our first baby on it headed off to kindergarten and Gemma and I both broke down in full on wails and tears and you scooped us both up with a knot in your own throat all of us so desperately proud and astonished that time passes so quickly right before our own eyes.
there was the day that you stayed by my side as I waited impatiently for the baby who had his own unique, serious little look - breaking that Studer mold and who looked up at us with big, wide eyes and stole the hearts of his siblings - of all of us - with his sweet, soft neck.
and within most of the days, there have been some best memories, sometimes even just a best moment that shines a light on this twisting and winding path of being married.
all the meals we've shared, and stolen glances over the tops of naughty but hilarious children, and hands held on top of the console, and the waking up on the couch together, and the kisses good morning, and goodbye, and welcome home, and to the chorus of the kids shouting "kiss! kiss! kiss!"and sentences we finish for each other, and the stories we tell in tandem, and the adventures in giving and kindness, and all the times our friends and family say our names like they are actually one name brandonandtab or tabandbrandon.
There have certainly been some hard times, eight years of marriage and life will always have those moments to hand out - and I'm grateful that we both try to take those difficult times as they come; keeping our sights on the horizon because at the end of all the days, we've promised each other for better or worse.
yes, there have been bad days, but far more often there have been better days.
and i believe there are so many more best days that we can't even anticipate yet.
how much i look forward to later today, tomorrow, next week, years from now
simply knowing that I get to spend those unknown best days with you.
happy eight years, bud.
i love you.