Brandon,

It’s been three years since we promised each other a lifetime of love and adventure together. Three years. It seems like a lifetime ago, but I know this is only the beginning. Three years ago we were babies; clueless about the future, about what all was to come, but full of excitement and hope. Looking back, I can’t even begin to fathom how much we’ve learned over the last three years, and how much we still have left to figure out. About marriage, about each other, about finances, about communicating, about arguing, about everything. If I could go back to the morning of our wedding and write you a letter, knowing what I know now, this is what I’d say:

 

My Love,

Today is the beginning. The start of a beautiful, and sometimes challenging, journey. Later today I will stand across from you and promise to love you forever, and to never lose my sense of humor and adventure. But before we start this crazy adventure, there’s a few things I want you to know about what you’re signing up for….

1. You should learn how to cook. QUICKLY. It’s not that I’m the worst chef in the world, it’s just that I don’t enjoy it and would much rather eat out if given the choice. Okay, and because I burn or overcook nearly everything I touch…

2. I’m moody. And emotional. Some days I will cry for no reason at all. And some days I’ll be the kind of grumpy that you will just want to stay away from. I feel everything fully. When those days come, just remind me that you love me.

3. I’m going to make you angry on occasion. And you’ll do the same to me. We’ll get on each others nerves. You’ll never quite get the hang of closing the kitchen cupboards, or picking up your socks, and I’ll never keep the kitchen table clear of mail and clutter, or put the laundry away the same day it’s done. We’ll get into fights. We’ll yell. We’ll say things we don’t mean. We’ll wish we can take them back. And then we’ll talk about it, try to learn from it, and move on. We’ll repeat the same mistakes over and over, but they’ll become less frequent as time passes. The lessons are learned slowly, after repeated reminders. We’ll never stop trying.

4. Communication is HARD. It won’t be until year two of our marriage when we discover The 5 Love Languages, and realize that the way we feel loved is not the same. You are all Acts of Service + Gifts, and I’m Words of Affirmation + Physical Touch. You like tangible reminders that I’m thinking of you: your favorite cookies, help with the dishes, tickets to a show. I like verbal and physical reminders that you’re thinking of me: reminding me you love me (repeatedly), telling me when you’re proud of me, or when you think I’m beautiful, holding my hand whenever possible, cuddling with me while we binge watch Netflix. These things won’t come naturally to us; we want to show love in the same way we want to receive love. But we’ll work on this too, and over time it’ll get easier.

5. Together we’ll develop a sense of wanderlust that we never could have dreamed of before. Travel and exploration will become a top priority. You’ll develop a deep love for hiking, and I’ll try my best to keep up as you climb mountains. I’ll find a way to steal the window seat nearly every time we fly; and you’ll give me a hard time about it, but let me have it anyways. We’ll spend hours dreaming of the places we’ll go, planning out our routes and adventures for trips that aren’t even close to a reality yet. We’ll never have less than two upcoming adventures on our radar.

6. Success will take on a new meaning for us. The things we used to think were impossible will turn into a reality. Within two years we’ll be working six jobs between the two of us, hustling late into the night to chase our dreams. We’ll own two businesses, you’ll be a partial owner / shareholder in another business (with huge clients like NBA teams!), we’ll both start new jobs that we absolutely love, and believe it or not you will join me in the photography business shooting weddings!

7. Because of our intense wanderlust and pursuit of success in our careers, we’ll put off having kids. I know, that sounds crazy today! We’ve planned on starting a family early on in our marriage, but as the first few years pass it just won’t feel like the right time. We’ll have numerous conversations about it, and each time we’ll decide that while we want a family someday, we’re just not ready yet. We’ll enjoy the heck out of being an aunt and uncle, and spend lots of time discussing our plans for when that day does come for us.

8. We’ll buy a house!!! And new cars. And get a puppy! There will be days when we want to get rid of said puppy; DON’T DO IT! Give him time, he’s worth it. Although, if you remember, remind me not to put our wedding guest book on display in the living room; it might not survive the puppy’s early days… We’ll buy a house and cars with kids in mind. We’ll ask questions like: “Is there a room for a nursery?” and “Will a car seat, the dog, and groceries fit in here?” You’ll spend the first month in our home walking around saying things like, “This is MY kitchen!” and “This is MY porch!” because you’ll be so excited and amazed that everything is OURS.

9. Believe it or not, but sooner rather than later we’ll trade in Bud Light and cheap vodka for red wine, craft beer, and expensive whiskey. You’re about to become REAL picky with your alcohol. Oh, and by the way, you’re allergic to some whiskeys... But because you’ll refuse to give them up, you’ll just always carry Benadryl pills in your wallet.

10. Marriage isn’t going to be as easy as we think it will be, but it will be a million times more awesome than we can even imagine. We’ve got hard days, sleepless nights, and lots of challenges ahead of us. But we also have countless adventures, endless laughter, huge dreams, and SO much love in store for us. And the best part is that when the hard days come, we won’t face them alone. From this day forward we are in this together, and that’s the most amazing feeling in the whole world.

 

I love you more than I can even put into words, and as the years pass I’ll only love you more. Thank you for being my best friend. I can’t wait to see what else the future has in store for us! CHEERS to Three Years babe!

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