I have a terrible fake smile that I give when I pose for pictures. Brendan always calls me out for it because he says you can tell that I'm not really happy (usually when taking pictures, I have a "hurry up and just get it done" mentality). I feel overly conscious of my expression (Is my smile too big? Are my eyes too squinted?) My favorite thing about our wedding photos is that our photographer wasn't particularly interested in having us pose; she simply captured the day and our moment to moment happiness. I've never seen myself smile more authentically.
When planning our wedding, Brendan had no interest in trying to choreograph anything. We didn't practice our first kiss or rehearse dancing to our song. His attitude was simply that this day was for us and that the only thing we should be thinking of was each other and the moment (not how whatever thing we were doing would look to other people or in photos). This is probably the best wedding advice I'd have for any bride and groom to be.
I know we were surrounded by friends and family as we shared our first dance, but in my memories, it's as if we were the only people there. When our band suggested our first dance song was "much longer than usual," and asked if we wanted a cut version, Brendan said no way. He just wanted our song, and that's what we got. It went by so fast anyway because we were having a blast and taking in that we were finally married.
I think our married lives are a lot like that too. Brendan brings out that authentic smile in me all the time, and he's helped me to learn to try and let go of what I can't control.
Brendan reminds me to do the things that make me happy. Sometimes he makes me do those things, knowing that the joy will follow. We remind each other not to focus so much on the negative. Grudges are heavy to hold and forgiveness of others (and each other) is so much easier. We approach life with the attitude that everyone is doing his or her best to get by, and we need to cut each other more slack.
Marriage is the art of trying to be your best for someone else, falling short, and still having their love and admiration anyway. No matter what, you never give up on each other. Your faith in that other person's love for you can see you through anything. I know.
Even though we've vowed to spend a lifetime together, our time here is still finite. We choose to find the good in one other, to take the fun adventure...
to ride the waves (literally and figuratively).
They say life is whatever you make of it.
I say, life is whatever you make together.
Happy four years, dear. There's no one I'd rather share a life with.