Yesterday was me and Shanen’s one year aniversary.
It had us doing a lot of reflecting on life, and the incredible ‘wedding week’ we had a year ago, which started out with a blessing ceremony here in the UK; and then a group of family and friends flying across the ocean, to come together in Charleston, South Carolina- my hometown- to celebrate with us as we were united in marriage.
Me and Shanen never do anything traditionally- and we wanted to make our wedding our own; to us, marriage is about complete unity- and we wanted our wedding day to reflect this. Not just unity for me and him, but unity in all of us there- as people came from 3 different countries, and several other different cultures and states; we wanted the whole day to be a representation and celebration that we are all unified and coming together as one, in the spirit of God- and his incredible love.
For that’s what the day truly was. If it was just me and Shanen, the wedding would not have come together.
We had people cooking, decorating, giving us their home and land for the wedding, and rooms for guests; people filming; singing; playing instruments… people photographing, and doing several behind-the-scenes things to get the day ready and in order. The whole entire wedding was all done in the love and unity from our friends and family, and that’s what made this day so special to us.
It was truly the best day of our lives.
It was amazing having friends and family from the UK and Germany actually be in my beloved hometown, meeting my friends from America. My heart had never been so happy as I looked around and saw the mix of faces; especially when Shanen’s family was first meeting mine.
The week honestly was the most stressful week of my life and had many ups and downs. Poor Shanen even got really badly stung by a jellyfish at my favorite beach! But even of all the stress of trying to coordinate airport pick ups, cars, houses, the to-do list, sight seeing, and our wedding day; Even though it came to be the most stressful week I’ve had, it was also the best week of my life, and I would gladly do it all over again in every way! (Except I would tell Shanen not to go swimming on the day he was stung by the jellyfish!)
The week went by too fast, and it was suddenly our wedding day- it was as if this amazing week was all just to lead up to the best day, being the first day of me and Shanen’s new life together as One.
Last night we re-watched the Facebook Live video from that day (We did this so our friends and family overseas or in America that couldn’t be with us could still virtually be with us).
It brought tears to my eyes seeing all my friends and family together again, and even hearing the locus and forest sounds sing around us.
As we remembered the day, and listed to our vows again- I started to reflect on the last year, and how much of an adventure it has been. And how, just like that wedding week, even in the difficult times of this past year, the good times far outweigh the bad, and it has been one of the best years of my life in many ways.
Starting off with the Honeymoon, as we took a road trip back down to Florida to stay one night at Disney, and enjoy the fireworks from our hotel.
Then boarding a cruise ship to the beautiful Bahamas
Coming back to the UK, and taking weekend hiking trips in England- just thankful to be living together as a married couple, and able to simply do the things we love, and finding adventure wherever we can.
Having date nights in, and watching films on the laptop as we enjoy our home cooked curries. (this is probably one of our most frequent date nights).
I’m so thankful to marry a man who loves garlic and onions in food as much as I do! 🙂
I had to return to the states for three weeks in December to re-apply for a visa and wait on a decision. That was an intense three weeks- but I was so happy to see my family again, at my most favorite time of the year; along with taking long walks on the beach in the evenings when I needed to clear my head from the worry of not being approved. Those were bittersweet walks.
I made it home to my love for Christmas Day, and my gift was a trip to Leeds to see Cirque Du Soleil (Something I’ve Dreamed of seeing my whole life).
We spent new years in Scotland, hiking, and enjoying the fireworks in Edinburgh.
In March we flew back to the States to go to Disney World with my Family!
Me and my family are HUGE Disney fans… okay not just fans, but we are obsessed. Moana is my spirit princess. My sister Morgan is Ariel. We each have our own Disney Character we relate to- and I’ve always called Shanen my Aladdin. (Ironically I always said I would marry a man who looked like Aladdin- and he really does!)
We got to see the fireworks once again, reminding us of the Honeymoon- but this time we were actually in the park, and able to fully enjoy them!
Below is my parents in Epcots UK, enjoying a Guiness and standing in front of an English Telephone booth! I was trying to pretend they were in England, but the sunshine makes it unconvincing. 😉
Shanen flew back and I stayed behind to bring the last member of our happy little family back to the UK with us… our beloved KuttaBear! He finally made the big trip across the Atlantic, and we are so happy to have him with us, completing our little family (for now).
(above – me and kuttabear with jetlag in Amsterdam)
This summer we took Kutta on his first hike in Wales…
…and took some family photo at the top of a mountain.
It’s been an amazing year. These pics of course are our highlights, and next weekend we will be taking another trip together – all three of us – to Scotland to celebrate our one year anniversary.
We ended our first year in an amazing way- by celebrating two good friends here in the UK becoming one. As we dressed up to go to a beautiful wedding, it just reminded us even more of the excitement we each had within us a year ago, as we prepared for our own wedding day.
But as good as the wedding day was, and as amazing as our of our adventures so far have been- I wouldn’t want to go back… because life is about living, and I know there is an adventure in every day- even if that adventure is just being us in a normal day. I don’t believe in the good ole days- even tho the past does hold good times and great memories- along with great wisdom. I believe in our future and all it holds- because I believe the best is always yet to come.
Jeremiah 29:11 (God always has a plan, and hope for our future)