To my husband on his birthday

Writing our wedding vows felt like an enormous task in the weeks before the wedding. How do I put into words the promises I want to make to the love of my life? Our time has been short, but our world has been deep.

But the words, once I let them out of my mind, flowed like the most natural story I could tell.

You are my story.

I still cry when I read them, just as I did when I read them to you on our wedding day. Happy birthday to you. I love you for all of the forevers. 

"To my person, my human, my best friend, my adventure squad, my almost-husband, my leader of House Boopsnoot, the father of my son (who I’m told is already growing inside my body), to my Todd – T-O-D-D:

Once upon a time, nearly a year ago, we stood on the shore of this very lake and said 'I love you' for the first time. I felt exhilarated. I felt safe. I felt home. I promise to love you with that exhilaration and safety and comfort all the days of my life. 

When we started this journey, I didn't know what adventures lay ahead. I simply awaited them with wonder, knowing you'd be alongside for every one. And you have been. I promise to await adventure alongside you with the same wonder all the days of my life."

"For the last 405 days, you have given me brand new reasons to smile and hope and love. I counted. I am loved by many people – most of whom are here today – but you have made me understand love in a way that no one ever has. You love me, and I am lucky. I promise to acknowledge and appreciate and accept that love all the days of my life. 

I love you, and I am lucky. I loved you before I had the words to tell you, and you beat me to it. I love you for encouraging me to be brave when I'm scared. I love you for inviting me into your world and for accepting me into Eden's world. I love you for accepting Luna and Chicken as your own world, even though you have no choice. I love you for encouraging me to be happy when I'm sad, relaxed when I'm anxious, and calm when I'm angry. But let's not forget I still love you when I'm sad, when I'm anxious, and when I'm angry. We're not perfect. We've been all of those things at ourselves, at each other, and at the world. But I love you most when we exit the other side of those emotions together with kindness, with compassion, and with love. I promise to be kind to you, to be compassionate with you, and to be loving of you all the days of my life." 

"Chicken promises to puke less often on the bed and Luna promises to lick you with less intensity. They're both bad at promises, though, I'm just warning you. Plus they're not here, so we can't take their vows seriously right now.

You have given me more gifts in this life than I could imagine. Not tangible gifts, though those are pleasant, but experiences. There is one gift you have given me that can never be matched -- the gift of motherhood. Becoming a mother will be my greatest adventure, however exhausting and terrifying it may be. Becoming a mother to our son will be my most cherished adventure. An adventure I've wanted my whole life. An adventure that waited for you to arrive. The day we meet our son, our little human, my heart and my life will expand in immeasurable ways, and I will love him and I will love you with an intensity I can already feel. Our family – you, me, Eden, Luna, and Chicken – will grow by one, but my soul will grow larger than this life. I will be the best mom – with your love, with your faith, and with your trust – all the days of my life."

"'Everything is figure-outable' we told each other on that very first day. And we did it. We figured it out. We moved mountains. In every way, we moved mountains. Actual mountains, the obstacles before us, the challenges underfoot. I promise to always move mountains with you, and to climb them, all the days of my life."

"When you first told me you loved me, I knew it would be the last time. Not the last time I would hear the words from you, but the last time I would hear the words, as you meant them, from anyone else. I found my life's great love. I will love no one the way I love you. And when you asked me to be your wife, I knew it was the first day of the rest of my life. Being your wife will be an honor all the days of my life. 

Thank you for this adventurous life."