Here are some of my favorite wedding pictures by Kim Lowery Photography.
Our first year of marriage was everything you could hope for. Unlike so many couples, we immediately 'clicked'....all of the changes of moving in together, cleaning up after each other, making decisions together....easy, easy, easy. It made me grateful for those 3.5 years of phone conversations (due to the fact that our universities were four hours apart) to practice communication and to discuss those big issues that needed to be covered before marriage.
Despite how well we got along, our first year was not without challenges. We quickly learned that the Hollywood version of American-citizen+marriage-to-alien=immediate-greencard was a bunch of crock. Michael needed a greencard and a renewed visa in order to be able to stay in the US. He also needed to get it VERY quickly so that he could travel to Mexico (studying abroad was mandatory for an architecture major.) Months went by, and we were still waiting for the greencard. We were worried that Michael would not be able to go on the trip and thus, be unable to graduate. We also worried that he would have to self-deport because his visa and passport were on the verge of expiring.
After many prayers, a lot of money, and TONS of paperwork, things worked out miraculously well. The Mexico trip was cancelled because of the swine flu - instead, Michael was able to travel around the US for five weeks (no passport required!) We knew he needed a new passport before the beginning of the new year (and there was no way he was going to get his US passport before then since he would need to apply for citizenship) so we managed to get him a British passport through family heritage. It came in on Christmas Eve...six days before we HAD to have it!
Michael and I gained a lot of confidence in our marriage after all of that. We figured that if we had lived apart more than three years while we dated, moved in together after marriage and adjusted our lives around each other, spent five weeks apart while he traveled the US, and went through the stress of the greencard-passport-visa-deportation stuff; we could make it through ANYTHING!
Looking back at that, I laugh at our ignorance. God was only preparing us for what we would face together with Samuel's early birth.
This last year and half has been full of challenges for us. We lived apart for four months while I stayed in Little Rock with Samuel and Michael stayed in Bentonville to work. For the next six months, we both struggled to deal with the aftermath of our NICU journey, as well as learning to take care of an exceptionally needy newborn.
But as hard as it was on our marriage, I'm grateful that we went through it together. We have grown up tremendously. We have learned a great deal about each other that otherwise would have taken years. We've learned to support, encourage, comfort, share responsibility, and love more than ever before.
Michael, I'm so grateful for you. Our happy little family is more than I could have asked for. It's been an adventurous three years, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Here's to us Babe!