Dress: David’s Bridal here (I switched out the sash); Bridesmaid dresses: Lulu’s, similar here; Groomsman suits: Asos, almost exact here; Flowers: LA Flower Mart, wrapped by my lovely bridesmaids; Cake: My Aunt!
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Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot believe we are celebrating our first year of marriage on Sunday, October 19th. This has literally been THE best year of my life. Everyone said the first year of marriage was gonna be so hard so to be honest I was a little nervous. I kept waiting for something BIG to happen to show me what hard was. But it never came. Sure, we have had some very very very hard days. Marriage takes work and effort and selflessness. I’ve found out some things about myself, ways in which I am selfish sometimes, areas I needed to work on. But as I look back over the past year with my amazingly wonderful husband, Benjamin, my eyes are filled with happy tears. I waited so long for the perfect man for me, and life being married to him is a literal dream. He fulfills me. He completes me. He makes me feel like the only girl in the world. And that’s how it should be.
A little over four years ago, Benjamin John Bennett walked into a college Bible study I hosted at my apartment with my two roommates. I immediately noticed him. Tall, with dark hair and blue eyes. And just a little bit shy. I love meeting new people, especially if they happened to be cute boys (back then), and I introduced myself and we chatted a bit. As time went on, I found out he was only 20 (I was 24 at the time), and I proceeded to tell several of my younger friends that they should like him because he was too young for me. I was talking him up to them, telling them all the great things about him. Looking back maybe it was my way of talking him up to MYSELF. Through a series of very fortunate events, Ben dove into the shallow end of a pool at a church event and busted his head open. I say fortunate because I ended up driving him home that night, and then what started as my checking in to see how he was doing turned in to countless text conversations of us getting to know one another. We literally talked about everything and as I got to know him, I realized he was different than other 20-year-olds I knew, and this might actually work. A few weeks later we went on our first date. Dinner, the beach and a movie. It was almost the perfect night. Except. I farted. On the beach. On my first date. With the guy I was really starting to like. I literally cannot tell you how horrified I was. It was cold, and I had my knees pulled up to my chest to be cozy, and it couldn’t be stopped. We were both horrified and barely said a thing about it and just moved right along. I was worried he would think I was crazy, and that would be it. But because he’s the best, he just moved right along, and things kept progressing, and we kept going on dates. A few weeks later, because he’s the most respectful ever and because we’re maybe just a little bit old fashioned, he came over to meet my parents and ask if he could date me. And we never looked back since.
We dated for three years almost to the date before we got married. It was mostly just lots of fun. Convincing him that country music really is the best (He’s obsessed now.). Finding fun places to go to breakfast. Going to concerts and basketball games. Asking each other a million questions about everything. Staying up way past our bedtimes just to see each other a few minutes longer. About a year after we started dating, Ben told me he wanted to join the military. I was shocked. That wasn’t part of the “plan”. It didn’t fit into my timeline. And it sure as heck was nothing I ever expected I would be a part of in my relationship. As time went on, my heart softened. It took a lot of trusting God before I really became ok with it. A year after he told me, he went away to boot camp. That time in my life was probably one of the hardest I’ve ever been through. I wrote him letters every single day but in a 14 week period, I only talked (more like cried) to him for two minutes. It was so very hard. And even after he graduated boot camp, I still didn’t see him much. The next seven months were filled with ups and downs and wondering when I would be able to see him, and a four month span where I didn’t get to see him at all. Thankfully, he had joined the Marine Reserves, and as soon as he finished all of his training, he was HOME.
We had been talking a lot about marriage during the last stretch of being apart from each other, and within two months of his being home, he took me up to the spot where we had our first kiss that overlooked where we live, and asked me to marry him. In Spanish. Oh my heart. (I majored in Spanish in college so Ben would often use GoogleTranslate to send me cute texts. The proposal in Spanish? Now that’s on another level. :P). That was July 1 of 2013. We did not waste any time in planning. After being apart for so long, all we wanted was to be together so a long engagement wasn’t an option for us. We planned our wedding in three and a half months. And it could not have been more perfect. It was a simple backyard wedding with a zillion of our friends and family. All I wanted to do was marry my best friend with all of our friends and family there and dance. A lot. Fun little fact about our wedding. I decided not to do the garter and bouquet toss because I didn’t want to stop dancing. Yup. True story. Sometimes I wonder if I should have done it. But Backstreet Boys reminds me that “I Want It That Way” so who cares. 😛
Marriage is seriously such a gift. But what’s even more of a gift is the man God chose for me. He is so loving and compassionate and caring. He gets so excited about life. And about me. And oh my goodness, the way that makes me feel inside. I literally can’t explain it. He tells me all day long how much he loves me, how beautiful he thinks I am, and how excited he is about life with me. I think that’s just a tiny little glimpse of the way God feels about me. And I’m so thankful to have a man like Benjamin as my husband who reflects the character of God. He’s made me a better a person and taught me not to take life so seriously. So happy anniversary, Benjamin John Bennett. You’re my better half. I can’t wait for a lifetime of love with you.