Eight Years & 151/100

Eight years ago, clad in maternity blouse and oversized "slacks" from Bebe, I joined hands with Hal in the Little White Chapel and this song blasting from the speakers of a SONY boombox.

The song was almost over when the "reverend" took it off pause, leaving us to spend ten awkward seconds waiting for the song to return while we walked down an aisle to no music at all.

No music. No guests.

Just us and the receptionist, who we asked to be our witness. And Archer in my belly. And Fable in my leg. (The twins, I'm sure, were there as well, but they're not old enough to explain where exactly they were hiding so I'll have to quote them at a later date.)
photo moments before the "limo" picked us up to get married, 1/22/05
photo-2 "just married" and back at our MGM grand hotel room

It was not the greatest day of my life. Not even one of them. It was awkward and forced and uncomfortable and kind of terrible and a little hilarious. But mostly just kind of odd. And yet. Whenever I hear Ave Maria, I cry. I think back on that three minute ceremony and how Hal and I couldn't even make eye contact and I do the Woolf/Isaacson slide-show montage and every year it gets longer, richer, more complicated, easier to maintain, harder to maintain and more meaningful to me.

Last year on our 7th anniversary, I wrote thisWe lost the bet and won everything... But that isn't entirely true.

We lost plenty of things that day, on the stained carpet, at the alter wrapped with faux vines. And to survive a marriage, those things must be mourned. They must be reflected upon and laughed at and craved and even flirted with. They must be handled with care as opposed to destroyed. Married life is a book full of asterisks. And those asterisks have asterisks. And those asterisks have asterisks. That's how I feel. Like we're reading a book together, notating in separate margins with different color pens. And the longer we read and the more notes we have the better we will understand the story. And yes, the pages are muddy with all those fucking asterisks, man, but each one represents a thought  or idea or question that would not have been realized or asked had we not been sitting here side by side with this heavy-assed book in our lap(s).

I spent the morning going through the last seven years of blog posts to share with Hal as a sort of scrapbook of our last eight years together. And I realized while pulling some of the links that the posts I'm most proud of are about him and about us. Not as a family but as a couple. Perhaps because they were the most challenging to write. Perhaps because we have been the most challenging to write. Sometimes awkward, often times without music as we ran through our days waiting for the song to return.

The hardest moments make for the greatest stories, I remind myself every time I feel overwhelmed, scared, sad. The hardest relationships develop the best characters. And nobody has made me grow more as a person than my husband of eight years. Nobody has given me more in this life than Hal.
Thank you, Leen.

151. Ave Maria by: Franz Schubert 



Sheelah | 1:13 PM

You have some of the cutest kids I've ever seen, BUT I love this blog because of your writings on marriage. They are beautiful and romantic AND honest and real.

Meghan Elaine | 3:10 PM

I've read your blog since archer was a baby, before I had my own kids and I love reading about Hal. I preordered your book and got an even deeper glimpse into your relationship. Of course I don't really know you but I love what you share about parenting, but I love your honesty on marriage just as much.

Megan : Velveteen Mind | 3:37 PM

This is fabulous, Rebecca. Congratulations across-the-board.

Unknown | 1:06 AM

cheers to you guys!