I look back on that day with so much love & happiness in my heart. Everything was perfect, the dream Christmas wedding come true. We even got the snow on our wedding eve, which made for the most beautiful pictures in front of that red barn, but it was freezing! Our wedding party were quite the troopers. Even the DJ getting into a car accident and arriving at our ceremony late couldn’t ruin the day! 😂 At one point during the reception I vividly remember turning to Kevin, looking around together and saying how amazed we were at all the people that gathered for us & all the love in the room. I remember there being so much laughter everywhere! I said it in a previous post but I’m still convinced Anna & Sean had the best maid of honor & best man speeches. Cowboy swag, right Anna?! My Dad breaking out a Notre Dame shirt in solidarity was quite the hat tip. Moe shouting out, “he’s a punter!” when my Dad called Kevin an athlete in his speech. Our wedding party starting a ‘Beef & Hart’ chant as we were introduced into the reception. Our wedding party dance to Chicken Fried. Kevin stepping on my dress during our first dance and then my Dad doing the same thing. I almost went down twice! Kevin’s neighbor thankfully fixed my dress with a few safety pins. We have the most amazing memories from that day. Can’t forget Moe playing taps for Kevin right before the ceremony, jerk! 😂 We were surrounded by so many incredible people that day.
Weddings are just one day though (although I’d love for a party like that every so often!). Marriage is what it’s really about and I don’t think I knew anything about the true meaning of marriage until 10.20.16. Kevin and I have had our ups and downs and things to endure as everyone has before then, but what I’ve seen in Kevin since has changed my view on what marriage is forever. When we took that vow of in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, I could’ve never imagined this would be our time of sickness, our bad time. During our ceremony, part of Pastor Coffey’s message was being willing to have a love strong enough to persevere.He couldn’t even know how close I hold on to those words now. How perfect! Every day it’s a battle to persevere but even as I reflect on the past two months, the first memories that come to mind aren’t the moments of despair, they are the moments with Kevin where we’ve found laughter or a smile in the hardest moments. My favorite sadly being right after surgery, when I was still coming too and Kevin shared Hallie’s footprints and handprints with me, I’ll never forget that moment. I’ll never forget the strength and sadness in Kevin’s eyes but mostly the pride he had in sharing the sweet memory of our daughter with me. Kevin has been my rock, my provider, my source of laughter. He gave up being my medicine dispenser after taking an elbow to the forehead one 3am wake up call. He has been a husband forced to do things and go through things that no one should ever have too and yet he does it like a pro. It’s a whole new kind of love I have for Kevin, it’s an appreciation I can’t even describe. The fourth year of our marriage brought quite the roller coaster of emotions and while the loss of Hallie is a hole in our hearts we will never fully heal from, I know we will be better for all of this. I have no idea how or why but I continue to trust that even our 5th year will start to show us moments of hope. And knowing us, we will find a way to make the most of the year. You learn a whole new perspective on life with cancer, our goal this year is beat this first, than make the most of every opportunity. Life’s too short for anything less. And we will continue to try and make Hallie proud in all that we do.
We received an incredible anniversary gift from my parents – a photo shoot before I lose my hair. Assist goes to Maureen, a teacher from Benet that has been so generous to us, who hooked my parents up with this amazing photographer Jeremiah. The pictures are amazing. Snow, again! And Paisley steals the show in one, of course, while Toews is perfectly posed. Great memories to have. Aren’t these incredible?! Thank you Mom & Dad!!