In honor of Mike’s and my upcoming one-year anniversary (what?!) on August 15, 2009, I would like to spend the next week reminiscing on the days, the moments, the memories leading up to our wedding.

My goal is to write a post each day this next week.  It will begin today and end next Saturday, our anniversary!  We’ll see if I’m able to do it.  I hope you enjoy, and that you know in advance that there is no way to do the week before our wedding justice in words, pictures, or video.  But I will try. 🙂

I’d actually like to begin by saying that this idea required me to dig through my closet to find the journal that I kept up until August 12, 2008.  It was hidden below a basket of hats, a box of ticket stubs/cards/other memorobilia, and the Chile scrapbook Martha and I tentatively kept up with during our time there. I enjoyed skimming its pages, as the words reminded me again of the joys, struggles, and all other mysteries that encompassed our engagement year.

And then I flipped to August 10th, and to my dismay there was no entry.  Boo.

So, I suppose I’ll be doing this by memory.

***

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 found me in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The city where I was born; the city where I would be married.

I’d left Wilmington the day before – Saturday, the 9th.  I’d had two amazing last days in Wilmington.  Thursday evening had been my last normal night with my roommates, and we did what we do best: we ate, we lounged on our picnic table in our kitchen talking about anything and everything, and then we spontaneously decided to see a movie at Mayfaire late that night in our pajamas.  Then I spent the last night in Wilmington with Mike, the roomies, and a few other friends at Carolina Beach.  We roasted all kinds of food and played a hilarious “telephone-shrades” game.  I didn’t camp on the beach the entire night, and therefore got to sleep one more time with Martha in her wonderfully comfortable bed, located at the time in our house where she’d stayed over the summer.  It was early in the morning on Saturday when I awoke and left town, so that Mom and I could spend the day in Charlotte running errands.  Once I arrived, we tackled those errands until we were left shell-shocked at the number of things we had accomplished and still had yet to accomplish.  We required a cold pop apiece poured over crushed ice from Cookout to revive us, and we had an excellent time gulping them down and then continuing on our way.  I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I was so lucky to have Mom around, who goes at the same pace that I do and who offers the best advice and encouragement.

And so Sunday arrived.  I don’t think we actually did much that day.  I remember going to church, and thinking that it was the last time I would be attending church as a single girl.  I had a habit of doing that the entire week – or perhaps month – before the wedding. It was as bad as running around the house on New Year’s day, yelling, “I was the first to hug Dad this year! I was the first to turn on this lamp this year! I was the first to touch the toilet this year!”  Which, can I just add as a side note, I am the first and last person who will ever be in my apartment at 6:53pm on August 10th, 2009.  I’m just saying.

Mike called me Sunday afternoon, and we ended up getting into a difficult discussion on the phone.  I have a feeling it became more than it needed to be for two reasons: 1) We were, as we still are, learning how to communicate and also read each other well, and 2) The discussion was on the phone.  Never an easy thing for us.  But we worked through it that evening.  Yay. 🙂

And the highlight of my day was driving to Barnes and Nobles with Stefanie!  I needed a journal, and one of my greatest delights is journal shopping.  It takes a ridiculous amount of time and a lot of critiquing of many kinds before I can settle on one.  And this journal had a particularly important task to take on – it would be the journal that would take me into married life and well into, if not beyond, the first year.  (As it stands, this journal will, in fact, extend beyond the one-year anniversary.  It’s huge.)  I found a lovely journal that fulfilled all my requirements, and Stef and I rode home blasting songs from our childhood (you know, like ones from Steven Curtis Chapman and Amy Grant and Billy Joel and from various musicals).  The sunset that night was gorgeous, and I felt a delightfully curious blend of contentment and exhilerating excitement and anticipation all rolled into one.  I had no idea how I was “supposed” to feel as a bride-to-be, and so I simply tried to soak in every happy emotion I could, ENJOYING every moment as so many lovingly told me to do.  That simple advice made such a difference for me.

And so, Sunday passed.  5 days to our wedding.

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