Saturday, January 28, 2012

You Make It Real


"You Make It Real" - James Morrison


We make them each and every day.  
Some take countless hours.  Some are made easier with support from others. 
And some...

are instant.

You just know.

Today, I think back to exactly 3 years ago...

There was an ice storm that decided to hit in the early morning hours.
And Steve and I had somewhere to be.
Somewhere important.
I remember that slow-as-a-snail drive - going 15 miles per hour almost the whole way to the airport.
What would normally take an hour...taking just under three.
Nothing could stop us.

At around 5am, we arrived.  On just a couple hours of sleep, but all smiles and laughs on the bus ride to the plane.

We were so happy.

We made it.

We boarded the plane and the pilot informed us it'd be quite a few hours before we'd be able to take off.
We I got some rest.

Sometime after 11am, we arrived at our destination.

Las Vegas

We were so happy.

We made it.

Our hotel room wasn't quite ready yet.  We could have cared less.  We hopped into the first taxi available.
And after some paperwork, a couple of signatures and another quick taxi ride...

We were standing, facing one another in a tiny wedding chapel.
 No one but us 
and a sweet old man with simple but meaningful words, standing before us...

I can remember perfectly...

The magic of the adrenaline running through my veins. 
Steve inches across from me - in sneakers and "dad jeans" (you know the kind).
The single red rose that sweet old man handed me to hold.
Nervously laughing.  Shaking with pure joy.
And then, we were asked to hold hands.
The vows began.  Steve went first.  Somehow, I wasn't crying...
Steve went to speak, but flowing tears came first.  Mine followed instantly.
Words Vows were exchanged.

We were so happy.

We made it.

This was me.  On the afternoon of January 28, 2009...
Arriving back to our hotel.
Truly feeling like a new woman.  In my $4.48 Target velour sweatshirt that I said, "I do" in.
I was on a cloud. 

You would think, with my obsession and deep love for photographs and capturing memories...
we would have purchased the photos that were taken in that tiny chapel.
We didn't.
We didn't want them.  We didn't need them.

You would think, that with my obsession and deep love for "getting fancy"...
that I would have adorned myself with a glitzy ensemble and sparkly accessories.
I didn't want that.  I didn't need that.

My Mom and I recently talked about the difference between good and bad pride...
That it's healthy to be proud of yourself.
But not boast of yourself.

I'm proud of this day and all that it taught me.

It taught me that true beauty is the way you feel inside.
That you can feel more beautiful than you've ever felt in a $5 sweatshirt, holding a tacky rose, across from your love (in dad jeans).

It taught me that love doesn't have to be so complicated.
It taught me the definition of pure bliss...

That a city as fast and happenin' as Las Vegas, can make the world slow down for a couple of kids in love.

It taught me the strength of memories like that, don't need pictures.

And above all,
It taught us to focus on what's truly important at the end of the day.

I have a confession...
I didn't keep up my end of the deal mentioned in my last post - you know...the getting more sleep part?
I didn't get much last night.
But I'm so very grateful for little sleep at this moment.

Because I have one more confession...
I'm proud.
I'm proud of today- January 28, 2012.
Staying up and writing this post...Reflecting on this day 3 years ago...
I think it just did something amazing for me.
No, you know what? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say,

 It did do something amazing for me.
For Steve and I.

The tears began a few paragraphs back.  They quickly became so intense that I knew...
These words I'm typing...they've been locked deep inside all this time... patiently waiting their turn to make it out.
Out, where I can see them clearly and not just hear myself say them.  Maybe they needed to be spelled out in front of me.

How many times do I proudly say at the end of the day,

Love is all that matters.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

I say it every single day.

I think thought I did my best.
But ya know, I think it was meant to be...for these thoughts to just pour out the way they did...
Really hit me where it counts. 
And shine a spotlight on words I need to trust in.
The very words I told myself when I made one of the easiest decisions of my life...

Focus.  Truly focus.
  Don't be scared of change. 

Don't be scared of doing things "differently."
Don't be scared to be yourself.
Be true, always.

Focus little on those little details...

Big on that one big detail that matters.

And watch where it takes you...

Like it did 3 years ago...

It will always remain dear to me - That day and all that it stands for. 

For, it is three years later.  Three years of memories that have led us to this very day.

And, I'm so happy.

We made it. 

I made a decision.  This one - I am sticking to.  This, I promise myself.  I promise my husband...

Next weekend, we truly begin taking in the next few pages of  THIS chapter.
We will give ourselves time while still making progress.
And when the fears set in, the questions become too many, and we start to focus too much on those little details...
I will remind myself of this day -
3 years ago and today.
And that, at the end of the day...

It only truly is that big detail...


pure, not as complicated as you think


"You Make It Real" - James Morrison
There's so much craziness surrounding me,
There's so much going on it gets hard to breathe
When all my faith has gone, you bring it back to me,
You make it real for me

When I'm not sure of my priorities,
When I've lost sight of where I'm meant to be
And like holy water washing over me,
You make it real for me

And I am running to you baby,
You are the only one who saves me
That's why I've been missing you lately,
'Cause you make it real for me

When my head is strong, but my heart is weak,
I'm full of arrogance and uncertainty
When I can't find the words, you teach my heart to speak,
You make it real for me

And I am running to you baby,
You are the only one who saves me
That's why I've been missing you lately,
'Cause you make it real for me

Everybody's talking in words I don't understand,
You've got to be the only one who knows just who I am
And you're shining in the distance,
I hope I can make it through
'Cause the only place that I want to be is right back home with you

I guess there's so much more I have to learn,
But if you're here with me, I know which way to turn
You always give me somewhere, somewhere I can run,
You make it real for me

And I am running to you baby,
'Cause you are the only one who saves me
That's why I've been missing you lately,
'Cause you make it real for me
You make it real for me

Time to celebrate!

Happy weekend to ya!!!

Anniversary Lovin',


Steve said...

Beautiful Post hunny!! I love u so much, thank you for loving me back.


Dad Jeans

lovejoy_31 said...

Beautiful post from a beautiful bride. Love the message behind it. It isn't always the location of a wedding that means the most. I will be thinking of you and praying for you this next few months more so than ever. Can't wait to follow this journey with you. You really are going to be a great mother (however that happens)... Happy Anniversary to both of you!!! Enjoy every single second because hopefully this will be the last with just the 2 of you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary!!! I had no idea you eloped!! How romantic! I love it! Love you tan too!

Kelly @ Stay at Home Trader said...

This is absolutely amazing! I think this might be my favorite post you've written. You made me cry, like a good cleansing cry. I have always admired your ability to appreciate the simple, focus on the now, and stand tall in the middle of a $hit storm! :) And I love just that you guys jumped on a plane, got married in Vegas, and kept it so simple. As we have talked before, it's not about the big fancy's about your commitment to each other on that day...fancy or not. You know we didn't have a fancy wedding, and I wouldn't have it any other way! Nothing wrong with celebrating, but I think there's something special about taking the time to appreciate what it's all about. And look at you two, three years later, standing strong, and more in love than ever. :) I hope you guys have a really wonderful day today. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!! I love you to pieces!!! xoxoxxoxooxo meeee

Our Journey Through This Lovely Life said...

This is my absolute favorite post! You were a beautiful bride! and you have so much love in your heart! Happy Anniversary to your husband, May you enjoy an eternity of Happiness and love!

Ashley said...

Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful and perfect post. Love really is all that any of us needs and what an important reminder for us all. There were plenty of times during the wedding planning process that I wondered what in the world was I doing and who was I doing it for? I wouldn't change any part of it but.... it's good to remember it is just about the two people getting married not anyone else. okay, kinda went off on a tangent there. :)

You were a beautiful bride in your Target hoodie ( I am not surprised it was from target!).

Have a great weekend Maria.

Stephanie of Gumdrop Pass said...

Such a beautiful post from a beautiful lady -- and what a GREAT wedding story you have :)

Seriously - your words are so inspirational. I often wish I had the clarity that you always bring to your posts.

Happy anniversary to you and Dad jeans! :) lol

Heather Nelsen said...

Love these pics! We got to go to Vegas a few years ago too- what fun!!

Happy weekend! said...

Happy Anniversary!!! You looked beautiful--you could have been wearing a paper bag! Have a wonderful weekend celebrating! :) Kerstin

Brittany said...

Such a sweet, sweet post! What a special, one-of-a-kind relationship you two have. You can literally feel the love you share through your's incredible. Happy anniversary to you and "dad jeans"! ;)

Moosey Mommy said...

What a beautiful post! I love it! Happy Anniversary, too! I wish you guys all the best!!

Christina Williams said...

Hey! Thanks so much for stopping by The Blog Entourage and for your kind words. I love this post. I really need to hear "don't be afraid of change". What fun and beautiful pics! I noticed you live in PA. I'm in MD!:) I so love this part of the country!!

KERRY said...

Awww congratulations you two lovebirds!! I just adore you guys so much, your pics show so much love and adoration for each other, it is an absolute pleasure visiting your sweet blog and reading something so meaningful and beautiful :)
What a wonderful memory, what a wonderful wedding and celebration of your love for each other. Who needs fancy when you have that right?
Written so well as usual Maria!!!
Love you lots xoxoxox

Kathy Radigan said...

Happy Anniversary!!! What a great post! I hope you both have a wonderful weekend! xo

waitingforarainbow said...

Beautiful post. Can I hire you to start writing mine for me??
First of all... I can't start commenting until I say something about the "Dad jeans" yes... I *do* know the kind. I always laugh at random things in your posts, because I totally *get* them.

This is such a cute story, I love it. We all have our own love stories, and it's so special. I'm seriously going to comment this, and go back and read it all over again. I want to share it with all of my friends!! It's ADORABLE. And you are so great at telling your stories!!

I love your Vegas pictures... my favorite has to be Steve with the Rock hahaha too perfect. Ohh and I get all giddy and warm inside when I read that you're opening more pages to your new chapter. I know how happy you and Steve will be when even more of your dreams are coming true.
You two are an ahh-maaa-zzziiiing couple. No matter what, your love shines through everything. You guys remind me of the song "Story in a dream" by steel train. If you don't know it, AT LEAST look up the lyrics... because it's you guys. I am so happy for the both of you.

p.s. your post may have made me cry too.. just a little.

p.s. again: I have to agree about being neighbors. Oh but what fun it would be!

waitingforarainbow said...

OOOOH I just read the lyrics that you posted. Those are even more perfect! (told you I was reading this twice)

Mikki said...

I so enjoyed reading thisbeautiful post. May it encourage all of to press on in our marriage commitments!

Thanks for joining Flock Together this week. I am now your happy follower and look forward to reading more of your posts.

Melissa said...

Such a beautiful post! I loved seeing your photos and seeing how incredibly happy you two looked. Happy anniversary! May this next year together be your best one yet!

Monica said...

We did the same thing in Vegas. Congrats!

I am a new GFC follower. I found you on a blog hop. I would love it if you would follow me back please. Thank you.

Judy Haughton-James said...

Hey Maria!
Heartiest Congratulations to you and Steve on your wedding anniversary. This is indeed a very special weekend for you both. The pictures are oh so beautiful. I wish you and Steve many, many, more Happy Anniversaries and everything that is wonderful. Take care and Lots of Love, Friendship and Best Wishes coming all the way from Jamaica to you both!

Olivia : I am still learning said...

Happy Anniversary :)

You have such a way with words, you almost made me cry!

I also love that "dad jeans" wrote you a loving message back :)

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

I just got some serious chills! Happy anniversary to you and Steve- what an unbelievably awesome couple you make. I love that he commented on your post:) What true love you guys have and that is really all that matters in life. And BTW, how the heck do you look so good at 5 am!!

Marlana said...

What an awesome story!

New follower from Mingle Monday! Can't wait to read more. :)


Stephanie @ Blonde Highlights said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! Happy anniversary to you and Steve!!! I hope y'all had a great weekend with so many celebrations (err: dirty martinis!)!!! And that the kitties helped y'all celebrate too!

Isn't it amazing how much life can throw at you in such a short amount of time... but that there are so many wonderful things that are there right with you!

Y'all are amazing!!! Here's to three great years!! XOXOXOXOXO

Vanessa Scott said...

What a truly beautiful post. It hit hard as I am planning my own wedding and everyone around me thinks they know what I want. It's been a rough road, and I have thought many times about just heading to Vegas lol. I think it's awesome you have such wonderful memories. I hope I can have the same. Thanks for sharing a part of your day.

I am a new follower from Blog Hops Everyday. I would love for you to visit and follow back at

~Jess said...

Fantabulous post! Happy Anniversary!

Mandy said...

Hello! Following you from this Tiggerific Tuesday linky!
Happy Anniversary!

Mrs. E said...

Ahhh this post made my day! So full of joy... I am so happy for you two. You are such a strong, wonderful couple! Happy anniversary =) xoxoxo~

Cami said...

So much I want to say!
You both make a beautiful, lovely couple. Your smile and your heart says it all. I am SO happy for you both! It makes me so so happy :) Happy anniversary! Hugs!

<3-Cami from First Day of My Life

Maria said...

Wow. I can't believe how late I showed up to this amazing party! This was such a moving and exciting and touching post. I love your wedding! I really do. The target sweatshirt and everything. It really puts things into perspective and what a wonderful reminder of remembering what counts. Happy Anniversary! I hope you know that you are never far from my thoughts and always in my prayers. Especially as you take these next exciting and nerve-wracking steps. Should you need an ear... you know I am never out of earshot! Tons of hugs and love!

MrsV said...

Happy Anniversary <3
Sorry I'm late! Still trying to catch up lol
This post is so sweet, as always love your pictures, and slightly jealous of your wedding attire (I was not so comfy lol)
Thank you as always for your kind words! <3

Krystyn said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Love the pics, thanks for sharing!!!

Patty said...

What a heartfelt post! It's wonderful finding the perfect mate. I am following your blog now thru the blog hop at mama to 4 blessings.
Congrats to you! We'll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I'm glad I got to read this post! I feel like you teach me with your writing. I think I get caught up so much in getting through the days sometimes that I forget what's truly important!

I love how your wedding was about your love and not about all the other crazy details that are so easy to get caught up in.

You're a beautiful person. Lots of love to you Maria!

Miki said...

Dang, Maria! I can't leave this blog without feeling moved ever. I love that about it and about you; that's why I only come here to visit when I know I have time to read and take in everything you say. Steve is so lucky to have you as his wife and I'm also lucky to have gotten to your blog, sweet lady. Thank you!

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