The First Year

This time last year I was sitting in a hair salon, getting my makeup done for our wedding and worrying like crazy about the weather. Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball and make it not just rain, but pour on our wedding day. That meant our outdoor ceremony had to be moved into a very small venue and I was stressed all day about whether our dream day would come together. But I had no reason to worry.

Images from the Brosher-Harrington wedding ceremony at Davis Lodge on Lake Bloomington Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Hudson, Ill. (Stephen Haas)

The moment I saw James at the end of the aisle all of my worries faded away. I couldn’t stop smiling and I didn’t care whether the flowers looked right or the room was too small. In that moment it felt like just the two of us. Everything was perfect.

Images after the Brosher-Harrington wedding ceremony at Davis Lodge on Lake Bloomington Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Hudson, Ill. (Stephen Haas)

The night flew by, ending just as beautifully as it began. The DJ played “Wonderful Tonight” and James sang the words as we danced to the last song. It’s not the details of decor, the color of my lipstick or the taste of cake I remember from that day. It’s those little moments that were just ours.

It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since our wedding day. In some ways, it feels like the year flew by. But when I look at everything we’ve done over the past 365 days, I’m amazed.

Here’s a list of superlatives to describe our first year of marriage. I asked James to play along for this one, too and it was so fun to hear what he thought were highlights. If year one is this good, I can’t wait to see what we experience over an entire lifetime.

Portraits after the Brosher-Harrington wedding at Davis Lodge on Lake Bloomington Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Hudson, Ill. (Stephen Haas)

Biggest Milestone

Babs: Taking our first big trip together! Despite dating for several years before tying the knot, we hadn’t been on a vacation together that was longer than a few days. That changed with our honeymoon. And it was an absolute blast.

James: Starting the process of buying a house was a big milestone. We haven’t bought one yet, but going through all the paperwork and looking at homes together is a big step.

Toughest Challenge

Babs: House hunting — and the search isn’t over yet! What started out as a fun process quickly became stressful after making offers on several houses and those falling through, for a variety of different reasons. We’re still searching for our future home and have learned so much in the process. And it hasn’t been easy! But it’s been great for our relationship. Learning to compromise and putting your spouse’s needs above your own occasionally is an important part of marriage.

James: Buying a home is the worst experience ever. Period. Attempting to buy in Bloomington, Indiana doesn’t help because there are very few options. Just when you think you’ve found “the one,” someone will swoop in with a quarter million dollars in cash and buy it so quick it’ll make your head spin. The constant heartbreak of seeing homes we love suddenly drop off the market really drains all the joy out of the search process for both of us. I would have given up weeks ago if not for Babs’ optimism as the yin to my pessimistic yang.

Details from the Brosher-Harrington wedding at Davis Lodge on Lake Bloomington Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Hudson, Ill. (Stephen Haas)

Most Memorable Meal

Babs: Our first meal in Italy at Sorrento’s Inn Bufalito. We’d been traveling for hours via airplane and train and were so happy to finally be at our destination. And by the time we got there, we were starving. The tasting platter of different mozzarella and the warm focaccia was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I’ll dream about it until we return.

James: Our last meal in Italy was my favorite. We dined at Il Giardino di Albino, a place in Rome we had walked past earlier and tried to get into only to realize it wasn’t open yet. It was worth the wait: the fettuccine al limone was incredible.

Favorite Trip

Babs: Our honeymoon to Italy. It’s a trip I dreamed of taking for years and I was so happy when we landed that I started tearing up. We got to visit places I’d read about for years and each stop was more beautiful than I ever imagined. Sharing the experience with my best friend made it all the more special.

James: Italy. It was a whirlwind of a trip and not one we will soon forget. We had talked about doing it for years so it was incredible to finally be able to go. Being in such a beautiful place with my best friend was amazing.

Details before the Brosher-Harrington wedding at Davis Lodge on Lake Bloomington Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Hudson, Ill. (Stephen Haas)

Most Valuable Lesson

Babs: There will be times when your spouse needs more from you than you need from them and vice versa. Sometimes one of you has a long, stressful day at work and that means you need the other person to step up and cook dinner, do the dishes, clean the house. None of that’s worth keeping score over. Sometimes you’ll need to be the stronger one, and that’s OK. That’s the beauty of marriage — you have someone to help hold you up when you feel like you’re about to fall down.

James: John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That is so very true. While we are constantly working towards the future and making plans for it (e.g. buying a house, planning a Fall vacation), it’s important to stop and smell the roses once in a while. Live in the moment. Don’t lose sight of the little things that are happening all around you in the current moment as you focus on the future. Look to the future, but cherish the present.

Biggest Surprise

Babs: Marriage didn’t really change our relationship. And I think that’s a good thing. I didn’t expect anything drastic to happen after we said, “I do,” but I don’t feel much different than before we were married. I was already committed to our relationship, crazy about James and planning my life with him by my side. Several people have asked me what’s changed since getting married and the only thing I can think of is I have a stronger sense of pride. I’ve always been proud of James and who he is as a person, what he’s accomplished — but there’s something about being able to say, “Yeah, that’s my amazing husband” that makes it even better.

James: To somewhat continue from the last prompt, the biggest surprise is how quickly time moves. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a year yet. Wasn’t Christmas just a couple weeks ago? It’s comforting to know we are the constant for each other in the whirl of time that is life.

Portraits after the Brosher-Harrington wedding at Davis Lodge on Lake Bloomington Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Hudson, Ill. (Stephen Haas)

Favorite Wedding Moment

Babs: This one is a toss up. It’s either when James was rubbing my hands during the ceremony, trying to keep me calm as I fought back happy tears, or when he sang to me as our song played during the last dance of the night. I will carry those moments with me always.

James: It’s hard to pick a single moment. The entire day was such a blur of sensory overload. I focused on hanging onto certain snapshots of the day. To have so many close family members and friends together for a big party was incredible. The entire night felt like it lasted 10 minutes because it was so much fun.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Babs: I can’t pick just one thing that I’m most excited for because everyday is an adventure when we’re together. Whether we’re just sitting around at home binge watching Game Of Thrones, exploring a new route on our bikes or venturing to far off places, we have a blast. Every new experience I have is one I want to share with James and I’m excited for a lifetime of more.

James: I’m excited for this summer. It’s always my favorite season because we are so active. From hikes to bike rides to swimming at the lake to #porching, we have a lot of fun together in the summer.

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