He smelled like fire and smoke, and mixed with a faint hint of cologne; it may have been my most favorite smell in the entire world.
We were standing at the edge of our property, his arms wound tightly around my waist and my nose tucked beneath his chin. The air was cold and bitter but the fire warmed my backside comfortably. I nuzzle my face into the warmth of his chest and sigh happily to myself as a movie of memories from the last few years flood my head:
The two of us walking arm-in-arm down the aisle as Brandon Heath's 'Love Never Fails' plays over the sound system. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time and as I approach the preacher, I know that this moment is only the beginning of the rest of my life. We pledge to create a life together, focused on God and one another, and then kiss to seal the deal.
Traveling side-by-side in the car, the radio turned up barely over a whisper so that we can talk about life and our dreams and where we hope life will take us. He pulls over the car as we approach the ocean so that I can take in the first view and cherish it the way that it should be at that moment. Us sitting on the beach at midnight on New Years as fireworks shoot and burst over the dark water, his arm around my waist and my head against his shoulder.
Carrying a couch up two flights of stairs as we settle into our first, tiny apartment in a historic building in the middle of downtown. Nights spent cuddling on the couch watching the food channel and days spent at the lake fishing or just walking around. Our first anniversary and laughter as we try to remove a cork from our wine without a corkscrew.
New jobs, tears, arguing...a promise to one another and a new hope for a better future.
A positive pregnancy test sitting on the bathroom counter as I sit in the living room stunned and silent. Phone calls, photos and excitement as the days quickly pass as we wait for the arrival of our 'Peanut'. An ultrasound on our anniversary that showed a 'turtle', another big announcement and a name: Henry Kenneth. Puking, itching, swelling and an early induction in hopes that our little boy will be healthy.
Walking hand-in-hand into the police station and waiting nervously for the house to come up on the list. Bidding, laughing, and walking away home owners. Worrying, praying, moving, cleaning and then settling into our very first home.
A first birthday bash focused on his favorite thing: puppies. Friends and family surrounding us as we celebrate an entire year of Henry. Gifts galore, cake and lots of food on one of the hottest days of the year.
A date night. Just the two of us - nothing to worry about but being in the moment together. Fires in the backyard, my arms around his neck and his around my waist. Memories, sweet memories... and the hope of more to come.