Mr. G and I were married seven years ago. Since then, we have been through a lot together – two kids, changes of jobs, grad school, moves, weddings, funerals, heart aches, victories, illnesses, vacations and more.
Any of these things can test a relationship. But I love sharing this adventure with Mr. G. We have our moments, but more often than not we come out of them laughing. And I want him to know that I would do it over and over again. And so, back in July, on our seventh anniversary, we did.
A little background: seven years ago, we did the big, fancy family wedding. Which was amazing and perfect. But, those who know me best know I secretly always wanted a small wedding at a little chapel.
I also always had something of a thing for Elvis. In 2008, we got married in California, but at the time lived in Reno. For years I talked about renewing our vows at a chapel in Reno or Vegas … or maybe the chapel at Graceland (someday!).
When Pumpkin was a baby, a friend and coworker went to her brother’s wedding. She had two kids, and her brother did as well. At the wedding, her boys wanted to know how come they didn’t get to go to their own mom and dad’s wedding. She explained some people get married before they have kids, and some after. But hearing about her kids’ disappointment in missing their parents’ wedding was a sort of confirmation for me that we should renew our vows and our kids should be there.
A few years later, we are back in Arizona and, with Peanut, our family is now complete. When I found out there is an Elvis Chapel not too far from our house in Mesa, I knew it was another sign, and planned for weeks without Mr. G knowing. I went back and forth about guests, but ultimately decided it should just be the four of us (plus our friend and photographer Tom Boggan) to keep it intimate. (Plus, I figured if we invited anyone, we would then need to do some sort of reception, and I thought what was more important for us at this busy time of our lives was getting some alone time, and booked a babysitter and a night at the Hotel Valley Ho instead.)
The night before, I began to get a little nervous – I think I was worried he would think it was silly. Then, on the morning of our seventh anniversary, I left Mr. G a card with instructions on where to go and when, took the girls to get ready, and waited. Pumpkin was so excited and couldn’t wait for Daddy to get there. Peanut had no idea what was going on, but enjoyed tearing apart the flower I intended her to carry down the aisle.
By the time Mr. G arrived, he had figured out what was going on. But if he thought it was silly, he never let on. In fact, I think he enjoyed it. It was a sweet, short ceremony as we read our renewal vows to each other with our girls in our arms.
After 10 years together and seven years of marriage, this guy has seen me at my best and my worst. Through all of it, he has supported me, loved me, challenged me and made me a better person. He’s a great partner, and a terrific dad. I would marry him 100 more times.