10 years ago today…

10 years ago today I woke up early.

I had to. There were at least 15 people staying in my parents’ house, and there were only two showers. And John and I were getting married at 10 a.m.

There may have been worries that morning over whether the flowers had been delivered or who had the sixpence for my shoe. All I remember is that the sky was blue and I was surrounded by family.

John would be waiting for me at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, and I couldn’t wait to become his wife.

Is anyone ever really ready for marriage? Can anyone be prepared for that blending of two people? As our priest, Fr. Lawrence Adamczyk, said, “Two become one, but which one?”

That we didn’t know. But we were calm, confident, and excited.

The professional pictures of that day are dreadful (and none of them are in this post). But it didn’t matter. Friends and family shared their photos.

Best of all, though, I somehow remember many of the details of the day.

I remember joking around with my sisters in the back of the church.

I remember laughing with my father most of the way up a very long aisle.

I remember how John beamed at me the entire day.

I remember the music at the church–one of my friends sang for us–and being surrounded by the smiling faces of family and friends.

I remember a moment during the Consecration when I was filled with awe at the beauty, at the sacrifice, at the vocation God had given me. And I marveled that the man kneeling by my side was now my partner for life.

(My friend Marcy took this one.)

The reception is a blur. We had music and dancing and the most beautiful and delicious cake my friend made and brought from New York.

No real cake was harmed in the taking of this photo.

Our wedding day was all so personal and special. We didn’t want anything extravagant. We wanted it to be comfortable and lovely and welcoming.

With our friend Fr. Tom Pietrantonio

I cut hydrangeas from my parents’ front yard to decorate the reception site. My father’s homemade cookies were in the center of the tables. It was just what we wanted.

Since then John and I have lived in two apartments and two houses.

During the time we’ve known each other, we have had seven jobs.

We’ve laughed and cried, worried and trusted.

We’ve prayed and wondered, planned and dreamed.

Twice we’ve traveled to China to adopt two extraordinary little boys–our sons. And we’ve brought them home and tried to figure out this mysterious vocation of parenthood.

I’ve cooked who knows how many meals, while John has done mountains of laundry and miles of lawn mowing.

But there’s no way to quantify how we’ve grown in love and in our marriage.

How do two people become one? It would be impossible–if not for God.

And it all began 10 years ago today.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.