15 Years

Disclaimer: I totally meant to post this yesterday. It was all written in my head; I just needed 30 minute to get it from my brain to my keyboard.

However, much like the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker, the cold virus appears to have transformed my sweet little Teyla. She has become The Baby Who Never Naps. (Teyla update coming soon, by the way.) I was so drained last night after dealing with her in some fashion for the previous 12 hours, that I fell asleep before I fell into bed. Yes, that's possible. Just ask my husband.

Now that the excuses are done, let's move on.

Oh! But you have to pretend that today is really yesterday.

<jedi powers>Today is May 1. You will question no more.</jedi powers>

Fifteen years ago today, I woke up in my childhood home for the last time.

It was my wedding day -- the day I had dreamed about for years.

I had planned my wedding since fourth grade, when I wanted to get married on Valentine's Day and have my bridesmaids wear red dresses and carry hand muffs and wear roses in their hair. (I'm a fount of originality.)

And that was before I even liked boys.

The wedding lust continued in high school, when my best friend and I would pour over wedding magazines during our many sleepovers and choose dresses, bridesmaids colors, flowers, cakes and honeymoon destinations with the same intensity as a presidential campaign advisor looking at the latest AP poll.

(If you're a female, you're reading this right now with a knowing smile and a laugh on your lips. If you're a male ... well, you're probably not reading anymore. Never mind.)

But I can safely say, my teenage imagination never pictured this.

Welcome to the 15th Anniversary Love Well Wedding Album.

Is there anything more awkward or boring than a wedding rehearsal? I think not. At least we had some kickin' 1993 fashions to keep us entertained. Lisa, my best friend in the sailor outfit, is especially hot. (And Lisa, you know I have pictures of us both doing our best Paula Abdul impersonations. So don't sweat this picture, OK? ... Plus, look at my future husband. Is that a purple shirt he's wearing?)

Why yes. Yes it is.

At the time of our wedding, Corey and I worked as youth group leaders with our church's senior high group. We were really close to a lot of the kids -- in fact, they set us up in the first place -- so naturally, we had many of them involved in the wedding. This picture shows the menfolk -- groomsmen, ushers, security guards, bouncers. I think we made a tuxedo rental shop very happy.

This is me with a few of my closest girls. I remain very good friends with almost everyone in this picture.

At least, I think I do. (I'm thinking this might bring a few of them out of lurkdom.)

And here are my bridesmaids. If I remember right, we handed out sunglasses to our wedding guests so they wouldn't be blinded by the neon color of the dresses.

But the flowers they carried pardoned that sin. Because, seriously, they were gorgeous. GOR-GEE-US. Here's a closer picture of my bouquet.

The woman who did our flowers went to our church, and she truly went overboard. My bouquet weighed about 10 pounds. By the end of the ceremony, my hands were shaking.

If you got married in a church, you, too, know the joy of a Sunday school changing room. Nothing says, "I'm a woman now" like curling your hair next to a Little Tikes plastic slide.

The obligatory "I'm contemplating the seriousness of this day" shot.

I think it really says, "Don't mess with me. I'm wearing cowboy boots."

Which is true, for the record. New black boots, bought special just for this occasion.

"Would you want me to tell you if there's lettuce in your teeth? Or should I let you figure it out yourself?"

Remember my little brother, Unca Jon? Who had the incident with the women at the gym? He was 11 when I got married. And he was the only person who made me cry on my wedding day.

After the ceremony and the cake reception and the dinner reception and the gift opening, Corey and I were finally ready to leave for our honeymoon. I had managed to hold it together all day -- ALL DAY -- when my Mom came downstairs with red eyes and said, "Jon is upstairs, crying. He wants to say good-bye to you."

I walked up the stairs of my childhood home one last time to find my youngest brother in his bed, sobbing.

"What's the matter, Jonathan?" I said.

"I don't want you to go!" he cried. "I don't want you to leave our family."

(I'm crying even now thinking about it.)

Red eyes, bulbous nose, splotchy face. It's a great look for your wedding night.

Yet, we're still together. Despite everything -- and I can assure you we've faced valleys much more painful and dark than runny mascara.

It is God's grace alone.

Corey, I love you more today than I did 15 years ago. Happy anniversary, my companion.


  1. I think it must be true love if you went ahead and married him anyway, even though he wore a purple shirt.
    Happy Anniversary to a very handsome couple! I hope you guys are able to do something nice this weekend to celebrate!

  2. Was about to claim first...ugh


    Happy Anniversary K&C!

  3. Happy Anniversary! You make such a cute couple!

  4. Happy Anniversary, Kelly!
    Such a beautifully sweet post...Like you, I began planning my wedding in infancy.:)
    I loved feeling like Cinderella....for one day.:)

    My brother, John, was about 8 years old, when I got married....That was the hardest part for me too.....leaving him.:(

    God Bless,

  5. Beautiful and so fun to read (and see!) Congratulations on 15 years, and blessings on the next!

  6. How fun to have a short fashion review such as this! =) But 'laughter makes the heart glad', right? Loved your post!

  7. Y'all were - and still are - beautiful! Happy anniversary.

  8. Aww...you look so happy in those pictures. And I love the hat one of your friends is wearing! Hats! When will they come back?

    Happy anniversary :)

  9. Okay, first things first...Happy Anniversary!

    And now, if you didn't think I was crazy when I told you our kitchens were the same you are definitely going to think so now. I think we wore the same wedding dress! Seriously. That is twilight zonish. I am going to try and get my husband to scan a picture of my dress (and my kitchen) so I can show you. Weird!

  10. Happy Anniversary--belated, but I do love the wedding posts that celebrate the triumphs of marriage rooted in reality. Waiting to hear that Teyla is recovering and you are resting.

  11. So beautiful! Happy anniversary!

    I had that same Julia Roberts brown polka dot dress and wore it to a few weddings myself. :)

  12. I am sorry to hear about your lack of sleep lately. That recently happened with Jordan, and I know that it's no fun !

  13. Happy Anniversary!
    Those flowers were unreal. Sooo pretty.
    I LOVE wedding pics fom the 90's.

  14. Happy Anniversary! We were married on the EXACT same day! Hope you got to do something to celebrate!

  15. I don't know how I can check this blog daily and posts can sneak in. Weird.

    LOVE the pictures. I had royal blue bridesmaid dresses also - those didn't have a bow in the back did they?!

    Such sweet, sweet memories. And since I was 10 when my brother got married, I totally relate to your brother.

    Thanks for sharing. The one of you gazing in each other's eyes is adorable. And I guarantee you lettuce is the furthest thing from his mind. Corey looks like he knows he snagged a crown jewel!

    But I did have one initial reaction to the post and the comments: I can NOT believe there isn't a comment from that husband of yours. I guess he must be busy taking care of the kids and doing the dishes and the laundry and the cleaning for you this weekend, huh?! (Or is he just planning his next prank?!)

    Hope Teyla is feeling better by now!

  16. That story about your brother totally made me teary! Sweet! And you were such a pretty bride! Happy anniversary. (I would have ended that sentence with an exclaimation point but I was getting carried away with those.)

  17. Happy Anniversary! I loved looking at your photos and hearing about your wedding.

    Wishing you many, many more years of bliss.

  18. Happy anniversary.

    Such lovely photos. And I still remember vividly dressing in one of the few rooms in the church that had a window unit air conditioner. I stool right in front of it to dry the sweat on my face.

  19. Those dresses are the bluest blue that ever blued. And you were a gorgeous, glowing bride.

    Congrats! What a milestone.

  20. What a beautiful post. Happy anniversary to you!!

  21. Congrats on 15 years! Having gotten married in 1994, I can relate to those pictures very well.

    You look exactly the same...beautiful!

  22. Happy Anniversary! That was a great day! Love the picture of our SMASH group, except for my dress...hair...yeah, we were HOT!

  23. Oh, I just love those pictures! Happy 15 years, Kelly and Corey!

    I think anniversaries should be celebrated more than birthdays. Way to honor your vows and each other!

    We got engaged on May 4th. Reading this reminded me that I was going to post about it. Doh! (Oh, not May 4th this year, you know. Like 9 years ago.)

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