A Surprise Vow Renewal
Brian, the kids, and I booked our exotic Sacramento suburban vacation a month ago – because we NEEDED a week where someone we love (Bob and Suz – Brian’s parents) could help us watch the kids so we could, well, sleep, watch TV, shop, pin, and of course reconnect by having a couple nights away together. In case you are pre-kids or post-young babies, it’s strange how much you want to be near your kids on vacation but not on full-time duty. Taking them on a trip is so much work, but leaving them feels so sad (mostly because we both work). So this was going to be PERFECT. We got up here on Saturday afternoon and Bob said he bought something new that he wanted to show Charlie. He led us to the barn where he opened the door. I expected that he had borrowed the neighbors white pony to show Charlie. There was no pony.
Behind that door were 12 of our closest LA friends that weren’t at our wedding, whom Brian flew in for the night. I was so shocked, for hours, actually. It was a surprise vow renewal party for me/us and OH MY GOD IT WAS SO FUN AND MAGICAL AND AMAZING AND WEIRD AND LOVE-INDUCING. If you think that you fall in love with your spouse on your wedding day, then picture how much different/better it is 10 years later when you are still happy and you get to relive it, but without any of the stress!!
Without bragging too much about my husband let’s just say that he showed up, played hard and won this 10-year anniversary game. We typically don’t celebrate too much – something we always lament the day after our anniversary wishing one of us had thought harder and planned better. But this time around we both said we wanted to really celebrate our 10 year, especially with our friends that missed the first half of our relationship (including the wedding). I thought we were planning a party in LA. I was wrong – he was RIGHT. (Thank you all who commented so thoughtfully on this post last week about our relationship). Already that party was causing me stress because I really hate the pressure of making sure a party is pin-worthy so we typically just throw bbq’s because those are casual by nature = no stress. So this was so perfect, you have no idea. All our friends, food, drink, beautiful/original location but Brian did. it. all.
I squeezed myself into my wedding dress, (ha) which Brian had shipped up beforehand, and yes the bottom ripped off a couple years ago. I did my own hair and makeup, just like the first time. I wore sensible shoes, just like the first time.
Brian wore the same wide tie (hilariously, like the first time) and while there were only 12 people, I walked down the tiny aisle holding Birdie as she was being clingy and I was happy to have the pleasure of her company.
Charlie wore a three piece suit as the ring bearer. I about DIED of cuteness overload. He kept saying “Mama, I have a burfrise for you!!” (burfrise = surprise). Brian got me a beautiful new wedding band (of which I had never had since our first ring was an antique that broke around year 8). It’s a simple, beautiful rose-gold band with tiny encrusted raw diamonds. I’m not a jewelry person, but this ring is so perfect.
But the best part was that Brian edited and played our wedding video. The footage was mediocre, understandably as the guy who did it was from Craigslist and cost $250, but Brian, now a video producer, made it AMAZING. As much as repeating our vows to each other was incredible, and it was, I was a bit nervous probably because I was still in shock at the whole surprise. But watching our 27 year old selves do the OG version was insane. We had a very casual, inexpensive, personal, small wedding which we thought was so beautiful and perfect at the time, but looking back it was even better than I remembered. The weirdest/best part was being confronted with how I’ve changed and yet stayed the same. I was still goofy, comfortable, bubbly, and happy, but there was such an innocence and brightness about me, both of us actually, that made us really miss those people. When you have two kids and run two businesses, with employees and mortgages there really isn’t as many bright-eyed-aw-shucks moments every day. It made me want to be that person a little bit more, try a bit harder to act less exhausted, more light and generally nicer to the man that I was and still am so enamored with. I know that you can’t stop from growing up and it’s not like I watch my junior high cheerleading videos and wish I could act that awkward again because I “felt so free.” When you are 27, you are an adult, but a really, really good version of an adult that I for one, would like to emulate a bit more.
The best part? I cried so hard as we watched us whispering to each other during our first dance (which was this song, by the way). We didn’t think we were recorded because we forgot Brian had a mic on. What we said to each other, how we danced, was so intimate, sweet, and full of love. That’s the stuff you don’t remember the next day, let alone the night of, so watching it 10 years later is magical.
Having your kids at your wedding renewal makes your heart feel like warm melting chocolate. And knowing that we have a week more of spending time together made me feel like I was on one of those drugs you hear about on twitter.
The day after all our friends that were still in town came over and we played in the yard and had Bloody Marys. Bob and Suz hosted at their beautiful home that we are all obsessed about.
Brian and Charlie “accidentally” dressed in the same shirt and Birdie and I were in buffalo checks. Yes, I would hate us if I saw us, too. We are disgusting.
Thanks to all our newer friends (sorry for the ones missing in the pics) that came to join. I wish it could have been a three day affair with all of our best friends and family from the OG and the renewal .. but that would have been stressful and this certainly wasn’t. Not one bead of sweat was formed.
Now we are just relaxing at the house. Feeding the neighbors horses, going on walks, watching This is Us, and chilling the heck out with family.
Brian and I head off to Napa tomorrow to stay at the Auberge, just he and I. We’ll be there for 50 hours (two nights and 2 days, but who’s counting?) and our only plan is getting massages, reading, eating, drinking wine, and hanging out. Thanks to Bob and Suz for taking care of the kids – we feel insanely lucky. There is nothing like a guilt-free mid-week get away, so thank you.
And that’s it. Happy 10th Annivesary to us. No more 10 year wedding or relationship talk for a while I promise. I just couldn’t not share this as it felt like a nice full circle after this post.
Wait – one more thing. Thank you so much, my love. That night made my life.
*Meanwhile come back tomorrow for the living room mood board and even better on thursday a big “ask the audience” re the new house that I can absolutely not make a decision.