I’ve wanted to rewrite my wedding vows to you for many years. I need to alter them from how much I love how you make me feel, to what it is that I love about you. Obviously those things crossover and can be equally as wonderful, but I can’t believe I never helped you see yourself through my eyes. You have been a delight to discover and here are a few of my favorite surprises.
Dogs love you. Superficially, this is cool and funny, but the fact that dogs love you isn’t superficial. It means something. When dog packs let a member be the alpha, it’s because they trust him. They recognize that this dog is the smartest, the most collected in an emergency, the most cunning, the most fair, the strongest, and the most concerned for the welfare of the pack. That is who you are. Watching dogs recognize you as the obvious alpha, taught me to draw strength from you as well.
I love how athletic you are. I love that you can play team sports without ego, and I love that you can go solo without fear. I love that wandering through life, you can be a bit “Clark Kent,” but when the pressure is on you become Superman. I also think it’s truly brilliant that you have played and experimented with sports and sports diets your whole life and turned it into a career. Selfishly, your athleticism gives you a smoking hot body that I admire every day.
You are thoughtful. There’s something about how direct you are that makes you seem like you wouldn’t be and yet, I come home and find immune support supplements when you know I’m suffering from a cold. When I ask for space while PMS runs it’s course, you give it to me but also buy a beautiful plant for our home. I say I want to go to Nepal and you plan the entire trip. Your friends would say the same things. I recall Phil’s tearful toast to you at our housewarming when we were first married… Phil knew you’d give him your last cent if he needed it. Really, you stretch far beyond thoughtful. You are selfless, you are generous, and you don’t keep score. Not a single day has gone by in our marriage when I don’t value this in you, try to mirror it, and remember to be grateful for it.
You are an adventurer. No matter how much I snark and moan about the dirty, woody, weedy, steep, rocky, rainy terrain you have taken me over, these are my fondest memories. The rock walled field that lead down a steep, wet trail to an amazing spot on the coast of England where we climbed in hats and jumpers on rock that looked like poured wax… I wouldn’t trade that for anything. The long day in Nepal when we ventured to Kala Patthar and then hours back down to the Nepali Clampetts’ guesthouse with the toilet full of frozen feces and the bucket "shower"… I’m glad to have taken my body to the max. Every visit to Moab, St. George, Red Rocks, Tahoe, or the Yellowstone basin… perfection. This is what you promised me. You vowed to explore life with me and give me adventures. On this you have more than delivered. And while I know where you take me won’t be easy, it will be unforgettable.
We’re at eight years together. I’m lucky. You are better than me and I know it. Sometimes I abuse it, sometimes I remember to appreciate it, and sometimes I try to make sure you feel lucky too. I know I’ve never really settled into being the perfect wife. I let my alarm go off for an hour every morning… you never complain. I broke the stone vase your parents gave you when I was hula hooping in the house… you barely winced at me. I’ve pushed you away and pulled you back in. I’ve crashed around the house with my singing, my cleaning, my running from this to that… and you’ve always moved around me. I love that about you. You let people orbit you. You don’t make them land or learn to live in your atmosphere. What a gift you have given me… to be free when I want to be and wrapped in your arms when I need to be.
After writing all this for you, my love, I’m going to make the same vow I made eight years ago. You are special. You are rare. I admire you. The most important thing I can vow to do is respect who you are. To never ask you to change and to continue to fall more in love with you every day. Thank you for the adventures. Lick, Kiss, Bite. I love you, Romney.
(For Valentine's Day, I dragged myself out of my flu bed and went to Huntsman Cancer Center against the "no sick people rules" and our better judgement. I needed to give him his gift. This year, I rewrote my vows to him. I intended these to kick-off the next phase of our marriage, the phase where he got better and our love deeper. He said it was the nicest thing anyone ever said about him, a tremendous admittance from an understated man. Since this blog started when we eloped, this is the place to put my update. I wanted him to know how cool I think he is, I was able to give him that. Now I want others to remember a handful of the things that made my husband incomparable. This list is in no way all-inclusive.)