Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, Eric!!

Today is Eric's birthday! And tomorrow is mine. He jokes because for a whole 24 hours he gets to be 4 years older than me instead of 3.

But seriously, it is hard for me not to count my blessings when I think of my sweet husband. He has changed my life in so many ways and has shown me a level of happiness that I never knew existed.

Three years ago we found each other by accident online and started a long-distance friendship. In December of 2009 he came down from Washington to California to visit me. This is a famous picture of that trip. It was New Year's Eve day, 2009, and we were at the Arboretum in Arcadia--one of my favorite places. I set up the tripod and camera in front of the waterfall to take a couple of pictures. After getting one photo, I set the camera's timer again and, a split second before it went off, Eric surprised me with a kiss on the cheek and this shot was immortalized forever:
One month later, Eric returned with a ring and asked me to marry him. Accepting his proposal was the most spontaneous thing I've ever done (and I am one of the least spontaneous people I know,) but I knew it was the right thing. He was (and is) my best friend. He was the person I wanted to share every victory and defeat with first, and my life had taken on new meaning just by knowing him. How could I not marry him?

Over the course of the next few months, from the proposal in January to our August 2010 wedding, we've calculated that Eric flew down to California about 10 times. I was still teaching and about to get laid off from my district. And, although the original plan was to live in California, we realized that it was time to look at Plan B, living in Washington.

Meanwhile, we had a wedding to plan, his house to sell, a house to buy for the two of us, and we needed to spend time together, despite being 2 states apart for our entire courtship and engagement:

Eric and I in Seattle during my first trip to Washington, April 2010. At this point we still thought we'd be living in CA after the wedding.

Two of the photos from our engagement picture session in May 2010. That was the craziest weekend ever! In 3 days we had to get the marriage license, book a place for our rehearsal dinner, pick out flowers, pick out tuxedos for the men in the wedding party, pick out wedding invitations, and take our engagement photos. I had a calendar in my kitchen to keep us on schedule during those crazy days. And we got it all done without losing our sanity. The black and white photo accompanied the invitations to our 150 guests. I honestly don't know how we were able to look so relaxed in these pictures.

Eric and my cute nephew during another CA visit. This may have been the visit where he came to support me during the long and horrible lay-off hearing at my school district. It did not turn out in the teachers' favor, but I'm SO glad he was there! And as my family got to know him, they liked him more and more.

And before we knew it, the big day had arrived! Our photographer, Nick Charrow (his website is HERE, and his blog about our wedding day is HERE) took several pictures of the wedding party when the guys and gals were still getting ready in their separate areas. This is probably my all-time favorite picture of my husband. Why? Because his sweetness and goodness shows in his expression. This is what I get to see every single day. Boy, am I lucky.

And then it was honeymoon time! We stayed our first night at the incredible Langham Hotel (formerly the Ritz-Carlton, Pasadena). It was the poshest hotel either of us had ever been in, and we wish we could've been there longer than one night! The service, the room, everything was amazing. Here's Eric being silly the next morning as we ate breakfast in the courtyard.

We honeymooned throughout the California coast. Our rationale was that we wanted to have a quiet honeymoon where we could focus on being together after having to spend so much time apart. We drove to San Jose the day after the wedding and stayed one night there. The next day we visited the very interesting Winchester Mystery House (I had seen a documentary on it a few months before and asked Eric if we could please stop there. It is definitely unique!)

The majority of our honeymoon was spent in the sleepy town of Mendocino, CA at the MacCallum House B&B (Murder, She Wrote was filmed there, along with many other films and shows.) We stayed there for about 7 nights, driving back to Los Angeles by way of Carmel and San Francisco.

We love being silly together. About 10 miles north of Mendocino is Fort Bragg, where we visited a couple of times to do laundry and go to the famous "glass beach." At the tiny mall there was a studio that did antique-y looking photos. We couldn't resist!

So why am I writing about these things on Eric's birthday and not on an anniversary? Because as we celebrate our birthdays together another year, I am just reminded of how blessed we are to have found each other and to be able to grow old together.

I have learned so much since marrying this wonderful man. I love his intelligence, his spirituality, his humor, his generosity, his work ethic, and so many more things that I can't even list. I love that everything he does is about being good and kind to me and to others.

He is my rock, my partner, and my best friend. He makes me feel protected, beautiful and very loved. Happy Birthday to my darling Eric!!


Karen said...

Every time you mention Eric, I'm happy all over again that you found him!

Sally said...

I absolutely love that first picture of you two. It seems to embody a natural and easy happiness that is so priceless to find.

Kristie said...

Thanks, ladies. And I guess that natural and easy happiness is one of the things that tells a [erson they've found "the one," because it doesn't happen a lot!

Kristie said...
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