It's amazing how my almost three-year-old teaches me how to be present in even the most simple moments.  To stop and look at the little details that I often miss, and to react in pure joy and amazement at the beauty surrounding me each day.  He teaches me to rest, to run, to be honest with how I feel, and to stop in wonder.

Thankful for the lessons I learn from him, and thankful I get to be his mama.


5 years...

Five years ago, today, Landon and I were married in front of his home on a cold fall day.  These past years of marriage have been full of love, laughter, fighting, crying, adventures, tough moments, beautiful moments, and so many memories.

We both have grown a lot since that moment we said "I do." We learned that marriage is hard work sometimes, and other times it's a breeze.  We learned that, even when you don't feel like loving, you still choose to love your partner because love is a choice.  We learned that communication is key for us, and it's something we always are going to work at.  We learned that we are an equal team, and the only argument we should be having is who gets to sacrifice for the other first.  We learned that when Christ is at the center of our relationship, we see our partner through eyes of unconditional love.

I love that Landon and I see eye-to-eye on pretty much everything, and if we don't, we figure out how to compromise.  We enjoy a lot of the same things, and we both have a drive towards simplicity and a restlessness to explore and travel.

I love that Landon writes me a note almost every morning he leaves for work.  He's not a writer, nor a man of many words, so he will stand there in the kitchen for 5 minutes thinking of something to write.  He loves me and knows that words mean a lot to me, and so he pushes himself to do something he normally wouldn't. That's one of the many reasons I love him.

I love that he has taken complete care of me through two rather rough pregnancies when I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed, or take care of our toddler at night.  He truly sacrificed his time and energy for me many, many times over.

I know that Landon loves and respects me more than anyone ever has, and I feel extremely valued by him.  He knows all of my struggles, and he accepts me as I am.  He tells me not to focus on the specs in my life that I seem to focus on, but to step back and see the bigger, beautiful things happening.

I really, truly enjoy marriage.  I get to travel through life with my best friend, and we get to watch each other grow, and we have a witness to our lives.  So much has happened in these first years of marriage...I am so excited to see what will happen in the coming years.

I remember feeling so excited, I couldn't hardly sleep that night before.
I remember waking up to a brilliant blue sky.
I remember dressing in a beautiful bedroom and peeking outside at the spot we would say our vows.
I remember walking through the tall grass to the little country bridge where you were waiting for me.
I remember hugging you, eyes wet, as I realized this was the day I never had to be parted from you again.
I remember waiting between the barn and the workshop as guests waited, and music played.
I remember the cold, oh how I remember it. But it didn't dampen our spirits.
I remember hearing "Northern Lights" by the Bowerbirds play as Autumn, Daniel, Hannah, and Ben walked down to aisle to stand with us.
I remember the moment of the song when it swelled and I turned the corner and walked toward you.
I remember shivering as I stood on the front step holding your hands.
I remember I couldn't stop smiling at you.
I remember my dad reading from his black, worn bible.
I remember vowing to love you always.
I remember the kiss.
I remember the joy of finally being yours.
I remember the joy of the reception, being surrounded by our dearest ones.
I remember hot apple cider and spiced cake.
I remember corn hole, hillbilly golf, and the smell of a warm fire.
I remember our first dance, and how you actually did a choreographed bit with me.
I remember smiling so much, my face hurt.
I remember running through a line of our dear ones as birdseed rained down.
I remember driving away in the old Buick, and cars following and honking in true Rife style.
I remember switching cars at the church, then driving off to start our lives together.


last hike...

After my grandpa's graveside service, our extended family gathered for one last walk around the farm together.  It was such a sweet time remembering so many years of memories.  I won't write a big explanation, just post some pictures instead.


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