yesterday, i went hiking with you in the wilderness.
sir winston led the way through the quiet of the morning with the mountains as our backdrop and lush green grass filling the meadows that surrounded us.
i looked absolutely ridiculous wearing your jacket with my hair protruding in every direction.
you looked like a professional, a model for rei perhaps.
we hiked quietly together for an hour or so, until i knew it was time for me to turn around and head back to our campsite and let you go conquer yet another 14er on your to-do list.
i kissed you on the trail, told you to be safe, and with sir winston as my guide, began the hike back.
i couldn't help but pray as i stopped to admire the beauty surrounding me in every direction.
the mountains felt especially majestic as i thanked God for the faithfulness and goodness that i just couldn't deny.
and as i prayed, i cried.
i cried because everything was so overwhelmingly glorious, and i didn't feel adequate to take it all in.
but i also cried because i was so thankful for you.
you always say that nature is your church, and in that moment, i truly understood what you meant all along.
God felt very close to me there, and i thanked him over and over again for the incredible gift you are to me.
and without you, i would have never seen such beauty, or felt such wonder, or have been overcome by such amazement.
you have introduced me to the world of 14ers, and crampons, and ice axes, and hiking boots, and cliff bars, and camelbaks, and mountains, and rivers, and camping, and hiking, and backpacking, and the God who speaks to us when we spend time in his creation.
and this may seem like an odd way to commemorate one year of marriage, but i feel like it's a perfect example of how you, mr. lesley, have changed my life.
in small ways, and in big ways, and in all the in between ways, you have wreaked some havoc on this heart of mine.
not only has this year together introduced me to the world of the outdoors but also the world of red wings hockey, and neighborhood walks with sir winston, and a long distance marriage, and morning goodbye kisses, and delicious home cooked meals (hallelujah for a man who cooks), and a lot of sweet action ice cream, and craft beer, and wrinkly shirts, and piles of piles of kleenex, and everything in between.
let's just say, our first year of marriage has been full of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
we have laughed hard and we have cried hard (well, maybe just me on the crying part.)
we have been giddy in love and silent in disappointment.
we have felt incredibly known and celebrated, and we have felt misunderstood and alone.
but we have felt it all together.
i am a better person because of you, and life is so much richer because you are by my side.
so here's to at least 100 more years of adventures, and beauty, and seeing the world with new joy that only comes from being together.
i love you.