I can’t believe this is true, but today is chad and I’s one year anniversary.
Last year, at this very time, i was waking up with butterflies in my stomach, a giant list of to-do’s scrolling through my mind, and the growing thought that it was the last day i would ever be Signe Walsh.
That was honestly the best day of my life.
I was surrounded by incredible friends and family.
It was a beautiful day.
And everything went by in the blink of an eye.
i remember waking up early, and even though you aren’t supposed to visit the groom on the day of the wedding, i snuck down to his hotel room to find him already awake reading his bible in a chair in the corner of the room. we talked a little bit, cried a little bit, snuggled a little bit. and i’m so glad we broke the rules, because that moment turned out to be one of my favorites of the day.
In honor of today, I am going to tell you a little about our love story.
And since I have had quite a few people email me to ask about wedding images, I am going to do a few “wedding posts” at the beginning of next week.
So here is a little bit about how we started and how we ended up as Mr. & Mrs. just one year ago today.
We (Signe & Chad) met in the smoky mountains of Tennessee. He lived in Los Angeles at the time, and I in Dallas, Texas. We spent a few days together guiding a trip for my company, and instantly knew that there was something behind those little flirty glances and one deep, meaningful talk at the airport on the way home to our respectable cities.
He flew back to LA and I to Dallas….but he was insistent in his pursuit. Many texts were sent back and forth before Chad finally got up the nerve to call me. He left a voicemail that I still have on my phone to this day, telling me he liked me, and asking me on a date.
(I have played that voicemail over and over and over)
A card came in the mail a few days later with clues as to what our first date would be, what to wear, and what we would be snacking on.
I figured it was too good to be true.
We spent a week together on that first date, a few days spent in Dallas and then traveling to my hometown and then to his to meet his parents.
In the middle of our week, sitting on a swing under al live oak tree at his parents ranch in Austin, he told me that he was having so much fun with me, but that he could never date someone who lived so far away.
It’s safe to say I was heartbroken.
But I played it off that we were great friends, and enjoyed the rest of the week with him. As the week went by, our connection grew stronger.
I felt like I had known him a million years.
And on our last night together, laying under the stars on the dock of his parents lake house, he told me he had something important to talk to me about.
He said things to me that night that I will never, ever forget.
He knew that his life had changed that week, as did mine.
And he told me he couldn’t go back to California without knowing that I was his.
I, of course, told him I wanted to see how things played out, but that I too liked him very much and knew that something unexplainable had grown between us in the short time that we had known each other.
It was so incredibly hard to leave each other that next day.
As I dropped him off at the airport, we both had heavy hearts. Filled with sadness of leaving each other, fear that this “thing” could fizzle, hope that it would work out, and a huge unexplainable feeling that both of our lives had just changed in a very big way.
For weeks and weeks after that, I received countless love letters, packages, poetry, songs…you name it. This man knew how to pursue me, and pursue me well.
We spent every single night talking on the phone.
Some nights I had only an hour or two of sleep. But felt as wide awake as ever the next day at work. I was on a love high.
We flew back and forth to each other’s homes.
He romanced me in LA. Showing me his life, his heart, who he was and who he had been the past four years living in LA.
And i wanted more.
And so did he.
I remember the day he told me he was moving back to Texas.
I couldn’t believe it.
I felt torn, knowing that he would have to leave his life in LA, but also knew that he was serious about pursuing our relationship even more, as he was making a huge step to move closer to me. I knew that the things he was in LA for no longer interested him and knew that God had a hold of these plans and we would both end up where we were supposed to be.
He packed up everything he owned into his prius, and drove right out of california, and right into my arms.
A few months of living in the same city went by, and then he was off to Romania to film a movie. He had gotten a really great part right before he left LA and would be gone for a whole month to film it.
I was sad to see him go, but my heart was bursting with pride.
We skyped every chance we got.
Thanksgiving came and went.
And the next thing I knew, I was on a plane to meet him in NYC at the end of November. We spent a few glorious days with his brother (and my now sister in law) touring NYC at Christmas time.
Everything we did in those few days just solidified our love for me.
I wanted so badly to be a part of his life, his family…everything.
(And little did I know, he felt the same way. The day before I got to NY, he had just flown in from Romania and headed straight out into the city to buy me an engagement ring.) And find one he did. After he purchased the ring, he walked over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There, he prayed for our relationship and the things to come, and wrote a beautiful note on the back of an old peanut bag. He gave me that note on the day we were engaged, and to this day it sits on the shelf in my room.
In December, we drove from Dallas to Austin to celebrate Christmas with his parents and brother & sister in law in Austin.
It was still late in the night/early in the morning when I heard my name whispered in my ear. Chad had come into my bedroom to wish me a Merry Christmas.
As my eyes adjusted, I realized it was too early to be waking up, and I knew something big was about to happen. I hugged him close, all the while trying to figure out what was happening. He told me to get a warm coat on, and wrapped me up in blankets.
We walked out of the ranch house, and down a gravel road to a small cabin in the distance. (Chad’s parents live on a ranch, and there are a few small cabins from the 1800′s around the property) I could see it glowing and my heart began to thump very loudly. I looked up at him as we walked hand in hand. My teeth chattered, I giggled a bit as I said a few nonsensical things. I could tell he was nervous, but so excited to show me what was inside that cabin.
As he opened the door, my heart began to beat faster in awe of what I was seeing.
The tiny cabin was aglow with hundreds of candles in vintage glasses and vases.
The whole thing was lit with a beautiful christmas glow.
I looked back to him, and he was already on one knee.
(i’m blubbering like a baby right now)
He said beautiful words that are forever in my heart, and asked me to be his wife.
(of course I said yes)
We spent the next hour or so sitting in the cabin looking at all our love letters he had “borrowed” out of my bedroom back home, and tacked up on the back wall. He read to me the beautiful note he penned in the cathedral the day he bought my ring. We prayed together…we dreamed a little. We cried and we laughed.
And then cried some more.
It was a beautiful start to an amazing life together.
Fast‐forward seven months.
We were married one year ago today on July 7th, 2012 in Dripping Springs,Texas at Vista West Ranch. It was a magical setting, and fit both of our personalities perfectly. We wed in front of a rustic barn, with the view of the Texas Hill Country just beyond the altar.
He is a mountain man, and I a lover of all things vintage.
Together, we created a ceremony that embodied both.
We included a Shakespearean sonnet that he recites to me often, and my brothers played Mumford and Sons Wedding Band “I take your hand” as we smiled down the aisle as husband and wife. (they are a talented two, i tell you) Keifer, my youngest brother actually composed “Beth/Rest” by bon iver on the piano to play at the beginning of the ceremony. They both made that day even more incredible.
The music was folksy and eclectic, and the food was from Whole Foods, one of our favorite lunch spots. There were yard games, etched “hillbilly wine glasses” for the bridal party, vintage knick knacks, postcard table settings with a note on the back of each state in which we had a lasting memory, a giant candy bar filled with all of our favorite candies, and monogrammed pie pops.
It was a beautiful day, and I’m excited to share it with you over the next few days.
Now, i must go start cooking a secret anniversary breakfast, and get ready to celebrate this joyous occasion! We made it one full year! It hasn’t always been easy. We have sure had our share of up’s and downs. And acclimating to living together under one roof has been annoying at times, hilarious at times, and lovely at times.
We have had those ridiculous tiffs (ya know, the ones you end up laughing over), but those have been outshined by every single morning we get to wake up and smile at each other. The laughs we have shared. The hurdles we have jumped. The days that have gone by where our love just grows and grows.
Why do they say the first year is the hardest?
It’s been lovely.
Here’s to many, many, many lovely firsts.
Many, many years to come.
And a love that will hopefully and prayerfully continue to give us both butterflies, and yet grow deeper every single day.
Happy one year to my amazing husband, and here’s to many more laughs, tears and joy filled days with you.
Now, all of that being said, can I wear my wedding dress around the house today and pretend i’m getting married all over again?