Eight years ago today, I married my perfect match. It hasn't been all sunshine and roses, but it's been pretty amazing.
We live a full, blessed life, and I couldn't be more grateful that I get to live it with Nick.
To celebrate this year, we spent a night downtown, visiting our favorite spots, our old neighborhoods, and eating a lot.
Like really a lot.
Our first stop was at the market, where we had lunch, looked at the flowers and decided to dodge the Saturday crowds. We made our way back to the car in the crazy downpour that soaked us through, and headed up to our favorite coffee spot.
A cafe caramel seemed like the right choice, along with a cookie the size of my face.
Next up, we wound through the city, the skies clearing, back to the neighborhood we lived in right before we moved away from the city.
We walked along the water, talking about some of our favorite memories, drinking in the fickle sunshine and soaking up the quiet.
One more stop before we checked into our hotel: we made our way to the cathedral, in the heart of the city, where we went to church when we lived nearby, and where we got married. It's our tradition to go back every year and spend some quiet time together, and attend Mass if we can.
It was quiet, evening was setting in. We wandered around, knelt to pray, took time at each statue, lit candles, remembered. I miss that church. We went back the next morning for Mass, the church bells ringing so loudly, we could hear them from our hotel. The place was packed, standing room only. The priest, who pastors thousands, remembered us. Remembered it was our anniversary, prayed for us. The choir's voice filled the entire sanctuary. The smells of incense wafted in every corner. People from all walks of life crowded the pews - the homeless, the downtrodden, families, elderly, college students, visitors from around the world. It felt a little like what I imagine Heaven to be - all gathered together in worship. I was teary throughout the service, taken by the utter beauty that is our God.
Back into our cozy hotel room, with its french press and pillow top bed, looking downtown.
We had the best dinner I've eaten in a really, really long time at a cozy little restaurant.
We walked in the rain to a tiny little theater for a movie and took a taxi back to the hotel,
where we romantically caught up on everything we missed of the Final Four.
I woke up about 18 times in the night, expecting one or more kids to crawl into bed or need to be changed or in need of a bottle. Getting used to the quiet is weird.
Our last run was to the neighborhood we lived in as newlyweds, in a hippie man's basement. He made a hobby of redoing VW vans, smoked weed and asked generally inappropriate questions. He was funny and quirky and we loved his basement.
It's where it all began, I guess.
We had brunch at one of our favorite spots, and then, as to not forget our little dudes, we made one last stop at the doughnut shop for the only souvenir they'd really appreciate.
It was the perfect weekend: time alone, rest, eating really good food,
and reminiscing over all the good times we've had in the last eight years.
I love you, Nick. You're my favorite.