Monday, May 26, 2014

The best day yet

Regardless if you run, dance, sing, play sports, whatever you do for fun - there's a moment of anticipation before "the big dance." The curtain is about to go up, the starting gun is about to go off, and there's that final moment to catch your breath, look around, take in the moment, and realize the magnitude of what's about to happen. You know things will be different thereafter, that this is a game changer.
That's what it felt like before my first marathon, and before I walked into my oral exams for my doctoral program. And that's what it felt like when I stood in front of my childhood home on the morning of my wedding. Everything was planned out - I could visualize a lot: the church, the dancing, the dress, my friends and family there, seeing the man who will be my husband, but the anticipation was tremendous.
Seventy of our dearest family and friends were going to be there for the big day, and I knew in order to have a clear head, I would need to go for a short run. Running has seen me through some of my other big days and put me on the right foot (pun intended), so why wouldn't it kick off my big day? It was one of the best runs of my life. 4 miles just under eight minute pace on a beautiful sunny morning. All of my favorite songs were playing, my heart was racing as I ran through the streets of my childhood. I felt like I should've been clanging a bell and shouting "It's my wedding day!" I had a big smile on my face and was bopping around as I was running, I may have looked ridiculous - or just in love! (Cue either "aww" or Liz Lemon eye roll). 
Me with my family
It's hard to sum up my wedding day - even the pictures and video won't do justice. But things I'll never forget:

  • That first rush of butterflies when I woke up on my wedding morning.
  • Quiet time with my mom before the day really began.
  • Getting my hair done with my fabulous bridesmaids.
  • Listening to music and sitting on my childhood bed with my bridesmaids as we got ready
  • Finally getting into the dress and having it fit perfectly
  • That second rush of adrenaline when the limo pulled up to the house and it was time to go to the church
  • The moment of the doors opening and seeing my soon-to-be husband for the first time
  • The joy of walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing all of my family and friends there
  • Greeting Pat at the front of the altar in the company of a friend of mine (our celebrant was a friend of mine from grad school)
  • The joy of standing on the altar and facing everyone, and all of the other special moments in mass
  • My brother beautifully doing one of the readings
  • Stepping down for the sign of peace with our families
  • Being introduced as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time
  • Taking pictures around my hometown, even stopping traffic for a dip in the middle of our main street
  • Greeting everyone at the reception, including family and friends I hadn't seen in years
  • Our first dance (song: You are the Best Thing - Ray Lamontagne)
  • Dancing with my dad
  • Really, all of the dances - my grandma even danced to the Cupid Shuffle!
  • The beautiful toasts from our families
  • Our delicious gluten free cake
Me and my best friend and maid of honor
Dipping in the streets of Spencerport
  • The joy of having nearly all of our favorite people in the same room
    You may kiss the bride!
    Delicious cake!
It really can't be articulated. All of those marathons and PRs had given me a sense of joy and satisfaction, but it was nothing like this. My marathons were all solo adventures. Yes, I had the support of family and friends, but this was the starting line at the newest race - our marathon life together. And for part of the day, I was thinking this was the best day ever, which I told my husband. But he said "Do you really want this to be it? We still have a lot of living to do. How about 'best day yet'?" And I liked that so much more. 
I'm just over a week into life as a Mrs., and it's pretty sweet. Marital bliss in the early miles of our marriage - looking forward to all of the other mile markers ahead.