Seven years and six months ago, I was wishing it was you taking me out for my birthday dinner, only 5 days after we had met, instead of the random date I had chosen just previous to meeting you. I was opening a homemade card from you, the best birthday gift I got that year, with a certificate for a future date. A promise that you wanted to see me again, and a tangible piece of paper that would hold you to it.
Seven years and five months ago, I was already falling in love with you. We skipped our classes one day and drove around the island, you modeling for me (even taking off your shirt! What!) so I could “practice” my photography skills. We called it MARSSH day (our names all mashed together – Meghan Adam Rose Sione Seely Harrison) and vowed to make it a tradition on the second day of every month.
Seven years and 4 months ago, I missed you when you weren’t around. We were separated for spring break – I was hiking the Napali Coast with other friends while you flew to California to be with your sister. This was the deciding factor for me: the moment I knew I didn’t want to live without you. The moment I knew that I was okay if this relationship turned into marriage….in fact, I was more than okay with that. I stalked photos of you on Facebook, and there was one black and white image of you looking away from the camera where your jawline is especially defined, and it was the face of a man (a boy, really, back then) whom I could picture walking beside me through life.
Seven years and 3 months ago, you were on a stage, down on one knee, and the audience was screaming. I was clasping my hands over my mouth and nodding my head yes, unable to actually speak any words outloud.
Seven years ago and one day ago, I was having my last Girls Only sleepover as a single woman. We watched a movie I can’t remember the name of (Heather? Keola? Sophie? Do you remember?). I was surrounded by women I loved, who supported me, who loved me back, and were simply to see me happy. In the morning, we would be married.
Seven years ago, I walked into the Logan, Utah temple – a temple you let me pick for no other reason than it reminded me of a castle – holding your hand. In the hour before our sealing, we had a few minutes to sit alone and think about the intense and eternal decision we were about to make. I was nervous, sure, but nothing felt wrong. Nothing ever felt wrong with you. It always just made sense.
Six years ago, we celebrated our first anniversary. A year spent getting to know each other, taking classes, not doing laundry until we had nothing left to wear, taking care of each other through our first (of many more to come) times of being sick (including laying on the bathroom floor, throwing up over Christmas break), and me getting used to in-laws living close.
Five years ago, we were two years in, new residents of the state of Maryland, and I was just barely pregnant with our first child. We had no idea what parenthood would mean, but it sure felt right to be jumping in anyway.
Four years ago, I wrote this on my blog: “The past year of marriage has been a bit different from the previous two. This year, I was pregnant. This year, I gave birth. This year…we became parents. Pregnancy did things to me that, frankly, weren’t pretty. Some things were just downright ugly. And the weeks following delivery? They were far, far worse. But Adam held my hand through it all, every step of the way. Not only that, but I don’t think he missed one. single. day. of telling me how beautiful I am. He thought my round, pregnant body was sexy. Held me while I cried over nothing. Made me laugh when that was the last thing I felt like doing. Cheered me on in my very weakest moment – and assured me that, yes, I really did have the strength to push Axton out in the those last unsure hours of labor. Swung my legs over the side of the bed when I could no longer do it myself (both before and after delivery). Simply put, he loved me. All of me. Outside, inside, good, bad, ugly, sad. It did not matter. Nothing changed in our relationship – except for, it did. It strengthened.”
Three years ago we had finally made up our minds to start trying for another baby, as hesitant as I was. I remember crying in bed next to you, telling you I didn’t know if I could do it all again, even though I knew we were “supposed,” to; that our family needed whomever was supposed to be joining us. You told me you’d go through it with me, as best as you could, and support me in whatever ways you could. You were so much more ready than I was, but I needed you to be.
Two years ago, we had just bought our first house, changed wards, and had our second baby. Life was big then, and heavy. I was in the dredges of postpartum doom, trying to gather my wits and feeling like everything kept spilling over the edges, out of my grasp. I’m not sure you knew just how deep I was in it all, because frankly, I’m not sure I knew either, but I do know this: you still held my hand. We still carried onward, together.
One year ago we were preparing to leave on a six day trip to Iceland together. We desperately needed the time alone, and the time away. Even now, that trip is a treasure to us. We reflect on it often: “Remember that time in Iceland when we were fighting over where to go and you made me pull over in the middle of the grass and we just sat and stared at the beauty and wondered what we were even fighting about?” / “Remember that time in Iceland when we were trying to sleep in our camper van but the wind was so violent that we seriously thought we might get picked up and blown away and we had to Google how strong winds had to be to pick a car up before we could fall asleep?” / “Remember that time in Iceland when we got on a tiny boat and rode over huge chunks of ice to the face of a glacier?”
And now, here we are today, celebrating seven years of marriage. I hadn’t even heard of the phrase “Seven year itch” until this passed year, when everyone kept saying it after they found out how long we’d been married. It was a tough year, I don’t need to remind you or myself of that. But it wasn’t our first hard year, and I know it won’t be our last. And really, the hard stuff is not what I’m going to remember. Not the specifics of it, anyway. I’m trying hard to remember instead moments like finding out we’re going to have our first daughter, and the tone of your voice when we got back into the car and you say, “She’s going to be so spoiled…..by me. I already spoil the boys, but a little mini Meghan? So much worse.”
I’m trying hard to remember moments like…..these.
Getting our first portraits taken of just the two of us since our first year of marriage. Waking up early in the morning to beat the DC crowds, doing my own hair and make-up, seeing you in the first new suit you’ve bought since your mission 11 years ago.
And then looking through these images and seeing this photo:
The face that made it all happen: The face that made me fall in love. I remember watching you as Michelle took this photo and seeing again the boy in that black and white photo, the boy I knew I could be with forever. These eyes are the ones I turn to when I’m in my darkest hour, my happiest bliss. These are the soft, kind eyes I search for when I feel lost or when I’m proud and want to share my excitement. These eyes haven’t changed in the last seven years – the face around them has, the lines have deepened just a bit, and you’ve aged as only seven years plus two and a half kids can do to a person, but you’ve only become — More. More patient, more kind, more loving, more understanding, more compromising, more gentle. You’ve become more me and I’ve become more you and slowly we really are becoming one, while still being the better version of ourselves.
I love you Adam. Seven years ago I said Yes! Today I say Yes. I’ll forever say yes to you. To us.