How it all started | Here's to... | Giving personal blogging a chance

Hello Life,

I am writing to you because today marks a special day for us. It's a day of reminiscing and a day get a little bit sentimental and although I was not sure whether I wanted to share any of this publicly I decided to do so because I have learnt that I can participate in other people's joy and sadness even if I don't know them personally of maybe just briefly and am thankful for their ability to share. I like hearing about other people’s lives and since whoever is reading this right now hasn’t stopped reading yet they might enjoy that too.
So I will give it a try.

Ten years ago in the early months of 2004 I was putting together my first series of cards – wedding invitations to be exact. The couple I did them for did not like the ones they could afford and the pretty ones were just ridiculous in price. I did quite a few mock-ups, tried to combine the wished of the bride and groom always bearing in mind that the invitation was supposed to give the guests an idea of what the wedding was going to be like.
Honestly, I did a terrible job. But I loved making every single card and every single envelope by hand and that is how I got stuck with the card making thing. I got myself some punches, started collecting paper, ribbons, stencils, and other bits and pieces that I was surely going to find useful at some point. Card making found me somehow and it is hard to believe that it all started out of the blue...

The couple that was engaged to be married was very young by the way and a lot of people told them it was not going to last, they told them that they would eventually feel like they've missed out on things... this was doomed to fail.
However, when I attended that wedding I loved how sure they were about saying "YES" to a life with each other.  Although I know how the bride was fighting the occasional cold feet. I know her well so I can assure you that this was not because she did not love her fiancé or doubt her love for him but because committing to a lifelong relationship is a big step. Especially when you have so much life ahead of you and so little life behind you. Oh did I forget to tell you? She was 20 and he was 22.
I guess that if you are afraid to make a big decision it sometimes helps to divide it up into little steps and taking them one by one. And when the wedding day had finally arrived the bride was as sure as she could be that this was exactly what she wanted. She knew that she could not possibly know what she was actually saying ‘YES’ to but she was so sure that she wanted to find out what spending a lifetime together meant with this one man. She wanted to go on that adventure trip and she was certain that he was the guy she could trust – even if they climbed highest mountains.

When you do crafts you learn by making mistakes – glue dripping (sometimes even getting superglue in your eye), sowing the wrong seam, choosing the wrong material. It’s painful and annoying, afterwards you wonder how you could be so stupid to make that mistake in the first place. It costs time, money and energy but you learn so much. Sometimes you won’t be able to fix it. Often you’ll be able to work with what’s left. You’ll be more alert the next time. I guess the same thing is true for mistakes in everyday life. You know, that couple that got married ten years ago... they made each other’s lives so much better... but they’ve also made things really hard for the other one. I know for a fact that those two made a lot of mistakes. Some bigger than others. Some that affected just them others that had an effect on other people. Sometimes ‘sorry’ doesn’t fix it. At times they did not know how to go on. But they did. Every day at a time. One step after the other. And I am glad that they never gave up...

...because half of that couple is... me.

Now, those couples out there who have been committed to each other for 15, 20, 30 years or even longer may say, ‘What do they know after only a decade’ and they are right... We don’t know a lot and if I ever read this again I’ll say the same thing about me, ‘Little did I know then...’ but today I am thankful that there is a ‘we’ that is ready to fight together, that has things they want to fight for, goals they want to reach, places they want to visit. We are both not the type who learns from other people’s mistakes – we have to make them ourselves and we’ve broken a lot of glass (figuratively and literally – I remember breaking a glass jug that my husband’s Aunt and Uncle received as a wedding present and their reaction was the kindest I have ever experienced: Uncle S. hugged me and said, ‘People matter so much more to us than things.’ He didn’t even tell me to be more careful the next time. He was sure that I would be. And he was right because I haven’t broken any kind of glass with hot water ever since.)

I am thankful that there are people outside of that ‘us’ who love us unconditionally! U.N.C.O.N.D.I.T.I.O.N.A.L.L.Y. I am thankful for our families who love us – as individuals and together. I am beyond thankful for having a mother in law who supports me (especially with my decisions concerning the children) and who is interested in what I do. Talking to friends has let me realise that this is not a common thing. It is special.

A lot has changed in these past 10 years. We would do the wedding a lot differently.
Our guest list would be very different. It is part of life that people move away or you lose contact over the years if lives develop in very different directions. Other people have entered our life after our wedding and we regret that we haven’t met them sooner because we would have loved to share that memory with them. But don’t let me forget the ones that were there on July 3rd 2004... the many friends who enrich our lives. Some of them are even closer to us now than they were back then. I love that. I love to have friends that go way back to my childhood days and some that I met in the past years.
Also during these past years we had to say Goodbye to four of our five grandparents who were still alive back then. When I look at our wedding pictures the photos that show any of them bring me to tears. Every time.
We would pick different locations, have different food, decorations, we would book a professional photographer (a mistake I hope others can learn from because that is one mistake you don't get to do twice. If you drop the ball there the day will have gone by and you'll have to get someone to photoshop other people out of the picture so you'll have at least one decent photo of you to send out on the Thank You card.). The flowers, the invitations (thankfully I had a progress in these past years), my hair – we (or in the last case: I) would do it differently. But if you honestly think about it: these things don't matter. They become blurry over time and the only thing that remains to be important is the decision that was made that day.
(And also I have to admit I am glad we didn't have to the live with the same pressure that wedding couples have to deal with nowadays. It seems like expectations have risen tremendously. So, saying that you would want it differently and having to do it (and paying for it) are two very different things.)

It was only last week that I made peace with a lot of the decisions we made concerning the celebration of our wedding. On the 10th anniversary of our civil marriage our 3-year-old had a celebration at her Kindergarten and guess what... it was held at the exact same location where we had our reception. I watched her running around in circles in that place and remembered the room so full of people celebrating our day with us. That day was so filled with love. I thought of how many things had changed in our friends lives and at how many weddings we have danced in the meantime. And then I thought of how much had changed in our life. Back then I would never have imagined that exactly 10 years later we would have two wonderful children and that I would be able to explain to one of them that Mummy and Daddy celebrated their wedding right where she was standing.

Yes, a lot has changed in ten years. We've changed jobs, cars, flats, hairstyles, phones (oh the many phones we’ve had in 10 years...) and many other things.
One thing we would still be the same: we would say yes to each other. And now that we've known each other for 13 1/2 years that 'yes' would even mean a lot more.

Back then others did the toasting. Today it is my turn.
Here’s to...
...being open to change.
...making mistakes... ...and having people who forgive you.
...taking the risk of the unknown (especially when you have good company).
...lifelong learning.
...being thankful that your partner will never be perfect because otherwise you’d be the one who does ALL the mistakes.
...saying 'sorry' that is not followed by '...but'.
...saying 'sorry THAT I hurt you' and not 'sorry IF I hurt you'. other people new chances and realising you will be granted even more. beginnings.
...taking the risk of commitment and being rewarded with more than you could have dreamed to get in return.
...helping each other to blossom.

Here’s to my best friend, my partner in crime, the one I never want to be without – the love of my life.












P.S.: I’ll see you on Saturday.


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