Hi there, hive! It has been too long!
To those who don’t know me, I’m Mrs. Panda, from the Endangered Animals generation. My husband, PBear, and I had an intimate, DIY heavy, pink/peach/blue vintage-themed wedding in Boston last June.
It is beyond crazy to me that it has already been more than a year since we said our vows in front of our friends and family. It seems like just yesterday, and yet, it also feels like we have been married forever. I have to say, being married has been so much more amazing and awesome than I ever imagined it to be. I love calling PBear my husband—it still makes me giggle every time.
When I think back at our wedding, I have to say, our wedding ceremony and our vows are still one of my favorite parts. We spent quite a bit of time before our wedding try to put together a set of vows that not only represented our relationship, but also represented our hopes and dreams for the future, and a year later, I still tear up when I read those words and they still resonate so much with our relationship.
Our vows had three sections, similar to the amazing Jam template—the first part where we stated what we loved about each other, the second part where we talked about the cute sweet things that make our relationship tick, and the third part where we vowed to be there for each other. I have to say our vows were insanely long, but you know what? I wouldn’t change it if I could.
I love that you ground me. You are my rock. I love that you understand me better than I understand myself. I love that even after all of these years, I still get butterflies every time I see you. But most of all, I love that you are my best friend, my constant companion, and my better half.
These are still the things that I love about him after all of these years. I am always amazed when PBear knows what I’m going to say before I have coherently solidified it in my mind. He really still is my best friend and my better half.
And because I love you, I promise to always write you little sweet notes when I leave in the morning and to give you the last marshmallow when we make hot chocolate; I promise to always laugh at your stupid jokes, and to let you hide behind me when TV shows get awkward.
This section to me always indicated remembering the little things you do for someone because you’re thinking about them on a day-to-day basis. I still laugh at PBear’s stupid jokes (because I find them hilarious even if they’re kind of dumb), and I still let him have the last marshmallow. But now that PBear and I get up at the same time in the morning, it doesn’t make sense to leave him a note when I could just kiss him goodbye. Our inside jokes and ways we show our affection have changed and evolved over time, but what is constant is that we take the time to remember each other and that we’re a team.
I promise to love and cherish you always and forever.
I promise to comfort and encourage you, and to hug you often.
I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in hardship and in triumph.
I promise to dream with you, to celebrate with you, and to walk beside you through whatever our lives may bring.
I love you and I like you.
PBear and I wrote the ending of our vows together, and it’s the only part that was in both of our vows. To me, it’s about celebrating the good times and banding together in the bad. It’s about recognizing that there will be ups and downs in our future, but striving to be partners every step of the way. It’s about remembering that our love is what will carry us through.
In April, I finally finished up my Ph.D. After years of stress, self doubt, and lots of hard work, I am truly happy to come out the other side. I have to say, a big part of why I could was because of PBear. I am eternally grateful for his love and support and encouragement when I wanted to quit or when everything was going wrong. It probably wasn’t an easy year being married to me. I spent a lot of time working, writing, and being so stressed that I was making myself sick. PBear was there, letting me bounce thoughts off of him, listening to my defense presentation at least 100 times, and making sure I remembered to eat. I am so, so, so lucky to have him in my life.
But you know, sometimes it’s not really the big events that I want to remember the most, five, ten years down the line. What I love the most about being with PBear is our day-to-day adventures. Though our lives are rather boring, I am so grateful for the little things we do for each other. I love that PBear always checks to make sure I have water on me at all times, and I like to make him a tasty treat when he’s had a hard day. I love when we cook dinner together, each taking a specific part of the recipe while laughing, singing, and talking about our day. There is definitely plenty of love, laughter, and hugs in our life. Thus, I’d like to think that we live our vows the most not in the big events, but every day, and in those little ways.
I don’t want to pretend that our lives and relationship are perfect—we have our share of arguments and disagreements. Maintaining a relationship is definitely work, but we try to work through our problems together as a team, and we strive to put our relationship first.
My anniversary gift to PBear
I think that “Union” by Robert Fulghum, one of our readings, summarized it the best: “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.”