Following the forested path, leaping over the trickling creek, I think about how we got here.
Back to that first meeting years ago. To the night Baylor the Dog uncharacteristically pulled me into an unknown group, sensing something I didn’t yet know.
Walking onto the sandy shore, I smile, remembering.
The sparkly-eyed laughter and late-night conversations. Furry friend birthday parties and Florida beach combing. Swampy camping and desert exploring. Lazy, computer work days and busy, family fun times.
Watching as he sets up the camera, I wonder.
Where we’ll be in 5, 10, 20 years. What life will look like. When we’ll be most challenged. What will cause us to laugh until we cry.
Taking his hand in mine, I look up. Smile Commit.
To never doing it perfectly, but always giving it our best.
To appreciating the everyday adventures and seeking out the life-changing big ones.
To growing, learning, and changing along the way.
To showing up each day with as much kindness, empathy, passion, vulnerability and optimism as humanly possible.
To not knowing where life will lead, but knowing full well we want to go there together.
To all of that and more. I do.
So here’s to you, Matt.
For your generosity, compassion and quick wit. For your work ethic and follow through. For loving Baylor and letting us turn your life upside down. For giving me the freedom to roam, knowing I’ll always come right back to you. For heading into the scary unknown together and doing it with as much grace, humor and happy as we can muster. Life is a beautifully messy gift and there’s no one else I’d rather spend it with.
I know it won’t always be easy, but the best things in life never are.
As Paulo Coelho once said,
“Love isn’t just a feeling; it’s an art. And like any art, it takes not only inspiration, but also a lot of work.”
I vow to work hard, love big and give it my all.
I choose you.
Forever and always.