The Reason I’m Getting Married

I haven’t written a post in over two weeks, which is awful, but holy wedding crunch. Anyone who has had a big wedding knows that the final few weeks are insane with things you simply cannot do until the end, once you have a final guest count and subsequent names. I won’t bore you with the details, but you should know that I have two major blisters on my hands from a hot glue gun, the cases of wine for the rehearsal dinner may or may not show up in time, and the table layout is still in process for its 123rd revision. C’est la vie!

In much better news, I’m obsessed with Aaron and can’t wait to marry him. Although I try not to write many posts that are solely about me, myself, and I, Wedding Week calls for something personal. So I’m going to tell you why I’m so excited and ready to marry Aaron. A lot of people have asked, “How do you know he’s the one?” Well, here’s my answer, and hopefully it will give my single ladies something to hold out for, as well as remind my married readers of their own love.

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/aaron-shannon-engagement

From the very start of our relationship, Aaron has given me no reason to worry. He has never ignored a text, acted questionably, or seemed unsure. He was open with me from day one about his past and kept me in the loop every step of the way (as much as was necessary) with the process of transitioning a long-time on-again, off-again ex out of his life. I bring this up only because I have so many friends who tell me of their insecurities with a the guy they’re dating, whom they think is interested in someone else or is still holding onto a different relationship. I’ve been there, too. It’s horrible, and makes the girl feel second best, crazy, and unsatisfied.

Aaron’s transparency from the get-go– not to mention how clear he was about his intentions with me– set our foundation on trust, openness, and pure devotion. I’ve never had to be anxious over what he’s thinking, wonder how he feels about me, or overanalyze his actions. The ease I’ve felt from day one is something I’d never, ever experienced, and is the reason I finally understand the sentiment “when you know, you know.” I used to think that phrase was simply describing an electric chemistry, but in reality, it’s describing an unwavering peace. The way he treats me gives me full confidence in our commitment, which is something I’m grateful for every single day.

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/aaron-shannon-engagement

But we can’t ignore the chemistry. It’s ridiculous. I mean, have you seen the man? He’s hot. Beyond the physical, we understand each other so well that it feels like he’s an extension of me. Whether it’s laughing until it hurts at some obscure thing that comes out of one of our mouths, him holding me as I cry because American Sniper is the saddest movie ever (and that turns into a cryfest about missing my mom because I simply cannot separate my emotions—I’ve tried), or talking about world issues and spirituality, we’re constantly bonding. I’ve never been more myself, and at my best. He’s my favorite person to hang out with, but I also want to kiss him all the time. It’s really fun.

Compatibility is key, too. We both love to travel, so I can fully support him in the Coast Guard because I understand military life, plus I love living in new places and meeting new people. I also love seeing how much he enjoys his career, and am excited to support him in that—which includes encouraging his decision to accept a new position that he’s been wanting for years, but means he will now deploy for two months just one week after we return from our honeymoon. Gulp.

On top of that, Aaron and I have the same dreams and goals for our future family, both love adventures, both tackle our relationship with direct intention and regular conversations about how we can be better for each other, and both really like sushi. And wine. And Singapore rice noodles. And New Girl. We’ve learned where the other stands with God and found a church that can help us both grow. We have developed guidelines for our behavior so that temptations never tear us apart. We’ve invested in friendships that we know are good for us as a couple and as individuals, including our wise, esteemed, and giving mentors who facilitated our premarital counseling. Basically, we like the same things and approach life the same way, which is just amazing.

Aaron also simply loves me for who I am without asking me to change, yet challenges me to be better. It’s a balancing act that he manages so perfectly. He is passionate about my passions, constantly pushing me to invest more time and resources into writing and singing, never tiring (at least on the surface) of listening to me practice or hearing ideas I have about a blog post. Also, my sassiness (my friends know I’m just a littleeeee Type A and kind of a firecracker) doesn’t upset him because A) he’s insanely even-keeled, and B) he claims that my sassiness is intertwined with my creativity and passion for life, which are two things he says he loves most about me. He dreams big, and so do I. Whenever I’m apologizing profusely for snapping at him or freaking out over something dumb (which I do try to curb, I promise), he just hugs me and says he thinks it’s funny and that it’s why he loves me so much. “Sassiness comes with the territory of someone artistic and invested in the world.” Am I lucky, or am I lucky?

Plus he never makes me feel “crazy.” He lets me scroll through his Instagram or Facebook feed when I get bored of my own, and even gives me his phone to answer texts for him while he’s driving. Total trust. No secrets. Complete unity. And even when I do do something I feel guilty about, like look at old pictures of his out of curiosity, I always tell him what I did, because I know instead of being mad and defensive, he’ll just say, “I mean, curiosity is natural. I don’t blame you. Just know that if I’m ever planning a surprise for you through my phone, you’ll probably ruin it.” Yeah. I’ll keep him.

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/aaron-shannon-engagement

I adore Aaron for who he is, too. He is kind, open, and enthusiastic. He has a unique and impressive way of seeing past exteriors and getting to know people for their souls…almost to the point that I’m concerned for his safety. [Ex: A week or two into getting to know each other, he was driving back from a quick trip to Philly, and we talked on the phone his whole drive home. While talking, he picked up a hitchhiker and told me he’d call me back in 5 minutes or less once he dropped the hitchhiker off, only 2 miles away. Twenty minutes later, I thought he had been murdered, so I called him back. He said he was stopping for gas and getting some food, taking his sweet time– meanwhile I’m in the hot tub thinking that a hitchhiker just dismembered the potential love of my life.] But I love how he so naturally exemplifies the message I work hard to spread in terms of breaking stereotypes and embracing differences.

Then there’s the fact that Aaron is as intelligent as he is open, with an engineering degree from the Coast Guard Academy, and a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland. This comes in very useful, like when we were measuring and cutting our escort cards at Kinkos, or when our fridge didn’t fit into its wall slot. 🙂

I’m in love with a well-trained handyman who can fix anything, feels strongly about supporting our family, and is just an all-around respectable husband-to-be. Not to mention he’s a renaissance man who taught himself to make jewelry, supports the arts, and owns a Ferrari (casual). And nothing is below him or “out of his comfort zone.” He has been an equal partner in planning our wedding, never wanting to miss a vendor meeting, getting excited about making decorations (it’s truly amazing to witness), and even returning the swimsuits I bought for our honeymoon once I realized that they were way too expensive, but I was too embarrassed to go back to the boutique and return them. He’s a real gem.

I could go on and on…about how he gives me a massage almost every day (and has read books on how to make them professional-grade), is an amazing cook, how much fun we have during mundane errands, the way that he just scoops me up in his strong, manly arms to kiss me when I’m in the middle of cleaning, how any little argument or disagreement is solved incredibly fast due to our mutual dedication to deliberate communication, the way he finishes my sentences, how he always calls me “the littlest”– which is both false and my favorite thing ever, and how he texts me randomly throughout the day just to say “I love you.” But I need to stop myself at some point, I guess. Let’s just say it’s good. It really is as good as it sounds.

I don’t know how interesting or beneficial all of this will be to my readers, but I wanted to write it all down for me, as well. Something I can come back to when we inevitably go through a hard time, or when I miss him while he’s out to sea. I am so honored, blessed, excited, and ready to marry Aaron this Saturday. I love him wholly, and can’t wait to take his name and call him my family.

Happy Wedding Week!

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/aaron-shannon-engagement

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