When I got married…..
…..I was in madly, head-over-heels in love.
Shining-stars-in-the-eyes-bird-chirping-angels-playing-harps-singing-the-hallelujah-chorus kind of love.
I walked down the aisle in a white dress…..on the arm of my father…..hoping I didn’t trip on the monogrammed runner with the scent of Christmas trees filling the church….
….toward the most wonderful pair of twinkling brown eyes I have ever seen.
And I thought that this was it.
This was the fairy tale.
This was love.
I was wrong.
I didn’t understand that true love isn’t simply white dresses and birds chirping and Christmas tree scented church aisles and simply saying you may now kiss your bride.
True love is in the living.
In the small things.
In the details.
In the showing up and being counted.
Last week I spoke at the SNAP conference.
This is me trying to look attentive and studious while I’m listening to Vanessa’s speech. I know her talk was wonderful and insightful and full of amazing points about how to use story-telling to add personality to your blog….
….but I didn’t hear a word.
I couldn’t…..my heart was pounding too loudly.
I’m not sure why I was so nervous. I mean….I’ve spoken before about growing your blog and how to be organized for Christmas and why you should never wear Lee Press-On Nails to a boot camp graduation….
….all without a single shiver of my shoulders.
But this time was different.
Maybe because I was sharing my stories and reading them out loud?
Maybe because I had gulped down six glasses of water waiting for the other speakers to finish?
Maybe because I had over-practiced my speech in the hotel room and changed it four times and wondered if it even made sense and if anyone would even understand….
….and why didn’t SNAP offer canned laugh tracks for speeches?
Suddenly it was my turn.
They called my name and I started walking to the front of the room.
And in that quiet, silent walk to the podium…..my heart was pounding so loudly I thought the entire front row could hear it.
I turned to face the audience with the crumpled stack of papers that was my speech clutched tightly in my shaking hands….reached for the microphone…..sent a silent prayer and took a deep breath.
And then I saw him.
I didn’t know my husband was coming.
I didn’t know he would be there.
I had told him not to come. I told him it would make me too nervous. I told him that I had spoken before and that it was no big deal and that he had a million other things to do and he would probably be bored and to work on his paper instead.
But he didn’t listen.
And now that amazing pair of twinkling brown eyes met mine from the very back row of the auditorium.
Eyes that smiled at me.
Eyes that said….you got this.
Eyes that said….
…..I love you.
And right there in the middle of the middle of the SNAP conference…..a blonde-haired-red-lipstick-wearing-speaker with a pounding heart and a crumpled speech and a few stories to tell….smiled….gave the speech of a lifetime…..
….and told those twinkling brown eyes she loved him right back.