Ten years ago today, Daniel and I said our "I do's." Each anniversary that passes always feels like a blink of an eye. At 22 we were very young and very much in love. Today we are still young and still in love.
Anthony Creek Trail, Great Smoky Mountain National Park 2003
Ten years ago I didn't really have a clue about what to expect for the future. I just knew that I wanted to be with Daniel. I had no idea that we would move to two new states. Or that Daniel would be laid off from a job and be jobless for a full year. Or that we would decide to wait so long to have our first child. I had no idea how much I could love a baby or how much more that baby would make me love Daniel. I also had no clue how hard being parents would be or how living on such little sleep could make it so difficult to do simple, every day things. I didn't know that we would spend 5 years renovating a house or choose to live in a camper for 3 months.
The long drive from Tennessee to Durango, Durango Mexico 2004
If I could go back and give advice to the newly-wed me, I would be sure to say the following:
Mt Mitchell, North Carolina 2004
Make sure you find older couples who have been married longer than you to watch and learn from. Having role models will have a huge impact on your life. Sometimes observing both the good and bad will help you to learn and adapt in your own marriage. We are tremendously blessed in the fact that my grandparents were married for almost 60 years and my parents have been married for 36 years. Watching this kind of longevity in a marriage has had a tremendous impact on our own marriage.
Koko Crater, Oahu Hawaii 2005
Along these lines, watch how couples around you are raising their kids. What works? What doesn't? Observation is a powerful tool and will help you tremendously when you do decide to have kids.
Scuba Diving, Madang, Papua New Guinea 2005
Develop a hobby (or hobbies) that you love to do together. Friendship is the glue that will keep you going when things get tough.
Move to Charlotte, North Carolina 2005
Choose everyday to stay married.
Mt. Rogers, Virginia 2005
Choose love. Some days it will be harder than others.
Grayson Highlands, Virginia 2006
It's okay to fight. But fight fair. Sometimes you will both think you are right and the other person is dead wrong. Let it go. Agree to disagree.
You don't have to be right all of the time. Let it go.
Charleston, South Carolina 2008
Finally have fun together. Laughter will cure the biggest hurt. Laugh at the craziness of life. Laugh to be silly. Laugh to have fun together. See the ridiculous around you. Laughter will keep you grounded and will help you to get past the things that don't feel so funny.
God blessed me so much when he brought Daniel into my life. It was a Saturday in February in Searcy, Arkansas in 2000. A group of my friends were assembling to go on a caving trip with me. Daniel got invited to tag along.
My life has never been the same since that day that we met.
Since that day we have crawled through caves; climbed mountains; paddled rivers; walked countless miles through the woods and to waterfalls and over hills. We have swam in the ocean and watched shooting stars.
Daniel is my mate for life and I am so thankful that God brought us together 12 years ago.
Ten years is just the tip of the iceburg, Daniel Moore. I expect to take adventures together for as long as we both live.
Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada 2012