Thursday, April 29, 2010

For the first time since we've been married Clay and I celebrated the anniversary of our engagement. On a beautiful spring day four years ago Clay picked me up after a busy day of classes and drove me in his little white Chevy s10 out to his parent's farm to ride horses. Though we usually went riding on the weekends instead of during the week this was a common occurrence and I didn't think anything unusual was happening. I was a bit stressed out due to an overload of homework and the end of semester exams approaching and at some point Clay had to stop the truck and pray with me before I could be sane enough to enjoy the evening.

Riding horses in the warm air and green fields with Clay was the perfect therapy after such a stressful day. After riding for a bit Clay steered us down to our favorite spot along the creek bed on McCall's property and let the horses graze while we sat on a small rock ledge. Looking handsome in his cowboy duster and boots Clay knelt down in front of me. Being the naive person that I am I still didn't suspect a pending proposal (even after wishing for it the previous few months...) and I was also totally oblivious to Clay's nervousness and the fact that he was wearing a hot riding duster on such a warm day (he couldn't hide the ring box in those levi riding jeans). It wasn't until he started talking about how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, sitting on our front porch swing together as old fogies (okay, he didn't use that exact wording), that it all started to dawn on me.

A blissful half an hour later we were walking into his parent's house where they were waiting with a big dinner and congratulatory hugs. Being the gentleman that he is Clay had already called and asked my dad's permission. Champagne and strawberries and dinner outside under the stars was the perfect final touch.

So this year we did a celebratory ride in honor of that momentous day in our lives together. Our front porch overlooks that special spot on the creek bed and after riding for a while on McCall's property we spent some time reminiscing on the same rock ledge. And though it wasn't planned what helped make it even more special for me was that I could look across and see our minivan through the trees. And the fact that afterward we had to drive over to his parent's house to pick up our two children to bring them home and put them to bed before breaking out the champagne and strawberries and Marx brothers. Our lives began together on that day and we were fully united on our wedding day and those days will always be special for those reasons (hence why we celebrate the anniversaries). But those are not truly the best days of my life because we have matured and our marriage has matured and added a wonderful family to the mix so that I can say that yesterday was the best day of my life. And I expect to continue having more and more best days of my life.

Call me sentimental and mushy but that's what champagne, strawberries & whipped cream does to me (and a certain Stetson-hat-wearing cowboy).