Canada Day long weekend has always been special for Neal and I – firstly, we had our first date on July 1st nine years ago, and exactly one year ago on July 3rd we got married! It’s kind of crazy looking back on these photos, it feels so long ago, as so much has happened for us in just one year. So, I’ll spare you the “I can’t believe it’s been a year already” mushy stuff (well, I might get mushy) and share a little insight in to our first year of marriage!
I’m so grateful God gave me Neal to be my husband. He is so patient with me, he never fails to make me feel loved, gives me grace and forgiveness daily, serves and loves me as Christ loved the church and prays over our life and future together. Our marriage and life is founded and built on our love for Jesus, and that gives us strength everyday. Marriage has been the biggest blessing in my life. Before we got married we both read the book, The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller (our pastor and a few friends recommended it to us and I still go back to read some chapters). It really helps to demystify everything society, media etc. tells you what marriage is and should look like, especially in a culture where it’s becoming less and less valued. The purpose of our relationship isn’t built on staring in to each other’s eyes — it’s built on fixing our eyes on Jesus, serving Him, serving each other, serving others and using our union to bless people around us: family, friends, homeless, poor, youth, elderly, our church and God-willing our children one day.
We’ve been through so many changes and adjustments in such a short amount of time and it was God’s grace that has covered us through: planning a wedding, moving in together, Neal quitting his job to work with me full-time, traveling the world, getting our puppy Lucy, growing our business, death and loss, illness, blessings and dream opportunities. There are peaks and valleys, and as our Pastor reminds us, those are the ridges and creases of God’s hands, which is exactly where he keeps us.
Here are some of my favourite memories from this incredible year together…
We got married on a Sunday, which may not seem like a good idea to most, but Sundays are our favourite day of the week. We honour the Lord on this day, and it meant a lot to celebrate our marriage on it as well. We had an evening wedding and I remember how hot and sunny it was that day (definitely not the best choice in picking a long sleeve lace dress, haha!) but I loved my dress. My favourite part of our wedding was the ceremony. I felt God’s presence all over us, standing in front of the cross my Dad built for us, with our Pastor who has known and loved on us for years. It was the best feeling in the world! I’ll never forget how I felt in that moment. See more from our wedding album here!
This was such a memorable trip! I remember how much we needed to just relax after all the months leading up to our wedding. We had quite a few deaths in our families which was tough to go through and planning any big event comes with its challenges, which you don’t see in all of the pretty photos, but there are things that happen behind the scenes. It’s easy to see pretty images and think everything looks and is and was perfect, but again God pulls us through, gives us grace and is our example of how to show compassion, grace and love for others. We made sure to put the emphasis on our marriage and not the wedding. Our marriage was what was most important to us. Back to the honeymoon! It was time for some REST after the whole process, and Mexico is one of our favourite places on earth, so naturally this was our top pick. This property (Encanto Acapulco) was absolutely stunning and we felt so rested! I can still remember the staff, the food, the amazing private pool in our room — take me back!!
WORKING TOGETHER FULL-TIME:
It’s not always easy, but I definitely feel thankful I wake up everyday and get to work full-time with my husband! I’m so proud of the team that we’ve become and all the hard work we’ve put in to being able to be self-employed entrepreneurs. We always push each other to be better and I can always count on Neal to inspire me to get moving when there are days I don’t feel creative. GO JOLLYS!
TRAVELING THE WORLD:
Our favourites were definitely Iceland & Hawaii! Both are places I’d go back to in a heartbeat!
BRINGING HOME OUR PUPPY:
Neal and I have always wanted a dog (and I definitely asked him for one every day since we moved in together). We finally (because it felt like a forever wait for me #crazydoglady) got our little puppy Lucy last month and she is just our favourite! Definitely a good starter-baby, puppies are cray cray!
We give all the credit for our relationship, our love, our marriage, our happiness, joy and blessings to our Lord Jesus Christ and for that I am grateful for everyday. We love because He first loved us 1 John 4:19. One year (+ 8 years dating) down, a lifetime to go!