Nick is celebrating his 35th birthday today and if you’ve been reading these pages for any length of time, you’ll know that he is everywhere when you look around here on Land of Marvels. He’s in the angles of the photos taken and shared, he captures the moments the we experience all around the world and he’s the one that I’ve grown up with, shared my life with, traveled the world with. And in 16 years together, every birthday is a reminder of all the memories shared, all the moments experienced and all the joy and light he’s brought to my life.
Sometimes when I think back on our life together, I see it in moments. Like the night in Reykjavik after 2 glasses of wine, when he held my hand as we walked back to our apartment, tipsy and joyful, laughing at the stupidest things. Like him whispering “I love you” before every airplane takeoff. Like his laugh when I say something really witty and out of character. Like his face lighting up at an owl cafe in Japan as he pet a tiny gray owl called a strange name that I can’t quite remember. I see our life in memories like when we were getting ready to buy our townhouse and while he was unsure, he told me “I trust you.” Like when we have an free weekend and a stroll through the Farmer’s Market is the best thing on the agenda. Like when there is nothing better than an evening on the couch watching our favorite tv shows under blankets to stay warm or repeating a stupid line from a show that no one else would get.
As I get older, I’ve realized that relationships are truly the sum of their parts. It’s not all good, life never is. We’ve had eras of our life that might have looked smooth on the outside but were anything but on the inside. We’ve had arguments and tears. We’ve had months that were really treacherous and draining. It might not play out on my Instagram but I’ve been there, life is hard, love is hard. But what I’ve realized over 16 years together is that even when it’s hard, even when it’s painful, if that’s your person, if you can’t imagine a day without them, if you don’t know what you’d do if you woke up and they weren’t there, then you fight on. You find joy in the smallest things, you find love in the moments, and you find peace in the memories.
And here we are, 16 years later looking back at a world of memories, a splattering of incredible moments, a life of joy and gratitude and pride. I’m proud of us, I’m proud of the life that we’ve created together. And after 16 birthdays with you, today I just want to share more moments with you. I’ll be forever grateful that I walked in that room that day 16 years ago, forever grateful to fall in love in our city in my favorite season, forever grateful that you were the person I saw as I walked down the aisle, rain falling outside, orange leaves drifting in the air, the streetcar speeding past. You’re my person, for better or for worse, for always.
Happy birthday my love. I can’t wait for all the memories to come and all the moments to cherish that are still ahead of us.