Well... I don't even know where to start as I begin typing this blog post. Hunter surprised me with the most selfless and sweetest gift for our 10 year anniversary on Friday afternoon. He secretly planned a 10 Year Vow Renewal and Anniversary party. I HAD NO IDEA! Like completely blown away... if you can't tell by my face in the pictures. I mean I was seriously uglyyy crying ha ha. He told me all week to be dressed, and ready to go somewhere at 6:45 PM on Friday for our anniversary. That was all I knew. I figured we were going out for a nice dinner or something. I was wrong - lol.
So let me tell a little about the whole day. First thing in the morning he had me scheduled to get a one hour massage. He acted like he was going to work, even dressed for work in his National Guard attire. He rushed out the door for an "appointment" with a possible recruit. He apparently drove straight to Judy Winslow's home to begin setting up for the day. I had no idea, of course. He drove all over the place that day getting tables, chairs, food, drinks, and everything else that they needed. He walked in the door around 6:15 PM that afternoon, and said he was dirty and sweaty from going on a run with his co-worker after work. I bought it, He really had being outside setting everything up... putting glass pieces into the lanterns for the tables... and making sure that everything was perfect for me. ( CRYING again writing this now by the way. ) It really was perfect.
As we got ready to the leave the house Hunter said I needed a scarf or something for a blindfold. Oh toooo easy...let me just find one of my three Carolina Panther's scarves - ha ha. Before I got in the car we heard thunder, so I made him jump out for a quick picture incase it poured the rest of our evening. Still clueless. We got in the car, and started driving. We weren't in the car for 10 minutes before he told me to put on the blindfold. Really? Already? So I did. As we arrived to the location he said he had to check on something, and to stay put. I like surprises, so I didn't move or peek from my blindfold. He came back after about 5 minutes. He had to give Larry the rings for the Ceremony, and start the video camera he had set up earlier that day. So - he came and helped me out of the car, and led me to the spot where everything was set up. It is really weird walking blindfolded by the way!
We stopped walking, he let go of my hand, and said "wait right here." Then I heard a voice... say "Ryann, you can take off the blindfold." I realized immediately that it was Larry, our pastor. CUE complete shock, and ALLLL the tears. I cried my eyes out as I looked up to see our family and friends sitting in white covered chairs, and Hunter at the end of the aisle beside Larry . I seriously felt like I was dreaming. There are no words to explain how I felt. At this point I was crying my eyes out. Liam came running up to see if I was ok. His Ce Ce was holding him, and she said he told her "I have to go hug her!" He came running up to me, and was so concerned of what was wrong. It was the most sincere little moment ever. My sweet friend Liz then stretched out a bouquet to me for the walk down the aisle. Liam started to take my hand, but then quickly took it back and said, "Mommy, it's the Greatest Showman." If you haven't already seen the movie the Greatest Showman you should. It is a musical about P. T. Barnum and the Circus. The music is amazing and Hunter, Liam and I love it. Hunter had orchestrated for me to walk down the aisle to one of my favorite songs called "Never Enough". Liam took my hand again, and walked with me down the aisle to his daddy. MORE TEARS!!!
As I walked up and took the hands of my husband I just was overwhelmed with gratitude. My heart was flooded with not only 10 years of marriage, but the 17 years that I have been in love with the amazing man standing in front of me. High School flashed before my eyes of us together walking the hallways holding hands. I can still remember sitting with each other at 15 and 16 years old in the back of my mom's SUV, and him asking me to be his girlfriend. Our song being Usher's " U got it Bad ." We knew somehow at that age that we were soulmates. If I could have married him then I would have. I saw our wedding day, and remembered the way he looked at me, and he still looks at me the same way. I saw the deployments... the miscarriages... I remembered the rock he was for our family when we walked through the hardest time of our life when we lost our twin boys within days of each other. When we literally had to cling to God like never before, because the pain was so suffocating. He helped me, and I helped him to stay grounded. We knew we couldn't get through it without hope in God. I could go on and on about how much I adore my husband. I tell him all the time, and I mean it everytime. I love him more everyday. I am so incredibly blessed to have a love like this on this earth. A love so selfless and so deeply devoted. I had to stop a couple times writing this to grab tissues. So many emotions and tears of everything that evening, and all of our memories.
Here is to forever my Hunter! I love you so much handsome!
I know ... I know I have written a book, but so many of you have commented and been touched by the Facebook post that I felt moved to do this. I hope it has touched your heart... maybe increased your love for your spouse or significant other. Take time to remember where you have been, and then be encouraged that the best is yet to come, just as God's Word tells us.
Thank you ABOVE AND BEYOND to EVERYONE who helped make this evening so special for us.
Thank you Judy Hare Winslow and Michael Waylon for providing the “perfect venue”. I can't thank you enough for opening up your home to host this for us.
Joseph and Jason - Fleur de Fou Florist - the flowers were just gorgeous as your work always is. As soon as I saw them I knew they had to have done them! Thank you mom for bringing my favorite florists on board!
My Mother in Law, Cindy Winn, for ALL the hard work of making this perfect for us. The cake you made was absolutely delicious and beautiful. The little touch of the top butterflies being blue and green blessed me more then you know.
My sister in law, Lauren Wyatt and her husband Rusty - our photographers and videographers.
Thank you Derek Goodson for cooking all the hot dogs and hamburgers.
Thank you Kathy Haygood for spending the afternoon helping Cindy and Hunter set up everything. I am so incredibly grateful.
Larry Enscore, our wonderful pastor from Waters Edge Church - you were AMAZING, as you always are. We are so grateful for you.
All of the rest of our friends and family who played a part in making it such a wonderful night. We love you all so much!