THREE YEARS.

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Allie, words fall flat. From my more-than-sketchy apartment to our kinda-less-sketchy van, my life has changed so drastically, and every last bit is thanks to you. Moving to that stupid city was like running in the dark, and from the second you came into my life, the lights were turned on. I went from skipping meals so I could pay the rent to… well I still don’t have much money, but that’s not the point, haha. I remember sitting alone in that weirdly large apartment, sans furniture, sans tv, sans life, sleepless and confused. I would go to work, only to return to a place that left a deeper and darker hole than my job. If a home is a place we find comfort, I didn’t have a home. Months would pass and my spirits would drown; Then I met you. I met you and all of those things became background noise. I met you and finally this place I ventured to felt a little more purposeful. Our first meeting is something I still think about when I look at you. I see that fun, wildly enthusiastic girl, welcoming me and accepting me for nothing more than the thoughts in my head and the words I used to present them. You were such a source of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation, and I needed that; I needed you. I remember working extra hours on the days I wouldn’t see you, just so I didn’t have to go home. I remember using the light on my phone to save electricity so I’d have gas money to come see you. My heart was in love with you before I even knew what was happening, and I could not be more thankful. You’ve been there for me when I knew I needed you, and more importantly, when I didn’t know. Through so many ups and downs, you’ve been right by my side. Through every single triumph and every last failure, you’ve relentlessly stood by me, and there is nothing in this world that means more to me. I know it’s not always easy. Sometimes the world is heavy to carry, and we let it twist and contort who we are and what we say. Living the way we do isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can get the best of us. I know we fight, and it hurts me like nothing else, but it’s the least I would expect from our situation. Our bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room, dining room, closet, and pantry are all the same fifty square-foot room; I think we’re allowed to be cranky sometimes. Speaking of all that, can you believe where we are? Can you believe what we’re doing? Can you even begin to imagine what we’ll have to look back on in twenty years? I get choked up thinking about it. We’ve managed to pack so much life inside such a tiny amount of time. We’ve experienced entire lifetimes of a “normal” life, and we’re still wading our way through the shallow end of the pool. We promised ourselves to each other in a place so unimaginably foreign to any person I’ve ever known. It was such a goofy day, and I think it set the tone for the type of marriage we would come to nurture. I remember waking up in the backseat of Heidi’s car (sorry), in absolute disbelief. The place I was in, the ring on my finger, the woman I loved- I must’ve been dreaming. I might still be. I might still be lying on that broken air-mattress, hoping and wishing for you to appear. If this is a dream, if all this is just in my head, I hope I never wake up. Some days I think there’s no way it’s already been three years. It’s rushed by so fast, my mind can’t process all that we’ve done. Some days though, I think three years is impossibly too short. I wake up next to you, and it feels like decades have gone by. Whatever the case, however long, I’m grateful to be spending it with you. I hope you know the impact you’ve had on me, and I hope I can show you how much it means to me. Being on the road with you is incredible, and I want you to know how eternally thankful I am for what you do to keep us afloat. None of this, absolutely not a single bit of it, would be possible without you. My dreams sometimes feel so far out of reach, and when I am most anxious and confused, you are there to be my guiding light. Your persistent words of encouragement, your long and loving embraces, and your presence alone gives me such strength, such motivation, to push harder every day. I hope one day I can return this unimaginable favor you’ve given me, and I hope we can look back on these days with a smile, knowing the massive importance it had on our life. Three years. Three years of living our best lives, and doing it hand in hand. I love you more every day, Allie. When three years turns to thirty, I’ll still be right here loving you, right here holding you close, reminiscing on the good old days, and planning the ones we’ve yet to see. Happy anniversary to the most caring person I know, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, and the best friend I could ever ask for. I love you.

-Zach

 

You're sleeping, and I hope you're dreaming of something silly. I wanted to leave you a little note since our anniversary is tomorrow. Don't you read it until then!

 

I love you pato. It's hard to begin describing all that you are, and all that you mean to me in writing. You're more than my rock, my goofy guy, my continuous source of inspiration and creativity- you are this little piece of me that I never knew I needed. When something silly happens, you're the first person I want to tell. When I wake up, it's you I want to roll over and tickle. When you're deep in the middle of working, I want to distract you for just a moment with a smile, or a hug, or maybe a stupid joke or sassy remark about work. You bring me to my happy place. You help my accept my flaws, and celebrate my successes. You push me to become a better person physically, mentally, and emotionally. You constantly challenge me, and force me to be the best version of myself possible- or push me in the direction that will aid me. You comfort me when I'm having an off day- even when those days are too often. You don't complain when things go south, and try to keep me happy amidst disappointments. Titling you husband, best friend, love- it isn't enough. You are this package that was so perfectly put together for me, and I am forever grateful for the person you are, and the person you are becoming. What is even more powerful than expressing my love for you is expressing my gratitude for you. I know it sometimes gets lost between anxiety and stress, but it's always there. I promise to always try to make sure my gratitude for you, my love for you, and my pride for you front and center. It's not always easy, and sometimes it's downright hard- but I will always try. I hope you get the same warm fuzzies that you give me. I hope a little smile brings as much light to your life as it does for me. And I hope you feel the support and admiration each day. You are incredible, and you know it. I am so happy being your wife, your partner, and your best friend. It brings joy to me to share our life together- I cannot picture it any other way. 

 

Happy anniversary. I'm amazed, confused, and excited with how we've grown together, and look forward to growing even more. The struggles, triumphs, and adventures for this next year might top the past year, and I'm so ready. Thank you for sticking by my side through the thick and thin of this year, and the past two. I love you with every ounce of my being; with everything I have.

 

Though today might not go as we had originally planned, I'm just happy to be given the chance to spend it with you. I don't need shiny bells and whistles, or something extravagant. Time with you over tacos, in our van, with some laughs and koalas is perfect.

 

I can't wait for many more years of loving each other as hard as we can. Love you, narajaña arraña.

 

with all my heart,

 

allie

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