Wedding Shoes

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Our wedding day in 2009. It feels like ages ago in some regards, and yet some of the moments from that day feel frozen in time in my memory. I still come to tears when I hear the song we danced to together at the reception. and I get goosebumps when I think about the moment when, after I had already made it to the alter, my groom followed after me down the aisle, quoting the Song of Solomon.

One of the things we wanted for our wedding day was to feel special, but feel like ourselves. For that reason, I had a simple updo instead of something all out, and I wore very simple makeup. More than what I would on a usual day, but I wanted to look and feel like myself. Wearing a suit and tie- that is pretty out of the ordinary for dear Mike, but instead of fancy pants shoes, we bought him and all the groomsmen a pair of brown Vans, to match the brown suits. Comfy, cozy Vans, one of Mike’s favorite shoes.

The battered old Vans pictured above are the very shoes Mike wore on our wedding day, 4 years and a month ago. I meant to post for our anniversary… um yeah, better late than never!

So anyway, these Vans. Mike came in the other day from mowing the lawn. On his feet were these time worn shoes, covered in wet grass and dirt. When he wiggles his toe, you can see his sock poking through. And as the kids gathered around their sweaty daddy, fresh from working in the hot sun, I had to smile thinking about how far those shoes have come. How far we have come since that sunny day in September four years ago.

Those Vans were brand new the day of our wedding. They came out of the box and adorned my soon-to-be-husbands feet just hours before we said I-do. They walked down the aisle, they danced our first dance. They traveled to our honeymoon. They helped anchor Mike as he pulled me out of Lake Michigan when I slipped on some rocks on a pier while admiring the sunset on that short, sweet trip.

Those Vans came back home to Ohio, and settled in to a new home, They witnessed the creation of a million espressos at Mike’s coffee shop job, and later helped shove stick after stick of lumber through big, loud machines, day in and day out. They moved us not once, not twice, but three different times in 3 years. They went on hikes, they went to the grocery store, they filled up the gas tank, washed sinks full of dishes, etc. etc. countless times.

Those Vans… those wedding shoes, turned day to day shoes. They paced the hospital floor during our daughter’s long, long 3 day labor. They heard her first cries. Later they paced another hospital floor as a 2nd trimester miscarriage overwhelmed our emotions. And they were thrown on in a hurried daze as we rushed to the hospital to deliver our third, our dear son.

Those Vans, special wedding shoes, monuments to some of the best and worst moments of our marriage, now relegated to lawn mowing duty only. They remind me of the sweetness of that day. They also remind me that while our wedding was sweet, beauiful, and in some way “perfect,” it was only the starting point for the real day in and day out, ups and downs, hard work of this wonderful thing called marriage.

I love that Mike’s Vans have not been preserved pristine, but have dived right in to real, crazy life. A momento to both a magical September afternoon, as well as to all the magical, hard, intense, difficult, wonderful, amazing, mundane, boring, real life moments that have brought us from there to here. To 4 years, 1 month, and, if you are really counting, 2 days.

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