If you’re counting on your fingers, let me help you. I was 8 months pregnant with Brianna when Josh and I got married. Many of you know the story but Brianna was an oops baby. Josh and I had been dating for about a year and a half.

One of the first things we talked about when I got pregnant was if we were going to get married. My answer was a resounding “No!” I’d just FINALLY gotten my divorce finalized and I wasn’t ready to jump into another marriage. Not that I never wanted to get married, I just didn’t want to get married because I “had” to. No thank you. Josh was very accepting of that and seemed to understand that it wasn’t because I didn’t love him, wasn’t happy with him, and didn’t think I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but that I wasn’t ready. I needed time. Pregnant or not, I wouldn’t be pressured in to anything. And Joshua never pressured me and tried to shield me from the pressure coming from outside sources- his parents and a close friend of his. There seemed to be some concern that if we weren’t married I would run off with the baby and never let Josh see her. I swear to you, I’m not making this up. And this wasn’t a one time casual mention. This came up more than once.

But then we made some decisions, together, that changed everything. And I entered into those decisions- indeed, I think I may have instigated the conversation that led to those decisions- that I fully knew meant we were going to need to get married. I was going to quit my dream job- the job I’d had for only a year, moved across the state to take and loved. I was going to do this so we could move closer to Josh’s family, back to a job that had been offered to him, so I could stay at home with our baby, when the time came. All of this after I said I’d never move for a man’s career ever again and shelve my own (I was married to a pilot). But I guess I felt like this was different. This time I wasn’t doing it for someone else, I was doing it for us. All of us. And while there was regret- that I had to give up this perfect job- there was also joy because I was going to get to raise my daughter! And this man, whom I loved, was willing to work to make that happen.

So there we are, 1 year ago today. I’m eight months pregnant, we’re living in a bedroom, with our two cats, in his parents house where 4 other adults, 2 children, and their six cats are also living. Did I mention that I was eight months pregnant? We applied for a marriage license and on September 7th last year, Josh left for his lunch break, came and picked me up, and we went to the courthouse and got married without telling anyone.

When we walked in to the courthouse, there were three older men sitting around the security gate. One of them asks if we’re there to get married. When we reply in the affirmative, he cracks “Better late than never, I guess” as we’re walking through the door to the clerk of courts. Josh was livid- I was more amused. And we spend the next 15 minutes while we waited, amusing ourselves with stories we could tell him about why we weren’t married yet. They ranged the gamut from “My divorce from my third husband just finalized yesterday” to “You think it’s late now? We have five others at home!” and even more outlandish. It was fun.

So, we got married by a justice of the peace, in an empty room in the courthouse. And yes, he still said the part “if anyone objects, speak now…blah, blah” and Josh and I cracked up. We giggled our way through the rest of the vows.

When it was done, we went to lunch at a local mexican restaruant (always a good idea at 8 months pregnant), Josh dropped me off back at his parents and he went back to work. And I had to go in and tell his mom by myself. lol.

Isn’t that the most perfectly romantic wedding day you’ve ever heard? There were no flowers, no pictures, no whistles and bells. Just the two of us and Brianna (granted she was a ‘hidden’ presence). And there was our love. Because no matter how we came to that spot or what circumstances conspired to get us there- that was where we were meant to be and where I wanted to be. Once I realized my love for Joshua, long before Brianna was conceived, I had no doubt that I was going to spend my life with him. Others may have thought that a marriage certificate was necessary to guarantee that, but he and I both knew differently.

Dakota recently asked how did you know you were in love? Here’s my answer:

I knew when I tried to imagine a life without Josh. I’d already been through an ugly marriage and divorce and was beyond skittish. But when I sat down and forced myself to think– what would my life be like without him, how would I feel if I lost him today, and am I happier with him or is he just an added bonus that I could do without? Then I knew I loved him. I always have known that I can survive without him- but I don’t want to. He, to be corny, completes and complements me. He’s my best friend, my partner, my soulmate. He makes me a better person, he’s who I want to see first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I can’t imagine having and raising a child with anyone else. Life would be manageable, but bleak without him and it would be a long road back to laughter and light. Yes, I could live without him, but I wouldn’t be the same person because I’d be missing part of me.

And that is why I’m so happy today, celebrating our one year anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, babe! I love you more than words can ever describe. Thanks for giving me a year of amazing joy and discovery!

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