365 days ago, it was a beautiful morning. And at 10am surrounded by very few loving spectators, Clay and I married. I have never been so sure of a decision in my life. We had a hard time deciding on where, when, and who would be there in regards to getting married. Not too big, but wanted to be inclusive of our families. Do we go out of town or stay in Tishomingo County? In the end, The Little Church in Iuka was the right choice for us. It is an Episcopal Church built in 1873 that is now maintained by a nonprofit organization. It is located next to our church, so we could have the reception there. I pass by The Little Church multiple times a week and can’t help but think of that sweet, loving moment that began our life as a family.
Everything fell into place in such an easy and elegant way. I’m eternally grateful for the amount of help we had with getting everything together. I felt very little stress that morning. I was able to sit with my friend Misty who did a beautiful job on my hair and make-up. We laughed and drank coffee the entire time. Peggy Lowery was our photographer. Her hobby is sports and nature photography. My favorite pictures of Wheeler and Everett are ones she had taken. I wasn’t sure if she would be willing to document our wedding, but she graciously accepted. She did a fantastic job, as you can see. My friends, Beth, Rebecca, and Nikki, were helping make sure all of the details were being taken care of. I could just make eye contact with Beth and she knew exactly what I needed her to do. Wheeler, Everett, and Jack arrived and all of us got ready in the church nursery. Our nieces and nephews were running around with excitement in their new outfits. My mom brought me Gran’s pin to where on my pearls. It meant so much to me that in her own way she was there with me.
Clay, Everett, and Bro. Kerry went to take their places. And it was just Wheeler and I left. He was nervous and asking me lots of questions about what he needed to do. I wanted our ceremony to be organic and not rehearsed. We slowly walked over to the church. That is one of the moments that you want to hold close and wish there was a way to do over and over again. Our program was a morning newspaper.
I had to put out Grandaddy’s green mints for everyone. The ceremony was so sweet and personal. Bro. Kerry did a fantastic job. Everett made everyone laugh and stole the show as he does most of the time.
The reception was a brunch. My friends, Janet Fulton aka Sarge, and her sister Debbie Hamrick had everything humming and going for the celebration after the ceremony. They both worked so hard to make our day special and I will always be grateful to them for their help. The Friendly Florist out did themselves on the flowers. They were absolutely beautiful! Our favor was homemade jelly that Clay’s mother, Wanda, made from grapes grown on Clay’s farm. I have nothing but fond memories when I look back on that day.
So much life has transpired in 365 days. We have traveled, laughed, and learned to live together. In the past year, Clay has seen Wheeler, Everett, and I at our worst and weakest. He gladly shows up and stands up for us however and whenever we need it. He loves all three of us exactly how we need it. He gives Wheeler the peace of mind that Everett and I are taken care of, so he can go and live his life without worrying about us. Clay has this quiet, calm strength that is a foundation for everything we do. He lets me dream and live without limitations. He is the most unselfish person I have ever met. Our day to day interactions come easy and are rewarding, while our actual lives and schedules are very demanding. We handle everyday as a team, and I wouldn’t want anyone else in my corner as my forever partner than him. I am so grateful for the life we have created together and I can’t wait to see what the next 365 days has in store for us.