5 years ago today, I was on a cruise ship docked in Key West, marrying my husband.

A cruise ship isn’t the most glamorous backdrop for a wedding, let me tell you. In fact, it was pretty ugly. Truthfully, though, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s not the details that are important. The most important thing was the commitment we were making to each other.

Immediately after the ceremony the ship departed for Mexico. I really should have been wearing sunglasses for the outdoor shots. It was so sunny! But you know what? That doesn’t matter either. I was married to Paul, and nothing was more important than that.

We were already out to sea when it came time to cut the cake. The frozen cake. The frozen, flavorless, awful cake. It’s okay, I didn’t mind. I still don’t. Everything that wasn’t “perfect” just became a funny detail to reminisce about later. I love this shot. It truly sums up the wretchedness that was that cake. Neither of us is a big fan of cake anyway.

Next to marrying my best friend, the second best part of our wedding was afterward. We got to spend 4 days vacationing with the people we love the most. Both of our immediate families, our closest friends, everyone got to stay and continue the celebration for long after the reception was over.

After the cruise ended, Paul and I spent a night in Miami and boarded a second ship. That cruise was our real honeymoon. Compared to the 5-day-party that was the first cruise, the second one was completely relaxed.

We floated around the Caribbean for 7 days, visiting islands and just generally enjoying each other. We ate a lot of food, smoked fancy cigars, stayed up late, got lots of sun, and did our best to avoid too much more alcohol.

I couldn’t be happier with my choice of mate. We’ve had some struggles, but not one of them has been insurmountable. And I don’t think any will prove to be in the future, either.

For 5 years we’ve worked together through everything. We started our own business, have had almost a dozen pets, maintained and then lost our apartment, had a cancer scare, had more vehicle problems than I can count, kicked our addictions, started many websites, graciously accepted my parents offer to reside with them during this recession, worked incredibly hard to pay off half of our debt, and in 3 months we’ll be having our first child.

Even though we’re 5 years into our marriage, in some ways it feels like it’s just beginning. Soon we’ll have a daughter. Within a year we expect to be fully out of debt. Within 2 years we’ll likely be purchasing our first house. Big changes are coming, and I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather share them with.

We’re both a little softer around the edges, and little more wrinkled, and a lot more wise. But the only thing that’s changed between us in 5 years is that we are more in love now than we were then. I can’t wait to see where we are in another 5 years. And in another 50.

5 years
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