I always thought marriage was just a piece of paper I/we didn’t need, because really, how much difference could it make if we were already committed to each other? But on that day eleven years ago tomorrow, we stood (and knelt) at that alter and promised each other and our family and friends and God that we would love and help each other and work through the hard stuff and stick it out no matter what, and when we finally crawled into bed at six the next morning after partying pretty spectacularly with our village of support, you whispered “wife” and I called you “husband” and everything was completely different. There was a new weight, like a soft blanket of comfort, and a deeper bond – an “I’d walk through fire for you” promise – and even after five years together before that day, I finally knew, I KNEW, you loved me. Marriage is actually quite different than living together, it’s like driving a Geo Metro and then getting an SUV. Honey, do we annoy each other? Absolutely. Does someone forget to set the other person’s coffee pot but the other always remembers and does both? Definitely, and with minimal complaining (because you’re awesome). There have been squabbles and dishes and dirty clothes not in the hamper and real fights and sadness. Marriage is no cake walk. But there has been love, real love, soft and loud, icky, sappy, profound and elated love, and that’s all we ever really need.