Someone wise once shared with me that a secret to a happy marriage is always making a point to go to bed together. Two weeks (to the night) into our marriage, we were faced at the crossroads in the hallway with my Shippmate sleepy after a hard day at work while I was wide awake with my fingers itching to get back to blogging. Remembering this wise advice, I suggested that I go to bed with him and then after he fell asleep I'd go work on the blog. Ryan agreed and well... I'm not going to go in to detail about just exactly how excited we both were that I remembered that advice ;) lol but let's just say being married is CRAZY AMAZING AWESOME. :D :D :D
And yes, that is how I begin my first blog as Erica Shippy. Would you expect anything less, LeaAnn?
Let me just say that I have SINCERELY and GENUINELY missed this blog the past two weeks. I can't believe it's been two weeks since THE day and yet I have enough stories and "adventures of Shippmates" to fill 13 blogs. I actually have felt an overwhelming pressure to record everything and write about every single amazing amazing AMAZING thing that has happened in these precious last two weeks, because I so badly want to remember every second, every smile, every excitement that is happening. Somewhere in transit between Wedding Day and New York City, I looked over at my husband in tears to which he, of course, inquired about and in a voice that was full of emotions, love, joy, gratitude, and some exhaustion at that point lol, I explained, "Ryan- TOO MANY amazing things are happening and I don't have time to record them and get them on paper and that is just stressing me out. I need time to write this all down!"
This blog has been such an incredible addition to all that was our fairy tale wedding. So for the final hurrah of "Adventures of Shippmates," I am going to write blogs about all of the amazing that happened from:
the best rehearsal dinner ever to...
such a special wedding day to...
the most perfect wedding ceremony to...
one crazy awesome reception to...
all THREE of our honeymoons from NYC to Mexico and back to NYC!
I had this goal in my mind to get all of those written before our appearance on The Today Show, buuuut a few other things have been on my ToDo ToDay List. (Preparing for The Today Show has provided constant email, texts, people needing info, shopping for the perfect dress for the occassion... which might sound stressful but it totally reminds me of being THE BRIDE again, so I've secretly loved every stressful second of it!) So I decided to wait and really get to enjoy writing each of those blogs when we get home from New York next week. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to upload a few more pictures of our favorite moments from the past 14 days, but tonight there was something on my heart I had to get on the blog.
You all know that my dad is just simply the best. Obviously.
He's always had this way of dispersing advice to me when I need it the most (when I didn't want to leave our first home to move across town, when I was scared to go to high school, and then when I was sooo not ready to leave high school, when I was about to walk down the aisle) and today was no exception. With all of the crazy amazing going on, my dad reminded me today that I need to "keep some perspective." To these words, I inquired a little more by asking, "What exactly do you mean by that?" And then my dad explained that while everything is going pretty great right now, it won't always be like this. Everyday life in marriage doesn't include your own personal photographer in New York or room service in Puerto Vallarta or going on The Today Show with my favorite author and now dear friend and mentor.
Real life is flat tires and your cell phone getting ran over and crushed to pieces and the person in front of you at Wal-Mart in the TWENTY ITEMS OR LESS lane having SIXTY THREE items (yes, I counted as I held my THREE items). When my dad said that to me, I kind of said, "Yeah yeah- I know, Dad." And he probably thought I didn't get anything out of it. Because at first I didn't want to think about it, because I didn't want to think life would get less fun and exciting.
But then something really cool happened. Right there at Sonic in Warrensburg while Ryan and I sat in the front seat with Reagan in the backseat.
We had just left Quinn's 1st birthday party where we saw lots of friends from church, and Reagan is always asking to come with us when we're leaving and normally we can't take her, so tonight we asked HER to come with US. Her face lit up like only my precious and sweet 7 year old little sister's face can, and she looked up at me and goes, "Thank you so much for asking me!!!" So we took her with us for some Subway and then we all shared Sonic's new Campfire Blast. And as we all passed around our awesome dessert, we were laughing and just embracing all that is a care-free summer night... and right then I thought back to my dad's advice, and I could almost hear God whisper down to me, "Erica.. THIS is your joy... laughing in the car over ice cream with your favorite people... and these things aren't going anywhere."
And I felt a peace. My time in the spotlight as "The Bride" is coming to an end... The Today Show appearance will be over in 5 minutes... there are no more showers and I haven't seen the FedEx guy in days. And all of that is a little sad. But my mom has always said, "Erica- don't cry because it's over, but smile because it happened." I have the most incredible and special memories to smile about from the fairy tale that became my wedding.
But I also have every reason to smile about the future. Could there be a few more exciting twists to our story coming up here shortly? Absolutely. But if this weekend does kind of end the BIG EXCITING things, I honestly feel so confident that the joy and blessings are not ending, but just shifting. Shifting to laughing with Reagan at Sonic, going on walks with friends, cooking dinner for my husband. In the little box under my profile picture on Facebook, I made my tagline "My life is extremely eventful." I wrote that 2 years ago. Because even in the most mundane of Tuesdays or longest line at Wal-Mart, I have always found reasons to be SO excited about life. Whether it's a visit with Nanny and Bobby, watching Hagan play ball, jumping pics with Ash and Bon, hearing my Brother Atticus preach, watching Lost with my Shippmate, praying with The Sisterhood, or a Campfire Blast from Sonic... it's those everyday moments that are so precious and exciting to me. And to me, THAT is what brings a life full of joy that is everlasting.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
You've got a great perspective! To a large degree we all choose wether or not to see the extraordinary moments in the midst of the "ordinary" days that make up most of our lives. Keep choosing to see the beauty in what God gives you every day. Some people will not understand but your Creator designed you to soak up his goodness and expects nothing less of you. Hugs to you both, Elena
p.s. there are tons of great moments left...from holding your newborn to holding the wrinkly hand of the one who's celebrating 50 yrs of incredible marriage with you
As always your words leave me touched. I am really going to miss not seeing you everday this year!
Whoa! We have done a lot of things, and there are a lot more to come!! Excited to see you in a few minutes!
I'm setting my alarm so not to miss you on Today. However, I still believe that once they meet you, you'll be back often. Because of your excitement for life, you are contagious! People want to be around you. Glad someone gave you some good advice :)
I'm not telling you anything you did not already know. And it looks like it did not take you long to find that perspective. As for that business about "the best" --that is a little iffy; but what there is no question about is that a dad could not have a better daughter than you!
Erica, I so love reading your blog. You are such a Proverbs 31 woman!
Thank you for taking the time to come to my precious Quinn's first birthday party. What a great evening! I know she will look back on the evening someday, and feel so blessed by all the amazing people that were there to help her celebrate!
I love the picture of you and Ryan stopping traffic in New York City! xo
I'm so glad to read another one of your blogs....I seriously hope you continue writing these as Mrs. Shippy. You and Ryan have a very exciting, and very blessed life! I'm looking forward to watching your interview on tv in the morning!
Erica, I have been trying to find out when you were going to be on The Today Show. Your pictures are beautiful. You have a marvelous family!! I will keep up with your blog.
Fern, Brittany's Mom
You always have been great at accepting advice ;)
Have I mentioned what a relief I feel now that you are finally married to Ryan?
I look forward to reading "The Bride's" take on her perfect wedding.
Erica you have been so blessed and continue to bless others, daily. I know how proud your family is of you and how much they love you. Please continue to blog because I have a feeling you can the ordinary into inspiring.