Dear Prince Charming,

Four years ago, on Thanksgiving weekend, I saw you standing at the end of the aisle, and the look on your face has been burned on my mind ever since. No one has looked at me before with that kind of gentle love.

Four years ago, we had a big celebration with our friends and family. The food was terrific and the dancing was great. I felt like a princess.

Four years ago, I changed more than my last name. I became, with two words, a wife – and I had no idea just how much fun, how rewarding, how life-enhancing that vocation would prove to be.

Four years ago, the only children in my life were other people’s children. Thanks to you and to this amazing Adventure, our marriage, I am now blessed to add “mother” to the hats I wear.

Four years ago, you were Friend and Uncle and Brother. Now, you’re Husband and Daddy and Protector-Enforcer-Engineer. Watching you grow – and growing with you as our life together changes – has been incredible.

It was impossible to imagine, four years ago, what this day would hold. I still picture us on a porch in rockers, creaking along together as we watch the sunset over the fields (or the sunrise or, even better, both!), but my vision for our growing old together has been enhanced by the last four years. Now I know that we’ll need to have toys on the porch with us, for the grandkids I hope come visit often, and that we’ll need cushions on those rockers, because I already creak myself! I realize that there needs to be a table between us for the inevitable cups of coffee or tea and the Chips Ahoy. And I wouldn’t forget, on that porch we’ll someday have, to make sure we had a photo album for the inevitable reminiscing we’ll do.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us, Prince Charming dearest. Marrying you wasn’t only the best thing I’ve done, it’s also the biggest blessing God has given me. Without you in my life, I wouldn’t have seen motherhood as a possibility. Without you by my side, I wouldn’t have been brave enough to venture into the great unknown. Without you to keep me grounded, I wouldn’t have come to earth long enough to realize just how much fun dishes and dirty diapers and the seemingly mundane household chores are.

Thanks for four years of wedded bliss, hurdles and all. Here’s to as many more years as we can cram in!

I love you!