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One year ago today I married this man. This man that I have shared my life with since January 2006. A man that I can close my eyes, hang on to and lean as far back as I can go, because I know he's got me and he's not going to let go. I think we make it look easy. I see a lot of people rolling their eyes at us at the store, because we still hold-hands, he still shamelessly tickles me in public, he still opens the car-door for me and I still put my nose in his neck to breathe in that reassurance that only he can give me.  We do make it look easy - but it's not. It so much work.  I think being a newlywed is hard. You see all these amazingly happy pictures of newlyweds plastered all over the place and you want it to be that way - all the time. But the reality is it's not that way - all the time. Everyone thinks that because you're newlyweds it's all about love and honeymooning, holding-hands and kissing. Or maybe the wedding industry and magazines paint it to be this picturesque scene of the newly married couple walking down the beach, laughing and just gloriously happy. Ha! Gloriously happy? If your like me .. your thinking ... what the hell does that mean? Where's the realistic ads about how you want to claw his eyes out the first time you sit on the toilet in cold water because he didn't put the seat down? Or your cleaning up hair again from the sink because somehow he thought he got it all? (Really? How do you not see the black hair on the sink lip?) Or the irritation he shows because I said "I'll be down in 5min", an hour ago. (true story!) I think getting into your first year of marriage you really have no idea what to really expect. I know what I wanted our first year to be like - a two-story house, a black rod-iron fence, JD's squad car parked right out front for the whole world to see, him home at night helping me finish dinner and a little baby-bump he'd rub and talk to.  HA! That's what I thought I wanted (or maybe what I have been told I'm suppose to want)  Want to know what I got? I got middle-of-night I miss you & love you phone calls, stinky Kevlar to hand wash, missed holidays because he's on duty, a squad car I can't pull out of the driveway - (but I do operate the lights! (YES!) a downtown townhome that I live alone in and a man that loves me to enough to drive the hour and half home after his 2 a.m. shift just to hold me. All I really wanted - was for him to come home, so we can live a resemblance of a "normal" life.  I don't know what "normal" is, but for me it would mean less time in my car traveling to see him, and more time laying in bed with him. Well - just as we were deciding on a move date for me - JD got the call from District 9. He's coming home. Hang on - let me just say that again! Friends!! My husband is coming home! Two years! We've been waiting since February 2012. God is so good.

Saying we are excited/happy/bursting with happiness/joy/excitement & whatever other adjective you can come up with would be an understatement. I simply just cried after he got off the phone. To my poor dear husbands disbelief. ("Baby, aren't you happy?") All the emotions, struggles, fights, late-night drives, doubts, fears, good-byes - everything just came out in the form of tears - ever flowing emotional tears. All the struggles, all sacrifices, all the distance - all the loneliness - was all worth it. To get to this place - and what's crazy - the tough times are really just starting.

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Yes - yes it is. Our love, our story is proof. It really is worth it.

We've picked up looking for houses, and are going to attempt to hit 10 open-houses this weekend and pick out pumpkins for our carvings. Halloween really is JD's favorite holiday. Oh- friends a happy happy day to you - grab your loved ones and tell them how much you love them.

XOXO - Cas

Wedding Photo by the amazing Ravetta Photography. Love is worth it design by yours truly.