December 8, 2019

One Year

One year ago, my dad married Andrew and I in a quiet candlelit ceremony. We stood at the front of the room, holding hands, with our families in a small semicircle around us. I never want to forget this memory. I was crying. Andrew was crying. Everyone was crying as my soon-to-be husband and I softly read our vows.

It has been 365 days since that moment. We’ve since celebrated our birthdays, holidays, normal days, Fridays. We supported one another through a job change for Andrew and a major work shift for me. Andrew and I have grown together in every way: spiritually, emotionally, relationally. We were close on our wedding day, but in a year, we have become glued!

In honor of our very first anniversary, I jotted down some of my favorite memories with Andrew from Year One:

The wedding, of course!

Our “honeymoon” in Palm Beach. Our families departed the day after our wedding ceremony, and Andrew and I spent 3 sunny, carefree days at The Breakers.

Christmas 2018. We flew to Georgia for a few days to be with Andrew’s parents and grandmother, then jetted back to Chicago on Christmas Day to spent the night with my family.

Hosting our first party. It was a brunch on New Year’s Day, and we invited anyone who was in town to come over for eggs, mimosas, donuts, and more. Then, that night, we ordered two Homeslice pizzas and watched Birdbox, the weirdest Netflix movie ever.

Learning to grocery shop together. (Whenever we go to Mariano’s or the big Whole Foods on Kingsbury, I get lost in the popcorn aisle and he has to call me to find out where I went.)

Staying up way too late the night before I launched Melanie Everett & Company. Andrew proofread my blog post dozens of times.

Valentine’s Day. Andrew always treated me to a sweet February 14th while we were dating, but for our first married Valentine’s Day, he bought a giant bouquet of red roses (from Steve’s Flower Market, his fave), made me sizzling scallops with the most delectable dairy-free sauce, and picked up heart-shaped cookies from Pie Pie My Darling.

Celebrating Andrew’s new role. He had worked at a chemical company for many years in the northern suburbs, which meant a grueling reverse commute that left him constantly exhausted. In the winter, Andrew landed a phenomenal position at a chocolate company in River North. The day he got the job, I welcomed him home with Hershey kisses, a special wine with cocoa notes, and a chocolate-themed card.

Waking up every weekday morning to coffee, patiently waiting for me in the pot.

Surprising Andrew the night before his 30th birthday with party hats, goofy decor, and birthday cookie from Sweet Mandy B’s.

Date nights at Gemini, Mon Ami Gabi, Ema, Booth One (RIP), RPM Italian, Le Colonial, Fig & Olive.

The weekend we drove to Nashville. We stayed at my realtor friend’s adorable Airbnb, danced all night on Broadway, and listened to a lot of Florida Georgia Line in the car on the way.

Listening to Basic Gospel every night as we fall asleep.

Attending the sales awards for the Chicago Association of Realtors. We dressed up and giddily flipped through the magazine to find my name in print.

Getting ready for church together on Sundays, or deciding to stay home and watch one of our favorite pastors on Facebook Live.

So many relaxing nights together at home. Andrew typically cooks, but sometimes, I surprise him with one of his favorite meals, like crab cakes or pasta.

Basking in the sunshine on Easter Sunday. It was unusually warm this year. We hung out at my parents’ house, sipping rosé and laughing in the backyard.

Going on lots of spring and summer walks around Lincoln Park.


Watching our shows, like “Big Little Lies,” “Entourage,” “Shark Tank,” “Million Dollar Listing,” and too many more.

Shopping online or downtown, then returning a lot of stuff, then shopping some more. (Fun fact: Andrew loves clothes. We are a match made in Heaven!)

Going to happy hours, housewarming, dinners, engagement parties, and anything else our friends invite us to — and always knowing we get to go home together after the party!

Our spur-of-the-moment 4th of July BBQ. We packed our house with friends, family, and food.

Flying to Georgia for a few days with Andrew’s family. It was hot and humid, but we had a ball with his mom, dad, and grandmother.

Listening to Andrew pray before bed. (Praying out loud can be an intimidating thing, but when it’s just husband and wife, it is sweet and intimate.)

Lunch dates.

Mastering the perfect smoothie recipe. Blend frozen bananas, vanilla protein powder, dates, ice, and almond milk for the dreamiest dessert ever. I always prep the ingredients, and Andrew is in charge of the blender.

Our weekend in Santa Barbara with my parents. Truly, I had the time of my life!

Hanging out with Andrew’s parents when they visited us in September. We went to the Cubs game, dined on the patio at Summer House, and walked around in perfect 70-degree weather.

Decorating our home.

Dressing up as double-stuffed Oreo cookies for Halloween.

Laughing hysterically whenever Andrew tries to put my hair in a ponytail. (If my nails are freshly polished and still drying.)

Working out on Saturday mornings.

Putting up our Christmas tree this year. We got Blaze Pizza delivered and listened to Nat King Cole.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Hinsdale with my family last week. It was such a fun, worry-free, happy few days with all of my favorite people together.

I know there are so many memories to come. It’s only been a year, yet I’ve been writing for nearly an hour. Andrew: I love you. I do! I love you more than this little blog post can ever say. I thank God for your tender heart, your compassion, your laugh, your dimple, your determination, and your great love for Jesus Christ.

Here’s to year two!