Christie Ruth, You are so lovely! I am filled with so much joy as I stand in front of you today.
And look at you! You are so beautiful. Even after these four short years into our courtship, when you walked down that aisle, you took my breath away.
And sweetheart, I have to say that this wasn't the first time that you have made my heart skip a beat for the love that I feel for you.
It's that mischievous smile when you've got a surprise up your sleeve. It's your willingness to explore new places and even get sweaty and muddy for an adventure. It's your clear thoughts when we have to wrap our minds around something complex. It's your desire to always be learning new things and how quick you are to learn them. It's the trust to cry on my shoulder and share your fears when you're feeling down. It's your courage in the face of the unknown and your willingness to be by my side as we discover it. It's the masterpieces that you create with a paintbrush and the clever words that you craft in their written form. It's filling the room with sounds from your cello or using your sweet voice and singing every word to any Louis Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald song that is within earshot. It's the care that you show for others and how sensitive you are to their feelings. It's patiently listening to all of my wild ideas and farout dreams (and not calling me crazy, at least to my face). It's the patience and never ending Love that you have shown me over and over again despite our differences.
Yes, as I reflect on our life together thus far, I realize that my heart has skipped a beat because of you——Over and over and over.
And each time I have discovered more of your wonderful qualities (and a few of the quirks) that have convinced me that I would be a fool if I did not make this commitment to you, today.
And so, Dear Christie, just as we have explored the mountains together, I will summit all of our life's peaks with you. And as we discover the valleys that we will undoubtedly be required to cross——I will be by your side. And if we are faced with cold winds along the way, I will be there to warm you.
I give my heart to you and all you have to say is 'I Do' and it is yours forever.
I love you.
To call our last four years together unconventional would be largely understated. Some things came easy; the love, the laughter, the good times and the crazy adventures. Others were a bit harder; the distance, the inevitable goodbyes, not knowing when I would see you again, just that I would. There was the start of new careers, the opening of new businesses, the new cities, new homes, and new friends.
Sometimes when I look back, I think, "We did this all wrong. How much easier would things have been had we married years ago, fresh out of school, wide-eyed, and virtually untouched by the outside world."
But oh how different would my vows to you have been, had we chosen that route.
Though I would never profess to know the right or wrong way, I do know one thing; The feelings I have for you today infinitely surpass the love I had for you those years ago. It has been strengthened by the challenges and transformed by the journey. And oh what a journey it has been.
When I first met you, I was captivated by your curiosity for adventure and your passion for life. Your spirit was contagious and over the years, you have instilled in me a deeper desire to explore, create, and become the person that I long to be.
It thrills me to think of the future, and there is not an image in my head without you right by my side. I think of the many places we will go, the things we will learn, the people we will meet, and the friendships we will create, and know that our love for each other will grow deeper every day.
I know it won't be easy, but I do know that it will last. I know because every time we have a rough day, you remind me that we're on the same team; "team Max and Christie" as you like to call it. My promise to you today is to never forget how lucky I am that you chose me to be on your team. I cannot wait to start our lives together in this beautiful place.
I love you, Max. You are my whole life, and I devote it to you completely.