Monday, January 25, 2010

A ‘Picture Perfect’ Gift & Fun TV Surprise

Remember the Get Married Blogger Brides photo box giveaway I told you about a couple weeks ago? Well, guess what? My post drew the most comments, and I won!

I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who headed over to the Get Married website to share your thoughts and help me win! Your support means so much to me!

If you’re interested in checking it out, my question about fun, affordable cash bar alternatives was also featured on Get Married TV Saturday during the “Slice of Advice” segment about halfway through the show. What a fun surprise!

Now, here’s the piece I wrote about our “picture perfect” moment since getting engaged. I hope you enjoy it!

Picture Perfect

My two favorite photos of Stephen and I weren’t taken during an engagement session. Nor are they two of the many pictures that feature us traveling or touring our favorite wineries. No, my all-time favorite shots include what is probably one of the worst pictures of me in existence. So why, you may ask, out of all the great pictures I just described, do these two have such significance?

Well, after enjoying one-too-many a slice of pizza on our Central American cruise, and many-too-many of Stephen’s famous shortbread cakes right in our own home, I made a commitment to ditch my status as the ultimate couch potato, and instead turn myself into a runner, able to last 10K nonstop by summer’s end.

So, when I know he would have much rather chowed down on pasta and chocolate chip cookies, Stephen instead spent his evenings researching and cooking healthy meals for me. At night, if it was too dark by the time I got home, Stephen laced up his sneakers and headed out to run three miles at my side, encouraging me to keep going, and sticking right with me, when I know this former high school cross-country star could have gone much faster on his own. Without uttering a single complaint, he selflessly attended 8 a.m. aerobics classes on Saturday mornings, and didn’t even flinch upon realizing that he was the only guy in the class.

And after a few weeks, Stephen was as into it as I was, eager to regain the glory of his cross-country days by reading nutritional labels at the grocery store, working out with dumbbells while watching TV, and allowing himself to become hopelessly excited about what had become not only my goal, but his as well.

Finally, one day toward the end of September, with fall creeping in and threatening to put an end to our outdoor runs for the season, we hit the pavement and ran. And ran. And ran harder, faster and longer than we ever had. When it was all over, we checked our distance to see that we had done it. 6.5 miles!

But, as excited as I was that we had reached our goal, I realized that it wasn’t even the accomplishment that was truly the best part. No, it was the time we spent together getting there – encouraging each other, helping each other, and supporting each other – that mattered the most.

Early in our journey to get fit, we took turns taking these two shots of each other before we headed out to run my very first 5K race, and his first in over five years. As you can see, there were no beautiful camera angles, no special editing techniques, and no dressy clothes. All the photos represent is us – plain and simple, in our running shorts and sneakers, together, in love, achieving something big. That is our moment, and it is perfect, even if the pictures appear to be far from it.

What’s your special story?

(Photo Credits: Personal Library)