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Cook & Butt Wedding; One Year Ago, Today!

Most of all, I remember... Howard and I were an unlikely couple to begin with and we found each other at the most unlikely time in our lives. On paper, we did not make sense at all. But our friendship, our connection, and our love for one another was so extraordinary that it could not be broken. We fought a lot of forces together and also on our own. But every step of the way we made the right decisions for ourselves personally and we always did "the right thing". In the end, and to our surprise, we ended up together. In my life I have read about love like this, but did not believe that it really existed. I was way too independent and strong to even want it. It is a scary feeling, but Howard is the best friend I have ever known or could ever hope for. Howard has shown me what unconditional love feels like. Howard has made my life extraordinary and I don't want to live a day without him in this world.

Looking back a year later, there are three memories that stand out in my mind from our wedding weekend. First are the speeches at the rehearsal dinner. They were so intimate and personal. Every speech given brought tears to Howard and I. It was a very emotional night for us. The second is when my daughter, Audrey, grabbed my hand during the ceremony. The last is looking up at Howard during the ceremony and realizing how hard we had worked together to get to this moment. Our story, our love, is truly a fairy tale.



Penick & Bell

Most of all, I remember... I have always been told you know it is true love if you can let it go and it comes back to you, but I would never take such a risk--that's just not in me! So when Steven proposed to me on a beach, all alone under a tent where we spent the night, I, of course, said "Yes!" It was so romantic.

When our wedding day arrived, I will never forget the beauty of the day, the sunlight, the warmth of the summer wind. It was the most perfect. One of the most memorable things from our wedding day was when a huge spider crawled up my dress and Steven saw it in between the tulle. Jenn, Jim, and Steven were all trying to get it out of my dress! Also, our first dance stands out to me. We had so much fun working on it together, and after all this time I can still put the song on and Steven literally remembers every step to our first dance.

Married life is wonderful! Steven and I have always felt married since we were together in college, so it doesn't feel that much different. We are both faculty at the university we met at. It is so much fun to call him when I am done with my class and say, hey I'm walking by where we fell in love, want to meet me at the spot where we first kissed??!! I know our adventure is just beginning. I am really excited for the next chapter in our love story. One important lesson I have learned is how blessed/fortunate/lucky I am to have found a person that is my one and only true love in this life.