To the past four years (and a giveaway!)

October 11th, 2008.At the end of the long, blue stone aisle lined with perfectly bunched candles and 125 of our friends and family was the man I have had the honor of calling my husband for the past four years. He is tall, kind, loving, protective and I would not want any other person sharing the blankets with me every night from here until the end.

I have been thinking a lot about what we were doing in preparation for the big day – picking up the flowers, table clothes, deep dish pizza (for the rehearsal dinner…come on – we’re Chicagoians!), and even squeezing in a “Last Single Girl” sushi dinner with 15 of my closest friends two nights before the wedding. But nothing can prepare you for what’s on the other side of “I Do” – grad school, late nights of washing dishes, the well timed (ha!) argument before bed, days of loving your job, days of hating your job, car trouble, a (half) cross country move, making new friends together – and most importantly finding that your best friend is indeed the one next to you every night.

I was just texting with a girlfriend from highschool who’s about to get married in a few weeks (congrats Brittany and Joel!) – and it made think back to the beginning of all this. Through all the messy, ugly, beautiful, and raw moments of the past four years, I am cherishing the past 365 the most. In moving from the midwest, and feeling I was losing so much love from friends and family, I found that I gained all that back and more in my marriage.

So here’s to our wedding day – for each bite of that delicious cake, each silly dance with my sisters and mom, for my last dance with my dad and my first with my husband. To loosing the confirmation papers for our hotel on the way to the honeymoon. To eating a room service midnight snack of chicken fingers and burgers at the end of the long day.
To year one – the experiments in the kitchen, making new friends, starting new journeys in grad school, and to learning how each other grieves, celebrates, rests.
To year two – to feeling like “we’ve got this down”…and finding out we had it all wrong, to finding our Chicago sweet spots, for friends babies that became nieces and nephews, to our last summer in the midwest.
To year three – the hardest of them all. To moving, to exploring, to lots of tears, to learning even more about each other.
To year four – to discovering, to settling in, to excelling in jobs, to friends who move away, to renewed joy in our home.

In honor of our anniversary – I’m giving away two couple portrait sessions – one in Connecticut and one in the New York City/Rhode Island/Massachusetts/southern New Hampshire area! We have been so blessed by having amazing photographers document our engagement, wedding and life-after-wedding – I want to give back!

How to enter:
LikeAlicia Sturdy” on Facebook (*if you share the link to my blog you’ll get an extra entry!*)
2. Go to the “Say Hello” page on my website ( and send me a note – Tell me about a special place you have with your significant other. A favorite restaurant? The shoreline? Central Park? Under the boardwalk (yea yea!)?
3. Please be sure to include your location (there’s a box for that!)

All entries must be submitted by October 21st, 2012 at noon (eastern time). One entry will be selected from Connecticut, one entry will be selected from the other area’s listed above.

Winners announced on October 22nd!
Session must be redeemed by January 31, 2013.

*First photo- our wedding by Mallory Nelson – October 2008.
*Second photo- our Goodbye Photoshoot with Erica Rose – June 2011.

Author: Melissa Love

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