10 years of Marriage. Our wedding was so much fun. Thankfully, this was pre-Pinterest. I made the wedding invitations. Rob drew a map of the events that we included as an insert, he made the intersections look like a cursive "H" for Hickson. We had a stamp made that said "andrea & robby" written in my handwriting in cursive with a heart interlacing our names in place of the ampersand. Our friend played the guitar to "I Love You Lord" as I walked down the gorgeous red aisle of the church that Rob grew up in. Rob and all the guys wore off white linen suits and looked so fly. Rob had a mohawk! We had Moroccan lamps lining the aisles, three flower girls, a ring bearer, two boys ringing bells and five bridesmaids and groomsmen. Todd, the pastor who married us is also married to Denise, she was my mentor in high school and college. It was so special to have him marry us and really cool because they also shared our same anniversary. We said our vows, exchanged rings and lit the unity candle while our friends sang, "Take My Life and Let it Be". After we had our first kiss as a married couple and were pronounced Husband and Wife we walked back up the aisle together, while the guitar plucked the melody of "Everything Glorious". It's so sweet to remember the details.
Our reception was at a banquet hall (in a strip mall on Calle Ocho - so Miami!) But it was perfect because we tore it up on the dance floor! When we went to cut the cake, we noticed that the cake topper was next to the cake on the table. For whatever reason, when we selected our cake (vanilla with raspberry jelly and cream cheese frosting - sill my favorite cake/ cupcake combo) we were told we had to purchase a cake topper. We just wanted to have flowers on the cake as the only decoration, but they insisted, so we bought this sculpture of a couple embracing that also looked like two rings interlaced. When it was time to cut the cake, we got to the table and just had to laugh... the cake was beautiful and it had flowers on the top just how we wanted it. And the cake topper of the lovely couple embracing? It was on display next to the cake. To this day, we don't understand what happened, but it was hilarious to us, so we've kept the sculpture and have it on our mantle. Every time I see it I think of our wedding and how funny it was to see it there next to the cake when we didn't even want it to begin with. It's been a funny memento to have from the wedding and reminds me how even though a wedding is important and is so special, in the end it's about the marriage and finding reasons to laugh as you share life together day after day, year after year. Speaking of cake - the only taste I had of my cake that day was from when we took the photos cutting the cake and tasting a piece because my new husband ATE MY SLICE! Marriage is built on love, trust and apparently stealing your bride's slice of wedding cake.
We danced and danced and danced at our wedding. At one point a kickline formed as we danced to New York, New York (two years before we moved here)! As the reception came to an end - a FLASH FLOOD warning started scrolling across the top of my phone screen. It started pouring (good luck, right?) so we were stuck! We opened a few gifts with our guests and made the best of it while the staff at the banquet hall started to tear down the tables and decor. It lasted all of 30 minutes, so it wasn't bad at all. When I get a Flash Flood warning on my phone nowadays, I can't help but think back on our wedding. I must be the only person that sees Flash Flood warning and thinks, Awwwwww. LOL. I have so many fond memories of that day, and am so thankful.
So since 05.06.07 we've... held dozens of jobs, earned two master's degrees, moved to NYC, gotten a dog, become parents to an amazing, fierce little girl, taken thousands of photos, had countless dance parties in the kitchen - which Lucie now loves, made friends for life, started two businesses, added wayyy too much to our plates, taken steps back, gotten things right, made mistakes, gone to sleep in each other's arms, gone to sleep in frustration and silence, learned how to better communicate, learned how to show each other that we love and appreciate each other, made a few more mistakes along the way, supported each other's dreams, gone on adventures, grown in forgiveness and grace, grown in our relationship with each other, and grown in our relationship with the Lord. Again, I am so thankful.
We had lot's of ideas on how to celebrate the big TEN. We both LOVE to travel and I recently realized that the last time I went overseas was all the way back in 2005. Between 2000 to 2005 I went to Italy, Germany, France, Cali, Barbados, Puerto Rico and Spain... I kind of took for granted that travel would always be a regular part of my life. I enjoy it and long to travel with Rob and Lucie (I blame growing up watching Aladdin and listening to A Whole New World over and over again). Most of our trips in the past several years have been around the Northeast which has been great, and to see family in Florida and PR. We had been talking about possibly celebrating our 10 year anniversary by going on a fun trip out of the county, but we decided to hold off on that for now. It's still something we'd really like to do and hopefully we can start planning for it for next summer.
We also talked about having a big party. Rob proposed on top of a roof in Downtown Coral Gables. We listened to some Michael Bublé, took in the gorgeous views of the city and toasted with a glass of white wine. For as much as we like to take pictures, we didn't have a camera back then so I can't show you, but trust me, it was lovely. We have also talked about one day contacting that building's management to see if we can rent the rooftop for an anniversary party to renew our vows with family and friends. Maybe our 20th!? Ha!
So on 05.06.17 a lot of great things came together rather perfectly and we had an extremely special day. We spent the day with Lucie and took a trip up to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. We found out there was a Chihuly exhibit so we were extra excited because when we celebrated our dating anniversary back when we were engaged over 10 years ago, just a few months before we got married, we spent the day at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami and there was a Chihuly exhibit there.
Later that evening, Rob planned for Lucie to have sleepover with her bestie (THANK YOU THOMASES), so that we could go to dinner and then enjoy the one thing I asked for - to sleep in! Rob told me we'd be going to a rooftop dinner, just like when we got engaged but this time in the greatest city in the world, NYC. What a blessing that we get to call this place home. Dinner was... absolutely amazing. We stepped out of the elevator on the 41st floor and were greeted by cocktails prepared by our talented friends Kat and David from the Mottley Kitchen. We took in the incredible views of the City while we had our drinks and then enjoyed the delicious courses served to us for a private dinner. I can't get over how stunning it all was.
Looking at my wedding band, I see the verses Rob had the jeweler engrave on the inside: Jeremiah 29:4-13. There's a story as to why we chose those verses... they were the focus of a sermon we heard while were dating and little did I know, while Rob was also praying about asking to marry me. This is the portion that struck him the most:
For him, it was that extra push he was looking for to move forward with asking my parents if he could marry me and planning when he would propose. I love reading it and thinking about the encouragement to come together in marriage, grow as a family and to invest in and pray for the community around you. It reminds me of this quote I recently shared with a friend of mine a few weeks ago who was in the midst of deciding on whether or not to make an upcoming move.
She asked - What if we end up having to move again though? I think I responded saying something like - Maybe in this case you're a potted plant? Point being - even if you're not somewhere for the long haul - grow, give, invest, get involved. NYC is home and we are praying to continue to grow where we are. When we originally moved here we thought we'd just be here for about two years while Rob finished his Master's. Every spring we looked to try to move ANYWHERE that Rob could coach football in the fall. As the years passed we tried to focus on moving back to Florida. NYC is so expensive and we have rented cozy apartments for almost eight years with no real savings to speak of, (and all other equally valid reasons). Rob applied to over 10 promising jobs one spring and went down for interviews, but the doors were firmly shut. Even though the answer to move somewhere, anywhere, that wouldn't be as "hard" as living in NYC was a "no", we were glad for the answer because it meant we could really focus on growing here and it has made all the difference. We truly can't imagine living anywhere else.
I've had this ring on my finger for ten years, only thinking about the verses on the inside every so often, as I reflect on them now it is so amazing to see how God has woven them throughout the path He has led us on in our marriage.
Los Hicksons (Hope you enjoy a few more pics from the past month.)