Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Celebrating anniversaries

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Five years ago, I was a big ball of nerves. Gideon and I were planning our wedding, and I wasn’t so sure I wanted to go through with the big party. Of course I wanted to marry Gideon. I wanted to tie the knot the night he proposed.

But the thought of cementing our union for the first time in front of so many people freaked me out. The weekend we found my wedding dress, I talked with my mom about how nervous I was feeling. She suggested that Gideon and I get married quietly before the official ceremony, so we could have a moment that was only ours amidst the wedding chaos.

In truth, the only reason I wanted the big wedding was to make my mom happy. She stopped having kids after I came into the world, so there was no other child to give her wedding memories. Then there was all the pressure from Gideon’s relatives. Between his six siblings and numerous extended family, we both felt a certain expectation.

So you can imagine my happiness when my mom gave her blessing for us to have the best of both worlds. We’d still have the big wedding and everyone could visit and celebrate together. We’d just be married for about six months by the time the party rolled around.

It wasn’t long before Gideon and I made our own wedding plans. The ceremony took place on the balcony of our apartment on July 28 or 29 — Gideon and I are squabbling over the exact date. I wore a blue dress and a white cardigan. Gideon wore a striped button-down shirt and blue jeans.

Our officiant wrote the cats in the vows as our witnesses and brought them toys to play with after the ceremony. It lasted about five minutes. Then our photographer and dear friend, David Bell, captured the moment for us. Those images are so precious to us.

It really felt like we were the only two people in the world. For a brief time, all those trivial stressful things fell away. It’s one of those moments I can close my eyes and transport back to, no matter how much time passes.

But we’re not only celebrating our wedding anniversary on July 28 or 29. It’s also the one-year anniversary of us becoming homeowners. This time last year, Gideon was packing a bunch of boxes and I was getting ready to take some time off to move everything over. We officially signed our papers in August, but moving began a week earlier.

And it lasted that whole week. I wrote about this in a column right after we moved in, but it bears repeating. Hire the movers. Sure, you can do it yourself. Maybe you’ll save some money that way. None of that matters. Hire the movers and you’ll retain what little sanity you have left. Trust me. Hire the movers.

I’ll never forget sitting in camping chairs in our empty living room, eating pizza straight from the box and icing our tired legs. That doesn’t sound like tons of fun, but it’s one of the happiest memories from my life. We had talked about owning a home for years and years. There we were, sitting in the home we owned. Nothing, not even the gnarliest blister known to man, could take away that happiness.

This week, I’m taking off after we send the Lovely County Citizen to the press. I plan to spend the second half of the week enjoying good food, tough hikes and quality time with my wonderful husband. We’ve been through so much over the past five years. To be honest, the past year has been a struggle. Yet here we are, making it through every challenge together.

I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate.