Tomorrow, May 25, is my fifth wedding anniversary.
To get ideas on gift-giving, I looked up the traditional wedding gift
for five years, and it’s wood. (Modern says silverware, but I’ve already got enough of that.) After my initial disappointment at both gift options, I decided that wood might be the best present of all.
Like love, wood is solid, sturdy, built to hold up against time. And if you take care of it, both love and wood will last forever.
Brent and I met on a blind date. Mutual friends thought we should meet, and we did, to a cool reception on both our parts. Neither one of us was sure the other was interested. But one lunch led to dinner, and over a year’s time we fell in love. Eight months later, we were married.
The Memphis Botanic Gardens was our wedding and reception site. Rain dampened our hopes for an outdoor reception, but nevermind that because the day was sunny in my memory with lots of love, friends and family. (On a funny note, I do remember feeling so embarrassed and even shaking a little because so many people were looking at me. To this day, I don’t like it when the focus is on me. I’d rather it be someone else.)
Brent in our studio/office in the heart of Germantown, which is used for photos for the website, as well as a quiet place for him to get away from all the girls at Bella Vita.
While all this was going on, we were also building Bella Vita. Brent was by my side every step of the way. From opening in Collierville in 2007 to closing in Cordova in 2008. He’s been with me as first, an innocent bystander, then as a source of support and, starting late last year, as part of the Bella Vita team, leading our online efforts and becoming our resident photographer/ videographer and general jack of most trades.
How did we grow, in love and in business? Perhaps for Brent, the answer might be slightly different, but here’s what I believe to be the secret to success.
You’ve got to have a strong foundation.
While the first flush of excitement—in love and in business—starts out as dreams, you’ve got to get down to work, yep, work, spending time talking and planning about what you both want out of life.
Brent & I at Seattle Mariners game - Summer 2012
You’ve got to be on the same team.
Building a business and a marriage takes teamwork. Brent and I have evolved into partners in every sense. At home, he cooks and I clean—most of the time. At work, he’s behind the scenes and I’m on the floor—most days. It’s a give and take and at the end of the day, hopefully, you see some of the love out of it that you put into it.
So here we are five years later, and off to Charleston soon—to celebrate and take a little breather. Another tip I've found that makes love and business grow? Take some time to enjoy it all too.
Verses from our wedding vows that reside in our bedroom
Happy anniversary, sweetheart, and here’s to many more happy anniversaries. (P.S. Did you get me a present?)