Emily has never let me forget those words, and they are gonna be with me for the rest of my life... I can still remember the setting and the people who witnessed me saying them. Nothing I do is outside the influence or impact of what I said on December 22, 2001.

Nine years ago today, my life was forever changed by saying "I do." Fortunately the results have been wonderful! Some folks describe marriage as hard, but I choose to phrase it as a challenge and a choice that I gladly accept. Not every day is perfect, but there have been far more perfect days than not.

A newlywed friend of mine recently said, "it's really cool having your best friend always there" and I couldn't agree more. I love every chance that I have to go out with Emily, to stay home with her, and even face life's challenges with her.

I've encountered some of my greatest challenges in live during the last 9 years...from surviving Greek class in seminary, moving across the country, moving back across the country, work challenges, my mom passing away, not being able to have kids, and the adoption process. But I'm continually supported and encouraged by the way Emily loves me and goes about her faith & life.

Emily has been a strong spiritual influence, a great sounding board for ideas (that were mostly goofy until she gave her input), and a loyal friend through it all. I can honestly say that I love her EVEN MORE today that when we said "I do" nine years ago!

Emily has come into my family and been so sweet to connect and love every one of them. And her family has lovingly taken me into their arms too. And now I can't wait to bring home a grandbaby for them all to spoil!

I've grown and changed so much in these last nine years and I'm looking forward to all the years ahead with my wonderful wife!

I love you Emily!