To be totally honest, when KC, Belle, Sarah, Emily, and Belinda okayed my prompt, I had all of these grand fantasies of putting up a photo of me crossing the finish line at my first half marathon, sweaty and tired and sore but triumphant. Well... you all know how that went. I finished and I'm incredibly proud of myself, but feeling beautiful and feeling furious do not generally go together. So I'm going to go for the cliché, as I hinted last Wednesday, because it's true even if it is gag-inducingly saccharine. Except that, since my life doesn't always cooperate with this blog, the photo I wanted to share to answer this question has been taken off Facebook. I'm posting another that I love from our wedding, but we'll still talk about the first and you can use your imagination, okay?
The time I felt most beautiful was when...
... I was surrounded by friends and family at our wedding five weeks ago. The thing is, though, that it had nothing to do with how I looked. By the time we went in to dinner, my hair had gone totally flat and my lipstick was only a memory. My dress, which I liked a lot but didn't love in the end, wasn't quite prepared for my exuberance and had trouble hanging properly as I whirled around the reception. And half of the photos taken of me by our friends are, technically, unflattering. But one of my favorite photos from the wedding is included in that group; let me try to describe it to you so you can understand why.
One of Jon's best friends and I have a slightly strained history. Because of the circumstances under which Jon and I met and started dating, he was wary of me from the beginning. Eventually, though, things changed and over the years we've become closer. I know that he was still a little freaked out when Jon and I got engaged, but I was so grateful that he was there to celebrate with us when the day came.
The picture I'd wanted to post today was a candid that someone snapped of me and this friend after dinner. He was holding my hand because we'd been dancing, but we'd since stopped to talk; his other arm was gesturing and my other hand was pressed against my heart. You can't see his face, but you can see mine - I look slightly pained, like I'm maybe about to cry, but there's a stupid grin on my face. Of all the photos from the wedding that make me remember how beautiful I felt that day... well, that one's near the top of the list.
It captures the moment when Jon's friend told me how happy he was that Jon and I had gotten married and would be spending the rest of our lives together and how glad he was that he'd gotten to share our relationship with us through the years and was helping us start our new lives together. I'd never heard sentiments like that from this friend before, and it made me feel so absolutely beautiful in that moment and every time I've thought about it since. Our wedding, as I've mentioned before, was about so much more than just me and Jon, and getting to share my joy with everyone I loved made me feel more beautiful than ever before.