You dislike this picture. It was taken from an awkward angle. I was holding the phone at a diagonal above our heads. The sun was bright and in our faces from the wrong direction...whatever that means in photo lingo. I love it for so many reasons beyond the composition of the photograph. I love that you are making me laugh, as you often do. I get your sense of humor and you exercise it constantly with me. You calm me when I need to be calmed, you give me pep talks when I need to be pepped, you're quiet when I need silence, but at any given time, you can make me laugh. I LOVE that. This picture is from last week when we were picnicking on the Salt Creek Hill - a place you and I both feel at peace. You for the ocean and how alive it makes you feel, and I for the overall expansiveness of the view. That view makes me feel small in a big world. This picture was from last Tuesday, we were both able to take a break in the middle of the day to picnic. I never take the flexibility of our work schedules for granted. The flexibility that allows us the freedom for the occasional mid-day picnic and that somehow we pay our bills and eat well. Sometimes I stress at you "we aren't working hard enough." Panic! This stress is not because I don't trust you. It is merely because sometimes, when we're eating a La Sirena picnic on the hill, this life feels too good to be true. Thank you for convincing me to do the work I enjoy. Please know I always want that for you too... even when I panic. Back to the picture. You're kissing me, and affection is second nature to you. For me, physical touch is something that is intentional. But for you, it is part of your communication. The bun squeezes while I'm cooking, the hand on my waist when you first wake up, the open armed late night greetings at the door when I get home from work. I hear you. I see you. I'm so lucky to be yours.

Today, November 13th, we have been married for two years. Remember the crazy fun, perfect party we had? Perfect... if you don't count the music going out when I was at the top of the aisle with my Dad. But all things considered, it was damn perfect. I think we would both agree that year one and year two of being married have been different. The floundering that happened in year one felt more steady as time passed. We dedicated year two to knowing each other better, to loving the other how they most feel loved instead of how we most easily give love. We don't get it right all the time, but this year, you have filled me up more than ever, and as I most needed you to. I feel known by you. That sounds so hippy-dippy, but I think that's what we all want in this life, to be understood, and you are the person who understands me. This year we chose to seek counsel, to get advice from the older and the wiser about marriage and communication. We learned to apologize quicker and more willingly than before. This past year is the one I most frequently stormed up to the couch late at night. One time I took all the bedding with me, practically guaranteeing you'd come after me. I love the (charming, in retrospect) visual of me wrapped in a giant comforter at the top of the stairs, upset about who knows what, while you're truly trying to talk me down (maybe arguing back?) and just as the crazy had run its course, you swooped in to make me laugh. Which is why we have a photo of this moment. One day when we get the hang of doing this well and become the older and the wiser, I will show young couples this photo. Let's keep it real, for everyones sake, you can love each other deeply and still get unbelievably pissed.

I love our real life - the laughing, the picnics, the affection, the learning, the fighting and desire to be a better version of ourselves out of the love for the other... and if any of it does turn out to be too good to be true, I will be right next to you the entire time.

Happy Anniversary, Hugh Forte. I love you SO much.

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Reader Comments (86)

i love everything about this. so very much. thank you for keeping it so real--happy anniversary you two.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermary @ B&Gjournals

Your marriage and love are so encouraging! I remember reading in your cookbook, too, how your husband helps you to pursue the things you love to do the most, and being blessed then as well about the freedom that comes from being loved so fully and well. I'm blessed also, because you are writing about real love, not the sugar-coated or hyper-romanticized love, but the tough love: where there's a lot of mess but you still fight and choose to love and give love graciously. Thank you for sharing your story! Happy two year anniversary! God bless!

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

I absolutely love this post. You are one of the most honest and well-spoken writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and your outlook on life really inspires me. Congratulations on your anniversary! I also want you to know that your cookbook is on my bedside table because I love it that much!

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

People often don't realize that you can love someone and still be pissed at them. The major assumption is that peace follows love, and it doesn't. People are people, with likes, dislikes, character changes, and the big bad world closing in. With someone who loves you, even when all of the outside world comes in, fighting and forgiveness are accepted.

Happy Anniversary!!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Happy anniversary, you write so honestly about your relationship and what love means to you both and I so admire that. I hope that year three is even better than years one and two for you guys.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Happy Anniversary guys! I love both of these pictures equally (though how cheeky of Hugh to take that second picture)! You are both so inspiring & I look forward to every post. xx

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

this is a beautiful and encouraging post! i love your authenticity - nothing is more encouraging! i'm one half of a new baby marriage (8 months) and found this inspiring, assuring, comforting, and just lovely. happy anniversary!! wishing you a lifetime of sweet moments like the ones captured in these pictures. :)

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlittle kitchie

So beautiful! love the pictures and such an honest and moving post. Congratulations! xxx

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChloe

What you wrote is so beautiful. It is a very nice declaration of love. And, as you said, it is important to learn to apologize quicker. I remember my grandparents how have been married for 60 years and never went to bed angry during that time. I've been with my man for 9 years now, and we've been married for 2 years now. And I totally understand what you wrote...

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

Sara, I love everything you write, but this is especially fun to read, sweet, and poignant. Thank you for sharing your stories and peek behind-the-scenes. You have such an engaging way of sharing personal thoughts, opinions, experiences, and connecting with all of us out here in different corners of the world. Love both "imperfect" photos, especially you in the comforter! What a moment! Happy Anniversary! Hope it is lovely! :)

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I love all your posts but this one is definitely at the top! Just beautiful!!!! Thanks for being so real with us :) Happy Anniversary!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

so freaking cute, congrats you two. you give me hope that I will someday find something that good :) quirks are the best parts xxx

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole Franzen

Love this. You guys are awesome.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Flynn

Love this pic. Congratulations, guys!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaya

As one of those "older" married people (we just celebrated our 23rd anniversary) let me say thank you--your piece has brought so many memories flooding back from those first intense years of marriage and I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I wish I could have been as honest yet hopeful as you, sweet one. This is so beautifully written and expressed. Only very recently have I realized the best part of being connected to a life's love is the being understood part. Being understood is really the most comforting thing in the world. I think that since you get that, your marriage is already made of the right stuff. Thank you for this lovely post and happy anniversary!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally

Happy Anniversary!!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Maebird

Love, love, love this. The honesty, the emotion, the joy. Celebrate well, and have an oh-so-happy number three. xo

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

This is my hands-down, favorite, favorite post of yours, ever. So happy for you guys and two solid years of learning and growing together. I so get it. What you wrote is so true and, because of that, so beautiful.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShanna

Happy anniversary to you and Hugh! I love the photos you posted, and the honesty. I haven't gone so far as taking all the bedding, but I've certainly had my moments. Most of the time I can't remember what it was I was angry about in the first place, but I'm really bad at apologizing. I'm lucky, like you, to have a totally supportive and amazing husband, and when he makes me laugh in that moment, I can't help but realize how ridiculous I was being. Hope you're having a great celebration today!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Beautiful post. Congrats on making it another year! Cheers to love :)

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This part particularly resonates with me 'loving the other how they most feel loved instead of how we most easily give love.' Although I would never have been able to put that into words as simply and elegantly as you have done here, it is so pertinet.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSadhbh

Oh, this is lovely. I'm laughing and teary-eyed at the same time. Such beauty and realness here. Cheers to many many more beautiful years together.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Thanks for the honesty! It's good to hear about other people struggling as well with the discrepancy between being individuals and sharing their live with somone they love. All the best to you!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHenri

Beautiful, unexpected, and poignant! Happy Anniversary, and may you continue to work hard at your beautiful marriage! xo

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShira

This is so beautiful Sara. It is such an amazing feeling when you know you're with the one person who gets everything about who you are, even though it also sometimes means being upset once in awhile, ha! Happy Anniversary to you both!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

This is so wonderful. Thank you for sharing! Happy Anniversary :)

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Morrison

I rarely comment but this was beautifully written. I especially loved this part: "you can love each other deeply and still get unbelievably pissed". Truer words and all that. Happiest of anniversaries to the both of you.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkc

You two are simply inspiring. Congrats on your two years!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

happy 2-year anniversary to both of you! :-) what a tribute to your hubby! a friend of mine (who celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary recently) told me the other day, that there's hardly anything that thrills her husband more and touches him more deeply that when she expresses her appreciation and thankfulness for him in front of other people. I don't know what Hugh thinks about it, but I feel your post makes just that. May your marriage and your businesses be blessed and may you never stop forgiving each other and expressing your love and appreciation for each other!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeborah

Oh... this is wonderful. Happy anniversary!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian @ A Thought For Food

Ok, you almost made me cry reading this. Happy Anniversary to both of you! (Love the picture of you in the comforter.)

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Turnbull

This is so beautiful, Sara. I heart you guys. Happy anniversary!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

Congratulations and may you be blessed with many more years together. As wonderful as good food is, good marriages are even more important and take even more work. Doing both well is a lovely bonus. We've hit 28 years this year and feel our marriage is aging as does good wine. May yours as well.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanet

So very sweet. Happy anniversary to you two.


November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKacie

Thank you for your beautiful tribute to your husband and total honesty in this post Sarah. The picnic overlooking the ocean sounds heavenly, as I am sure it was.
Happy anniversary.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

haha! Love all of this. Happy anniversary!!!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterangie

My husband and I recently celebrated one year, and this post just hit home. We are working toward that understanding, and I hope we continue to grow. Thank you for your inspiration.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley @ Sensibly Gourmet

Happy Anniversary! Loved this post, reminds me of my own marriage and love still going strong after more than 13 years. It is hard work and hard play but oh so rewarding. If both sides give neither side will fall short.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

This was beautiful to read. I have been married 7.5 years and I am still not in as good a place as you. However, I can say that once we realized how much work marriage really was, and started to put the effort in, it has only been getting better and better.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Thanks for sharing this post! Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who acts how she doesn't want to and gets so mad at her husband for something stupid. Happy Anniversary!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

This is the sweetest thing, Sara. Happy two years to the both of you!

Also, the photo of you at the top of the stairs made me laugh out loud. Hilarious. Adorable. I just love it.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae

Happy Anniversary Sara and Hugh!!!!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoz

Hey Friends, Love to you both. Big smiles. Enjoy.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Perfect Post on keeping it real. Love it!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Thank you for keeping it real, Sara. I am so guilty, as a single girl, of looking at happy couples and assuming it's always easy. You two are great together.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryne

you guys are the best. I love you both and I'm so damn happy that we know you guys! Sara, this post is beautiful and true and to think that it will ONLY get better. happy anniversary to two of my favorite people!!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermolly

beautiful. happy anniversary.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Beautiful - this makes me love my marriage all the more. Happy anniversary to you two - we're just a few months ahead of you. :)

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I needed the encouragement & honesty of love. Currently trying to reconcile a lost relationship of 22 yrs..we never got it right. I want to hope for genuine love again. I want to be able to be pissed & happy..faking catches up with you. Love BIG you two..I still believe in love

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjo

Happy anniversary! I love this post. :)

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

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