As you go about your day Sunday, July 22, my wife and I will celebrate our first year of marriage. This Sunday marks a year of tremendous blessing and growth for us. Our relationship began here nearly three years ago the way many new romances begin – yes, the Internet!

I remember being nervous during our first phone calls, worried that I sounded awkward. Lucky for me, my wife is attracted to awkwardness. She was anxious, too, so when we met in August 2009 at Northcross Lanes bowling alley, I arrived with the ultimate icebreaker — water balloons! I was too embarrassed to put them to use, so we went inside and had a great time bowling instead.

We grew very close during the following years. She, a girl from south Florida, and I, a guy from the Carolinas, somehow became less and less separable. We had survived some obstacles that could have shaken a less solid bond and we had made it through to see the bright promises of the future and decided to wed.

The day before we nearly eloped, my wife found a rabbi to officiate a small ceremony for us at Jetton Park. A few friends gathered beneath the gazebo to watch us say our vows. It was the beautiful day that my beautiful wife deserved. The next day, we left for a scenic weekend in Blowing Rock. It was a humble, yet charming honeymoon that we hope to repeat many times.

Last September, we learned we were expecting a child and were elated. The pregnancy was difficult for us as a new couple learning to be married, but we put each other first and became a great team. By the time my wife’s water broke, by coincidence (or perhaps no coincidence), just hours before her scheduled C-section in April, we were both ready to meet the new challenge of parenthood.

Since our beautiful son was born, I have watched my wife become the most wonderful mother I could have ever imagined. She has watched me embrace fatherhood with passion I never thought myself capable. During this first year, I have learned to hear my wife’s needs, goals and dreams and make them as important as my own. I have faith in us because our marriage is the foundation upon which we are building our future. I know my wife is my biggest fan, and I reciprocate that support and love.

Happy Anniversary Bena.

Love, Chris

– Chris Medlock, Huntersville,