One year later…

One year ago, I put on the most gorgeous dress I’ve ever worn, gathered with 250 of my favorite people in the world, walked down the aisle with my Dad in the garden I grew up in, and married the love of my life.

Photo Credit: Leah Aubrey Photography

Whew! It’s funny how fast the time goes during that first year. Whenever we would tell people we got married a few months before, they would smile a knowing smile and say, “Oh! Newlyweds!” Yes… we were newlyweds. And sometimes their knowing smile was right—I won’t say these past 12 months have been easy. We’re just like any other couple figuring out how everything works, with the highs and the lows and the everywhere in-betweens. And yet, the one thing about being married is that you’ve given your entire self to your spouse in a way you’ve never given before. There were contracts signed, our families and friends were watching, and it was a choice we made together with all of our hearts. I couldn’t be more proud of the husband I chose, and who chose me to be his wife one year ago. Although I won’t say it was easy, I will say I have been completely, one-hundred percent in love with the partner I’ve been given. He has made me the happiest version of myself, and I am so grateful to have him as a permanent fixture in my life.

And being married to Sean does have its funny moments… The Mollie Shambeau Show veterans might remember the Man Code I was working on breaking early on in our relationship. When it comes to toothpaste rolling, some things never change. Is it obvious which is mine?

I swear to God, he squeezes it like his only mission in life to extract paste from that tube with a much force as possible—[thumps chest twice] MAN NEED TOOTH PASTE. TOOTH PASTE NOW.

Or there are mornings like today, and I wake up to find a homemmade stink bug trap in our kitchen:

I appreciate the fact that it says, “CAUTION,” and if I miss the Sharpie text, there are paperclips over the top to alert me that something is amis inside this Goldfish container.

I always knew Sean was “the one” because the first time I took him to hear The Lucas Cates Band play in Madison, he danced with me like no one was watching. He wasn’t (and still isn’t) embarrassed to be out on the dance floor at my side, dancing his heart out. I’m proud to say this first year, we mobbed the dance floor at every wedding we attended, and at every bar with a live band.

Photo Credit Beyond Imagination Photography

As some of you might know, starting a business with your spouse—a nonprofit, no less—is no easy feat. Our friends, Russ and Britt built a strawbale house together soon after they were married, and they did not (emphasis on NOT) recommend building a house together as a “positive post-wedding bonding exercise.” For us, that’s sort of like starting a business together. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as the best “post-wedding bonding,” but if you must—make sure your spouse is supportive and willing to listen and actively pursue a “work relationship” that is functional and efficient. Twelve months later, we’ve found that working relationship and couldn’t be more excited about the future of our organization. (Did you hear about our grant? SO PUMPED!)

And speaking of Riding On Insulin, I want to take a moment today to thank someone who has been behind our journey from the very start. He was cheering us on when we got engaged, he was propelling us forward in our first Ride to Cure in Death Valley, and he answers every time we ask for help, or hear “Don’t Stop Believing” on the radio. Jesse Alswager (along with his mom, Michelle) has been our guiding force throughout everything—especially with Riding On Insulin, and today would have been his 16th birthday. If you’re new here, you might not know the full story of how Sean and I met. In that case, I would encourage you to check out my lasted post on my blog on A Sweet Life, “Married to Diabetes.” The post is called “Don’t Stop Believing,” and it covers the full love story, from lone style editor in Madison Wisconsin to dynamic duo traveling the world and running a nonprofit.

So as we round out our first year with an anniversary celebration tonight, I thank all of you—the readers—for reading my blog and making our story a part of your day. I thank family and friends for their unending support. I thank my husband, Sean—for always accepting me for who I am, and for continually pushing me to be the best I can be. And lastly, I tip my hat to Jesse; the boy who died too young because of a disease without a cure. The boy who always lived his life knowing diabetes—or anything—didn’t have to hold him back. The boy who brought us together to fulfil an important purpose on this earth… and the boy who is watching over us, snowboarding those powdery clouds, always keeping us on our toes with new adventures. GODSPEED JESSE.

Sean, I love you with all of my heart—I’m so proud to have you at my side. [raises coffee cup] To the next chapter in our crazy, adventure-filled lives!

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8 Comments. Leave new

Steven Shambeau
September 24, 2012 9:34 am

With the pictures of us and the sweet words, my eyes are wet again (although not as bad as usual…I’m getting use to it! Have a great day both of you!


Dad… I’m always making you cry on this blog. I think you need to stop watching the Hallmark movies and switch to The Godfather or something… you know, toughen you up a bit. Ha! Love you 🙂 XOXO


Happy Anniversary. You guys are awesome.


Thanks Jessica!!


Fantastic! We will celebrate it ALL in Death Valley. But I have one question: the Sean dancing pic. Focus on him. Are those ….. spirit fingers?


Yep—Sean has been practicing his spirit fingers since he met me, and that photo was taken in July… I think he’s come a long way in the right direction, don’t you?!

Spots aka Rachel
September 24, 2012 11:27 am

Congrats to you both 🙂 Have a fantastic day. I remember when I first met you mollie (tom) you was doing outdoor quest with lisa. And we have been friends ever since. Would love to catch with you soon maybe when your in wisconsin for the camp. Miss you and have a fantastic day the both of you. 🙂


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