"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse.

I'm a few days late .. but last year, at this time, I was on cloud nine probably fast asleep by a beautiful pool in Hawaii. This year has been a big one for us ... preparing for the future in so many ways and taking leaps as a team we never thought we could. Having been with Tim for almost 9 years now, being married does not feel much different than not being married- except that now, in my heart and on paper, he is my family. I am a lucky girl to have married my best friend and to have a true and honest partner in all that life brings. There were many things this year that I could not have accomplished or tackled without him and I am proud of us for many of the decisions we made as a team.

During our ceremony, Tim's mom read a passage from one of my favorite childhood books, The Velveteen Rabbit. As years of marriage begin to disappear behind us, I am so thankful that I am with a man who will love me when most of my hair has been loved off, and my eyes drop out and I get all loose in the joints and very shabby.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Love you. Thank you for making me real. :)