Radiant: Hannah J. Holmes

Wednesday is becoming one of my favorite days of the week. I am enjoying so much all of these Radiant stories and, judging by your kind words left in the comments, you all are, too! 

This week, I've invited Hannah from Hannah J. Holmes to write some words on her experience of love. I've admired Hannah's writing for quite some months now and was thrilled when she agreed to participate. Hannah's story is the first in the series about romantic love.

I've always felt strongly that romantic love is in no way superior to other kinds of love, such as the love of a parent for a child, the love between sisters and brothers, or even the love between two close friends, which can be a strong and inexplicable force. And yet, as I mentally flip through the pages of my life and try to think of one small moment, one subtle but meaningful expression of love, all I can think of is my husband: the countless times he has made me coffee when I was groggy in the morning or brought home chocolate when I was feeling sad.

These small moments are the threads that hold together the fabric of our marriage; out of love, my husband buys ten boxes of chicken broth when I have a cold, and in turn I am so wonderfully surprised by his thoughtfulness that I can't help but love him more than I ever thought possible.

When I was a child, I thought of my wedding day as some sort of enormous turning point, some kind of epitome of my love for whoever I would marry. But now, my wedding day is over, and as time marches forward, it seems less and less important, as it fades into the distance. On my wedding day, I wore an extremely heavy ball gown and ate an expensive, delicious cake, but my marriage is something altogether different, something much more pleasant and beautiful and difficult to define. I feel like I am exploring some vast unknown territory and everyday I learn and discover more. My husband is unique and gentle and kind but also complicated and infuriating and excellent at cooking seafood. He is so many things, and our marriage relationship is ever shifting, growing, changing. And in some strange, almost magical way, though the roads are often riddled with bumps and potholes, every turn thus far has been for the better.

I could no more choose one single expression of love from my husband to pinpoint than I could choose a favorite sister or parent. I can think of so many moments of exhaustion or tears when my husband was my only comfort. He has cooked so many meals and told so many stories. There have been hundreds of cups of coffee and loads of laundry. I have folded his underwear, and he has folded mine. We have fought. We have shouted. We have hugged. We have watched many, many movies. He may watch a romantic comedy though he craves explosions, and I may watch an action movie though I crave romance. Love is demonstrated through actions and all of these small, perhaps seemingly insignificant instances between my husband and I are the very definition of our love for each other. I do not think of love as an abstract concept. I think of love as my husband, early in the morning, turning on the coffee pot then cooking breakfast. 

Hannah made such an important point that I think bears highlighting and repeating. She wrote about how as a child, she expected the wedding day to be "some sort of enormous turning point, some kind of epitome of my love for whoever I would marry." She then goes on to explain how her actual experience has been quite different as their "marriage relationship is ever shifting, growing, changing."

I think it's so important to share the truth of marriage, that it's beauty lies far beyond the wedding day. That companionship that grows over time, through difficult times and joyous times alike, in my experience, has been beyond my expectations.

So good news, brides and brides to-be: the wedding is wonderful but life after the wedding is even better. So don't fret over the sit-down dinner or the buffet, the roses or the peonies, the open bar or the drink tickets. It will all be okay. And if it's not, well, there's a beautiful life waiting for you afterwards.

For more in the Radiant series, check out these stories by fabulously talented women bloggers:

And be sure to check out more of Hannah's writing over at Hannah J. Holmes.


  1. This is so true!! If my wedding were to be an indication of my marriage...well, let's just say it wouldn't necessarily bode well for us. But the wedding is such a tiny piece to a marriage. I love LoLo more today than I ever have and it feels so nice to know we are right where we should be!

  2. What a beautifully written post! It really is amazing how a marriage relationship grows and changes over time. Thanks for this lovely reminder of how lucky we all are to have such love in our lives!

  3. totally loved this post, it's def. true! Thanks for sharing!


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