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An Open Letter

One year ago I married you. I still remember that morning... the relief when I woke to a gorgeous fall day, the perfect amount of overcast with the occasional hello from the sun. The air was cool but not uncomfortable and, most importantly, there was no rain. Only the night before the prediction had been 70-80% precipitation and my heart had sunk as I sat among stacks of wedding decorations waiting to be loaded into the car — hours of hand-drawn chalkboard signs and delicate dried flowers in jars. There couldn't be rain, there just couldn't. But that morning peace was granted to my anxious heart even though I knew better than to let such a small detail even enter my mind at "ruining" our special day. How could our day not be perfect? We would get to stand in front of all our closest friends and family, hand in hand, eye to eye, and seal our bond with a covenant of love.



I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Dustin Krotts.

What a mess of a year it has been love. We thought we were prepared for marriage. We thought we were wiser than the fools who claimed their first year to be the toughest. "Ah, not us," we said. "We have already worked through all the hard stuff." But life has a way of bringing up the darkest parts of our souls, parts of ourselves we didn't even know existed. No other human took the time to peel back the layers of my heart, build up trust where vulnerability could ensue, and courageously hold a mirror up to let me see. I thank you for that.



As passionate people, we fight passionately.

We've slammed doors, left the house angrily, given the stairs a beating with our stomping up and down, broken glasses, ripped up drawings, and scared our dogs. I'm sure the neighbors have wondered how two quiet people could get so loud. But out of these fights has come the greatest blessing. We both remained. We are in this until the end no matter what. Our marriage is worth fighting for. We won't settle for apathy. Just as a sunset is extra illuminating after a storm, we are beginning to understand the rewards that await us through the tunnel of uncomfortable days. Little by little our fights are becoming less frequent, our actions less selfish, our words more uplifting, and our relationship more faith centered.



On the opposite side of the spectrum, this year has been the most beautiful of years.

With our headphones on, we've synced music to the same album countless times — discovering many songs' hidden elements. Our bikes have traveled all over town together — to the bridge, to the park, flying down hills, and criss crossing through city structures. How precious this year has been, to the smallest detail of the time you ran to my rescue with towels while I stood staring stupidly at the paint palette I had just dropped face down on the carpet. We hold hands in the simplest of places (even the grocery store), steal kisses before leaving, share hugs when reuniting, and sneak notes to each other when away. I'll find silly made up words and dog photos filling my message conversation with you and sappy lines that only the closest of lovers could tell. We share long conversations together about every range of topics — from books to art to design, HTML, food, documentaries, our earliest memories, God, painting, the Cubs, spirituality, death, birth, family, donuts, health, our inspirations, and the list goes on. As our barriers have broken down, there isn't anything off limits. You've held me while I cried over the guilt of past pains, talked with me in silly accents for no reason, and laughed with me over the mini drama our animals play. Marriage is truly special.




I've watched you grow into a stronger man this year than I ever thought I deserved — facing fears at exponential speed. You've showered me with strength and kindness, never letting me forget that you think I'm beautiful or that you believe in my dreams. I love watching the boyhood of you come out — always eager to throw a baseball, build a campfire, wrestle with the dogs, and fly off the diving board in flips.


Just last night, we were talking about how much stronger we feel than last year. We have matured as parts of our hearts we were unwilling to change before changed against our own will. The seasons shifted us. What once looked scary now becomes an adventure. I will not pretend this year has been easy, but I'm so thankful you are my partner on this eternal journey. Cheers to many more years together!




Photography by Lyell Photography
Stephanie and her husband Dave took our wedding photos last October. They were the sweetest couple who made two camera shy oddballs like Dustin and me completely comfortable the whole time. Their energy with us and each other was positive, kind, and genuine. Stephanie's editing captured the essence of the day — that magical feeling, softness, and reminiscent moments snuck from behind the lens of a camera — natural and unposed. I often forgot they were even there, caught up in the moment of the day. I would recommend Lyell Photography without a second thought! We will treasure our photos forever.

Here's Stephanie Lyell's blog post about our wedding!