Today I Will Marry My Husband. Again.

tattoo wedding band, married hands, vow renewal, Today is the first day of my marriage. For this year.

Today is also the 12th first day we’ve had.

When we were engaged and still in the planning process for our first wedding to each other, a couple dear to us mentioned to My Knight that they have renewed their vows every year of their marriage.

She explained that it helps remind you of what you’ve committed to, what you promised, and what you meant to accomplish together. It keeps fresh in your mind throughout the years that this was a choice you made willingly, and it was something you wanted and were dedicated to.

Her husband agreed with her, but he added his own take on their ritual. He told My Knight that if anyone told him he had to spend the rest of his life with her, he wouldn’t be able to do it. But he could do a year. So every time their anniversary rolled around, he decided he could do another year.

They’d been married 52 years at that time if memory serves me correctly, and they’re still married all these years later. They’re still signing up for one more year every time.

My Knight loved the idea so much that he proposed it to me before our first vows were spoken, and being just as much of a hopeless romantic as he is, I wholeheartedly agreed.

Of course, being the planner at heart that I am, I complicated it by saying we would take turns planning a surprise for each year. That way every other year someone is surprised and no one has to bear responsibility for all the planning.

We’ve had some amazing experiences over the years. We’ve done lakeside Sarasota Medieval Faire; Vow Renewalpicnics, lush gardens, the Italian fountain at Epcot, historic inns, a medieval fair (complete with knight and wench costumes), and a beautiful rainforest.

Much like married life, the renewals haven’t always gone as planned.

The hot air balloon for our 5th anniversary was nearly a bust the minute the alarm clock went off way before dawn and My Knight refused to get up—saying that whatever I had planned could surely wait until later in the day after more sleep. Once I got him up and out of the house and to the location where the surprise was revealed, high winds kept the balloon on the ground, and we ended up at a lakeside gazebo later in the day and could have slept after all.

One year, the whole day went by without any mention of a surprise, and by the time dinner rolled around, I had gotten quite cranky thinking perhaps he’d forgotten or had failed to plan. We went to a nice restaurant, but the mood was sour with my disappointment. I’d been spending all my time at the theater in rehearsals for a play, and when he mentioned he needed to stop by there to drop off paint, I acted quite the ass and refused to accompany him inside, upset that he had failed to make the evening special when he’d had a year to plan. Once we were in the dark, deserted theater, he led me around the corner, and when the stage came into view, it was beautifully and magically lit with twinkle lights, and there stood my director and dearest friend waiting to participate in our evening. He’d been thoughtful and caring in his plans, and I’d almost ruined it with my attitude!

We don’t plan any big fanfare or hoopla. In fact, it’s usually just the two of us and someone we select each year to do the text of our original ceremony for us, and some years we have someone to do the original reading as well.

We often ask people who have been instrumental in our lives that past year, or people whose relationship we admire and look up to.

Hot Air Balloon Ride for Anniversary Vow RenewalFolks tell me all the time how romantic it is that we do this, and it is. I love that I get to be a bride every year, without all the stress and expense of an actual wedding. I love that we reaffirm our commitment each year and that we honor each other in special ways as we plan the day. I love planning his surprise, and I thoroughly enjoy finding out what he has planned for me.

But it’s not always easy to say those vows again.

Marriages, even the best and happiest ones, have ups and downs. People are messy. Love is messy. It makes you vulnerable, and it can cause pain. It can be frustrating and infuriating.

There have been years where it was easy for those vows to roll off my tongue, and I was able to say them with a smile just as large as on the day I first said them in 2006.

But there have been years that the words were thick in my throat, and it was hard to get them out and muster the conviction I knew I needed to say them. Those were the years that were most important. Those were the years that those vows meant the most.

Because when it is the hardest to love our mate, when it is the hardest to be dedicated to the relationship, when it seems that romance is the farthest thing from the moment…that is when it is most crucial to remember that love is a choice.

In those moments, I am reminded that for better or worse isn’t always better. That to love and cherish above all others isn’t always easy. That to give all that I am, all that I have been, and all that I will be means the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We are both flawed human beings. We love each other. We support each other. We are committed to each other. And yet, there are days, when we can’t stand the sight of each other.

My Knight and I at the top of Notre Dame in Paris.But on November 9th each year, we choose each other again. We choose to say that come what may, you are my partner in this life. We choose to love. We choose to forgive. We choose to move forward. We choose to be married.

We decide to sign up for one more year.

Happy Anniversary, baby. I love you. I can’t wait to marry you again today, and I can’t wait to see what this new year brings.

The Walking Dead Tour

Road Trip to Senoia

We were already impatient for the new season of The Walking Dead to begin, but after our tour of Senoia last weekend, we are so ready!!! We were heading up to Atlanta to catch Cirque du Soleil's Luzia, (which was amazing, by the way!) and we decided to take a detour into Senoia, home of the last and current seasons of The Walking Dead.

Senoia's Walk of Fame

Fried Green Tomatoes, Senoia, Movie TourWe fell in love with Senoia right away with its quaint streets, brick sidewalks, and charming antique shops, family-owned restaurants,  and home decor boutiques. Many TV shows and movies have used Senoia's charm, and we were delighted to read the names of the familiar and unknown as we meandered through town.

Nic & Norman's and EEK!--Alexandria!

Nic and Norman, Senoia, Movie Tour, Violet HoweAfter a quick lunch at Nic & Norman's, which is owned by Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus--both of the Walking Dead--we ventured toward our Airbnb accommodations (which were incredible!). Along the way, we caught a glimpse of the walls of Alexandria, and we both geeked out like little kids, screaming and laughing in the car.

We unloaded the car and chatted a bit with our awesome Airbnb host (favorite hosts ever!) and then headed back into town for our tour.

The Big Zombie Tour #2 with Atlanta Movie Tours

Wow! What an awesome experience start to finish for Walking Dead fans!

The check-in process for the tour was at the Waking Dead Cafe, found right Walking Dead museum, Senoia, Violet Howe, Atlanta Movie Tournext to the Walking Dead shop and museum, which had some fun artifacts actually used in the show and several standing posters of our favorite characters.

The bus was air-conditioned and comfy, and our tour guide, Colin, had been a background character on several episodes of TWD, so he had insider information Senoia, Walking Dead, Atlanta Movie Tours, Violet Howeand many entertaining stories to tell.

My Knight had been a bit concerned about a three-hour tour (cue Gilligan's music here) but Colin's sense of humor and outgoing personality made the three hours go by fast. We were engaged and entertained the entire time!

It was nice having the video screens on the bus because Colin could show us scenes from the show as we were seeing the actual locations out the window of the bus.

Getting Off the Bus

Colin shared behind-the-scenes details and explained how the editing could change the physical make-up of the town based on the show's needs, or how scenes might be filmed on location but then the close-ups can be done later in the studio if need be.

One of the perks of booking Atlanta Movie Tours is the ability to see inside Morgan's apartment and the barn where the Governor and Rick had their meeting (and the heartbreaking grassy spot where Darryl had to take out the walker version of his brother, Merle!).

The most exciting off-bus excursion was a run-down factory where Michonne Senoia, Walking Dead, Atlanta Movie Tour, Violet Howetook out a cage full of walkers after snatching her sword back from the Governor's apartment. It was also the scene of the big arena fight the Governor staged with Darryl and the walkers that reintroduced Merle after his long absence.

It was so cool to stand there in such a familiar setting from a pivotal scene and imagine what it had been like when they were filming.

The scenery along the route was beautiful countryside, and the bus stopped for snacks and a bathroom break about midway through. During the periods of time with no locations to see, Colin kept us entertained with stories and personal accounts, as well as trivia games with fun prizes.

Back in Alexandria

Alexandria, Senoia, Walking Dead, Atlanta Movie Tours, Violet HoweOnce we got back to town after the tour, we were able to walk a couple of blocks from the main street to see the walls of Alexandria up close and take more pics. As we walked we encountered many other TWD fans who were there for the same reason, and we enjoyed meeting fellow enthusiasts and talking about the show and the setting.

We kept our eyes open for any sighting of cast members, as they are known to sometimes frequent the restaurants of Senoia, but the closest we got was a rush of excitement over a walking tour with a guide who was a dead ringer for Andrew Lincoln as Rick.

All in all, it was a great day for us crazy fans. We love the show, and it was cool violet howe, author violet howe, atlanta movie tours, walking dead tourto see so many familiar areas and get info about the actors and episodes we are so fond of.

I would highly recommend a visit to Senoia for any movie or TV buff, and if you're a fan of TWD, you definitely need to do Atlanta Movie Tours' Big Zombie Tour #2.

Now bring on the next season and let's kick Negan's butt!

Diary of an Engaged Wedding Planner Cover Reveal

Diary of an Engaged Wedding Planner; Violet Howe, Tales Behind the Veils Series
Are you ready for Volume 3 in the Tales Behind the Veils series? Because Diary of an Engaged Wedding Planner is almost ready for release! Today, in honor of Valentine's Day and the spirit of romance in the air...I'm revealing the cover for the new book. Members of my street team, the Ultra Violets, voted for a blue cover, and I think they knocked it out of the park with this one. It looks so pretty with the pink and purple volumes. My cover designer, Robin Ludwig Cover Designs, did a fabulous job--as always--and I couldn't be more pleased with this cover. What do you think? Isn't it beautiful?
Diary of an Engaged Wedding Planner; Violet Howe, Tales Behind the Veils Series
Loving this shoe!
Here's the rundown on this one: Tyler felt like the luckiest girl alive when her very own Prince Charming proposed. Her euphoria was short-lived, however. Before long, she was wishing she could skip right over the fairy tale wedding and go straight to the happily ever after. In her job as a wedding planner, Tyler has grown accustomed to dealing with demanding brides and their challenging family members. But nothing in her career prepared her for dealing with the most difficult Mother of the Bride she's never encountered--her own mama. It doesn't take long for Tyler to decide her best wedding option may be to elope. The third volume in the Tales Behind the Veils series follows Tyler's hilarious efforts to rein in Mama as they both plan the same wedding with very different visions. It's enough to make an engaged wedding planner feel sympathy for bridezillas, even as she struggles not to become one. THIS BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE IN FEBRUARY 2016! CHECK BACK FOR A RELEASE DATE SOON!

Diary of a Single Wedding Planner is Released!

It's official! The book is out! It's available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats. It's called Diary of a Single Wedding Planner, and here's a basic summary of what it's about from the back cover of the book: Diary of a Single Wedding Planner"Wedding planner Tyler Warren left heartbreak behind when she ran away from her small Southern hometown and started a new life in a big city. Years later, she wants to believe in the fairy-tale endings her job promotes, but the clients she meets day after day seem to be more “Crazily Ever After” than “Happily Ever After.” Meanwhile, her own attempts at romance play out as bizarre comedies rather than love stories, and she’s starting to think Prince Charming either fell off his horse or got eaten by a dragon. When unresolved issues from Tyler’s past complicate things even further, she discovers she may yet have some things to figure out before she can find her own happy ending. This delightful first book in the Tales Behind the Veils series chronicles Tyler’s wacky misadventures, both personal and professional. Whether she’s getting insane requests from brides or outlandish requests on dates, you’re sure to be charmed and entertained by the Diary of a Single Wedding Planner." Some of y'all already heard this news on Facebook, but for those who didn't, you can purchase Diary of a Single Wedding Planner in paperback or ebook over on Amazon.  (click on either of those words to go straight there. Trying to make it as easy as possible for ya!) If you read it and you like it, I would be forever grateful if you would leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, your local book club, the grocery store or anywhere else you think people might read your review.  Basically, tell everyone you know! If you didn't like it, please feel free to let me know what you think I could improve for next time, and I'm okay if you don't publish a public review saying you hated it. There's also a new author website up and running for Violet--feel free to go check that out at www.violethowe.com. The Goddess Howe blog also has an author page for Violet now, as well as a book page that tells about Diary of a Single Wedding Planner and hopefully will soon have details about the second book. I can't thank you all enough for your support. It is an incredibly exciting, nerve-wracking, scary, and humbling experience to put this out there for everyone to see. Thanks for being a part of the journey. So rush right over to Amazon and pick up a copy! Let me know what you think, and if you can get it in my hands, I'll sign it for you!