Jill Moore and Brian Clarey, October 1999

by Brian Clarey

Yeah, that’s my wife and me at the Bartender’s Ball in New Orleans in the fall of 1999, and it’s an important picture not just because it shows how much hair I’ve lost over the years, but also because it documents the beginning of our transition from dating couple to husband and wife. The shot was taken just a few days after we found out we were going to be parents. And sure, we were scared… of the future, of changing diapers and singing lullabies, of our relationship’s ability to move to the next level. But we were also deeply in love, enough so that our fears seemed tiny by comparison. Eight years, three kids and a mortgage later we still stand side by side. And though we don’t smirk quite as much as we used to, our bond is still strong. To my wife: I couldn’t have imagined on that cool autumn night the ride we’d share over the next eight years, but I do know I love you now even more than I did then. Happy Valentine’s Day, darling.