But I must preface this all by saying, we are NOT perfect. Far from it. We fight, we yell, we disagree, we aren't all sing song romance and flowers. But. We fight for each other. We yell because we care enough to yell. We disagree because we are two different people, who just happen to compliment each other on the good days. And to us, grand romantic gestures are just too much. We'd rather laugh our way through the "romance" and make fun of each other. It's what works.
So here it is. A total retrospective that is going to make it sound like I think we have the perfect love story. But again, nothing is perfect, and we are far from it. We are just perfect for each other, which at the end of the day, is what really matters.
November 3, 2007. The day that would change my world. We spent the day celebrating Aidan James' 3rd birthday, laughing and loving with family. I had spent a portion of the day in a bedroom talking through my internal struggles with cousins, trying to sort out my thoughts and feelings. Was I really happy? Was I where I should be? With who I should be with? If everything was right in my world, should I really be doubting?
The party drew to an end, and the idea to head to the local "hot" bar was thrown out. I wasn't for it, at all. It was a Saturday night, and I knew, without a doubt in my mind, the ex boyfriend I hadn't spoken to since July would be there, and it wasn't a situation I wanted to be in. But I have a persuasive "frister", and after going home and FALLING ASLEEP, and telling her I was way too tired to go, and her insisting, we headed out.
I walked into the bar one person, and walked out as someone completely different. When I went it, I was a scared, nervous, confused girl. I walked out a hopeful, expectant, clear minded (aside from you know, being wasted.... SO not my best moment) girl. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We worked our way through the crowd, and while she had her eye out for the dreaded run in, I kept my eyes down, hoping to just avoid catching a glimpse and then being stuck. Somehow we found a spot to stand, got our drinks, and started doing what any 20 somethings at a bar would do. Just standing there, trying to feel cool, drinking. Sarah spotted someone from across the bar and said he looked familiar. Me, still being a ball of nerves, just focused on my drink and didn't pay much attention to what was happening. Eventually, our paths crossed, Sarah figured out how she knew him (that's a story for a whole other day), and they all started talking. I continued to be the awkward girl standing there, not saying much, just sucking down my drinks as fast as I could to take the edge off. Again, not my finest of moments on this particular night. Classiness went out the window.
At some point, we were able to get two seats at the bar, and this mystery man that Sarah had known made his way to my side. I can confidently say that it didn't take me more than 5 minutes to realize there was something different about him.
I can't tell you exactly what we talked about, or for how long, because quite frankly, there were way too many drinks going into my system to remember it all. But I do remember discovering that he too was Lutheran, and deciding right then and there that we would be married. I remember the dreaded run in finally happening, and it not being nearly as bad because he was there as a barrier. I remember making him pinky promise me (no joke) that he would call me. I remember being so.damn.mad at Jimmy for calling Sarah and asking her when she was coming home. I remember walking in my front door, waking my mom up and telling her I met the man I was going to marry. I remember calling my roommate at college and telling her the same. I remember (successfully) trying to avoid a really, really unpleasant outcome from all my drinks all.night.long.
You hear about it in movies, or fairy tales, or whatever. Your mom tells you every time you break up with someone. Your friends tell you. The experts tell you. Married people tell you. Everybody tells you. But until you experience it, you don't believe it.
I'm here to tell you, that it's true. There will be a moment when you just know. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is no question, no hesitation. Just undeniable certainty. You can't put your finger on the moment, you just know that one minute you feel one way, and the next, you feel completely different. For me, it happened in a crowded bar, with a man 6 years older than me.
The next morning, when I told my FATHER that my moment had happened....in a bar....with a man 6 years older than me.....I think he probably wanted to check me into an institution. If you know me at all, you know that meeting someone in a BAR is the least likely of places for me. And if you know my FATHER, you know that a man 6 years older than me was probably a red flag.
One of my college roommates at the time was a guy who had met his fair share of girls in bars, whom he never called. And I was assured, time and time again, that I was CRAZY if I thought this guy was going to call me. I was insane. I needed to get a grip. Get over it. Move on. Which is why I was so unbelievably happy that I was with Kyle when I got the phone call. We were walking out of class, and my phone rang, a number I didn't know. I didn't think twice, I just hit ignore. Within 10 seconds, my heart dropped, and I said "Oh my God, what if it's him??". I was assured, once again, that I was delusional, and there was no way in hell that it was him. But two minutes later, when my voicemail ringer went off, and I got the best message of my life, it was Kyle who was eating his words, not me. I distinctly remember running, full speed, into our apartment to find my other roommates and tell them that he had actually called. And then spending a solid hour trying to sum up the courage to call him back.
And it's not a lie when I say that we have spoken every single day since then. Since November 5, 2007. I went home again the following weekend and we had our first date, exactly one week after we met. And it was everything the first date with your future husband should be. We were 100% comfortable with each other, from the very beginning. There were no weird silences. No awkward moments. Just certainty. And, lucky for me, I could tell that night, that the certainty was a two way street. Not just me.
We moved in together in December of 2008. We were engaged in May of 2009. Married in June of 2010. And welcomed our first child in May of 2011.
We have shared happiness and tears. We have witnessed lives starting and lives ending. We have lost grandparents. We have graduated with bachelors degrees and masters degrees. We have struggled. We have been scared. We have shared the best days of our lives together. Since November 3, 2007.
There are days that I don't know where the hell that boy I met in the bar went. The days that I want to scream at him, and the days that I do. The days that I wonder just how drunk I really was that night. We have those days.
But every.single.day is shared with my soulmate. The one person that God put on this planet just for me. And even in the midst of the screams, I am 100% sure of that. I know that it's true that everything happens just the way it's supposed to. I know that we were both at that bar that night for a reason. I know that this is what forever looks like.
We aren't perfect. Our marriage isn't perfect. But it is ours. Our story. Our love. Our life. And it's the one that we were made to live together. And damn, I love that man.
The night we met, November 3, 2007
Jeremy's graduation with his MBA, December 2007
Our first Christmas together, 2007
June 19, 2010