Our First Date Was 22 Years Ago.

I knew you would be someone who changed my life when I met you, I just didn’t know what that change would be or how huge it would end up being. It would be almost a full year later that we would start dating.

I was married when we met. All of 2 weeks. I’ve often told you that had I met you one week prior, I wouldn’t have gotten married to my ex. We were already doomed before we even said “I do”, he and I. I remember standing outside his dressing room door the day of the wedding and asking him if we were making a huge mistake and he said, “Everyone is already here. Let’s just do it.”

Not that what happened between you and me has anything to do with him. Or vice versa. That marriage was over before you and I ever thought about going on a date.

Your birthday was a week before our first date so I took you to Red Lobster to celebrate you. I was a big spender back in those days, obviously. I remember you spent the night that first night and we didn’t sleep at all. We talked all night long. Not much else happened, well, not that I’ll be writing about here…

That night was so magical for me because it was the first time a man listened to me and gave me all of his attention without wanting anything in return.

In the past 22 years, we’ve been through hell and back. We’ve had a child with special needs. We’ve had a neurotypical child. We’ve had parents die, grandparents die, moved 8 times - 3 of those across the country, plenty of arguments and makeups, and hugs and kisses and date nights and sleepless nights with our kids, and stressful days and happy days and all the mundane things that make a marriage and all of the wonderful things that make a marriage.

We’ve seen our friends get divorced and questioned the state of our own relationship.

We’ve sat at our child’s hospital bed and prayed he’d live through the night. Slept on the rack of torture at the hospital to be able to stay in the room with him.

We’ve both been through depression and anxiety several times. The good, the bad, the ugly and every beautiful thing in between.

Without you, I wouldn’t have these two beautiful kids. They are so unique and amazing and sassy. Half of that is you and I thank you for always caring about us and making sure we know how much we are loved.

A Love Story Timeline

You tell me daily how beautiful I am, when my hair is greasy and I’m wearing the same jeans I wore the last three days. When I’ve got dark bags under my eyes and haven’t slept well in days, you remind me I’m more than how I look. You tell me I have great boobs, and I’m not gonna lie, you’re not wrong.

You remind me I’m smart and worthy and a great mom and an amazing wife and friend. You keep me on my toes and we compliment each other. We make a great work team as well.

You call me out on my bullshit and kick me into gear when needed. People don't talk about that enough, I think. Your partner should be able to tell you you're being ridiculous and help you get motivated again.

I’m able to translate Joel-speak to others and I love that I understand how your brain works. You’ve taught me to be self-reliant and that I’m stronger than I think. You’ve taught me that shift+arrow makes the cursor jump from word to word and so many other tricks of the trade. You taught me how to layout blogs and do updates on websites and step outside of my comfort zone. You’ve trusted me to meet with clients and speak for our company. 

You’ve cheered me on in all of my wacky projects and ideas I come up with.

You’re trusted me to raise our kids and pay our bills and run our house and business. We’re true partners in all of the day to day operations of each.

We trust each other to not hurt the other. As I have given my kids to the Lord more times than I can count, so have I given my heart to you. 

My trust will never be nor has ever been in another like it is in you. You are my person. More than anything else. My trust. My love. My heart lies in you. My hand lies in yours, always.

You are a strong man who isn’t afraid to cry during movies. You stop to help people who need it. You say you’re not a good caregiver but the people who know you the best would argue with that. You are a true caregiver because you care and you give of yourself to those you love.

You are fiercely loyal and loving and I count myself the luckiest woman in the world to have found you that day in June, 1997. I am so blessed to have asked you out for dinner on Friday the 13th, 1998. I didn’t know my life would be so changed, and I didn’t know I needed it. But thank you for stepping into my life like you did and continue to do. 

Oh, the adventures we've been on in the last 22 years. And how many more we have to go!

I am loving you.

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