I’m writing this paragraph last. I started typing this blog post and quickly realized it was more of a letter to John than anything else. But I wanted to share it with you all because my relationship with him is such a huge part of me. I also am sharing because I want you to know how much love stories in general mean to me. When I write engagement blog posts and share the ‘how they met’ stories… it’s because the stories matter. The pictures are important but what makes the pictures meaningful are the stories behind them.
So with that being said, here is the first five years of mine.
We met on college spring break. You were with your friends, I was with mine. We spent an afternoon having awkward conversation on the beach while I drank fruity mixed drinks. You used asking to share your vodka something or other as a conversation starter. You quickly found out vodka wasn’t my fave.
From that afternoon on the beach on, we never stopped talking. We exchanged numbers and kept ‘running into each other’ throughout the rest of spring break. When we got home to Illinois, our texting conversation was never ending. We played 20 questions, getting to know each other. You found out about my favorite movies and I found out you sang and played guitar.
We both returned to school and immediately started figuring out when we’d see each other again. That first week back we saw each other four days in a row. We hadn’t even known each other four days prior to then. I went to an impromptu fraternity date event with you and met all of your friends. I spent every afternoon I wasn’t with you reminding myself not to talk about you all of the time.
After only a week of knowing one another, you came to my family’s Easter. You met my grandparents. You played with all of my family’s animals and instantly hit it off with my sister. Everyone knew that this was something special between us.
Just like the first week we met, we continued spending every second we could with each other. You came to my apartment and hung with my roommates. I spent way too much time at your fraternity house. We had drunken nights, sharing pizza after Kams. We went to Aruba on vacation with my family.
I learned that you were an absolute sucker for animals and you got to see me in my element as a wedding photographer. You also joined in and were able to work alongside me photographing weddings locally in Illinois and outside of the US in the Dominican Republic.
We also went back to where we met. We drove 24 hours through the night with four of our closest friends to spend a week in South Padre, TX. There, we reminisced about where we first saw each other and laughed about our cheesy conversations.
We took a big step and moved in together. I learned that you’re quite the interior decorator and you learned that I’m not all that great at doing the laundry. We found our beloved couch on Craigslist and spent many evenings on it cuddled up with our dog Bear. You got a big kid job and 5pm became my favorite time of the day because that meant you were coming home.
When we first started living together, we discovered parts of each other we didn’t know before. There was a learning process and sometimes it didn’t feel like we were as connected as we used to be. But those months were short-lived and we quickly worked out the quirks and embraced those new parts of each other we found.
Weekends in our Champaign home were spent playing darts until the wee hours of the morning with friends and counting down the hours until we could order Monicals on Sunday afternoons. Weekday mornings were spent steaming your dress shirts and occasionally making trips to Einsteins for ice coffee and bagels before the workday.
Looking back, we grew up together in that third year of our relationship. And what we learned was that grown up life together was just as fun as our college days.
We spent another year in our Champaign home together. Despite our super old kitchen, we started to enjoy cooking together and even hosted a big Friendsgiving meal.
Unfortunately, we experienced the loss of our beloved dog Bear. In those moments of grief, I saw how much love you had for him and with that fell even more for you.
In year four, you and I started daydreaming about our future. Where did we want to live? Should we move from Champaign? Maybe we’ll move to Colorado? We had conversations about the what-ifs. What I remember about all of the conversations was that it was never what I or you wanted individually but what did we want.
Here we are. We now live in our second place together only now we’re in the Chicago suburbs. You’ve moved up in your big kid job and I have continued growing my business. We’ve got a crazy house of animals… two ridiculous cats and our new pup, Fluff. We still love our couch and having life talks. 6-6:30pm is my new favorite time of the day.. when you come home.
Looking back on all of our years together, I know that this is my favorite out of them all. We are best friends, you and I. When we aren’t together, we want to be. You make me laugh more than anyone ever does… every single day. I’m still not great at laundry but you’ve accepted that. We fight sometimes but it’s mainly a result of being hangry or tired. Our fights also only last at most an hour because after that we get bored and want to hang out again.
I know that our future holds so many incredible things and meeting on that beach was the best thing that has ever happened to me. So cheers to five years, we don’t have any crazy plans tonight but sitting on the couch enjoying a bottle of wine with you sounds perfect to me.