I would like to now interrupt all the travel/packing programming to wish my wonderful husband a Happy THREE YEAR Anniversary!!! To date, our wedding day was still the happiest day of my life --- you just can't beat marrying your best friend in front of all the people you love in the world! But, marriage just keeps getting BETTER & BETTER!! I LOVE you, and I can't think of a more wonderful way to celebrate three years together than a cross country adventure. (P.S. We leave TODAY!)
Photo by Paul Calhoun Photography
To celebrate, I thought I'd continue our "Love Story" that I started several weeks ago... (To read the first part, click here.)
After my first real heartbreak, I had a rough couple of months. I honestly had convinced myself that this boy was the one God had sent me because Jeff wasn't the right one... Oh so confusing for a young heart! But, also during that time, Jeff and I began to see more of each other and became really great friends. And, looking back, it is obvious that we did little things that summer all the time to find ourselves together, like the time we "got lost" on the way home from the lake because Jeff and I both just HAD to be home by dinner. (Nevermind that he took our friend's Cutlass off-roading and we didn't make it back before ten.)
We spent so much time together (or talking on the phone), in fact, that by fall of our senior year I was CERTAIN he would take me to homecoming. (This was after a horrible Junior Prom debacle in which Jeff refused to go at all, and I ended up taking a stranger - literally - who had broken his leg the night before in a soccer game... Oh, don't get me started!) But, alas, Jeff asked someone else. Ironically, the same girl he had dated just before me four years earlier when we were in ninth grade.
To say I was sad would be an understatement, but, this just confirmed that we were "only friends." I asked a good friend to homecoming (which was still several weeks away) and Jeff and I continued to talk often and spend time together, even as he "dated" someone else.
Finally, around the beginning of September, I specifically remember a conversation that we had: I told him that I felt like I was making enemies with his new "girlfriend" and her friends because we spent so much time together, and that as long as he was dating her he would have to stop calling me etc. And, that was that.
Then, in early October, my best friend's dad passed away unexpectedly. It was a horribly sad time, and I threw myself into being a good friend and loving her. That night, I also started a new job at a coffee shop. So, while everyone else had gone to an out of town football game to "get their mind off of things," I was stuck in Roanoke. I assumed I'd spend the night by myself; but, when I got off work at eleven, Jeff's car was in the parking lot. It was the first time we'd really talked in a month or so; and, for the record, he wasn't dating the girl anymore! I was a wreck that night, but Jeff had stayed home from the game just to drive around and listen to me. (I could still tear up thinking about how much that meant to me that night!)
A little more time passed, and we continued to be friends. And then, on October 29th, 2001, late at night on the phone, he finally told me that he wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend. I'm sure I didn't sleep a wink that night!
From there, things got more "boyfriend/girlfriendish." Our first official date, although we'd been spending time together one-on-one for sometime, was just watching the movie Shrek in his basement. (I give Shrek a lot of credit for our relationship!)
We dated our entire senior year and then, finally, went to a dance together - Senior Prom. (Picture here.)
Although I think we fell pretty hard that first year, we weren't your standard "puppy love" couple. Jeff (especially) was pretty private about our relationship, and we both agreed that maintaining friendships etc. was really important. Also, one of our first conversations - very early on - involved Jeff saying something along the lines of "I don't want to just be together for a few months and then go off to college and break up. If that's your intention, let's just not even start this in the first place..." SO, even after I accepted my spot at Clemson University in South Carolina (6 hours away), we weren't doing the "I guess our time's up" dance...
... Oh, it's not over yet! Stay tuned for more on long distance dating, the college years, and engagement! :)