Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.

Yes, it's our anniversary today. Thirteen years. THIRTEEN. Wow that makes me sound O-L-D. lol But alas, he married me when I was a young thing so I'm not as old as that sounds. ;)

Anniversaries are a day to reflect on the journey. Dh and I knew each other as teens - he went to my church and I knew who he and his brothers were. I was dating someone at the time and I remember my mother telling me often, "That Rick (DH) really likes you." I brushed her off, thinking she was trying to push me, as all daughters do around that age. He was a friendly guy but as I said, I was dating someone and not looking for anyone else.

I went to a local community college and his brother had been dating my best friend for a while. His brother, Jay, and I ended up in the same horseback riding class and got to know each other well and became pretty good friends. Jay ended up inviting me to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert with his church Singles group and I did what any girl would so - skipped my shorthand class that night and went to the concert. It wasn't technically a "date" as he'd also got a ticket for his brother, Rick, as a birthday present and another friend as well (but I do like to tease him about it).

I hadn't seen Rick in several years. But I remembered him as a rail-skinny, thick glasses, afro hairstyle white boy. I remember standing in the church parking lot, waiting to board the bus when Jay saw someone get out of their car and start to walk over our direction. "Oh, there's my brother - I'm glad he made it in time." I looked at the man coming towards us and said, "That's not your brother!" He said, "Uhhh...yeah." I said, "Your brother, Rick??" He said, "Yeah, why?"

Apparently running had been good to him. He sported contacts and a modern haircut and was all grown up. I was, to say the least, knocked off my feet...and very interested from the moment he appeared. I don't know who started the conversation but we had a great one there and back from the concert (including a great concert, btw). The more I talked to him, the more impressed and intrigued I was. I had been half-heartedly casually dating someone who was really more of a friend than anything and when Rick called to ask me out, I was ecstatic. We had a very romantic first date - he took me down to the riverfront where there are lots of very old shops (most were closed except a few bars and restaurants) and we just walked and talked for hours. I don't have a clue what we discussed that night but the more he talked, the more I wanted to know. It was '92 and he had graduated college the year before and had come back home to help a friend start his business. I was starting my 2nd year of college.

We dated heavily for almost a year when he asked me to marry him. I was headed off to camp for 4 weeks that summer to serve as a counselor. Before I left, we went to see Groundhog Day at the dollar show and then he took me back to the riverfront where we had our first date. We walked and talked for a while and then he sat me down in a beautiful gazebo. The stars were particularly sparkly that night and there was romantic music coming from a nearby Italian restaurant. He instructed me to close my eyes and he appeared with roses and a ring. It was a beautiful proposal and I wouldn't change a thing about it. We decided to get married the following February, giving us both time to know each other better and giving me time to finish up my Associates degree.

Our wedding had it's problems, like they all do. The accompaniment tape for our special music singers started on the wrong side and we had to wait while they rewound and played it in the lower key. The runner for me to walk down the aisle was wound backwards and they had a heck of a time getting it out correctly. The photographer had film issues and only 1 out of every 3 pictures turned out so there are some pics that are totally missed - I don't have pictures of each of my bridesmaids/groomsmen walking down the aisle, etc. At the beginning of the reception, a family friend collapsed and suffered a stroke that brought the event to a stand-still. The emergency crew worked on him for a long time in at the reception until he was stable enough to put in the ambulance but it had taken so long that people started coming up immediately and saying their goodbyes. So all in all, the celebratory reception was about 30-45 minutes long. Does any of that matter? No. I married my sweetheart who still continues to intrigue me after thirteen years.

We had THE BEST honeymoon I could have imagined. He surprised me with a trip to Zion National Park in Utah - absolutely beautiful. We stayed at a charming B&B and since it was February, had the park basically to ourselves. We hiked, we drove to Bryce Canyon, the little visited North Rim of the Grand Canyon, St. George and did more hiking. We saw the ghost town where they filmed part of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It was jacket weather - my absolute favorite. We dream about going back some day and I can't wait for the opportunity.

Thirteen years and almost 4 kids later, he's still my best friend and I'm so lucky to have him. Thanks for the beautiful years sweetie - may the best still be yet to come. :)


Jean 1 or Jean 2 said...

Happy Anniversary! Here's to prayers of a wonderful year. I love you both.

Stacey said...

Aw, happy anniversary! Nice post.