10 years ago today – I officially met James for the first time. (Officially, meaning the universe had attempted for us to meet prior to that but they were only passings by or chance meetings that didn’t turn into anything.) That is until March 31, 2007, when the Universe finally yelled loudly enough at us about each other… in the form of a set-up by our dear mutual friend, Jessica.
I still cannot believe this was 10 years ago. I can’t believe a man I met at a dive bar in Chicago at my friend’s birthday party – when I was fresh (i.e. barely) out of a rocky relationship and simply wanting to be alone for a while – would end up not only to be my husband, but also my business partner and the father of our twin boys. I truly can say I never dreamed of this life back then – and yet somehow – here we are.
Each step of the way down this uncommon path seem less scary and less uncertain because his hand was in mine. We figured out each new step for ourselves and created a life that looked the way we wanted it to – not one that we thought we were “supposed” to live.
James was the guy I never thought I’d end up with. He didn’t fit a thing on the stupid “list” I had created in my head. But the beautiful thing is that he checked off every box on a list I never realized I should have been focusing on in the first place – one that had much more important things on it… like humility, curiosity, humor, strength, loyalty, and affection.
With each new chapter in our journey… from dating to engaged to married to business partners to infertility advocates to parents… I have constantly been surprised by my capacity to love this man. With each step I think I love him as much as I possibly could… that we’ve gone through more than we could imagine at this point.
But I was wrong. With each new laugh line on our faces, with each new soft spot on our bodies, with each new memory made and challenge accepted – I love him more.
Don’t confuse these words to mean that any of it has been easy though. Well, I take that back… it has been easy in some ways. The way I fit into his arms. The way he makes me feel like I’m the only person in the room when he looks at me. The way we can sit and talk about nothing and everything. The way we challenge each other to be better and think harder. The way we laugh at our stupid jokes. The way he makes me feel normal, even when I’m doing some super ridiculous dance moves in the kitchen. The way we dream together about our future and what kind of people our boys will grow up to be.
It hasn’t been easy in other ways though… Learning to communicate when you want to shut down. Learning to be quiet and listen when you want to yell. Learning to choose grace when you want to hold a grudge. Learning to let go when you want to keep score. Learning to be humble when you want to be right.
Growth is not easy, but it is worth it. Each of those things we’ve gone through and learned have better equipped us for our next challenge. Each valley gives rise to a higher mountain… with each step a more beautiful view.
I cannot believe it has been 10 years. Mostly because there’s no way I’m that old (haha), but more realistically – because it feels like I really did just meet this outspoken guy from the southeast coast, with his weird way of pronouncing words and knack for making me laugh when I really want to be mad at him. I was just a young 20 something then – nearing graduation from photography school, without a clue about most things in life (now that I look back on it). But I did know one thing within just months of meeting James… and that was that I wanted to marry this man. I just knew it. Almost immediately. The Universe had been trying to tell us that for a while before we officially met, and once we got that part over with – we knew it too – even though we both tried to fight it for a bit.
I’m so glad it didn’t take us long to give in and let down our guards though because the past 10 years have been such a beautiful (albeit bumpy & wild) ride and I’m truly so excited to see what the next 10, 20, 30…. hopefully 50 or 60 years have in store.
I love you so much, J. Let’s keep getting all old and flabby and wrinkly together… yes? 🙂
I came across this old photo recently and I was taken aback by what BABIES James and I were! My gosh. And now we have BABIES. It’s all too crazy.
Have a beautiful weekend, loves! We are off to kick off the start of our 2017 wedding season tomorrow!! XOXO