Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear The One, Happy Anniversary...

Nine years. How is that possible? Wasn't it not too long ago that I saw you at Camp of the Hills carrying a cooler, in that white ATM shirt? Of course, looking back, quite a lot has happened...

1997. I come back to A&M, swearing off guys so that I can figure out just who I am without one. I meet you. You're hot, but I launch a defensive because I know hot guys are full of themselves and do not treat girls well. You ask me to "walk around the lake" (very lame), and I am so excited because...have I mentioned you're hot? We stay up all night talking by the dock. Half of the night we sit on the most uncomfortable boat trailer ever, but neither of us will move because we don't want that night to end. I laugh more from August 1997-December 1997 than I have laughed in most of my 19 years. You absolutely crack me up and to my surprise, are not full of yourself at all.

1998. We continue to date and only date each other, but I insist we don't "define ourselves". This makes me think I'm still honoring my promise to "swear off guys". I am not kidding anyone. I am head over heels in love with you. I go home for the summer while you stay in College Station. We email and talk on the phone constantly. We are "lovesick". The Ags enjoy a successful football season, and we enjoy the games together. We go to the Big 12 championship game in St. Louis and have a ball (and the Ags win!).

1999. We spend New Year's Eve in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl. We're still in love, but time and routine are settling in. I spend the summer in Europe and in Dallas interning for John Deere. You stay in College Station at summer school. We drift apart a bit, but we still work. The initial "lovesickness" has worn off. I have a hard conversation with you which I'm sure will end in rejection, and your only response is, "You've been through a lot. You are not your mistakes. Where do you want to eat?" I learn what real grace means (and just how important food is to you!). We decide we're a good team long term, and you propose by the Century Tree on campus on Nov. 30, 1999. I graduate in December.

2000. I work in Lafayette, Louisiana, for John Deere Company while you finish school. I travel a lot with work, and you enjoy your last semesters at school with friends. This is a good year. You graduate in August and start working for Bechtel. We have wedding showers and parties all summer and then marry October 21, 2000. We honeymoon in Cozumel then settle down in Houston. I still travel a lot, and you rise early to work out, go to work in Baytown, and our paths cross in the evenings. We don't quite know how to be married yet, but we're excited to start our life together. I remember saying that I can't wait to "go home" for the holidays. And by "home", I mean my parents' home.

2001. This marriage thing is hard. I have expectations about you, me, and us that make things harder than they should be. We find a church. We make some friends there. We enjoy hanging out with Zeb and Shelly when they move to Houston. We make our first "big" purchases together--a washer and dryer, some furniture, and a TV. We go on our first vacation as a married couple to Lake Tahoe. We get pregnant unexpectedly and miscarry. We both get transfers to Oklahoma City and buy our first home. We live apart for several months while you start your job in Oklahoma, and I finish mine in Houston. September 11th happens. We make it through the first year.

2002. We get into a groove and settle into our house. We start making it into a home. We enjoy Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon with Deere friends. I get accepted into law school, and you support my decision and support us financially when I start school that fall. I am stressed and semi-crazy, but you reassure me.

2003. We don't know it yet, but this will be a fun, whirlwind year. We go on a cruise and have a grand time in March. You get transferred to New Jersey shortly after. We live apart while I finish up my first year of law school. I join you over the summer, and we trapse across the Northeast together. We have a ball! We nap in Central Park, have cheesesteaks in Philly, see Boston, go to Niagra Falls, walk the boardwalk at Atlantic City, and see countless other things together. It's a once in a lifetime summer, and we live every minute of it. We talk about having a baby. We decide to wait. I remember saying after the holidays that I can't wait to "get home". By "home", I mean our home now.

2004. You're at a new company in Edmond, OK. We're trying to figure out where we want to move. We know we want to be in Texas, and we know we're done with metro areas. We pursue Abilene and Amarillo. I get a clerkship in Amarillo. We live apart that summer while I clerk. We are excited about the possibility of moving, and I am really ready to be done with school. We go to San Diego with my parents, and I see California for the first time. We look forward to 2005 with anticipation.
2005. I graduate from law school. We move to Amarillo. I live in Lubbock and take the bar exam prep course, Barbri, while you start your new job in Amarillo. You are good at what you do and never have trouble finding work when we move. I admire that. After the bar exam, we unwind in Los Cabos, Mexico, to celebrate the end of law school, the end of the bar exam, and to celebrate our fifth anniversary early. I start work. It's overwhelming, and I get stressed and semi-crazy again. Just like law school, you reassure me. We celebrate five years together. We survive a year of many changes.
2006. It's a tough year. Stress from work, uncertainty about a family; it's overwhelming. I don't do well with the adjustment to law firm life. You find hobbies to keep yourself occupied while I work. We grow apart a bit, but work on reconnecting. We learn a lot this year-- a lot about commitment and staying power, a lot about ourselves, each other, and a lot about where we came from. You hold on and don't let go. I'm so grateful for that.

2007. This is a good year with a sad ending. We ease into a comfortable relationship, having learned a lot about ourselves and each other over the last year. You turn 30. We go to Europe in the fall to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We have a wonderful time. Your uncle passes away while we're in Europe. It's a shock and heartbreaking. The end of the year is a sad, hard, and confusing time. We hold on tight to each other.
2008. This is another great year. We continue to enjoy a comfortable relationship. I turn 30, and Mom and I take a fun trip to NYC. We start running, which is a fun (though challenging) way to spend time together. We run our first 5k, 10k, and half marathon together. We run the DRC Half in November and the White Rock Half in December. We go to Chicago together for the first time and love it! We go to South Dakota and see Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and lots of other neat stuff with my parents. It's gorgeous. We contemplate starting a family next year.
2009. We start off the year by running the Houston Half (3 halves in 3 months!). We start trying to have a family. We have an incredible vacation in Kauai. We find out we're pregnant. Things start off rocky with the pregnancy, and we wonder if we'll stay pregnant. We learn we're really going to have a baby and share the news. We pray together and read to Baby together. We find out we'll have a son. We talk about how our life will change and enjoy these "last months", just the two of us. We enjoy a trip to Colorado together. We talk about what kind of parents we want to be. We wonder who Bo will become. We celebrate 9 years.
It's been harder than I thought it would be, but it's made my life better than I ever thought it could be. There have been days I've wondered about that promise of unconditional love we made, and even more days when I could not believe you were making good on that promise. In so many ways, you're everything I'm not...which is why it's fun to walk through life with you and experience it through your eyes. I know I wouldn't see the potential in other people or experiences if you didn't point it out. And it's so nice to ride the coattails of your optimism. I really can't wait to parent Bo together. If you parent with the loyalty and devotion you bring to our marriage, Bo is sure to be a lucky boy.

Happy 9th Anniversary.



  1. Happy Anniversary! Glad you are blessing us with a grandchild. We love you. Mom and Dad

  2. Great story! Happy Anniversary!!!

  3. Your journey the past 9 years is a great testimony of what commitment means. Thanks for that, yall are going to be fabulous parents!!!! Love you guys!!! Lori