This post is once again dedicated to my wonderful husband, but this time it’s in honor of our 7-year wedding anniversary.
In case you missed the first portion of our love story, I’ll link it here. Otherwise, let’s dive back in.
It was the summer after high school graduation, and we were enjoying the bliss of our last summer before college. We were inseparable, and we even went on a vacation to West Virginia with both of our families together- a fun trip (other than my unfortunate extreme fear of white water rafting). In late July, we spent the longest time apart up until that point when I went on a girls trip with my besties at a family camp in Michigan.
My husband is a wonderful man, but he’s never been much of a planner. So when I got a text from him while on my trip asking if I would like to go to Olive Garden a couple of days after I got back, I was instantly suspicious (especially since the closest Olive Garden is a 45-minute drive). That would be crazy though right? I’m only 18?! Regardless, I told my friends, and they agreed with my suspicions. I was eager to see him as soon as I returned, so I was slightly confused by his need to go to Steak & Shake immediately when I was due to arrive. I didn’t think anything of it, other than I wondered if he hadn’t missed me as much as I had missed him. Once he finally made it to my place, I met him out on the driveway and soon sensed that his demeanor was off. He started asking questions like “you know how much I love you right?” in a serious tone. If you know Noah, then you know this level of seriousness is out of his usual upbeat character, especially as a teenager. I honestly swore he was breaking up with me, so when he pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him right on my parents’ driveway, you better believe that I was shocked.
Of course I said yes, and I ran in to tell my parents. Noah had already gotten my father’s support beforehand, and they were incredibly supportive. While the proposal wasn’t glamorous, it was perfect for us. Turns out, I was right in thinking that he was planning to propose at Olive Garden, but he couldn’t wait any longer once he got the ring. To this day, he practically dies a little inside trying to keep gifts a secret from me, so knowing him, I would have suspected his plans any other way. This surprise and his genuine excitement to ask me was the proposal that I never knew I needed. The date was July 26, 2014.
We quickly took engagement photos and kicked off the wedding planning, as we were only in our hometown for a short time. With our date and venue set, we were ready to head off to college. Both of our roommates were our highschool friends, and we ended up only one floor apart in the same dorm. It was our little bubble of comfort and home away from home. Thank goodness he was close by too, because I don’t think there would’ve been any other way for my roommate and I to move our furniture so often just for fun. I’m sure people thought we were crazy for getting married so young, but we didn’t care. Even at a fairly large school, I quickly confirmed what I already knew to be true; he was the only man for me and the love of my life. Freshman year flew by, and with a few degree changes, a lot of stress, and many good times behind us, we were ready for our big day! Because of our wonderful parents, there wasn’t much left to do in the month between the end of school and our wedding.
Despite the joy of getting to celebrate our love and the “Oh Happy Day” flash mob that my dad set up with my high school show choir as a surprise, I was relieved it was all over. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely wedding, but I was so excited to be able to finally call Noah my husband. We were completely exhausted and starving, so the first memory we have after our wedding is running in the rain to Bob Evans (the only time it rained on the bride). Soon after we left for our honeymoon in Las Vegas where we fell asleep around six in the evening and didn’t wake up until the next morning. In case you didn’t know, booking a hotel room for two people under the age of 21 is much harder than you think, so while I felt a little weird walking into the hotel, I also felt special.
The rest of the summer between our wedding and moving into our first apartment back at school felt like a slow but beautiful transition into marriage. We stayed at my parents’ house, which kind of made it seem like nothing had changed, but at the same time, it felt like everything had changed (in a good way). As I suspected, moving in and living together felt completely natural with him- other than the fact that I couldn’t believe I was a real adult with a real husband. I found that being married in college relieved rather than added stress to my life. I knew that no matter how hard a test was or how crazy a shift was that I had my loving husband to come home to. I’m about as lame as they come in terms of partying and a social life, so I truly don’t feel like I missed out.
I graduated college one semester early and moved into our new house back in our hometown. One night I about keeled over in fear when I saw the house lights on as I pulled in after a closing shift at Starbucks. He wasn’t planning to come home, so I was certain a burglar was in my house. I made him stay on the phone with me until I secured the scene, but my fears quickly subsided when he opened the door. Those months apart (except for the weekends) were some of the hardest months of my life, but they made me realize how much richer my life is with my partner, love, and best friend by my side each night.
Getting married when I did is the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. We built our adult lives on the same foundation, entering each new phase together. When we went to apply for our first apartment, the property manager was shocked by the fact our credit scores were the exact same- a rare occurrence even for married couples. We are both completely different people now than we were as high school sophomores, but thank goodness we are. From high school students, to college students, to homeowners, and now parents, our relationship and marriage has made me into the woman that I am today. That said, in some ways, it feels like we’ve never changed; we are still the same goofy goobers that we’ve always been. He never fails to make me laugh, and despite being together for over 10 years now, we often end each night in a fit of giggles.
Sure, we’ve had some stressful times (especially in the college years), but I would never say that our stress came from our relationship. When I think about my biggest achievements and proudest moments, he is there cheering me on. When I think about my lowest moments, he is there patiently holding me both emotionally and physically. I went to prom, graduation, and got married with the same man in my arms (and the same shoes on my feet). I watched him transform into a man right before my eyes and how lucky am I to get to watch him grow and evolve all with the same love for me in my eyes. Ever since the birth of our son, the day we became parents, I’ve gotten to watch him mature as a father and see the love in his eyes for his son too.
I never imagined I could have this level of intimacy with another human being. I trust him with my whole heart, a heart full of love for him and the life we have created for ourselves.You know when fairytales end with “Happily Ever After”, and you wonder if it really was. Well, it really has been.
Here’s to 7 years of marriage and many more.
Many of my childhood favorites have recently made an appearance in my household, so I thought it would be fun to pull together a list of my personal nostalgic foods.
With little hands-on time and minimal ingredients, this sourdough sandwich bread is a great loaf to bake if you are new to sourdough or a busy mom like me.
These Almond Flour Lemon Sugar Cookies are perfect for a light summer treat. They also happen to be gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free.