Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In honor of our 8 year wedding anniversary

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

8 years ago today I vowed to give this man my life to keep.
Best decision I have ever made. There is something so very special about my husband and only those that truly know him understand that. I'm so thankful he never gave up on loving me.
We met in middle school, about 20 years ago, and both instantly had a crush on one another.
It wasn't until high school (9th grade I believe) that we acted on those feelings we had for one another. We went on a couple of movie dates, we kissed, we held hands and then life happened....apparently timing wasn't right. Josh moved away to pursue his passion for music. He moved to New York and left school for a year or so. We never really had a chance to make anything out of those dates because he left so quickly. But before he left, he left me this note that I still have to this day. It said:

"I just wanted to say bye and that I'll miss you while I'm gone. This past week has been great for me because I finally got to be with you. I know you don't think I love you but I do so much and it's hard sometimes to get people to believe me. They think 'oh your just a kid you don't know what love is' but I do know what love is. My mom even knows I love you Stephani. I just wish you would believe me. Anyway thank you for everything you've done for me. I'll always remember you. These next few words I want you to take serious ok. I LOVE YOU. Love Josh.”

I cared about him, I liked him, and I felt so at home when I was with him but never had the chance to show him that because he moved. When he moved back and came back to school a year later he was hoping we could pick up where we left off but I had a boyfriend. Josh and I instantly reconnected as friends though. He became one of my best guy friends. Someone I could talk to about anything. We would talk on the phone for hours and he always treated me so differently than he treated everyone else. He always had a way of making me feel special, like no one else mattered when I was around. I’ll never forget the time he went to prom with someone and right after prom was over he left to come over to my house instead of hanging out with her. I don’t even think we were hooking up at the time, he just wanted to see me and spend time with me. There was always just something so different about him…like he knew we were meant to be.

He stuck around as my friend through quite a few boyfriends. In between breakups and breaks from those boyfriends I had, Josh and I would get together and seriously just talk for hours. Eventually those hours of talking would lead us into hooking up. However, I wasn’t ready to settle down at that point. I was bouncing around from relationship to relationship without allowing myself time to heal. Shortly after the last time we hooked up I got back together with my high school boyfriend and lost touch with Josh for a couple of years. I didn’t lose touch with him because I wanted to. I lost touch with him because when I got back together with my high school boyfriend he wanted me to change my number so that no one had it anymore. So, I changed my number and lost contact with Josh for a couple of years. I missed him during that time. I missed our morning conversations on his way to work. I missed hearing how happy he was when we talked. I missed knowing that even though at the time we were both with other people I still felt like I was still #1 in his eyes. He just always had a way of making me feel so special. I always felt that even if he was with someone else, I would still be the one to win him over. He just had a way of making me feel like that.

A few years went by. I always thought about him but never tried to contact to him because I wanted to avoid causing a fight with my boyfriend at the time. I knew Josh was with someone and the last time I spoke to him he seemed like he was happy so I didn’t want to bug him either.

Eventually I split from that boyfriend I was with in the summer of 2006. It took me six years to finally be done but this time I knew I was done and ready to move on. I had no intentions of settling down again, I didn’t even want to date. I just wanted to be free and learn to be me again. I wanted to be able to go out with friends and have fun because it was something I never had the chance to do before. My best friend at the time was dating someone that was in Josh’s group of friends. I became friends with his group of friends because of her. We all hung out for a good few weeks and I’d always ask about Josh and how he was doing. They told me he was pretty much settled down and didn’t hang out with any of them anymore. I could have easily asked one of them for his number but I felt if he really was settled down with someone like they all said, it would be disrespectful to his girlfriend for me start calling him. And then one night…my best friend at the time had a party for one of Josh’s friends at her house. Josh showed up with his girlfriend at the time and it was the first time we had seen each other in a couple of years. Seeing him made me so happy, but for once I felt so distant from him…our conversation was quick that night and I almost felt as if he was mad at me for losing touch over the years or maybe he was just being respectful to his girlfriend at the time.

The next day he was all I could think about. I knew I had to find a way to get into contact with him. I missed our friendship more than anything but part of me was scared that I finally pushed him completely away from me and that if I did call him he wouldn’t want anything to do with me. Well, after contacting a few people I was finally able to get a hold of his number and texted him…

I was sure he was going to give me the cold shoulder. In fact, I deserved it if he did but all I could do is try and explain what happened during those couple of years.

It didn’t take long for him to respond. I ended up finding out he was in a really bad place in life. He was unhappy in his relationship and trying to end it and at the same time he was going through so much with his family. He was depressed and not himself anymore. I was in a different space than ever before. I was enjoying life and catching up on lost time with friends and maybe some partying too. I almost allowed myself to get caught up with this guy I had kind of been seeing on and off in the past but for some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Josh so I didn’t allow myself to get caught up. Thank god things worked out the way they did otherwise timing could have been wrong for us all over again.

Josh and I reconnected the day I texted him we never lost touch again. As crazy as this sounds, he moved in with me a week later. We didn’t mean for it to happen that way but he basically packed up all his stuff one night and moved out of his girlfriend’s house with no place to go. He would come over my house every night after work and we would talk all night until we fell asleep. We were only friends at the time but had so much to catch up on. We found ourselves not wanting to leave each other at the end of each night so we would just talk until we fell asleep. This must have continued for a few weeks until we finally decided to take our friendship to the next level. He knew I wanted to move slowly this time and I’m pretty sure he was afraid I would pull the same shit I always pulled of running back to my ex. But I knew this time was different and I knew those years that had gone by made me miss him and made me want him more than ever.

On September 1, 2006 we officially became a couple. We were both driving to work that morning when he called me and asked me to be his girlfriend. I didn’t expect to jump into a relationship so fast but everything about it felt so right. I mean we were best friends for so long, we already knew each other on every level, he was the only person that really truly knew who I was and brought out the real me. So we made it official and started our journey together.

We first said I love you sometime in October of 2006 on the Queen Mary. Josh said it first and I was already so in love with him so of course I said it back. By September of 2007 we were engaged. Josh took me on an Alaskan cruise, something I had always wanted to do and asked me to marry him on stage in front of everyone on the ship. We were married on August 23, 2008 : ).

Our wedding day was exactly how I pictured it to be. It was so us, romantic and fun. Josh surprised me with a song that he wrote and he sang it to me in front of everyone that night. When I think back about our wedding day there’s not a thing I would do different, it was perfect.

I’m so thankful Josh never gave up on me. That he never stopped loving me through our entire friendship and that timing worked out the way it did. Marrying him was the best and easiest decision I have ever made. I married my best friend and the person I still look forward to waking up to every morning and going to bed with every night. I married someone that gets me unlike anyone else. We have this connection that only we understand..this ability to read one another’s mind. Maybe it’s because we openly communicate about everything and always have…maybe that’s what makes our connection so strong. Whatever it is, I wouldn’t trade the way he makes me feel for anything. There’s something very special about my husband and I feel blessed that he picked me to share this beautiful life with. 8 years has gone by so fast, it feels like just yesterday we were saying I do. Today we celebrate 20 years of friendship, 10 years of loving each other and 8 years of marriage, what a blessing!

To my husband: Thank you for always putting our little family and us first. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. Thank you for listening to me and allowing me to be totally transparent without ever feeling judged. We were meant to be, there's no doubt about that. Happy Anniversary My Love! Cheers to a lifetime of memories lots of love. I love you, more than you’ll ever know.

Your Wife