About twelve years ago, I was starting as a college freshman at Harding University. One of the first people I met there was a nice guy named James. My best friend instantly took a liking to him, so my roommates and I contrived ways to throw them together.
Little did we know that in throwing the two of them together, we were also throwing the two of us together - and a few months later he shocked me by asking me out. Instead of her. Really. Aren't I a good friend? (A story for another time - but I will say we're still best friends, and she's happily married and expecting her 2nd child!)
We dated seriously all that spring semester, and when summer began, I (tearfully) went home to Virginia, and he went home to Florida. Other than one week during the summer, we were apart for three months.
In the fall we were reunited again for about a week before I (tearfully) flew to London for the semester. I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay on campus with my safe little life, and be near James. He made me go - he lovingly encouraged me to leave him for three months...and it was the most important semester in my college years. (Another story for another time.)
There were many (tearful) trans-Atlantic phone conversations that semester. After a semester in London and a whirlwind tour western Europe, I flew back to campus, and James proposed the next morning, December 17th, 1997. (Yet another story for another time!)
Ten years ago today, we tied the knot. Our wedding was simple, and beautiful, and short. We were surrounded by our families & best friends, and even though police were called and we had a fire (no joke), it was a wonderful day. That's what the pictures tell me, anyway - it's all kind of a blur in my memory.
Since that day, I have grown to love James more and more with each passing year, with each crisis or new stage in our lives, and definitely as we have become parents. He has been by my side and pulled me through depression, anxiety attacks, vet school, poor health, deep discouragement, a very difficult pregnancy, and new parenthood.
He has been my partner in giggle fits, my competition in Mario Kart, my spider squasher, my high-things-reacher, my sounding board, and my resident engineer.
He challenges my thinking when I am too easy on myself. He challenges my priorities and focus. He is an honorable man after God's heart, and he thrives on helping people and showing love. He's a dedicated Daddy, and he holds Wendy's heart in his hands.
Our life may not look quite how we imagined ten years ago today, but I wouldn't trade any step of our journey - because every step has been with you.
I love you, my Squeak. Happy Anniversary!