Husband. Father. Best Friend.
We met in 2007 when I was the ripe age of 18. Since then, my life has never been the same. It sounds cheesy, but there was something about him I couldn’t shake (and trust me, I tried!). We dated, broke up, were separated by distance, were separated by a deployment, and yet year after year we found our way back to each other.
We met, and our lives were forever intertwined.
I remember the night we first kissed, and him telling me that he traveled across the world – across an ocean – to find me. I was the one his soul was looking for. And he, mine.
I have to try and remember that now when we snap at each other because we’re just so tired. He, because he has been awake over 15 hours and me, because I’m pregnant, emotional, and tired from juggling so much.
It’s funny how often I see glimpses of our past when I look at his smile. I remember seeing it for the first time, and the butterflies it gave me. I remember working with him and finding excuses to be where he was – just so we could be close to each other. I remember the single roses he would bring to me each time we went out, and how persistent he was with me whenever I tried to blow him off.
At times, being with him has seemed like something right out of a movie.
I remember crying in the car with him one night because things just seemed too good to be true. I was afraid to love him as much as I did. I was afraid that if I committed to spending life with him, I would disappoint myself or the expectations I kept would just be too high. I remember asking him if he would still love me when I was 80 – would he still want to hold my hand? Would he still want to date me then? He laughed, and assured me that there was nothing to worry about. 8 years later? This guy still opens the car door for me any time we’re together. Sometimes he goes as far as to hand me my seat belt. We hold hands when we go out. We try to make each other laugh. I love it when he winks at me, so I shyly smile back.
Our love story (and life) isn’t perfect, because no one’s is. But I love our story! And I love him. And most days I think this guy – the one who “took me off the market” and changed my last name – goes about his day under-appreciated. The least I can do is sing his praises today, and hope he reads this and knows just how special and important he is to me, and how much I really do appreciate him.
He works the worst shift at the not-most-great place, and he doesn’t complain. He comes home after a twelve hour day and loves on his family before going to sleep and doing it all again the next day. Anything I need done, he does it. Every day he tells me I’m beautiful. Every night he kisses me goodbye. Yes – he really does make mistakes sometimes. But things could be worse, friends. When it comes down to it, I’ve found myself a good man.
I appreciate him today for all sorts of reasons: for how he is as a husband, for how he is as a father, for his work ethic, his service to his country, and his faith in the Lord. He leads as an example that I’m proud to point out to my children.
Is there someone in your life that deserves a shout out? Don’t wait – tell them today!
(All photos posted were taken by the amazing Jillian Michelle Photography)