(Note: For those not "in the know", DOH stands for Dear Old Husband.)
|3rd date at the drive-in|
DOH pulled into my parents' driveway in a dark green mustang, in a black leather jacket, his short, dark hair styled. He was the complete opposite of every guy I had dated or dreamed of dated. I wanted him, then and there.
Our first date was very low key. We were going to go to the movies, but since it was a Sunday night and we live in the willywacks of Maine, the movie theater was closed. So, we wound up getting subs at Subway (high class, I know) and renting a movie to bring back to my house (Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon--coincidentally, our celebrity crushes).
Our relationship quickly developed from there. We were "official" only a day later and soon spent every waking moment together. With the exception of my Senior Prom (Worst. Prom. Ever.), we were unseperable. We spent the summer between my graduation from high school and the start of college driving all over Maine and New Hampshire, exploring beaches, hiking, nearly drowning at Frenchmen's Hole in Bethel (yes, I really did almost drown, though DOH thinks I'm exaggerating).
|Frenchman's Hole--Yeah, weird name|
August came along and I was due to head off to college. DOH and I went out for a drive, destination unknown. Around sunset, we arrived at Sebago Lake State Park. It was quiet, the buzz of summer visitors had died down and we were practically the only people around. We wondered over to a picnic table and sat down to enjoy the sun setting over Sebago Lake. I put my hand on his leg, near the pockets and felt a lump (don't worry, this stays PG). Within seconds, I was patting him down.
"You have something in your pockets!" I was saying, getting excited. We had talked about a ring, but I didn't think...
He pulled out a box.
"It's empty," he said. "I was just keeping it in my pocket to, you know, practice hiding it for when, you know..."
I bought it...but not completely.
"Aw, c'mon! Is it really empty?" DOH just smiled.
"Go ahead and look."
I opened the box.
At some point during my shrieks of joy and tears, DOH got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
Of course, I said yes.
The In-Between Time:
While the time between our first date and engagement was short, the time between the engagement and our actual wedding was about four times as long.
At the very beginning of September I went off to college, an hour away from DOH, who was working security at a tampon factory. (I only mention this, because the BEST joke comes from that; his mom asked him one night how he got that job and he responds, "Oh, I had to pull a few strings." His mom totally didn't get it, but everyone else in the room died laughing. So funny.) In hindsight, I'm impressed our relationship made it through that year. While we saw each other a lot, we didn't see each other as much as we had been. College was a new experience for me and I wanted, to, well, experience it. More than that, I wanted to do well and was determined to focus on my school work. DOH hadn't gone to college and got most of his impressions of what it was like through the college parties that he'd crashed as a teenager. The trust level between the two of us was not at its strongest.
But since we made it through that first year of college, I know our relationship came out stronger, and we learned so much about each other and how our relationship needed to work. We came to trust one another more, to relax about things that really weren't worrying about, and that if you try to give someone a hickey on their eye it WILL look like a black eye (not cool, Husband, not cool).
After a school year and May term of living on campus, I decided I'd had enough (I'm not a person who should have to share space with another girl--they bug me way too much). DOH and I decided that we wanted to get an apartment together. It was becoming ridiculous, the driving back and forth, the gas and time wasted, the stress of conflicting schedules. We knew we wanted to be together, we were engaged, and damnit, I just had to do one more thing to tick my parents off (they really do love DOH...now). So, we moved in together, decided to bump up our wedding date for the following summer rather than the summer after I was due to graduate (so, to 2008 from 2010), and in July of that year (2007), found out I was pregnant with Lizzie.
Becoming a Family:
There are so many stories surrounding my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter, from the reactions of our families (or how DOH grandmother can practically sniff your and tell you if you're pregnant. I was maybe three weeks along--Does that even count?--and she called it), to how DOH did not believe me when I told him that I thought I was pregnant ("You're on birth control!"), to how utterly and completely unprepared we were to become parents...and how wonderful it has been. There is too much to say to really capture in one blog post (and to keep a reader's attention), so let me leave this part of our story with these pictures (and please note, that because we were completely unprepared for the arrival of our daughter, we TOTALLY FORGOT TO TAKE A FAMILY PICTURE OF BOTH OF US WITH HER!)
So, our daughter was born in April, 2008. Four months later, DOH and I tied the knot. While we could have gotten married before our daughter was born, we felt that we had planned for an August 2008 wedding and, damnit, we were going to have one. Besides, I really didn't want to have a wedding while I was pregnant. I felt like it sent the wrong message (like that we were getting married just because we were having a baby).
Our wedding, the day we're celebrating today, was the most amazing day ever. We got married at my parents' house on a gorgeous sunny day. I came to the wedding on a boat. Our colors were white and pink. We had tons of hydrangeas everywhere. My husband looked perfect. I felt great. The people who shaped our lives came and shared the day with us. The local Lions' club catered. It's event that both sides of our family are still talking about.
I still cannot think of a day that I fully enjoyed and loved more than that day. Obviously the day of our daughter's birth ranks really high, I was so drugged out of my mind (emergency c-section) that I couldn't fully enjoy the event. But on the day of our wedding, I was there completely and totally, and so was my daughter. So it's really like the best of both worlds, right?
|And the theme from The Love Boat was TOTALLY playing.<><><><> >>>>|
Not much has changed over the last three years. Sure, locations, jobs, ages have all changed, but what is the most crucial has stayed the same. Our love for one another, our commitment to be the best parents we can possibly be, and our desire to constantly improve ourselves and our marriage. We make an interesting pair--it's sort of like a continuous episode of the odd couple.
Sometimes I wonder how this relationship can really work and other times I marvel at just how perfectly we fit together. Regardless of where we've been geographically or emotionally, I've always been excited to see what is around the next corner for us. And now, we're at a point where we've rounded the bend. We're settling down into our marriage. Sure, there are plenty of twists and turns ahead, but for now, there is a little stretch of road before us and I can see all the wonderful things that are heading our way.