Friday, November 22, 2013

a love story...five years together.

Before we were parents, we were just a husband and wife walking through this wild and crazy life together.  Today we celebrate 5 years of marriage and adventures and look forward to many more years together. 

When we met 10 years ago, I don't think either of us could have ever imagined this life together.  When you're 18 and a college freshman, getting married, owning a house, and having a baby are the furthest thing from your mind.

We met through mutual friends the first week of college.  My roommates had grown up going to camp with Dan back in Pennsylvania.  Having gone to a college where I knew absolutely no one, my roommates' camp friends soon became my friends.  I can't remember the exact moment when I really saw him, but I do know that by Christmas I was sure I had fallen for him.  Over Christmas we spent countless hours chatting online (with dial-up, no less!).  After returning to school second semester I remember telling my roommates that I just wanted to know if this boy really liked me or if I was wasting my time!

By the end of January we had the infamous "defining the relationship" talk.  And with that, we were a couple.  As the end of the school year approached, Dan apparently thought summer would send us our separate ways and that would be that....he's told me since, that he never thought we'd last through that first summer.  But we did.  We emailed, chatted, and he sent me the occasional sappy snail mail!

Summer's end and the start of school brought on a whole new set of challenges.  We no longer were miles apart, really we were next door neighbors...but we both had full class schedules and rarely did our free time overlap.  But somehow we made it work, not just that year, but for the next three years.

After graduating in December of 2006, I got a job locally and lived near campus while I tried to sort out what to do next.  It was great to still be close, but I wasn't happy in the job I was doing and knew I needed to be on the look out for a better fit.  In February I was offered a position at the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, and moved to Hershey in June.  Everything seemed to be working out perfectly.  After graduation, Dan moved back to PA too.  We spent that summer in PA together seeing each other most every weekend - at the time Dan was living in Philadelphia.  But now he wasn't happy with his work situation!  So in the fall he headed to Ohio to attend the Recording Workshop, then an internship in Indiana.  Once again putting miles between us.  But again, we made it work!

That Thanksgiving I headed home to Indiana to visit family and was able to see him briefly before he returned to Pennsylvania having finished his internship in Indiana.  It was during this visit that he told me that he had be offered a job with Carnival Cruise ships for 6 months and would be leaving in January.  So, as if a few hundred miles weren't enough, we'd now be thousands of miles apart and he'd be unreachable most days!

After Christmas we met up again at his parents house to spend some time together before he left for the cruise ship job and celebrate the new year.  On New Years day I needed to head back to Hershey for work the next day, but before leaving he insisted that we go for a walk.  I was super annoyed as it was freezing outside and getting dark.  We ended up getting in his car and driving to one of my favorite spots near his parents house.  It's the top of the mountain and overlooks the town was at this spot that I truly fell in love with Pennsylvania and it's mountains.  When we first stopped, there had been a large rock that we'd climbed up on and sat and talked for what seemed like hours.  This time, we were both disappointed when we noticed that the rock was gone.  Dan insisted that we still get out of the car and walk around; which I fought briefly as it was dark and way too cold outside.

We ended up wondering around, came upon a pile of wood.  We sat down, huddled close to stay warm and talked about us, talked about how hard the next 6 months would be.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Dan moved off of the logs and onto the ground in front of me, pulled his hands out of his pockets, held out a box and asked me the question every girl dreams of.  Honestly, I'm not even sure what he said, but I know it was along the lines of "wait for me...I'll be back soon...I love you...marry me!"

The next six months were hard, definitely the hardest yet.  While Dan was away, I single-highhandedly planned our wedding.  When he returned in July he moved to Hershey and we spent a few months making final arrangements for the wedding, but mostly just enjoyed being close again!

On November 22, 2008 we said "I do", and have spend the past 5 years waking up next to one another every morning, no longer separated by miles or oceans!

 Read more about our wedding, our 1st anniversary trip, our 2nd anniversary move, our 3rd anniversary blessing, and our 4th anniversary/announcement!

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