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A Love Story

January marked our 6th year of marriage but May 25th is our 5th wedding anniversary. It’s complicated. Andrew and I don’t have a traditional love story. We did meet in college, during orientation week, so you could say that we’re college sweethearts but our courtship was short before we parted ways. Not many people know the ins and outs of how our marriage came to be and some that knew us as teenagers tend to find it hard to believe that we’ve ended up together. So in honor of our anniversary I thought I’d share our rocky love story because with all we’ve gone through sometimes it is hard to believe that we’re still together, and in love.

We met as freshman at SMU in Dallas and for the year and a half that we dated we joked about how someday we would end up married. We were young and carefree and spent some time getting into trouble. We did the impossible and managed to remain close friends after our breakup and after our second year at SMU Andrew moved back to California and I transferred to Babson College in Boston. And at the time I thought that was the end of that.

Call it fate, destiny or love. The universe had a different plan. At a few points in time we would briefly flutter into and then right back out of each others lives, never anything more than a few phone calls with months and even years scattered in between. Until the day I got an email from Andrew letting me know he had joined the Army and wanting to see me before he deployed to Iraq. We hadn’t seen each other in 5 years.

I was managing a health club in NYC at the time and since he had never been to New York he came out for 3 days over Christmas. And then for 2 more days for New Years. The planes were snowed in the day he was supposed to leave so he came back and somehow we came up with the brilliant idea of getting married when he got back. Andrew was scheduled to deploy on January 12th.

Somewhere between midnight phone calls and a trip to meet his family for the first time and say a final goodbye where he was stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia we ended up at City Hall in Hinesville, GA and got married on January 11th. The day before he deployed. Andrews deployment ended up being 15 long months. When my lease was up in NYC I moved to California with Andrews family who lovingly took me in for a few months until it was time to move to Georgia where he’d be coming home to.

On May 25th we got married. again. At home, in the Dominican Republic, we had a beautiful fairytale wedding in the Catholic church.

And that’s when our marriage really started. We married the version of ourselves that we were back in college, 2 crazy kids, and after so many years we had changed (for the most part). As you can probably imagine of a couple that spent less than a week total together before getting married after 5 years of not seeing each other it was a roller coaster ride. We’ve shared breathtaking highs and devastating lows and sometimes the thought of throwing in the towel may have crossed our minds.

We spent 2 years living in Hawaii where Andrew was stationed at Tripler Army Medical Center. As wondrous as a place as Hawaii is I wish I could have a do-over because it wasn’t our happiest time. In the summer of 2010 I moved to Fort Worth and Andrew followed a few months later after he was medically retired from the Army. On February 19th, 2011 Annabelle was born.

It’s not been an easy road since then. But it’s been worth every tear shed and every night of lost sleep. Because of everything we went through our marriage is stronger that it probably would have ever been. He’s my best friend and partner in crime and we truly know each other better than anyone else on the planet. We’re each others biggest supporters, even though soemtimes we’re too tired to show it. Our future is bright. I’m blessed that what feels like a million years ago God put us at the same frat party and we struck up a conversation Momo car parts of all things. Back then I knew about that kind of thing. Now I know about Breast milk, GMO’s and coconut oil.

The years may have changed us but the love that sparked on that very first night is still with us. And I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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