Friday, October 25, 2013

Our Happily Ever After

I could tell you about the first night I met Steve. I could tell you how we were in a bar and locked eyes across a crowded room. The music stopped and everyone else disappeared. We spent the whole evening talking to each other and when it was done, I immediately told my friends, "this is the guy I'm going to marry". I could tell you this romantic, made for the movies whirlwind relationship we had that ended up with us riding horses into the sunset. I could tell you all that, but it wouldn't be true. The truth is nothing I've seen on TV or in the movies or read in a book. It's not the Disney Fairy Tale that all girls dream of when they're younger but it's our love story. 

It all started with just an average night at the bar with my aunt (and one of my best friends), Mary Anne. An old friend, TJ, came over to our table to say hi and we ended up playing darts with him and his drunk friend, Steve, all night. There was no instant connection. It was actually the opposite of that. He didn't exactly bode with Mary Anne and I. And....well.....I won't tell you what's he's admitted to thinking about the both of us after our first encounter. None the less, the 4 of us continued to meet up to play darts weekly. Sometimes going back to TJs house to play cards once the bar closed. But our lives went on outside of those nights. Steve seeing his on again off again girlfriend. Me doing the same. And at some point as those months passed by, things began to change. It's hard to pinpoint when or how. It may have been when I told TJ his friend was "cute but not very smart". It may have been when TJ announced that Steve was the only friend he had that he'd allow to date his sister. It may have been over countless hours of playing darts or Steve trying unsuccessfully to teach me to play pool. But, TJ stopped coming out and Mary Anne started going to bed earlier and then it was just Steve and I. Staying up way too late talking to each other. Talking about our families. Talking about our relationships gone wrong. Talking about hopes and dreams for our futures. Sharing our darkest secrets and greatest hopes. We cried on each other's shoulders, although Steve did more of the crying.  During that time, we also started spending more time together and less time with the on agains off agains in our lives. We became best friends. We spent almost every day together. So, it only made sense that a few months later (November 4th, 2006 to be exact) that we made our relationship "official".

From there it did become a whirlwind relationship. Exchanging "I love yous" within a matter of weeks; something I believe had been on both our hearts long before it crossed our lips. Within months we knew we were going to get married and started thinking ahead to that. While not formally engaged we started talking wedding plans for the future. Steve started to share my existence with his family; explaining to his dad, "she's like me with boobs". And his dad responding with, "so she likes comics?". Nope. We can't all be perfect (although Steve has gotten me to read one set of comic books recently). Christmas Day, 2007, just over a year from when we became "official", Steve handed me a big box from under the Christmas tree. I just knew that it was the robe I had been asking for. After all, he had already given me the digital picture frame and digital camera I had asked for. I opened the box to find it all but empty. Digging through paper I found a small jewelry box and looked up to see him down on one knee. He professed his undying love for me and proposed with, "I want to spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you make me".

Just 10 months later, on October 25th 2008 we started our lives as husband and wife. Things still haven't slowed down for us. We had Lily in 2009, bought new cars in 2010, a new house in 2011, Adelyn joined our family in 2012 and 2013 brought another new mini van.

The past 5 years has had it's ups and downs. It's not perfect. We're not perfect. We bicker like an old married couple. We have fights that last for days. We aggravate each other. But, even more important, we still stay up too late talking and crying (still more Steve than me). We still share hopes and dreams and fears. We still share stories of our past that the other hasn't heard. We share our daily joys and let downs. We're still the team we were 5, 6, 7 years ago. We're still best friends. We still go to sleep each night holding each other's hand after 5 years of marriage. In the sitcom Friends, Phoebe is known for saying that Rachel is Ross' lobster because lobsters fall in love and mate for life. But, I like to think of Steve as my otter.

This is our love story. This is our happily ever after.

We tripped into a friendship.....stumbled into a relationship....
and fell into love

~ Holly Hebert, circa 2007