How We Met
My husband, Nick, and I have a very unusual love story. One thing that sets it apart is that there is no real defining moment of how we met. Nick and I have gone to school together since kindergarten. There really isn’t a time in my life where remember not knowing him. He has always been there. We were actually in the same third grade class and everything, though I don’t have any specific memories of spending time with him back then. It wasn’t until high school when we really got close.
The Time I Tried Something New
My older brother, Ethan (two grades ahead of me), ran cross country my freshman year of high school. He told me I would really like it, and so my sophomore year I gave it a try (as if I didn’t have enough going on with competition dance, gymnastics, soccer, show choir, etc). In between freshman and sophomore year, we had to go to the summer practice sessions for cross country.
I remember being at these summer practices and Nick, as an avid runner, was of course there as well. Both of us are very social people, so it took no time for us to connect. He has always been way faster than I, so much so that I remember him finishing his run and then running to wherever I was so he could run along side of me while I finish mine. Imagine being sweaty and out of breath while your crush comes to run with you….. as sweet as it is, it’s also totally embarrassing!
Yes, by this time, I remember totally crushing hard on him. This was really the start of our love story. We would spend a lot of time together, text all the time. I would actually look forward to running 8 miles a day just so I could see him. We also went to a small school, and our houses were only a few miles apart. Being 14 and 15, we couldn’t drive yet. So during the day he would go on a run, which involved running to my house to hang out with me. Yes- he would run about 10 miles a day just to come hang out with me.
Check This Out!
We actually went to homecoming together sophomore year. I honestly can’t believe how young we look, or how tiny we were! Freshman year I just went to homecoming with some girlfriends, so this was my first date to a dance. Who knew then that we would go on to get married and have children! Also- I DID get him a boutonnière, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it on, so he just went without. But guys, how AWKWARD is this picture?! We’re both just standing there trying to figure out what to do with ourselves.
Our High School Relationship
Guys. I’m not even kidding. We dated for ONE MONTH in high school. That was IT. And towards the end of our high school relationship we didn’t talk as much as we did before, so I thought he was avoiding me or something. So I told him we needed to go on a break. (I’m cracking up at this, looking back!) Well he took that break as us totally ending things. (Thank God we are better communicators now!)
Well, just because I allegedly ended things, didn’t mean either one of us stopped having feelings for each other. We kept hanging out, we kept talking and spending time together. That eventually stopped, though I’m not really sure I remember why. But he eventually started dating other girls, and I just remained that best friend point of contact. And that was that. For the rest of high school. I can tell you the other girls he dated did NOT care for me much. You see, I wasn’t quite finished with him yet.
So Nick was still dating this other girl when college rolled around. He went to one school, and I went to another. We kept in close contact as I was now in that best friend role. I started seeing someone my freshman year of college, though it was anything but serious. I found I couldn’t really commit to anyone else because I had this unfinished business with Nick.
You should know, Nick and that girl did not survive the first semester of college. And Nick actually transferred schools after the first semester. Nick did start dating another girl, and I started really focusing on my career and education sophomore year by pursuing internships in my field that led me out of state. You should also know the guy I was seeing also transferred schools as well. I did meet someone during my internship experience in Washington D.C., but that didn’t amount to much as distance was a huge factor.
So, Nick saw this new girl for about a year and a half or so. They were pretty serious. And naturally I HATED her, though I’ve never met her. But that’s just how those things work. When they broke up, I was there for him. I have never seen him so upset. We met for ice cream just so he could talk through that experience. I had no expectations other than just being a friend to him. You see, I genuinely cared for him, and he was hurting. I just wanted to see that my friend was okay. Well this was the moment we reentered each others lives.
A Brief Moment in Time that Changed our Lives Forever
We started spending more and more time together and we started dating again shortly after his break up. Well I was still focused on my career, and I was going back to D.C. that summer for another internship (this is the summer after junior year of college, if you’ve followed this ridiculously complicated timeline). He wasn’t at a place where he felt comfortable doing a long distance relationship, and I felt that if he cared about me enough, he could survive 2.5 months of distance.
I didn’t think he was committed to me enough to put my career plans on hold, so I went to my internship, which led us to breaking up. And honestly, it crushed me. I always refer to that summer as the dark summer, because I was emotionally a wreck! Returning home after that internship, we didn’t get back together, but we did talk and stay connected.
I actually graduated college a semester early, finishing in December. And I met someone at graduation that I really connected with. As far as Nick went, I was trying to forget about him and find someone else I connected with like that. Well, graduation guy was NOT it. I started connecting with an old high school friend and dated him for about a month, just searching for someone else to make me feel the way that Nick made me feel. Well it wasn’t him either. And we actually broke up because of Nick.
From the Dark Summer all the way until that moment, Nick didn’t see anybody new. I was under the impression he didn’t care enough about me to commit to me, and he thought I didn’t care enough about him to make sacrifices. This is probably the worst we have ever communicated. Both of us were hurting SO MUCH. (Guys, I’m literally tearing up typing this and remembering these feelings.) But I had something really exciting I was looking forward to. I was moving to Ireland for graduate school!
One Last Try
Well, I’m not sure what it was that led us back to each other. But we, of course, found our way. We started dating early July and I had plans to move across the world at the end of August! I told him I could only be with him if this was it. Weaving in and out of each others’ lives and having this on and off relationship we had been experiencing for the past 8 years made me feel so exhausted.
Nick proposed to me before I left to Ireland, so I guess he was serious! Read more about our proposal here. I did go to Ireland, and since we had that experience with D.C., I told him that if he needed me to come home, I would. Well Ireland lasted a few weeks. And I went home. I wanted to plan my wedding, and enjoy the season of engagement. And my program at the university in Ireland wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. I couldn’t justify being there over being with my new fiancé. I’m so glad I came home when I did, because a week after being home, we found out we were expecting our sweet Rowan. The memory of his reaction to that positive pregnancy test is one of my favorite memories of all time.
We set our date for the wedding before he even proposed. This date of September 17th was the same day my parents got married, and it marked the halfway point of St. Patrick’s Day, a special day for my Irish family. Our wedding was even mostly planned before I left for Ireland. The big surprise was, we had a four month old at our wedding. But hey- some things you just can’t plan for! Read more about our perfect wedding day here!
The Rest of the Story
As you can guess, the rest of our love story is still being written. But words cannot explain how lucky I feel to have met my soulmate at the age of 15. Our story is messy, and complicated, absolutely perfect and absolutely ours. We have days just like every other married couple where we can’t agree on something, or we are just too tired to spend time with each other. But at the end of every day, I get to lie next to him in bed and thank God he orchestrated everything in the special way he did.
Nick and I grew up together, and we are still growing together. I married my best friend of a decade. My daughter looks up at me, and I see this gorgeous being that is half him. Nick and I got married, had a baby, and bought a house all in one year. And we have had many adventures ever since. But there is no one else with whom I would rather explore these wild adventures. I look forward to making many more memories with him and our growing family.