Today we’re continuing the “love week” theme with my favorite love story: my own! My husband Paul and I first met on Facebook, he was mutual friends with my best friend and we knew he worked for the Tampa Bay Times. The Tampa Bay Rays had brought them together (he used to run a Rays fan group), and one day I had called in sick from work to attend a Spring Training game with my said best friend Kandice, and lo and behold we ended up
on the FRONT PAGE of the Tampa Bay Times (it was then called the St Pete Times-see embarrassing photo). Great time to call in sick, eh? Anyway, Kandice wanted copies of our front-page fame and contacted Paul. I decided to friend him, too…and that’s how it all began.
I was going through a very rough time in my personal life when Paul popped up into my world. It was the absolute worst time to be in a relationship, and for that reason, I wasn’t. Paul and I were just facebook friends until September 2010, when Kandice invited him to her birthday celebration, at a Rays game, of course. It sounds cheesy and like a typical rom-com but believe me when I tell you that I said to myself after finally meeting him in person “I’m going to marry that man!”
Fast forward to our 1 year dating anniversary; I moved to Tampa to be with Paul. Two years later he popped the question in the most adorable “only us” way. A year after that we promised each other forever in front of everyone we love most in the world. My wedding day was truly a dream and the best day of my life..so far. 🙂
Today we’ve been married a little more than a year and half (2 years on June 7th!) I’m happy to tell you that the things some say about marriage being “hard” aren’t necessarily true. Yes, you will endure your share of bad days. You will occasionally wonder if the other is ever going to be quiet. You will get hurt, you will have to learn, and you will have to be ok with being wrong. You’ll sacrifice for the other one, understanding that at the end of the day their happiness equals yours, too. You’ll do a lot of crying, but even more laughing. You’ll never be able to make it 2 minutes into “Up” without bawling. You’ll adjust to their quirky habits. You’ll let him do your laundry and then realize it’s probably best he doesn’t (love you babe). You’ll grow together and you’ll TRY. You’ll put effort into liking something you really don’t care much about, but you see how happy it makes them and that makes it worth it. And before you know it, you can’t imagine your life without them. You have your independence, your own friends, and mutual “couple” friends. You’ll remember to get the pizza without mushrooms because he hates them, even though you think the “epic meats” pizza needs at least ONE veggie. You’ll pray together, hope together, respect each other, and share your dreams together.
Last week I asked Paul to tell me 4 reasons he thinks we “work” so well. His list is below, next to mine. We did not look at each other’s beforehand, but our answers are mostly the same. Paul and I have had our fair share of tough times, but we don’t look at it like that. We have found that through our faith and our love for one another, that challenges aren’t meant to defeat us, but to grow us. And there are way more good times than bad. But he and I can make anything fun. As we speak we’re at a coffee shop together, he’s working and I’m writing this. We’re chatting with other patrons and singing along to the songs being piped in. We’re having the time of our lives for absolutely no reason.
Before meeting, we were both in a string of unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships. I always thought I’d have to settle for mediocre or adapt to being someone else so someone would love me as much as I deserved. What I didn’t realize is that there would be someone in the universe so perfectly matched for me. Someone who encouraged my uniqueness instead of altering it. I know now that all my life’s decisions were made so that God could put us together. And I think God excused that absence from work for spring training 😉
Be ok with being single. Embrace it, it was one of the most fun parts of my young life. I learned so much about myself, and most importantly, I learned what I deserved. I just didn’t realize it would find me so quickly.
Believe in love, and believe in finding the you that YOU love. Don’t give up til you realize forever isn’t even long enough. <3
Now is your turn! I enjoy reading other stories about love, so tell me yours! It doesn’t have to be your spouse! How did you fall in love with yourself? Your best friend? Your dog! I want to hear it all!
Happy Valentine’s Day loves!