To be honest – I am a homebody. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill weekend homebody – I mean professional lock me up for a week straight while binge watching Scandal and chomping on my favorite Skinny Pop Popcorn. Luckily for me, I married the perfect man who feels the same way. Ok, ok – we also like to make trips to Whole Foods, grab a cup of coffee, and visit the gym (obvi)… but nothing feels more perfect than a night in with my best friend.
Today marks 5 years of wedded bliss for me and Nick. We were married on a beautiful sunny and 75 degree day on October 9, 2010 surrounded by all of our family and friends. The day was perfect. I had never been happier. I couldn’t imagine being happier – but I was wrong. The past five years have been the best of my life. The type of bond, loyalty, friendship, and (most importantly) respect that we have for each other is unbreakable.
Although today marks 5 years of marriage, me and Nick have actually been together for 14 years. We started dating our sophomore year of high school when we were just about to turn 16. When it was time to go to college, we couldn’t imagine breaking up so we made long distance work. Once every 2 – 3 weeks, we would drive to each other’s school and try to fit in weeks of memories in just two short days. After graduation, we both lived around Chicago for about a year until I received a job offer to move to Iowa to work as a journalist. Days before moving, Nick got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. It was totally unexpected (although we had been together for 8 years at that point) and looking back on that day I give Nick so much credit for taking that next step. We were only 23 and had so much to learn about ourselves and each other.
For me, our relationship was taken to that next level the day we got married. There was something unexplainable about looking into Nick’s eyes and hearing him profess before God that he would love me until we die. I can’t explain it other than saying my high school boyfriend disappeared before me and I was greeted by a new man – my husband. I am so thankful for those promises we exchanged five years ago.
When people ask me what I am most proud of in my life, I say “my marriage”. I 100% wouldn’t be the woman I am today without such a strong and unwavering relationship. I am strong because Nick builds me up. I am beautiful because I am beautiful in Nick eyes.
There are two pieces of advice that have stuck with me about marriage. First, my best friend told me to marry the man who I can imagine sitting on a porch with when we’re 95, holding hands and saying “it’s been a wild ride”. Second, my mom told me to marry the man who makes me laugh. I share these with you to let you know that love shouldn’t be painful, confusing, unloyal, rude, sad, or an automatic guarantee. When things get hard, when things aren’t funny you are going to want to have that person by your side and in return you are going to have to give those things yourself.
Nick – thank you for being a husband that I didn’t even know existed. Thank you for being true, for letting me evolve into the woman I am today, and for being supportive. Thank you for showing me how I am supposed to be treated and for holding my hand through these wild years. Thank you for making me crack up on a daily basis with your funny sense of humor and your wacky personality. Thank you for letting me feed you healthy food and for not complaining about having no chips (well… most days at least). Thank you for letting me be weak in our private moments and loving me through it all. You are the biggest blessing in my life and my life’s greatest work.
Here’s to five more!