I’ve noticed a trend recently – many bloggers are posting more personal “get to know me” posts as a way to further connect with readers. Well, this one you’re about to read is a doozy – kudos to anyone who gets through the whole thing. You’ll certainly end up knowing quite a bit about my honey and I!
The story below was originally published as a Facebook Note on my personal page in February 2009 when E and I were celebrating our six year anniversary together. I decided to re-post it here because although this blog is about Zoe and my journey as a mom, it’s so important to always remember the love that created her.
We wouldn’t be her parents if it weren’t for our amazing love story that began long before she was even a sparkle in our eyes!
So here goes. The rest of this post is shared verbatim from my original Facebook Note.
Disclaimer: I am succumbing to this meme under duress due to multiple tag attacks. However, I’m in a highly schmaltzy mood right now since today is the six year anniversary of when E and I officially started dating. Therefore, be warned that what follows will be mushy, gushy and lovey-dovey. Avoid if you don’t like such things. Also, this may be the longest 25 things anyone has ever done.
1. I met E in November 2002 just before Thanksgiving. We met online a month earlier and he wanted to meet in person at a dog park with our dogs, but I had sworn off dating (see #5) and wasn’t sure about meeting him.
2. After emailing and chatting with him for a while, I finally sent E’s Yahoo profile to my best friend and asked if she thought I should get together with him in person. She called me and said “YES, he’s a great guy… I’ve worked two cubes down from him for the past two years!” Yep, it was fate.
3. Immediately after that call, the three of us got together for lunch. My first impression was that E was super cute, obviously very fit, smart and successful and an all-around great guy – but that I probably wouldn’t ever date him.
4. E seemed too nice, a little bit shy and very conservative. I wasn’t sure if he could handle my outgoing nature, edgy side, love of adventure or crazy sense of humor. Let’s just say appearances can be deceiving.
5. Through the end of 2002 and the start of 2003, E and I continued our friendship via email, IM chats and getting together with our dogs or to watch movies. I wasn’t dating because after my separation and divorce, I wanted to take a full year off from dating and romance. I had lost all faith in myself and my relationship choices – I was jaded and cynical about love.
6. At that time, E was meeting and dating all sorts of wacky women who were all wrong from him. I loved to give him relationship advice. We quickly became super close friends and had a blast together.
7. At the end of January 2003, E started to get more serious about one of the women he was dating. I did NOT like this. I was convinced she was all wrong for him and that he was “settling” and that our friendship would have to end once he had a girlfriend.
8. Driving down to Cincinnati for dinner with friends that January 26, E and I got into a huge fight about this. He said I was being unreasonable. I was so angry with him I ended up crying! He asked if I usually get this upset when my female friends are dating the wrong guy. I realized that no, I don’t.
9. Suddenly like a bolt of lightning, I realized I had feelings for E beyond friendship (duh!). I confessed this to him and he in turn shared that the reason he kept dating the wrong women was because the RIGHT woman refused to date him! I melted. We had our first kiss.
10. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to say that we proceeded to make out throughout most of dinner at Hamburger Mary’s in Cincinnati. I am thankful that our friends forgave us. I guess we had been holding back our true feelings for a while. 😉
11. Then, I entered into a two-week battle with myself over my prior commitment/vow to not date for a year. I had been separated for a year by then, but my divorce had only been finalized in 12/02. I still thought it was too soon to date, but I also couldn’t just ask E to put his romantic life on hold.
12. I finally realized that I was being dumb. E was (and is) perfect for me, he felt I was perfect for him (still can’t believe that part), and we were crazy about each other. E was patient with me during that time and didn’t pressure me or do anything but be an awesome friend and listening ear.
13. On February 5, despite my hesitations and not trusting my own judgment re: relationships, I asked E if he would be willing to give it a shot. He said he had been trying to woo me since we first met and that YES he wanted to give it a shot with me! And I can honestly say my life truly began that day. I don’t think I knew what real love was before then.
14. Right from the start, E brought out the very best in me. My parents took one look at all the positive changes I was making in my life, attributed them to E, and thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.
15. It’s worth noting that my dad has NEVER liked anyone I’ve dated, but he definitely approves of E. And my Mom absolutely adores him.
16. E is one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met in my life – second only to his dad. I on the other hand have always been somewhat lazy and leisure-loving. Before E, I thought weekends and days off were for vegging out and relaxing. Since I’ve met E, I’ve learned to appreciate and partake in big and small home improvements and DIY projects, car and motorcycle maintenance and repair, computer maintenance and repair, gardening and landscaping, car washing and detailing, cooking and yes even house cleaning. E excels in all of these areas. Seriously, he is not a jack of all trades, he’s a MASTER of all trades. It’s unbelievable.
17. Although at our core we have similar values and goals, we are opposites in many ways. I’m the grasshopper, and E’s the ant. Does anyone remember that old tale? The ant works all the time, every day, preparing for hard times ahead. The grasshopper just wants to play all day – he doesn’t worry about the future, he lives for today. When the cold winter comes, the grasshopper shows up on the ant’s doorstep shivering and starving. The ant doesn’t turn him away and say “I told you so,” instead he lets the grasshopper in to warm up and have a meal! That’s E and I to a T. I help E to relax and play more, he helps me to knuckle down and work more. It’s a great balance.
18. E grew up in IN surrounded by corn fields and never traveled much, even within the US, before we met. E’s family valued time spent at home – their vacations were road trips and usually close to home. I am an island girl at heart. I grew up on one (Long Island), my parents are from one (England), I spent the formative years of my career working on one (Manhattan). During my childhood, I had sand and sea as my backyard and flew once or twice a year across the Atlantic to visit my grandparents. My family valued world travel adventures. In the immortal words of Kiss, I’m a sailor’s only daughter and child of the water. Our family vacations were sailing trips in the waters of the Northeastern US, Baja Mexico/Sea of Cortez, Caribbean and South Pacific. I was both a pirate and a mermaid in one. Not much has changed.
19. When E and I first met, he didn’t like to travel. He traveled begrudgingly for work, but true to his roots, he did not like to travel for pleasure/vacation. Somehow I managed to win him over and little by little, over the course of six years, he has grown to enjoy the many trips we take. Together we have traveled to NYC several times, DC, FL many times, CA many times, Mexico several times (Rosarito and a cruise of the entire western coast of Mexico, aka the Mexican Riviera), Chicago, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Vegas and of course… our big trip. We got married in the Turks and Caicos islands!
20. 2005 was a big year for us as a couple. That year, E did a massive renovation and complete re-build of our bathroom and kitchen (including tearing out a wall, installing sliding glass doors and building a deck). We then decided we wanted to move to Columbus so we sold that house (in two hours – literally – because of E’s handiwork), landed and started new jobs in Columbus, bought our new house, sold a truck, bought a car, started new lives in a new city, and got married on Grace Bay Beach on the island of Providenciales in TCI.
21. In prior lifetimes and relationships, I spent a fair amount of time on the back of a motorcycle. I loved it and had a secret dream that someday, maybe for my 40th birthday, I’d learn to ride and get a bike of my own. In 2006, E mentioned that he’d love to get a bike and learn to ride. He asked me if I’d like to learn to ride and get my own bike too. I was shocked – no one else had ever encouraged that folly. So we both took the Motorcycle Ohio safe riding course, passed our tests and got bikes. We’ve loved riding together ever since and it was a huge, empowering personal achievement for me.
22. E keeps my social media addiction in check. He works in Information Security and therefore hates social media because there are so many opportunities for over-sharing (like right now!), lack of privacy/security, social engineering scams, etc. He does a good job reminding me to be safe and secure, change my passwords, and encouraging best practices to minimize risks. Despite his personal preferences, he also helps me with my blog almost every day by serving as my Chief Technology Officer. In fact, I’m trying to get him to write a guest post on my blog about security best practices in social media/social networking.
23. I have become a much better person since knowing E. He is not only hard-working but also never stops thinking of others – especially me. He is the most thoughtful, generous and loving person I’ve ever met. He is deserving of nothing but the best so I am inspired to continually improve myself and be a better partner. He’s also the best workout partner in the world – we are up and at ’em every morning before 5 a.m. to hit the gym. He’s a machine!
24. Recently an old friend, meeting E and seeing us together for the first time, said “Wow Lara, it’s great to see you with someone you can’t run your game on.” That’s a great way of putting it. E and I are equal partners which is something I have not had in the past, and it makes for a wonderful relationship balance. In past relationships I am ashamed to say I was more of a taker than a giver, but E has taught me how to be a giver too. It’s based on not just love, but also mutual respect and admiration.
25. In six years I have never stopped feeling like the luckiest and most loved person in the whole world. I fall more in love with E every day and I can’t wait to open my eyes and see him every morning, rush home from work and spend time with him every evening, and snuggle with him every night at bedtime. I really can’t believe how blessed I feel to be with him.
Bonus #26. This is the most personal thing I’ve ever posted publicly. 😛
Editor’s note: it’s 2013 now and this is all still totally true and I still feel like the luckiest girl ever – even more so that I see what an AMAZING, best-ever daddy he is to our Zoe! It only gets better. Oh, and it’s my amazing hubby’s birthday today, so feel free to wish him a happy birthday in the comments. 🙂