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The story of us.

This is what it feels like when we are together. (Well, most of the time anyway!)

This is us. The story of us isn’t chocked full of strange coincidences that lead us to one another, and we weren’t High School Sweethearts, and like so many others these days, we didn’t meet online…well not technically anyway! How we met seems outdated to people because everyone is always so shocked that we found love after being introduced by a mutual friend! First, I should tell you a bit about us, or I guess, me. I met my husband, Justin, when I was 32. I initially married at the young age (22), and spent the better part of my 20’s figuring out life. I came out of my 20’s realizing that, although I’ll never call it a mistake, that I wasn’t married to the love of my life. By the time I turned 30, I found myself single. It wasn’t that I ever wanted to be single, or that I didn’t want to be married, but it’s a lot to expect a girl of 20 to truly know who she is and I guess I tragically fall into the statistic of rushing into something that just wasn’t right, but that’s what hindsight is, right? And no, my divorce wasn’t filled with rage or hatred; thank God. It wasn’t peaches and rainbows either, so I was eager to move on. I closed that whole decade of my life trying to hold my dignity intact. I was trying desperately to figure out what I wanted so I could move forward. I remember being single. Endless dates ending in disappointment. It was fun and exciting, but also left me feeling like I was broken. Would I ever meet Mr. Right? Would I ever find someone who just GETS me? I was starting to lose hope after a few years of being single and dating a few nobodies who garner a mention here. I was ready for a relationship, but it seemed like I’d never get it right. I tried online dating, meeting folks in bars, I tried speed dating (groan; yes), I tried one of those weird singles “groups” where you sign up for outings and I finally decided, OH WELL and focused on me. I found “me” in running and weight lifting. I spent a lot of evenings logging miles on my bike. I was finally starting to forget how awful dating was and definitely getting the hang of being single. I began to travel and I’d embraced living in my own place, my own rules and the despair of being single was fading. One afternoon a friend of mine offered me some hockey tickets as he couldn’t make the game (Let’s Go Caps!) I remember he joked “No bringing any dudes to my seats!”. So, armed with a pair of tickets I started going down the list of available friends. Nobody, and I mean nobody was available. My girlfriends couldn’t make it, and I wasn’t dating anyone at the time so I decided to message my friend Gina. Gina was a friend of mine that I worked with years prior. She had left the company and although we didn’t work together anymore, we still kept in touch. She had been telling me over and over that she worked with a guy who was, in her words, “perfect for me”. Of course, I did what any girl would, I shook my head no. She’d been trying to get me to go out with Justin for no less than 6 months and I turned her down each time. Don’t ask me why I never thought to peek around on her Friend’s list, but I didn’t. Chalk it up to social media only being a few years old. Nowadays we look for ANYONE’S social media accounts in a superficial attempt to get to know them better. I say superficial because let’s be honest, social media only shows us what people want us to see, (or in some cases some people’s inability to show restraint on things they probably shouldn’t be posting). So anyway, nope…I didn’t “look him up”. I just decided that I wasn’t interested in taking her up on Mr. Perfect-for-me. After all, I know me better than she does and I can pick for myself (cringy now since I never was able to get it right!). So I text her. “Hey Gina, do you think that guy you know would like to go to a Hockey Game tonight? I have two tickets and nobody to go with – I know you said he was a nice guy and he likes hockey, so???” – I waited for a response. She texted back with disappointing news; he wasn’t able to go. I was pretty bummed. How could I tease my friend that I “took a dude” to his hockey seats if I couldn’t find a date? Justin turned me down immediately, but luckily for our children he had other plans. I got a message on Facebook just a minute or two later from him. “So, do I get a raincheck?” he asked. I was shocked. Justin was every bit as handsome as my friend had described. If I’m being honest, every time she told me he was attractive I pictured…the opposite. I was just so sure she was trying to hook me up with a “nice guy” and I’d arrive to our blind date only to find I’d been punked; no thanks! I fully admit; I was wrong! Justin and I started to talk over Facebook Messenger and before I knew it, we were talking on the phone. What started off as an innocent “Can I get a raincheck” turned into hours every day and night just talking. Texting, laughing and just getting to know him, long before we ever met. About 2 weeks after meeting online, we planned our first date; dinner. We went to Jasper's in Prince Frederick, which, if you are local you know that Jasper's was one of many of the restaurants that has changed hands over the years. It was briefly a Mexican place and is currently “Brick” Bistro. We sat at a tiny table in the bar area, and I can’t quite recall what we talked about but I just remember thinking I didn’t want it to end. I still remember what I wore that day, what he wore and what I ordered. I couldn’t tell you what he ate, because I was too busy looking at his smile. We moved the party from Jasper's to Walmart. Yes, Walmart. We decided to go and look at the movies they had. Remember when people use to do that? Browse Walmart, Best Buy and other places that stocked DVD’s? Sure, Netflix was a thing, but it wasn’t THE thing and when you’re on a date and you live in a county that has little to nothing to do, you browsed the movie selection at Walmart. We had fun, held hands, and even though it sounds TOTALLY corny, I loved it. I didn’t want our date to end…and it didn’t. Our Friday night date turned into an entire weekend spent together! On Saturday we decided to go visit our friend Gina. We met her at the soccer field where her daughter was playing. Justin stepped away and I confided in Gina. “We’re going to get married and have children!” I told her with confidence. She shot back with “You don’t know that already!” and of course me being stubborn said, “YES. I do!” and we were. We bought a house together that June and in August he proposed. We both laugh wondering why we bought a house first, but I guess that’s just how it worked out for us. By the time we had been together that first year, we had our wedding date set! 10/13/12. Coincidentally, my friend who gave me his hockey tickets got married the exact same day; weird (but cool) right?!! So that’s the story of us. I know what you’re thinking too – did we ever have that hockey date? Yes, but not until our third wedding anniversary! I don’t remember the details of it, but we had fun! This year is our 8th wedding anniversary and we have a beautiful family together. My son and daughter from my previous marriage, along with the two boys we had after we got married. Together we’ve also got 5 furry little friends who live with us here on Persimmon Lane. As I type this, Justin and I are nearing in on a decade together and it’s absolutely FLOWN by. I’m happy that we’ve been together this long and I’m astounded that it’s also been THIS long because it feels like only yesterday that we met! Sometimes we talk about how cool it would have been if we would have known each other earlier in life but I remind him that each of our paths gave us perspective on our life together. We brought our baggage, our stories and all of the things that make us who we are and that’s what makes US work. Besides, I like to tease and tell him that if we had met in College that I would have never gone on a date with a guy who dyed his hair pink and wore black every day. It’s funny to me to hear who he used to be, but then again, I’m sure it’s funny for him when I describe the me of the past. I’m glad we met when we did because it feels like it happened exactly when it was supposed to happen. Thank God.

Gina, who gave a speech at our wedding.
Justin & I with Gina on our wedding day.

Wedding photos Sonny Wink Photography. Sonny is awesome - I truly couldn't have asked for better photos to capture my day! Sadly, he doesn't shoot anymore, which is a crying shame if you ask me! He captured our day so beautifully and I'll ALWAYS cherish the photos he took. The hockey photo is your typical obligatory cell phone selfie which TRULY have a place in documenting the casual moments of our lives if you ask me! :)

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