I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. It seems like a made-up holiday created by a group of florists, candy shop owners, jewelry stores and Hallmark. Luckily I married someone who shares my feelings towards V-day so neither one of us has to waste money on over-priced flowers and heart shaped candy to please the other.
That being said, I am a fan of love stories. I grew up surrounded by inspiring love stories. My parents are high school sweethearts and have been happily married for over 35 years. Both sets of grandparents were married for over 50 and 60 years before my grandfathers passed. As for me- I’m living my love story. So in the spirit of Valentine’s day, I thought I would share it. My hope is that one day my children can read this and know that they are surrounded by love.
I met my hubby my freshman year of college at the University of Iowa. One of his high school friends was in a few of my classes and the two of them came over to hang out with me and my roommate. We had an instant connection. I don’t know what it was, but every time I saw him I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach. But it was freshman year and neither of us were looking for a relationship, so we maintained a friendship for the next three years.
The summer after my junior year we started hanging out more and it was obvious we had feelings for one another. Then one day he told me he was leaving for good at the end of the summer to live in Atlanta where his family had relocated a few years earlier. I will never forget that day. We were playing basketball at a local park and I was trying to figure out why he was being so distant. I forced the “let’s talk” conversation every 22-year-old guy wants to have 🙂 When he said the words “I’m moving” I felt my heart sink into my stomach. I felt like I was losing my best friend. I tried to play it cool and said we could just hang out the rest of the summer and see where things go after that, but I knew I wasn’t going to let him go.
Summer came to an end and we said our good-bye as he packed up his car. I wrote him a ridiculously long letter professing my love for him and asked him to give us a chance. I promised I would move to Atlanta as soon as I graduated (I had another year and a half of school) if we could make it long distance. To be honest I don’t think I really gave him an option, so he politely agreed to formally be my boyfriend 🙂
It was tough to maintain a long distance relationship but we made it work and after I graduated I packed up my car and moved to Atlanta. With no job and no money this small town Iowa girl was a deer caught in headlights trying to adjust to big city life. But it was all worth it.
In July of 2003 we took a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina. On our last night there, we went out to dinner and then to a park. As we sat on a bench and reminisced about our time in Charleston, my best friend got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He had kept a home made “coupon” I had made him a few years earlier that said “One person to spend the rest of your life with- redeemable only by Ginny”. He said we forgot to use a coupon while we were on vacation, and when he gave it to me I looked up to see him on his knee. I have no idea what he said next, but I’m pretty sure I said yes.
Married in 2004, moved to Chicago in 2006, started a family in 2007, expanded our family in 2009, and now expecting our third in 2013. Our love story is just beginning. No love story is perfect, and we have certainly had our share of challenges and struggles. But I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life.
Babe- you are more than I deserve and I have loved you since the first day I met you. I’m so blessed to call you my Valentine.