Patrick’s Senior Prom (Our First Date): May 2000

Everyone loves a good love story, right? 🥰 Here’s mine in a nutshell…

I was only 15 when I met my husband and if you would have told me then that I would end up married to that awkward, skinny, 17-year-old boy I would never have believed it! Needless to say, it was not love at first sight. And that ended up being the secret to our success.

My best friend, Krystal, brokered the deal for me to be his prom date in Y2K. She reminded me recently that I made her tell him NOT to expect any physical contact on this date. I was always good at managing expectations. 😆

Although there were no fireworks on that date, the fact that we weren’t trying to impress one another is what eventually made us click. Looking back, I’ve never been more unapologetically myself with anyone than I was with that boy. I didn’t care about impressing him and we proceeded to date other people and give each other dating advice in the years that followed. In hindsight, it was a lot of TMI if I’d known I would marry this dude. 🤐

For me, the turning point happened when I went on a family vacation. I had a boyfriend back home who I didn’t miss at all, and I was calling my best friend, Patrick, every day while I was gone. I knew what I had to do when I got home….and I was pretty sure he had been patiently waiting for me to arrive at this conclusion on my own. 💑

There was a lot that happened in the years that followed…to save time, you can refer to the plot of The Notebook. We loved each other fiercely and we believed in one another fiercely. Those early years were SO difficult. It’s hard to pursue your own dreams and fulfill the needs of someone else at the same time. Maybe impossible. Choosing to grow together, rather than as individuals was our biggest struggle. 🌳

The fact that we have persisted for almost 20 years is a testament to our mutual stubbornness and the grace of God. Patrick told me yesterday that his favorite thing about me is my grit. When I decide to do something, come hell or high water, I won’t give up. Similarly, my favorite thing about Patrick is that he will do absolutely anything to be successful. He works so hard to be proficient at whatever he does and he works hard at being a good husband and father. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

We were married 10 years ago and learned how to navigate adulthood, careers, and parenting together. We are still unapologetically ourselves. We can’t be any other way because we showed all of our cards early on. We know the worst about each other but choose to believe the best – day after day. We respect each other and we are still best friends after all these years. We are so different from those awkward, superficial teens setup for a prom date, but we choose one another every day, year after year. 👰🏻🤵🏻

Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. The best marriages involve 2 people in competition to out-serve one another. They require mutual respect, admiration, and a determination to be the best partner you can be. It’s not a natural response. It’s a choice. And it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. 💞

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