It started waaaaaaaay back in 1997, with two 8th graders and a question:
"so, you wanna go out?"
which was followed up by a decisive:
and the deal was sealed with a high five (for which we would be ruthlessly teased for all the days of our lives)
6 months later was our first highschool dance (and our first kiss! I know you all wanted to know that)
Fast forward a few years to Senior Prom, and still going strong. You can't tell from this picture, but we were both members of the A/V club, so we were *pretty* popular and not at all huge nerds in highschool
Later that year we graduated together and headed off to OSU...
...and on our 5 year anniversary (spring of our freshman year), Michael proposed! Spoiler alert: I said yes
a year and a half later, we tied the knot
and two years after that we graduated from Ohio State, said goodbye to Ohio, and moved ourselves to North Carolina
Michael started working as and engineer, and after a year of grad school (me), several various jobs (me), and 4 months of teaching (also me...y'all, I was NOT cut out to be a highschool teacher!), we moved back to Ohio to be closer to family for when we had kids. Surprise! 9 months after moving back, sweet Maya Grace was born, and we would never sleep again. The end.
j/k, that's obviously not the end because we've had like a million more kids since then (though the not sleeping part is most definitely true)
so anyway, 2 years later, along came Charlotte Mae
and 2 years after that, Milo Frederick
then we thought, "hey, our family isn't already ridiculous with 3 kids under 4. We should totally adopt!" and so in 2013 (the kids were 1, 3, and 5 at this point) we officially went on the waiting list to adopt a child from Ethiopia
the story of that ongoing adventure is long and probably boring for anyone except us, so suffice it to say it was taking a lot longer than we expected, so 2 years into the adoption journey, we became licensed foster parents
we have said "hello!" and "goodbye" 9 times since then, and watched our three amazing children learn hard lessons about love and loss while trying to figure it out ourselves
this last year has been one of the most challenging of our marriage, with the demands of two medically needy and emotionally taxing toddlers that at times made us question how we had ever thought we could handle this. For my birthday a month ago, Michael gave me a card that said, "we'll get through this together"
and we have
and we will
so today we celebrate 13 years of marriage (and close to 20 years since that fateful day in middle school)
looking back, I cannot imagine having spent my life with anyone else. Looking forward, I know that the best is yet to come