May 27, 2016

  Once upon a time.... I mean, isn't that how that goes? Those gushy love stories with fairy tale beginnings and endings? Today, for this week's installment of The Friday Post, a collaborative post I have been at these last few months with my blogger bestie Stephanie, we wanted to share the stories of how the men in our lives came to be. 

  A gas station. Now that's a fairy tale if I ever saw one. Once upon a time, there was a gas station. A super duper magical gas station that if you haven't been to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, or North Carolina, when I say  "Sheetz," it'll mean nothing to you. This isn't totally biased or anything, but Sheetz is the best gas station in the world. Sheetz is where our story begins.

  It was September 2011 and there I was, cleaning up the kitchen after an order when he rounded the corner with my manager. He was tall, clean shaven and thin. He fiddled, nervously with his fingers (still does this) as his eyes wandered around the kitchen area. I noticed his buttons, promotional buttons we had to wear as part of our uniform, were on the wrong sides of his shirt. Without even saying hi, I walked up to him, took the buttons off his shirt and wrote LEFT and RIGHT across the back with a sharpie, so he'd never forget. We'd never forget that exact moment. 

  Over the next few months, we worked a lot of shifts together. I complained about my dying relationship of two years and he complained to me about a girl he was kind of seeing at the time. We got to know one another, and confided in each other. 

  January, I was left sad, confused, and needing a shoulder to cry on. How convenient for that skinny kid I worked with, right? That skinny kid that was actually talking about me to his friends. Who had gone home after his first day at his job telling everyone he knew about the redhead that ripped buttons off of his shirt. That the redhead he spent hours talking to at work was on his mind every day since the day they first met?

  We started talking more and more over the coming weeks and before I knew it, I was thinking about him too. He asked me on a date and took me to Danny Boy's Italian restaurant. I remember exactly what I was wearing and how terrible I looked, but he didn't seem to mind. He wrote me notes, sent me messages, and just told me how he felt about me. Something I wasn't used to. I got nervous. I felt like I was jumping into something so quickly, simply because he was doing what a man is supposed to do. He was chasing me, and for 4 months he chased me, until I finally accepted what was meant to happen.

  Over the course of our relationship, we started noticing odd phenomena surrounding each of us. Things that were just too coincidental to overlook. One of which, was a day he and I were going through a box of childhood things his dad had given him when his dad and stepmom were moving. For fun, I sat on his bedroom floor and dug through it, and stumbled onto something that had my birthday on it. It was one of those projects from elementary school where you'd release a balloon with an attached note and your address in hopes a stranger would send it back to you. You know, before we knew about pollution and stalking? Joshua was one of two kids who got their balloon back. His landed on a farm in Pennsylvania and was found by a couple on my birthday. The couple wrote him a little note, the date they found it, and mailed it back. In 2013, he and I moved in together. When packing up my stuff at my parent's house, we found a piece of paper, among my childhood things, with his birthday on it. Coincidence? Or something bigger?

  The rest just sort of fell into place. We began 2013 irresponsible and reckless and ended it as adults preparing for the arrival of a baby. In 2014, we welcomed Penelope Claire into the world, hand in hand, heart in heart. We've learned more about each other in five years than some people will ever know in a lifetime. We've been scared, happy, in love, and angry together. We agree, we disagree, and share every aspect of our day with one another no matter how big or little it may be. We're crazy about each other, and I can only hope this life we have built together, continues to grow.

  On October 1st, I get to put on a pretty dress and walk through a garden to meet him. Where I'll read vows I have yet to write, and speak words I have yet to compile. We will commit, for the long all. We will smile, laugh, dance, and cry. Most of all, we will love, because all we were ever meant to do is love one another.

"there is all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice." - f. scott fitzgerald.

*Professional shots done by the lovely Hannah Boreman as part of our engagement photo session, May 2016. I am happy to announce, she will also join us on our wedding day to capture our memories.

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