happy friday, y'all!
i am so excited to share that, throughout the month of february, i am going to be hosting my little a love story series that i have done the past two years. it's kinda my favorite time of the year 'round these parts.
now, grab your tissues and a cup of coffee, and enjoy.
((katherine, you won the happy days giveaway! email me today))
shannan blogs at flower patch farm girl
I'm a Junior in college, decked out in flannel shirts layered under men's XL sweatshirts. I'm high fashion, and I know it. I start the new year wizened by the first two, my fairytale ideas boxed up and shelved high. College isn't so different from anything that came before it. The boys I like don't like me back. The ones that do make me want to hide. Relationships that seem right eventually prove me wrong, so maybe that boy from home is what I need, even though everything, everyone tells me to run.
Instead of running, I stand completely still. I wouldn't dare rock a wobbly boat.
But across the lawn I see a boy with dark brown hair and the bluest eyes. His walk is slow but his eyes are steady. I never even hear him speak.
(That boy back home? What boy?)
He holds my hand on a wagon filled with hay and we find ourselves being flung head-first into the kind of love that makes everyone around us skeptical and/or nauseous. He listens closely and brings daisies. He takes me to Taco Bell late at night. He talks with me for hours on dorm room land-lines, telling me about jokes he's played on his younger sisters and how amazing his parents are.
We tell ourselves it's perfect, because it is. But I just ended a dysfunctional, 4-year relationship, Cory is a recovering serial-dater, and my best friend is a dude.
We're off to a complicated start, but we'd rather not talk about it.
Months later, I kiss him back at midnight on the soccer field and make my plea, Let this be the One.
A year later, he sells his 4-H pig and buys me a ring, two-tone, so I can wear it with silver or gold. We ignore the problems that creep toward us like low-tide and focus on the only thing that seems to matter - we're in love.
No one is more surprised than the two of us when, two weeks before our wedding, we call the whole thing off. It's the kind of agony we never saw coming, though we wonder in two separate states if we should have.
It's 10 months later and rain pounds the windows of the car while I pout and stew and prove again that I'm a child. He reaches into a pocket and hands me the ring for a second time. Just like that, my smile is back and he wears one too, so we run through the rain and go for pizza and we never ever acknowledge the quiet pact we've made, the one where we agree to smile and smooch through our problems until we self-destruct, then jerry-rig ourselves back together without so much as one honest word.
Marriage turns out to be everything we weren't expecting. It's easy when everyone said it would be hard. It's fun when it should be stressful. We never fight and somehow, all of our collective part-time jobs come together like promise.
We slide straight off the cliff of our bliss into a eerily familiar free-fall. We derail. We never saw it coming. Again.
This part right here is where it gets good, because this is when our love story decides to get real. It happens over the course of months and years. It happens on the burgandy sofa in a counselor's office and in a restaurant booth. It happens when we defy reason and move hundreds of miles away on a whim. It happens in an overpriced apartment just outside Washington DC. It happens when we turn right around and move back home less than a year later.
It happens in the exam room of a fertility specialist.
It happens in the Detroit Airport, in the NICU at St. Joseph Hospital, in South Korea, in the County Jail.
It happens over hundreds of dinners at the table, hundreds of hours together on the couch late at night. It happens during Saturday Night Live and Downton Abbey. It happens doing dishes at the sink.
It happens through tears, exhaustion, prayers. It happens when we know and acknowledge that we haven't held the gift of our love with all of our heart and both hands. It happens when we ask to be mended and beg to be redeemed.
This is our love story.
And just like the child who told me he wouldn't trade all of the heartbreak of his past because it made him who he is today, I wouldn't trade our wonky places. They have bound us together and made us certain about our future.
I look at my husband and see grace in Clark Kent eyeglasses. He loves Avett Brothers, coffee, Canon cameras, nature shows. He hates beans, mushrooms and potatoes. (Yes, potatoes.) He likes a good read and he bleeds Breaking Bad. He knows all the dusty theologians and didn't flinch when he realized that they aren't where it's at. He leaves dirty socks all over our bedroom and piles pants on the bench five pairs high. He tiles the back splash and makes a mean scrambled egg. He always tells me to go to dinner with my friends and he spends time with our kids without calling it "babysitting".
He is my courage-giver, beauty-believer, the laugh track to my nonsense.
He is my fixer.
(A snap-shot from last weekend with all of us and Robert's boys, Avery and Anthony)