Fourteen days later he was my date to an out of town wedding with events spread over the course of three days. He met a lot of my college friends in those three days and my parents that same weekend and he still didn't run for the hills.
By June 13th for my 25th birthday he was wining and dining me at Morton's.
Sometime that summer/fall I had a key to his house.
In October he and Lyndsay were my #1 fans at the Chicago Marathon and in those 26.2 miles I had the ah-ha moment that I knew I'd met the man to marry.
Little did I know that on November 7th he'd bought the ring and the day after Thanksgiving asked for my dad's permission to propose.
On December 17th we had a 'Christmas date' to see the Nutcracker and a room reserved at the Jefferson Hotel. After the show and before dinner HE ASKED with the ring tied perfectly in a handcrafted nutcracker that is proudly displayed every holiday season. I made him reenact the scenario four times, yes 4, because it all unfolded in a teary blur for me. Obviously I said yes.
Ten months later on October 21, 2006 we said, "I do."
We're not quite romancing each other with little notes, fancy dinners, mushy cards, and hours of cuddles on the couch. Nope, romance these days is when, unprompted, Joe steam cleans the floors and vacuums the rug. It's also how he unloads the dishwasher without being asked and changes out the laundry whenever he's in the basement. It's how he carves out time in his morning to make a run to the store to buy me pumpkin spice creamer because my attempt failed and I didn't have it in me to load one more kid in the car and make yet another run to another Kroger. It's how he jumps right in to support whatever I'm doing, be it holding Baby Girl at the finish line so I can run my first post-baby race or making his truck available to collect donations I've arranged for someone less fortunate. It's how he nudges me out the door, encouraging me to have some solo time or girlfriend time. It's having someone in my corner, a tag teammate, a partner in crime. And yes it helps that we still enjoy a good date night out and that I think he's still pretty cute.
We are richer than ever before with seven years now in the books, three healthy kiddos, many adventures in our memory bank, a lot of chaos, a little downtime, and still much to look forward to...reasons for a happy anniversary indeed:)