Today marks eight incredible years of marriage to my handsome, kind, wonderful husband! If I'm being honest, it feels like longer than that...not in a bad way...in a good way. As in, I can't remember life without him in it.
Being married to him just feels like what life is and what life should be.
I thought today would be the perfect day to share a brief summary of our love story! I've had a few requests for this, so now seems like an appropriate time to get it written down. I think it's a pretty romantic, fairy-tale-like story, but then again, I may be biased. :)
Love At First Sight
Ben and I met on the 4th of July in 2007. We were both 18 years old and he was one of my best friend's older brother's best friends... did you follow that? Ok, good.
My parents live on a lake and have a boat, so I invited a few of my girlfriends over to celebrate the 4th and play in the water. My friend brought her older brother along and a few of his friends (one of them being Ben). Ben was in the Marine Corps based out of Camp Pendleton in California and was just up for a visit. Ben and I flirted and we all had a great time hanging out at the lake.
A few days later, I got a text message from a number I didn't recognize and it turned out to be Ben. He had gotten my number through his friend who got it through my friend. He was back in California at that point, so we began a relationship over the phone. We would talk for hours and hours every day, getting to know one another. He was set to deploy to Iraq in a few months. After a couple of weeks of chatting on the phone, Ben flew up to be with me for a weekend and we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend on July 26, 2007. We fell hard and fast.
After that it was a whirlwind. Ben came up most weekends to see me. I flew down to California for a visit too. I started at Seattle Pacific University at the end of September, right before Ben was set to deploy. It was an exciting, crazy time.
One night while Ben was up visiting, he asked me to marry him. We were both 19 at that point and had been dating for about two months. We were unofficially engaged when Ben headed off to Iraq.
The deployment was really really hard. Being a part from one another and not getting to talk very often was rough. Not to mention that I was worried sick about Ben the entire time, all while taking on my freshman year of university. It was a long, hard, emotional time. I wrote Ben a letter every single day that he was deployed, which is maybe a little crazy. But he saved every single letter. They are currently in a garbage bag in our garage. haha
When Ben got back from Iraq in May of 2008, I flew down to California and was waiting for him when he got off the bus. I was so nervous about how things would be, seeing as we had only been dating a couple of months before he left. But my nerves were put at ease instantly when he grabbed me in his arms and held me and asked me to marry him again. *swoon*
I had to go back up to Seattle to finish out the school year at SPU. Ben and I continued to talk for hours on the phone and he flew up to visit frequently. We hated not being able to be together all the time.
On the 4th of July, 2008, exactly one year after we met, Ben proposed again, this time with a ring. We had had enough. We knew that we didn't want to be a part any more. So we made the decision to have me move down to California.
I packed my things and headed south. I think I shocked my family and friends when I did this. But me moving to be with Ben was nothing compared to the shock of what we did next. A few days after I arrived in California, Ben and I eloped. We drove to a courthouse in Santa Ana and said our vows and got married on July 17, 2008. We were both 19 years old.
I know the fact that Ben and I eloped was very hard on our families because they weren't there, and I regret how that must have made them feel. And I know everyone at the time thought we were crazy. But while I feel bad about not telling our families and about them being so caught off guard and worried, I honestly love the fact that we eloped. It was so special, having our wedding day be just me and Ben.
Married life was amazing right from the beginning. We had such an incredible community of friends from the Marine Corps. Ben and I went on adventures and got our puppy, Gunner, and enjoyed every minute we could together.
He deployed again in January of 2009. This time, he was on a MEU based out of Okinawa. We were able to talk a lot more than we were on his first deployment. Gunner and I moved home and lived with my parents while he was gone.
In December of that year, Ben's four years in the Marine Corps were up. We moved back to Washington, and began our life outside of the military. It was bittersweet and we missed our friends from the Marine Corps terribly...still do.
In 2010, after two years of marriage, we had a vow renewal ceremony so that we could share our marriage and an actual wedding with our friends and family. It was so special to be able to do this! It was such a perfect, beautiful day. My dad got to walk me down the aisle, my grandpa performed the ceremony, and Ben and I got to get wedding pictures taken.
Happily Ever After
Life being married to Ben has been a dream come true. I know that sounds cheesy, but it really is the best way to describe it. I still get butterflies around him. He makes me feel like the most loved, precious, beautiful, cared for person. He teaches me something new every day and we go on the most amazing adventures together.
I know that no marriage is perfect, but honestly, to me ours is. I feel so blessed and thankful to have met my soul mate at such a young age and to have been able to grow and achieve amazing things together. I wouldn't change a thing, and I am so grateful for this adventure-filled life with my very best friend!
Our Next Adventure
Our first baby is due in about a week, and we are so excited for this next big adventure together! I can't wait for our son to arrive and to see the little human that Ben and I created!
It is so wonderful knowing that whatever life has in store, I will have Ben by my side. I can't wait for the rest of our lives together and for the future. But I'm also just loving every minute of the present. Life with Ben just keeps getting better and better and I know how blessed I am and I thank God daily for this beautiful life with such an incredible man!
Thanks for reading and for letting me share a little brief bit of our love story! I'd love to hear yours - share in the comments below! I'm a sucker for romance. :)