In the past, I've written super mushy posts for Valentine's Day and anniversaries. When love is new, you want to celebrate every milestone publicly. But after a while, love changes and you no longer want to shout it from the rooftops; instead, you just want to curl up together and let everything stay (mostly) unspoken between you two. While the first "I love you" was tentative and scared, we now tell each other so often that the words sound comfortable and worn in. I guess you could say the honeymoon period is over before we even got married. But this isn't a bad thing; it just means we've weathered enough storms together to know what it takes and to know that WE have what it takes. I'm no longer the girlfriend he's trying to impress; he's no longer the boyfriend I'm worried I'll lose to distance (600+ miles). Now we're a team. I get to wake up next to him every single day and I always wake up feeling so lucky: lucky that I get to fall asleep next to someone who loves me so much; lucky that I get to wake up and snuggle up against him while he's half-asleep; lucky that he's no longer 'nesting' and therefore pushing me out of the bed; lucky that he likes to sing "Good Morning" to me whenever he wakes up (even if it's the middle of the night); and lucky because I know I'm going to wake up next to him again tomorrow. Our relationship may no longer consist of little milestones but in some ways, it's more monumental. What we do now is the beginning of habits we will have for the rest of our lives: that he never lets me leave for work until he's told me to drive safely, that I stop what I'm doing to greet him at the door with a hug, and that we always talk through what is bothering us so we don't really fight.
Our first anniversary post was easy: everything was still fresh and new.
By our second anniversary, things were more serious but there was still plenty of story to tell.
For our third anniversary, a new chapter begins.
I ended our second anniversary post with our tattoos. They're a mark of our commitment and our permanence, and they got me through many a long day while he was in Jupiter and I was in Pines. Any time I missed him, I just looked at my finger and I remembered that he wasn't going anywhere. We spent a lot of time Skyping while he was finishing his degree and I was working down here.
Come November, everything changed. By "everything changed", I mean that Doug and I got engaged! I recommend you go read the story and then come back.
After 2 years, 2 months, and 9 days of dating, I was no longer his girlfriend. I'm looking forward to being his wife.
A few weeks later, we went to the Broward County Fair for his birthday. The proposal was a tough act to follow but I think I did okay.
We didn't do much for the holidays this year. He actually spent Christmas with his family and then came down for New Year's. The holidays are all kind of a blur to me...
However, we had one of the coolest cards ever. Do any of you remember this?
But for Valentine's Day, we did something amazing. Doug took me to the party store and told me to pick out balloons. Then, we went to 'the boardwalk' to do our take on Up.
For the most part, this past year has been a series of small moments that mean the world to me. Like when we went to Loggerhead Marine Life Center or when he took me to see the Lorax.
However, there were some major milestones too. In May, Doug graduated from college and moved in with me.
We also went to Aspen for his aunt and uncle's wedding. This was the first vacation we've ever been on just the two of us (even if it was only our last night there.)
Looking back on the last year of our relationship, there have been less snapshot moments and more real life but I wouldn't trade it for anything. At the end of the day, what matters most are the memories we make. I know I'm getting spoiled by having you so close but I can't help myself. Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, I want to spend my Sunday mornings snuggling up with you. Happy anniversary, Pacman. Looking forward to the future even more than I enjoy looking back. I love you so much. Always, forever, and a moose.