When Melissa asked if anyone would like to guest blog, I jumped at the opportunity. New Girl on Post was actually the very first military-related blog I found, and I thought it was beyond cool that she was living in Italy. Well, low-and-behold, we just found out that we’ll are PCSing to Italy this summer! Anyway, I just wanted to say that Melissa helped inspire my early military ramblings!
But I’m here today because it’s Valentine’s Day and I’d like to share my love story. This is a tale about a boy and a girl overcoming distance, time, and the military to be with each other.
Our story begins a few minutes after the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, 2006 when this random boy, Kenny, accidentally spilled a drink down my back. He and I ended up talking until the party dwindled down—several hours, at least. But when both of our sets of friends left, we parted ways without exchanging numbers. In fact the only thing I remember him telling me that night was that he was going to school in Arizona (I lived in New Mexico), and that he was in the Air Force (I was studying abroad in England at the time). This was before the days of Facebook, so we didn’t even know who our mutual friends were at the party. And with that, we went our separate ways.
So imagine my surprise when, exactly 11 months and twenty-six days later, I saw him at a bar in downtown Albuquerque. He was in town for the holidays, catching up with friends, and I was at the bar celebrating my friend’s bachelorette party. After talking, we realized we were both attending the same New Year’s Eve party a few days later. We left each other that night and promised we’d “keep an eye out for each other” at the party.
There were so many people at the party that Kenny and I didn’t actually find each other until after midnight, but it was just a few minutes after reconnecting that we shared our last, first kiss. We kept things simple and only talked via Facebook (which was still brand new) and texting for those first few months, and gradually upgraded to talking on the phone. In May 2007, I flew to Florida to meet him at Disney World. We hadn’t seen each other since New Year’s Eve, and let’s be honest: it was a party and we were both a little tipsy, so meeting him again was pretty nerve-wracking. Luckily, we completely hit it off. Not too shabby for a first date, right?
The next four years consisted of thousands of text messages, phone calls multiple times a day, chatting on the Internet, countless trips across the country, a deployment, and the hope of a future together.
Since my job was a little more flexible than his, I typically flew out on long weekends to see him, and he would drive the four hours (round trip) to pick me up from the airport. But back to my story…Two years ago today, I landed in Atlanta, ready to enjoy a weekend with my boyfriend—it had been two months since we saw each other. My flight was supposed to arrive on the 13th at 11:40 pm, but delays caused us to land around 1 am on Valentine’s Day. Kenny was there to pick me up, and we arrived home about 2 hours later; by 3:30 am we were sound asleep.
On Valentine's Day morning we woke up with the sun, just able to rest for a few hours. While I was in a sleepy daze, Kenny took the rings off my fingers and started fidgeting with them. This was nothing new; he would often take them off and twiddle them around, so I didn’t think anything of it, especially since he put them back on a few minutes later.
But then, as we were lying there, I felt his heart start to race. After a few more seconds of feeling his heart beating faster he whispered, “Will you marry me tomorrow?”
My initial reaction caused me to giggle and muster out, “No way! That’s too soon!”
Then he said, “Well, will you marry me in 2010?”
We had a running joke about getting married in 2012. Don't ask me how or when it started, but two thousand twelve became the "magic" year for us.
I giggled again and this time replied, “No. That's too far away."
After I shot him down again, I could feel his heart beating so fast that I thought it would beat out of his chest. Then, in a very soft and timid voice he asked, "Well, will you marry me sometime?"
This time I said, "Of course!" Getting married was always part of our plan.
Apparently “of course” wasn’t what he was looking for, because he grabbed my hand and said, "I'm serious. Will you marry me?” So I peeked at my hand, and instead of seeing the promise ring he made me a couple years earlier, I saw a gorgeous diamond ring.
Instead of giving him a response right away I started crying, laughing, and bobbing my head up in down in such a way that I hoped it resembled a “yes!” Finally, when I could breathe again and gave him a definite “affirmative,” he gave me the whole scoop about how he asked my mom and dad for my hand in marriage two months earlier!
I’m happy to report that we are six days shy of celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I thought I was happy and in love two years ago when he slipped the engagement ring on my finger, but the love and joy we share now is absolutely amazing. It’s so fantastic that we constantly make ourselves—and others—sick with how cute and lovey-dovey we are. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Long story short, Valentine’s Day will always have a special place in my heart. Oh, sorry, was that too cheesy? Well if you’re still with me, hop on over to Jesstagirl and Her Officer (http://jessicalynnwrites.blogspot.com) for more sappy posts, pretty wedding pictures, and soon, tales from Italy!