I Never Seen A Light Move Like Yours Can Do To Me …

When Eric and I started planning our wedding, there were very few things that I knew right away I wanted.  Two of the things I was most sure about?  The song I would be walking town the aisle to (which I’ll discuss in my next post), and our first dance song (which I’ll be sharing today).

A lot of couples have a song they deem special, known to them as “our song.”  Despite the fact that I’m obsessed with music, Eric and I don’t have a song.  This probably should have made choosing our first dance song difficult, but it really wasn’t.

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The wife of one of our groomsmen took this picture during our first dance, and Eric and I thought it looked really nice.  Guest photo.

The song I immediately thought of for our first dance was “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.  The first time I heard this song, I was in college.  I remember listening to it, really listening to the lyrics and thinking, “I want a love like this.”

“The Luckiest” is, in my opinion, the perfect love song.  The music is lovely (practically made for dancing!), and the lyrics are incredibly sweet and romantic without being cheesy.  The last verse is actually pretty sad, but it’s also romantic in that “love that will never die” kind of way.  (If you’re not familiar with the song, that verse basically tells the story of an older couple in their 90s.  The man dies, and his wife dies only a couple of days later of a broken heart.  As I said, it’s sad … But that’s honestly the kind of “depths of my soul” kind of love I always wanted.  And now I feel so lucky because I’ve found it.)

I like a lot of songs by Ben Folds, but “The Luckiest” is by far my favorite.  And now it will forever be one of my favorite songs because it will always remind me of my wedding day and how happy I was in that moment, dancing with my new husband.

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This was my favorite picture from our wedding.  I think part of it is because it captured such an intimate moment so beautifully.  Personal photo taken by Kelsey at Memrical.

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I Catch A Brief Reflection Of What You Could And Might Have Been

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  What might surprise many people is that Eric and I don’t really celebrate this “holiday.”  Sure, in the past we’ve made homemade cards for one another or purchased small gifts … But this didn’t happen every year, and it was never something we made a huge deal over.

The reason I brought it up, though, is because this week’s 30 day blogging challenge topic is all about love.

This week’s topic: My Current Relationship

There are a lot of things I could say about my relationship with Eric, but I’ve decided that the story I want to share is the story of how we met and wound up together.

In May/June 2007, Eric and I both took a trip to China.  The trip was sponsored through a company called ISLP (International Scholar Laureate Program), and students and recent graduates throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam were invited to attend based on grades, extracurricular activities, etc.  Eric and I both happened to be invited (though oddly enough, he was originally invited to attend a different type of program and he actually requested to attend this one, which was focused on medicine).

Once we were there, we were put in the same small group.  I was so jet-lagged when we arrived that I don’t really remember much from the first day … It was pretty much an initial introduction to the program, breaking up into small groups, and then heading back to our hotel rooms for some much needed rest.

On the second night, however, I ended up running into Eric in the hotel lobby.  He was with another guy from the group and I was with a few of the girls.  We all decided we’d hang out together in the beer garden at the hotel, and Eric and I ended up talking quite a bit.  The first thing I noticed?  He remembered my name.

That probably sounds really ridiculous, but that first day was a blur.  The fact that he remembered my name made me feel special (I mean, I assume everyone else probably felt as exhausted and hazy as I did that first day).

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This is obviously not the greatest picture ever (he and I aren’t even sitting next to each other and my face is practically covered by the beer mug!), but it’s the first time the two of us were ever in a picture together.  Awww.  (By the way, if you don’t recognize us from other pictures, I’m the third person from the left and he’s in the red shirt second from the right.)  Personal photo.

After that night, Eric and I started spending a lot of time together.  We took charter busses through the cities we visited (though we flew from city to city), and he and I would always sit together and talk (in some cases we’d literally be talking for hours while we traveled to our next destination).  Time seemed to pass so quickly during those rides … I remember finding it so easy to talk to him and starting to realize that I was developing feelings for him.  My heart would beat a little faster when he would sit next to me, and it felt like a jolt of electricity through my body if our hands or legs would touch as we shifted in our seats.

It wasn’t until we’d made it to the second city (Xi’an) that he and I shared our first kiss.  It was a beautiful night … We’d been out together all evening.  We started off with a group of people from the trip, and then it was suddenly just the two of us under the stars.  I don’t even remember what prompted us to walk over and sit down on a bench, but when we did, he moved closer and then we were kissing.  It felt like the whole world had slipped away and it was just the two of us, together.  I hadn’t felt like that in a long time … It was amazing.

By the end of the trip, I remember wondering if the whole thing had just been a summer fling.  I kind of thought it had to be since we lived over 1,000 miles apart from one another.  I didn’t want it to end, and I remember crying over the thought of potentially never seeing him again.  I’d been in long distance relationships in the past, so I knew that while they were extremely difficult, I could handle it.  Eric had not, though, and I worried that I wouldn’t seem so appealing once reality set in and he realized we’d only be able to see each other once every few months or so.

I left it up to him on our last night together.  I was going on to Lhasa, Tibet, but he was heading back to Beijing and then back to his home in Nebraska.  I honestly don’t know how I managed to feel brave enough to ask him what he wanted.  I mean, I was still young (only 22!) and not that sure of myself.  I knew I’d be crushed if he didn’t want to at least try to make things work between us, but I also knew it would be hard to go from spending every day and night together to seeing each other only once in a while.

I’ll never forget that night.  Our conversation pretty much went like this:

Me: So … What do you want to do?

Eric: I want to be with you.

Me: Are you saying you want to be with me but feel like you can’t because we live so far apart?  Or are you saying you want to try to make this work and actually be boyfriend and girlfriend?

Eric: I’m saying that I want to try to make this work and be boyfriend and girlfriend.

Those may not have been our exact words (this did happen almost 7 years ago!), but that was basically what was said.  I just remember feeling relieved and excited that we were starting something real.  Unfortunately, I also felt a tremendous sense of heartache because I knew that in a few short hours we’d be separated and I had no idea when we’d see each other again.  (Thankfully I did see him not too long after … He flew to West Virginia to visit me in July, just a few weeks after I returned from Tibet.)

At the time, I felt like it could be the start of something really special.  I had no idea that nearly 6 and a half years later we’d be getting married!

I know I’m leaving out a lot of details, but I shared a lot in this post.  I feel so lucky to have met someone who makes me so happy.  I hope that everyone has the opportunity to experience this kind of love during their lifetime.

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I’ve been trying to reserve wedding pictures for Wedding Wednesday posts, but I couldn’t resist sharing this one.  (I’m not sure why it’s so small, though.  The original file is much larger on my computer, and I’ve tried editing it several times.  Maybe I can figure out how to fix this issue when I post more wedding pictures.)  This was one of the best parts of the reception … We were dancing crazily to “Sexy Back” (a special request just for Eric!), and I remember laughing more than I had in a while.  All of the stress just melted away, and it was just the two of us acting like silly kids.  Personal photo taken by Kelsey at Memrical.

Sweet Smell Of Sunshine … I Remember Sometimes

I’ll admit it … I really just want to write a bunch of stuff about the wedding right now.  It’s fresh in my mind, and a lot of our friends and family are still talking about the stuff they really liked.

But don’t worry, I’ll share other things as well.  After all, this is a random personal blog, not a wedding blog.

So today I’ll be continuing with the 30 day blogging challenge.  The topic today kind of goes along with wedding stuff since it’s about “the person you like,” so I can at least get a little (or maybe a lot?) mushy.  Unfortunately, I feel like this topic is very similar to others I have written about in the past … So I’ll be changing it up a bit.  The original topic was “the person you like and why you like them.”  I’ve changed it to:

This week’s topic: One Good Memory From Each Year Eric And I Have Been Together

2007: Our first road trip together.  We drove to Philadelphia in November and stayed in a really cool bed and breakfast (the rooms were more like little apartments, so no awkward sharing with other guests!).

2008: The first time we said “I love you.”  This happened on December 22 (yes, I remember the exact date!).  We’d already been together for a little over a year and a half, so I was starting to feel a little anxious about it … But it was worth the wait.

2009: I moved to Omaha in September so we could finally live in the same city.  This was a decision I struggled with for quite a while because I never thought I’d be the type of girl to move for a guy.  I have never once regretted coming here … It was definitely the right thing for our relationship (and I’ve made a lot of really amazing friends since the move).

2010: Going to Montreal in December.  The highlight of the trip for me was definitely the Alexisonfire concert, but we had a blast exploring the city.  It was cold and snowy, so we also spent a lot of time in our hotel room … It was so nice and relaxing!

2011: Moving in together in March.  This was obviously a huge step in our relationship, and we actually had a lot of fun apartment hunting together.

2012: Getting engaged on November 13.  It was amazing to realize that the person I loved so much loved me just as deeply and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

2013: Getting married on November 9.  (I think this one was pretty obvious.)  We’ve had a lot of ups and downs with wedding planning, couples coaching, and the other random stuff life threw at us … But there’s no doubt in my mind that we emerged a stronger, happier couple.

I kept the descriptions brief, but it was nice thinking back to each of these moments.  We’ve had many other great times together, but these stuck out in my mind as being especially important.

Hopefully in 6.5 more years I’ll have even more wonderful things to write about!