Ten years ago, on December 15th in 2008, this handsome man and I went on our first date. I’d already fallen for him pretty hard by then, but school had been pretty busy so we were both distracted until the semester ended. The semester ended, he did “ski camp” (the ski team went to one of the local resorts for a few days), and then came home and showered. Once he got out of the shower, he asked me to go see a movie, and on the way to the movie he asked me to be his girlfriend and we officially started dating.
The first moment I saw him, a little voice said “he will change your life.” At that time, I hadn’t even spoken to him yet. That little voice actually made me scared to talk to him, but I’m so glad a little liquid courage changed that! (It was college, okay. Liquid courage flows freely.) The first night we actually talked, we stayed up all night, only deciding to go to sleep because the sun started coming up. The conversation was amazing, though I primarily remember the emotions and not the words. It would still be another few months before we started dating.
The movie that we saw on our first date was Four Christmases. It was also the first year I’d really had a chance to see Christmas lights in the snow, so we drove around “Christmas light hunting” so that I could see as many as possible! (Snowy Christmas lights are not a guarantee in Colorado; this year it looks like there won’t be any.) Christmas light hunting has become a tradition for us every year now. And, it’s kind of become a tradition to go see a movie and Christmas lights on our dating anniversary. (There’s a little more about our relationship in this post: Happy, Married Life.
Ten years after that first date, I can confirm that the little voice was right. Dan has changed my life completely. He’s the first person that actually listened to me talk about my body and say “no, you’re not being a wimp, that’s not normal,” and encouraged me to try to find answers. He helped me make the difficult decisions to switch schools and then take a break from school entirely. He held me for hours as I screamed uncontrollably when my soul-pet passed. He taught me how to outdoor rock climb and ski, and coached me thru all of the fear those brought up. He even left work early so we could drive for eighteen hours straight through the night to be with my grandmother as she died. He’s been a constant steady force in a very unsteady life.
To celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary and 10 years since our first date, we did an amazing fall portrait session with Katie from KB Digital Designs (she did our engagement photos too). Here’s a few of my favorites:
Saying “yes” ten years ago was easy for me, because I already knew I was in love with him. I realized that saying “yes” would change my life somehow, because I’ve always remembered that little voice. What I didn’t realize, however, was that I was saying yes to forever. And while forever isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows every second, it’s going to be a great forever knowing I have him beside me through all of it!