First Day of Spring.

There are all different reasons to celebrate the special days that changed your life - the day someone was born, the day you met someone important, the day you married the love of your life, the day you gave birth, the day you got clean/sober. What's so amazing is usually we don't fully know how much or in what ways our lives are about to be impacted. There is no way to know how significant or incredible these 24 hours will be for days, weeks, and years to come. It starts out just like every other day.

Fourteen years ago I started dating the guy of my dreams.

I remember the day we met - or at least the day that got the ball rolling. He was wearing his yellow Old Navy sweatshirt and was riding his bike around the parking lot of Brookside Baptist. I was on my way to the soccer field for practice. I plucked up the courage and without thinking said "hey" to him and halfway expected him to say nothing. Instead he said "hey" right back to me.

I remember when I first fell in love with him - at the ripe age 13. We were on a ski trip with a bunch of kids from Brookside Baptist and we rode to and from Gatlinburg and Memphis together in the same van. We were with a bunch of our mutual friends and it was a safe space where we could just have fun and be ourselves. I got to know him a little better over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in 2001 and on the way back home from the trip I was head over heels for this sweet, quiet, kind, funny, playful older guy.

I remember our first kiss. It was an accident! We were leaning in to hug each other and our heads turned the same way and our faces ended up meeting and it was so incredibly awkward considering how well we'd known each other and how much we liked each other at this point. I remember going back inside and detailing the kiss to my big sister and then dissecting it with her. And to this day I love that moment - how hilarious it is to relive and think about - and how grateful I am that our awkward first kiss happened.

I remember the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. And I remember the day I said yes. Tony had asked me to be his girlfriend before and instead of saying yes - I told him I needed more time. To be completely honest, the gravity of our relationship was too much for me at the time. It felt like the real deal from day one between us and that was intimidating. Not to mention the foundation of our relationship was sturdily built on our friendship. What if we dated and for some reason it didn't work out... I would lose my best friend. That was a risk that at the time I wasn't willing to take. My cousin came in town to visit and she told me what an idiot I was for not being his girlfriend - that he was such a nice guy and he was clearly crazy about me. I don't remember what exactly changed between us to get me to say yes, but I remember Breanne being so honest and real with me and that was a huge wake-up call to me. I remember telling him I was ready and to ask me again. He told me this was the last time asking... that he wouldn't do it again. So March 20, 2003 after asking three times and it being WAY overdue... we made it official.

I love that it coincided with the first day of Spring when it is all about growth, newness, transformation, and renewal. I'm glad Tony never gave up on me when it would have been much easier to do so. I cherish every year I've had with him and everything we've shared.

We've come a LONG way since the Brookside days... and he's still my best guy and truest friend and without a doubt the great love of my life. And the best is yet to come!

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