|From Annaliese Lee Coughlin|
Today is an important day.
It's K's and my 3rd anniversary.
I was 18 when I met K., and I remember it very clearly-- sort of. The first scene, ten minutes in our mutual aunt's office (cousins-in-law-- oh yeah) were kind of blurry. But he drove me in his zippy little two-seater to his college. I got out the passenger door, walked a little onto the lawn, and turned and saw him for the first time.
I kid you not: my heart skipped a beat, my stomach flipped, and the familiar taste of recognition flooded my mouth. All-in-all, a very physical reaction.
I had a boyfriend, whom I really did like very much, at the time. So I chalked the reaction up to a gut thing, my lifelong predilection for tall men surfacing yet again.
He wore a black knit cap-- it was November-- and the red ski jacket he still has.
I remember that same night, we ended up talking. I stayed at his apartment until 3am (watching a movie with his college buddies) and I was insanely pleased when he sat next to me on his futon sofa for the duration of whatever movie it was.
It's a long way from 18-year-old kismet to where we are now: three years in. Two overseas trips since we married. One pregnancy, one baby. Two rented houses; a cabin in the woods; a combination of six jobs between us. Not to mention all the stuff that came before we even hit the altar: college graduation for him, high-school (oh yeah again) and college for me. Two road trips. A gradual escalation of travel style from tents in a field and 25-cent granola bars to four-star hotels and steak dinners.
I know I wanted to marry him about five minutes after I finally admitted to myself that I maybe, kind of, possibly, had fallen in love about four months ago. I was twenty.
I think it took him a little longer, but not much. Two months after I'd figured it out, K. started using words like forever. Four months after that, we were planning for September of 2005, after I graduated college.
And that's what happened. He proposed formally (and wonderfully). We were engaged for seven months. We married at my childhood church, I wore a long white dress, he was in his grandfather's tux, and when we came home from our honeymoon to live in the same house for the first time, it felt like we'd gotten away with something because it was so much fun.
We take it for granted now, most of the time. How could we not? But once in awhile we look up, squeeze each other's hand, and thank God that we get to live together, as long as we're here and hopefully after.
I live every day with my favorite person in the world. And every single day, even when I'm grumpy and he leaves his popsicle wrappers on the couch, I'm glad.