+Friday, August 05, 2005+
This is it! One year from today at this exact moment, Matt and I will be at our reception, blinded by love and wedded bliss :-) When I started the "wedding countdown" (back when Matt proposed on December 12), there was over 500 DAYS in the countdown - and now just look! We've past the one-year-till mark, and I'm so excited. Matt called this morning and I happily wished him a happy "pre-anniversary" anniversary LOL. In celebration of the day we've staked as "ours," I've decided to do a post on love and how absolutely unconditional ours is, so be forewarned: mooshy stuff ahead (I'll also be adding pictures to this post later, so if you're reading this, check back later for pics)!!

It's funny to me that in retrospect I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell madly in love with Matt, the exact second I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had to have him in my life forever and always. We hadn't even gone on our first date yet, so of course to say I knew that at the time would probably sound a little obsessive - scary even - but looking back on it, it seems so obvious to me that that was the point in time I knew that Matt would one day become my darling hubby: he came into our apartment and stood in the doorway for just a second or two, but the sight of this tall, dark, handsome, kind, funny, confident (etc etc LOL) man filling the space in our door frame made me absolutely weak in the knees. Call it cliche or sum it up to one-too-many romance novels, but from that moment I was positively smitten.

Matt and I met through mutual friends - how he ever came to be friends with my roommate at the time is beyond me, but in my head clouded with romantic notions, I like to believe he met my roommate because that was how Fate had planned on leading him to me. For the longest time I kept hearing about some guy named Matt, and how I just had to meet him. I've never been one to let my friends hook me up, so as you can imagine, the idea didn't thrill me. And the fear of letting my friends plan a date for me aside, I was in a "relationship" (I put it in quotations because I find it absolutely atrocious to refer to what I was in as a relationship - all I ever did was tell him his fart jokes were immature and not funny and how, on occasion, I DO like to be treated like a girl and all he ever did was gripe at how I just didn't understand his humor and that I was high maintenance).

But then I met Matt. The exact circumstances of our first meeting and exactly when it was, I can't remember, but I do remember picking my jaw up off the ground and developing what could only be described as a crush. There is something awe-inspiring about the way Matt carries himself, and when he walks into a room, it affects every person in that room. He has the ability to talk to and relate with people in a way I never knew possible - if I leave him for a few moments to go to the restroom while we're out and about, he'll have struck up a conversation with a complete stranger about any topic under the sun by the time I get back. I know no one more intelligent, well-spoken, and all around charismatic as Matt. I still thank God every day that I'm the girl who gets to be his wife.

Shortly after I met him, he left for a couple weeks to take a trip back to his hometown to visit some high school buddies, and the entire time he was gone, I annoyed my friends to no end with incessant babble about how great Matt was. Before he left, we'd had the opportunity to poke and tickle and push at each other like a couple of 13-year olds inexperienced in love - we flirted like teenagers - and when he came back, he called me up and asked me to go to dinner with him. Le sigh.

At that time in my life (I was 20), I was working as a part time DJ at an alternative rock station and was in what Matt and I now fondly refer to as my "groupie phase." Naturally a blonde, I had dyed my hair brunette and chopped most of it off. Unfortunately this wasn't a very flattering look for me - I look MUCH better with long blonde hair than I did with short brown. But I digress. The night Matt picked me up for our first date, I was clad in faded black jeans, a black zip-up hoody sweatshirt with red "racing stripes" down the arms, and red Converse. Yes, the kind that were popular back in the early 90s with the white toes. Matt was wearing nice khaki slacks and a collared shirt. Need I say more? Luckily ours is a story that proves first impressions don't last forever.

Love came very naturally to Matt and I, not to confuse "naturally" with "easily," because though loving each other seemed as natural as I imagine flying is for a bird, it was always something we had to work toward. The deep unbreakable bond we now have the privilege of sharing was something that required overcoming many obstacles to obtain, and just when we had withstood so many trials and tribulations that we knew we had finally achieved a love that could be uninhibited, Matt got word that his unit was under alert for activation and that orders for an 18 month deployment would follow shortly.

I'm a firm believer that you can't have the sweet without the bitter, and I do feel that if Matt and I had not been through what we've been through, our love wouldn't be as strong as it is. Having [what we thought at the time was] an 18 month deployment to separate us by thousands and thousands of miles and vast bodies of water seemed almost like a sick joke. We didn't, however, let the news deter our love for each other, and we had a good 3 - 4 months to enjoy together between the time Matt received his orders and the time he was actually deployed. On December 12 - our 2 year anniversary and just about 3 and a half weeks before he left - Matt presented me with the most gorgeous three-stone diamond ring I've ever seen (the picture in my side bar doesn't do it justice) and asked me to marry him.

In my past I'd dated a few guys I thought I was in love with - passing fancies who always failed to hold my attention long enough to have any sort of a meaningful relationship with - but I realize now that I never knew love till I knew Matt. I only love him more with every passing day and even though I haven't seen him in a few months, even though we're on complete opposite sides of the world, the thought of him and the feelings I have for him overwhelm me into tears. There is only one man. It may seem like an accomplishment to have to wait 14 months for him to come home so we can resume our lives, but the truth of the matter is, I would wait till the end of time for him if I had to. I must admit that I had my concerns at the beginning of this adventure - what if our feelings for each other faded? But I see now that's just not possible. Time and distance have no affect on us. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder, and as my anonymous quote (in my sidebar) states, "No matter how painful distance can be, not having him in my life would be worse." I love you, Matt. You are my sun and my moon. Seven more months and we'll never have to be apart ever again!

wishing matt was here @ 2:07 PM+

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