We were high school sweethearts and started dating when I was 15 and Kevin was 17, sophomore and senior. At the time, one of my friends (Catherine) was dating his best friend (Adam) and somehow through the two of them, Kevin and I were brought together. We lived in different towns, 30 minutes apart, but in a rural area such as ours, 30 minutes is nothing. Kevin went to my volleyball games, and I went to his cross country meets. We went to my homecoming dance and I went to his prom. I wore his class ring and he kept mine. We saw each other on weekends and we celebrated month-"anniversaries". It was high school.
Then that May (1999) Kevin graduated high school and that week he left for Navy boot camp. I was so sad. I was broken. I was a miserable mess. I missed every single phone call that he made, and there was only the occasional letter in the mail. But we got through it, and at the end of the summer I went with his family to Chicago to see him again at his boot camp graduation. It was a joyous reunion. But after boot camp came the real Navy Life. He moved to South Carolina for nuclear training school, and I was stuck back in Iowa to finish my last two years of high school.
But we did it! We stuck it out! I flew to visit him at my breaks, and he flew home during holidays, so we saw each other every 3-4 months or so, talked on the phone, and emailed. He was home for both of my proms, and I was there for his deployment homecoming. But still he was away for all the day-to-day stuff. It wasn't easy. I missed him. We were indeed in love. And already by the end of my senior year we were engaged. Not with intentions of marrying soon, but with the promise for the day to come.
And then came college. I went to college and life there was soooo different from my small-town world. I was challenged. I met amazing people and amazing friends. I grew in faith in incredible ways. And I learned more about myself then than I ever had in the 18 years prior. During my first year of college I was led to break off our engagement to do some re-evaluating. And then 3 months later (or so) Kevin and I did get back together due to some life changes that were made. After that it was a new "us".
About a year (or two?) later we got re-engaged. I finished college (a semester early) with a B.A. in music ministry and a couple weeks later, January 8, 2005 we were married at last! After nearly 7 years of a long-distance relationship built on young love, we were finally married. We had a simple wedding in my dad's small church. It was a winter wedding in Iowa and that week it had snowed about 12 inches. But on our wedding day it was beautiful and all our family and friends were there.
We honeymooned at a quiet bed-and-breakfast in Florida where we enjoyed a rental convertible, walks on the beach, evenings under the stars, and a day of kayaking. After the honeymoon we got my things moved to where Kevin was stationed in Virginia, and our new life together began....
In the three years since, we have moved to CT, had Eli, and are now pregnant with Baby #2. We have grown together as husband and wife through a journey that is all our own. Kevin is an amazing man who has been there to support me through it all. He is loving and faithful and kind. He's strong when I am weak. I am so thankful for our years together. I am so thankful that Kevin chose me, that God chose Kevin FOR me. And I so look forward to the days, years to come...
Happy anniversary, my love!