It all started here a little over 8 years ago:
Jake and I both lived in the Larch dorms on the Iowa State campus our freshman year. Our first semester we literally kept running into each other everywhere….in the elevator, on the bus, in the cafeteria, at the rec, and on the stairs after English class in the commons. Since we kept seeing eachother everywhere we finally said ‘hi’ one day in the elevator. Then after English class one morning I saw him asleep on the couch in the commons so I woke him up so that he wouldn’t be late to his English class which started right after mine. Then each day we talked a little more and a little more. By our second semester we were dating. The one thing I will always remember about Jake from when I first met him was how outgoing he was….and his ADORABLE Minnesota accent….he would always say ‘hey babe, hOw yOu dOin!’….he called me babe even before we were friends! I remember his big brown eyes, his baggy sweat pants, and how he talked to me so easily….even though he barely knew me….he always knew just what to say, and was so nice. I always thought for a guy with a shaved head and tattoos, he sure was a big teddy bear on the inside! Now fast forward through 3 ½ years of dating in college, then wedding day, a few more years, and a few kids, to tomorrow when Jake and I will be married 5 years!!!!!!! I have SO MANY memories of us being together over the past 8 ½ years, like…..
When he wrote me love letters almost every day when we first started dating (I saved them all and will give them to Jayla someday….there are about 75 of them….each over a page long….I told you he was a teddy bear!)
When we used to go to the hotel with his parents after his ISU games. We would sit and talk basketball for endless hours with his parents, and eventually I would get all curled up in a blanket and fall asleep on the couch until we had to go back to the dorms.
When there was a mouse in our apartment and Jake immediately ran to the bedroom and shoved a towel under the crack in the door (this was the day I found out he was afraid of mice). He left me out in the kitchen and talked to me through the door. Good thing Mr. Mernes (our cat) knew what to do!
When we went to my cousin’s wedding out in California. One day my aunt & uncle let us borrow their Mercedes Benz and we decided to take that day to drive all along the Northern coast….making stops at Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay….I will never forget that day and how wonderful it felt to breathe in the ocean and see the beautiful land….not to mention the tasty little Italian restaurant we found along the way!
Jake’s family teaching me to play croquet and my family teaching Jake how to play rummy…..and all the times I’ve beat him at rummy!
When we dove for seashells on the catamaran cruise and Jake found the biggest one. As he swam back to the boat and climbed up the ladder, he slipped and fell and crashed into the lady right behind him….and he dropped his prized shell….and all bragging rights!
How over the years I’ve converted Jake to a crazy country music fan, made him try potstickers at King Buffet, got him to hop on a horse, and best of all….introduced him to roller coasters!
When we finally bought my beloved 8 foot palm tree at Hobby Lobby (that I had my eye on for about 1 year) and then had to get it home….in Jake’s bright yellow sunfire…the only way it would fit was poked through the top of his sun roof….so we drove down Duff avenue with a giant palm tree coming out the top of his car.
All the times I’ve gotten to hear Jake speak at youth groups and FCA gatherings….and watching how good of a speaker he has become.
When JJ was a baby and we were driving in the car and Jake asked me, “When will he be old enough that we can hand back some chicken nuggets and fries and he can just eat them?”
It’s so fun to look back on our memories. One thing I’ve learned in our first 5 years of marriage is that when you get married, the other person kind of becomes a mirror for you. All of a sudden you get to see yourself for who you really are…through another person’s eyes. It just happens over time. There is no other human relationship that is as intimate and intricate and thought provoking and life changing as a marriage. I love looking back at where our relationship started, and walking through the times of how God has changed Jake and I from two people who’s paths met, to two people who are on the same path, headed in the same direction, with the same morals and values and same perspective. We certainly started off our marriage as two separate people, but God has chipped away at that, and has taught us how to become two people who compliment each other….and He is still teaching us. We get to see each other’s innermost selves exposed…the ugliness and the prettiness, the flaws and the virtues, the pain and the joys, the silliness and the seriousness, the strengths and the weaknesses, our confidences and our vulnerabilities. My marriage has been a mirror to my character, that’s what I have learned these first 5 years.
On our wedding day Jake and I danced to the song Young Love by The Judds. It was such a fitting song that day, and it still is. Cheers to 5 young years and many, many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!