I am here all because two people fell in love

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True love is hard to find, with my wedding only nine days away I am feeling very lucky to have found the love of my life so young. There is another story about young love that is dear to my heart. 

My parents met in high school and started dating when they were 15 years old. They graduated high school in 1977 and married in 1979. A year and a half later my brother Andy was born and a year and a half after that my brother Rob was born. My parents were dirt poor, my dad worked several jobs just to make the bills. In August of 1984 they bought their first house in a dinky farm town west of Minneapolis, two months later my sister Brianna was born.

For four years my parents had more hardships than anyone deserves, they suffered through miscarriages, a still birth, a botched surgery (which left my mom with one ovary), and my mother fell through a glass table and almost died.

In January of 1988 my parents found out they were expecting and three days before Brianna turned four, I was born. We were now a family of six in a tiny house in a great kid friendly neighborhood. My dad worked two jobs and went to law school. In January of 1990 my parents found out they were expecting again and this time we would be blessed with twins. A week before my second birthday my identical twin brothers, Chuck and Tony were born. Now a much larger family we squished in our three bedroom house and fell into a routine. For my mom something was missing, she felt that our large family was still not large enough. In February of 1993 my youngest brother Christian was born.

For 11 years my parents worked hard and cared for their family. My dad started practicing law as a public defender, my mom took care of her children and had an at home daycare. I remember summers playing in our pink play house or on the sky fort in our backyard. I remember playing with my brothers and our neighbors and looking back I had such an amazing life.  

Through the years we’ve fought, said hurtful things, hurt feelings, but in the end we love each other. We’ve celebrated birthdays, concerts, recitals, graduations, weddings and three of my siblings have blessed our family with babies. Through all the hardships, arguments and disagreements we always come back together. We still have times when we annoy each other, but after a while we forget and start to reminisce about a camping trip or our old dog. We laugh about funny memories from when we were little. I think the reason we are able to do this because of the love my parents started when they got met so many years ago.

If they hadn’t made a point to talk or spend quality time together during those really hard years, would we all still be a family?

Life is not perfect and family is not perfect, but I am so blessed to have a family I can count on when I’m struggling. It’s nice to know that love will outlast any and every problem life throws you. The love of two teenagers, turned into the love of a family of nine and now a family of 21.   

My parents story makes me believe that there is hope for Alex and I. We met at 16 and with hard work and love we can make our marriage last just like my parents have. ImageMy wonderful parents

ImageAll seven siblings

I love this man

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Long ago I met a man. He is the kind of man I want my sons to be. He has always comforted me when I needed to cry, held me when I needed someone and provided everything I ever needed or wanted. My dad. 

He sat through dance recitals, hockey practices, band and choir concerts and Christmas pageants. He gave me my own playhouse so I could let my imagination run wild, he built bon fires, playgrounds and swing sets. He worked long hours everyday so we could have an amazing life.

He gave me memories that I will never forget. He showed me the world, we traveled to Louisiana  Texas, Florida, Canada, New York, Chicago, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Guam, Palau, The Federated States of Micronesia and Indonesia. 

He taught me how to be a good person, even if you don’t like someone. He showed me that working hard will take you places, that family is the most important thing in the world and memories keep us happy in the hard times. He taught me to face my fears and swim with sharks. He taught me to be independent but know who to lean on when I need to.

My dad is an amazing man and I cannot imagine my life without him. He is the strength in my family and my heart.

As we prepare for my wedding I get to see a new side of him. A side where he is vulnerable. I got to see how much I really mean to him and even though he loves my husband to be, he wishes he could still be the one I run to. Little does he know, he will always be my role model, he will always be the first man I loved. 

I may be growing up and getting married but I will always need my daddy.

Who has time to go on a date anyway?

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With finishing up school for the semester, my Alex graduating from college, both of us working, and the ever so fun wedding planning Alex and I have had very little time together. We see each other across the table in the library or for 30 minutes while we scarf down a stale lunch at the campus restaurant, but some quality time together has been rare. We keep saying that we will go out to dinner or a movie but by 7:00 we are both exhausted and still have piles of homework to do. So I found a way to make part of wedding planning a fun and different kind of date. Just Alex, me and Darren…

In January I had been looking for a ballroom dancing class for us to take before the wedding. Not finding any in the Duluth area, I considered going to the cities to take one. It just was not going to work with how busy we are, but while sitting at work I found a newspaper that was announcing a new dance studio opening May 1st! I thought, no that’s too late for us to take, for some reason a few days later I called just to see “what if”. What if we could make it work, what if we made the time, what if it brought us closer. The Superior Ballroom Dance Studio fit us in immediately and that is when we met Darren. He is an amazing dancer and is so patient with my two left feet! We had our consultation which was filling out a little form and then getting on the dance floor. I was not prepared for that on the first day! We learned the rumba, waltz, push-pull, and a few others. Since we had to get this going we had our first official lesson the next day where we began learning the dance for our song, “Come what may” from Moulin Rouge. We continued with the dances from the day before and we added the tango and a turn by yours truly! We have five more lessons and I cannot wait to have them!

I think taking dance lessons is the best date that Alex and I have ever been on in our seven years of dating. We get to be together, it is so relaxed and we are trying something new. Alex is pretty good at it and Darren tries to relate it to sports as much as ballroom dancing can be compared to sports. It is 45 minutes where Alex and I can relax spend time together and not think about work, homework or wedding planning. We just have fun and enjoy being goofy with each other.

I highly recommend this dance studio (Superior Ballroom Dance Studio, Duluth MN), but also just taking dance classes anywhere. I feel so much closer with Alex and this is something that we can do forever, plus we’re going to look pretty smokin’ hot on the dance floor!

29 days

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In 29 days, I will be getting married to the love of my life. It will also be our seven year anniversary. I can’t believe how quickly life goes by. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that I was a 17 year old and he was asking me out? 

Wedding planning and finishing up a degree have consumed my life for the past three years. After I graduate, in December, I have no idea what I will do with my life. I suppose we will move out of our college town, to where I don’t know, I will have to start finding a job or go to graduate school. I really don’t want to go to grad school.

These next 29 days feel like an egg timer telling me to get my act together! You need to be a grown up now! What a terrifying idea being a grown up is. Who actually wants to be a grown up? Can you say Peter Pan syndrome?

In 29 days I will be a grown up, whether I like it or not. I will pledge my love and my life to a man who has been with me through so much and who works hard to give me every and anything I could possibly want. Now that I think about it I guess growing up won’t be that bad.