Today is St. Patrick's Day. It is also Justin's and my 5th anniversary. It's funny how 5 years can fly by and, at the same time, feel like an eternity. They've been a great 5 years though, and I really do look forward to 50+ more with him.
Read on if you want to hear our story. If not, Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!
~My favorite of all the Trash the Dress photos~
Our relationship didn't start out like most relationships tend to. And nothing has been par for the course since then really either. I don't think I would have it any other way.
Justin and I met at the Coffee Pot, a local bar in Roanoke. We were both there to see a band, Sun Dried Opossum, play. I went in to check it out, but nobody was really there. Only one small group of people caught my eye, and mainly because one cute guy with long dreadlocks caught my eye. I am such a sucker for cute guys with dreadlocks!!
I ended up staying and we ended up getting to talk and hang out. From that night on I would tend to run into the same group of people, until I began hanging out with them all on a regular basis. We would head out in the evenings to bars around the area, go see shows together, or hang out at friends' houses. It was a good time.
Justin was a student at Virginia Tech at the time, and I was in massage school in Christiansburg. We realized that our schedules were similar on some days and decided to start carpooling on Wednesdays. This was how we became really close friends. After school we'd hang out with friends in Blacksburg and then we'd hit up "the beer store" (aka Vintage Cellar), then head back to my house to share in good beers. This is also how we both truly became beer snobs.
Some things sound really cheesy to say when you're already married to the person. But when I met Justin (and he agrees the same happened to him) there was a very strong and immediate bond between us. We were only friends but there was a very strong "something" there.
We wound up spending the majority of our time together, even when we were also hanging out with the group. Justin was spending, on average, a good 5 nights a week at my house, either sleeping on the couch or in the spare bedroom.
Eventually our relationship did take a romantic turn, even though we were still "just friends", and on May 5th 2003 I found out for certain that I was pregnant. We talked it over and agreed to have the baby, who would become Shannon, and also to get an apartment together (my lease at the house I was renting was up). We didn't want to get married though just because I was pregnant, we really wanted to try and let things develop as normally as they could between us.
When we moved into the apartment we had even considered not sharing a bedroom. By the time move-in date arrived though that plan was out the window and we were a couple.
We agreed that it was imperative that Justin finish college. He took a job working 40 hours a week at a local restaurant and I worked at Papa John's as well as at a local spa as a massage therapist.
We stayed in the apartment for 2 years. During that time we had Shannon, we got married, and Justin graduated from college.
We then moved in with my grandfather for a few months while we were in the process of buying our first home. My grandfather would keep an eye on Shannon in the evenings, after he'd already been put to bed, and we would go down to the house to work on painting it and so on. This September will mark 5 years of us being in this house.
We had lived here for about a year when we decided to have another baby and I got pregnant with Tristan. That was at the beginning of Winter and the start of the new year brought a new job for Justin, his first job out of college using his degree. I quit my job at the spa (I hadn't been at Papa John's since Shannon's birth) when he started his new job. For a while I did massage therapy out of the house, until it was too much after Tristan was born.
In the time we've been together we've both grown a lot. Reality has often hit hard. We've learned the value and importance of starting at the bottom. Of working your way up. Of doing things yourself.
I can very honestly say that there is no-one in the world I would rather be with.