Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for a lot of people for obvious reasons, but to me it's the weekend that takes me back to the start of our love story. Zach's family always has a Super Bowl party, and the year before I graduated college I went with my parents. The Herrmanns and the Martins have been family friends for almost 30 years and are currently neighbors! So anyway, I remember seeing Zach at that Super Bowl party, but there was just some small-talk. It was the next year when I was living in Charlotte and didn't attend that Zach asked my mom what I was up to. Well when she told him I was in Charlotte and he said he would be there all week for work, she said he should contact me. Can you believe my mom technically set us up? She called me that night to let me know their conversation had taken place, and lo and behold, he contacted me!
I was sleeping in after a late night of waitressing when I received a voicemail from him. When I woke up enough to call him back, I managed talking him into coming over that night to take me out for a cocktail rather than the original plan to meet for lunch the next day. If you know Zach, talking him into going out for a cocktail at 10pm after a long day of work was quite the accomplishment. Staying up until 3am talking about art, school, relationships, life... that was the easy part. He left my place shortly after three a.m. for the short drive over to his uncle's house, where he was staying for the week while he worked.
I remember being in high school and thinking, "Man, 8 months! SHEEEESH, this is the longest relationship ever. Can't imagine forever." And yet...
For eight years, every 21 days, I've pressed “7” for "save" when the voicemail on my cell replays that sweet, anxious, saved message asking me what we should plan to do on our first date. That was the first time Zach ever called me and the first message he ever left me. (I have a thing for firsts!)
We had such a wonderful night and I am so glad I talked him into that cocktail. Of course we kept our lunch date the next afternoon and proceeded to spend the entire day in search of a gas-station cream soda. It just had to be from a gas station. Who knew this would be one of the first of quirky adventures in store for me!
After I realized this date might last all night, I thought I better be honest with him and let him know I had another dinner date that night. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but I never ever went on dates and here I had been asked on two for the very same day! The other date was planned first, but I just couldn't turn down Zach when he asked! So there you have it. In my defense, I was honest! So about 6:45pm, Zach left my apartment and in rolls my dinner date almost immediately after. Talk about sweating bullets!
Dinner was nice and the date went well, but I thought about Zach the whole time. As soon as my date left, I texted Zach that I thought of him the whole time. Zach's response... "Shhhhhh, I'm working on a song." You can imagine my surprise. Maybe he didn't have as great a day as me? In just a few short minutes, he texted me a link to the song he had written. It was about our day together! It was perfect, and he had me from the start.
Here we are, eight years later, having survived long distance through law school, enjoyed many movie dates and adventures, nights of concerts and cocktails, meeting and loving each other's friends and family, art shows and festival setups, tying the knot four years ago, and moving across the country together. We’ve hurdled, crawled, and scrambled over a few bumps along the way, stronger than we ever imagined two people could be, loving each for better for worse, picking each other up when we needed it, and cheering each other on for big accomplishments, becoming each other's number one allies, adopting our first fur baby and preparing to welcome our first little human baby into the world.....
Eight years has flown by in a flash, and yet we've grown so much that it seems we've been together our whole lives. It's not always been easy, but it's been an amazing ride! I couldn't imagine going through this journey of life with anyone else and I feel blessed that when I prayed out loud to God for a real relationship, for a true companion, Zach called within the week. Talk about an answered prayer. As I look forward to the future, to forever with my sweetheart, I'm enjoying all of the little and BIG moments along the way.
Love you, babe!
P.S. GO PANTHERS!!!