19 Years and Counting

19 years ago today, Brandon and I said I do. I was a hot mess that day – so nervous I couldn’t remember my left from my right. All these years later, I still get that way about him. Downright giddy.

Don’t get me wrong, our marriage isn’t perfect. Sometimes I would really like to just wring his neck, but Lawd, what would I even do without him? I can’t imagine that life, nor do I want to. Our relationship is a blessing, and this morning our stumbling points feel trivial compared to the love and light we’ve shared.

Since I’m feeling all sentimental, I thought I’d share 19 fun facts about us with y’all today.

19 Fun Facts To Celebrate 19 Years

  1. We met in Wilmington when I moved into the apartment across the hall from him and his roommate. Every day when I got in my car, I’d hear a wolf whistle from their apartment. I always thought it was Brandon’s roommate because I could hear him laughing. Years later, I found out it was actually Brandon whistling out the window.
  2. I was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after we started dating. When I had panic attacks, Brandon would put me in the car and drive me around until I calmed down. Sometimes it took hours.
  3. Both of our children’s names are inspired by us as a couple. Bug’s legal name is Scotch-Irish and means “pure and beautiful by the edge of the sea.” While Belle is named after a song by our favorite rapper, Tupac.
  4. I couldn’t cook until I was in my late 20s. It was Brandon who cooked all of our meals back then. It paid off. The man makes the best food you’ve ever eaten.
  5. For our first Valentine’s Day, I used glow-in-the-dark chalk to write all of the reasons I loved him on our bedroom walls.
  6. Brandon asked me to be his girlfriend on the night of his 19th birthday. How freaking adorable is that? Since it was after midnight, we celebrated our “dating” anniversary the day after his birthday. And we still do. We celebrate our dating anniversary every year.
  7. He once surprised me with a brand new Subaru Outback for my birthday. We went to “look” at cars. Mine was hidden in the garage with a big blue bow attached to the hood.
  8. I was a regular Grinch when I first met Brandon. He was not having that. It took him a little while, but he wore me down. Today, Christmas is my favorite holiday.
  9. Our first date was the movie, A Knight’s Tale. One of his friends tagged along.
  10. Brandon moved back to Fayetteville after my 19th birthday. We did the long-distance thing for six months before he asked me to join him. Our first apartment was about 300 square feet.
  11. We are polar opposites. Brandon is a morning person; I’m not about that life. He loves tv, but I’d rather read. The great thing about being so different is that we balance one another out.
  12. Brandon and his brother have their own language made up of movie and television references. It took me a decade to understand what they were saying. Now nothing slips by me.
  13. I asked Brandon to marry me three times; he turned me down every time. When I stopped asking, he rolled over in bed one night and said: I want to marry you. It wasn’t even a question. There was no engagement ring and no photographer, but it was the perfect proposal.
  14. Brandon got tipsy and sang Wonderwall to me in a crowded room. That was 15 years ago – and I still get teary-eyed when it comes on the radio.
  15. He remembers what I was wearing the first time he saw me.
  16. We secretly eloped in Waynesville and got married in blue jeans and t-shirts. It doesn’t sound like a dream wedding – but I look back on that humble beginning and think: that’s just so us.
  17. I have a collection of our love letters in a three-ring binder.
  18. Brandon got us dance lessons a few months ago, and he was wayyy better at it than me.
  19. I knew I would marry Brandon only a month into our relationship. For my 19th birthday, he sent me on a scavenger hunt around Wilmington that ended at Wrightsville Beach. He walked me down to Shell Island, where he set up a firework display. Fireworks are basically my favorite thing on the planet… and when they went off that night, I was hooked.

To my sweet Brando: Thank you, my love! The last 19 years have been a great adventure. I’m looking forward to the rest of our lives! Oh yeah, I’m scheduling us an appointment with a photographer! We don’t have any pics together that aren’t a decade old. xoxo

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