25 Days of Gratitude Posts; Day One

(I’ve decided from today until Christmas, I’m going to write a blog post once a day about things I’m grateful for. Considering I’ve got three separate blogs, I will be writing my posts on the blog that’s most relevant to the subject that I’m writing about. I’ve been having a rough time as of late, and I’m hoping this will benefit me in a few ways. The first reason is to help me get into the Holiday Spirit. I can be a real Scrooge, and with 3 kids having that attitude isn’t cool. The second reason is just so I can re-channel and focus on trying to start next year off on a good foot. Something is telling me that 2012 is gonna be a very significant year. Not sure why or how; hopefully it has nothing to do with the world ending, but hopefully something positive and wonderful. And the last reason of course is to get me into the habit of blogging more.. even though I’ve said that way more than I’d care to admit. *wink)

So, the first thing I’m grateful for is my husband Jeff. We’ve been together for over eight years now; eight years, two months and 4 days now to be exact. And what an amazing time it’s been. We’ve had our fair share of ups and downs -thankfully more ups than downs- and I cannot express how grateful I am to have him in my life; as my husband best friend and companion.

For those of you who don’t know; we met online on LDSchat in November 2002; just about two weeks after he came home from his mission. We were hanging out in the young single adult chatroom -where I technically wasn’t supposed to be at since I was still 17, but I digress- and we were kicked out after breaking the chat room rules of not using English -along with his friend Nate- luckily before that we had exchanged info to continue chatting on MSN messenger. I don’t remember the exact date although I’m pretty sure it was November 8th; I can remember is that it was a Friday night since his friend Nate signed off to go to some Singles Ward dance. I’m not entirely sure of the time, but considering the dances typically start at 6-7pm, it had to be around 8-9pm EST when we started chatting. We ended up chatting until sunrise the next morning; which according to a website I had found, the sun rose in Virginia Beach around 6:35am the next day. so, basically we’re talking about 9-10 straight hours of chatting and getting to know each other. Something significant happened that night; namely we learned that after a certain point, the chat window stops scrolling down automatically; which at that point you have to either manually scroll down or you have to close the window and open it again. I sincerely wished that we could recover that conversation, but it’s not that big of a deal. I just remember getting off the computer and being happy.. and of course tired. We ended up chatting EVERY single day from that point until we met in person; although there was a three day period sometime in April of 2003 where he got mad at me over a car problem -thanks to my dad’s faulty memory- and didn’t want to talk to me, and then a few days in the first part of September 2003 when we got hit with a hurricane in Virginia Beach and I lost internet for a few days.

We decided at some point in July if it would be REALLY cool if we could meet in person; but due to him having a job, he wasn’t able to take the time off to come and visit me -and in hindsight my dad would not have been cool with that- so we decided to wait until after my 18th birthday; two days to be exact. So, on September 27th, my good friend Joel came to pick me up from my apartment and took me to the airport at 3 in the morning (my dad did not have a car at the time) and he sat there with me sipping hot chocolate and keeping me company until it was time for me to board the plane. I will be forever grateful for his willingness to do that for me!

Doing this was a MAJOR experience for me. Not only was I flying over 2,000 miles to meet a guy in person that I had met on the internet, it was also my first time flying. Scary stuff I tell you. But my plane ride was uneventful and I safely landed here in Salt Lake to Jeff waiting for me with a bouquet of yellow roses that had red edges on the petals.

Seeing him for the first time was literally a life changing moment. I can’t believe I’m making a Twilight reference here, but there’s a part in Breaking Dawn where Jacob makes eye contact with Renesmee for the first time, and describes what he feels.

… All the lines that held me to my life were sliced apart in swift cuts that made me who I was […] 

 I was not left drifting. A new string held me where I was.

Not one string, but a million. Not strings, but steel cables. a million steel cables all tying me to one thing-to the very center of the universe.

I could see that now-how the universe swirled around this one point. I’ve never seen the symmetry of the universe before, but now it was plain.

— Jacob Black, Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

That pretty much sums up the experience of seeing Jeff for the first time. For a split second, his face momentarily took on this.. glow or something where it looked the same, yet different. Pure, as if I wasn’t seeing him through my dim nearsighted eyes. But with something else entirely different. Then hugging him and (yes even kissing him) was the sense of closure and completion that every person strives for. Hugging him, I realized This is it. I’m finally home and where I’m supposed to be. Here in his arms. It was as if every event and experience I had in my life, good and bad, amazing and tragic lead up to that critical point in time. I have no regrets, nor any desire to go back and change anything. I was so secure in my choice that by the time I left 2 weeks later, we knew we were going to end up married. And so we did on July 16, 2005.

I will be forever grateful for his presence in my life. And of course for him just being there for me in more ways than I can count. I wouldn’t trade in our 2,184 days together for anything.

First picture taken of us, taken on 10/03/2003


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