13 years ago today I started 'going out' with an amazing man. The years have passed by so quickly and it's hard to believe that Chris and I have been together for so long. I feel blessed everyday to have married such an amazing man and such a wonderful father. I can't imagine life without him.
I thought I'd share the story of how we met. We've actually known each other for longer than 13 years as we first met when I was in year 8 and Chris was in year 7. High School 'sweethearts' I guess you could say! We were both learning instruments at the time (Chris the clarinet and saxophone and me the flute and clarinet). Our music teacher decided to start a band and my friend and I joined up.
And so the story begins. I developed a bit of a crush on Chris but it wasn't until I was in year 10 that I decided to ask him out (for the first time as Chris likes to remind me!) I don't think Chris was really that fussed about 'going out' with me. He's told me many times before that he only said yes because I'd asked him. Little did he know what he was getting into ;) Our 'dates' consisted of me inviting him to my church youth group activities and of Saturday night family dinners at his place or mine (yep, we were real party goers!!)
Anyway, after a few months of 'going out' I decided I'd had enough and 'dumped' him (ahhh, the dramas of the teenager!) We stayed friends over the remaining years at high school and still saw each other frequently at band activities.
We lost touch briefly when I finished school in 1997 and went to university and Chris was doing year 12. But later that year I got in touch with him again when I wanted to borrow his clarinet to show the prep kids on teaching rounds. I still found that I had feelings for him and while returning the clarinet we ended up holding hands. I remember Chris getting dizzy and having to sit down. Nothing more happened then though and I went home without us even talking about what had happened (as you do!)
A few weeks later, I went along to Chris' Queen's Scout Presentation as he'd invited me to come. I don't remember much about the actual night, I just remember driving him home and sitting outside his gates talking for ages. I also remember that we kissed for the first time that night. It was such an amazing moment. Even though our wedding anniversary is the 22nd of November I have more of an emotional tie to the 27th of November and always remember that date as being the day we got together.
At first, I wasn't sure where our relationship was going. I hadn't rekindled our friendship with any motives in mind. But it wasn't long before I knew that Chris and I would be together for a long time. It was such a blissful start to our relationship. Chris was working late shifts on the weekend at the petrol station and I was working over the road at Franklins (as it was known then!) so I used to go over and spend my breaks with him and often after my shift had finished as well so I could drive him home when he finished (until he got his license at least!)
I never realised at the time just how much happiness one person could bring to my life. Chris is the complete opposite to me in many ways which makes us the perfect couple. He makes me laugh when I am sad. Comforts me when I am upset. Calms me down when I am having one of my many stress attacks. Gives me confidence in myself. Fixes things when I get frustrated with something. Puts up with my horrible temper. He tells me everyday that he loves me and that I am beautiful and even though I roll my eyes every time he says that it does actually means a lot to me.
Since having kids I have seen him in a different light too. He is the most amazing, caring father to our three children. Always happy to play with them, to hold them, to do things with them, to give them so much love. He is happy to do most of the night time parenting and to stay up with an awake child because he knows that I don't cope very well with sleep deprivation! Being an amazing Father who is present in his children's life is what makes a true man.
I know I often take take him for granted, but I am so appreciative and thankful for the amazing man I have in my life. You make my life worth living, Chris! I love you!