This past weekend, Ryan and I celebrated 8 years of blissful matrimony. We had the most incredible weekend as we enjoyed a little staycation in Salt Lake City and ate our hearts out. I honestly can’t believe that it has been that long! We are still kids, right? We actually have quite the history and I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of our love story with you, the cliff notes version!
Ryan and I grew up less than a mile from each other. We met on our first day of Kindergarten in Mrs. Beesley’s class. He was my very first elementary school crush, but by the 2nd grade I decided that I needed to marry someone who had a last name that started with an L because writing G’s in cursive was way too hard. And, let’s be honest.. it still is.
In the 5th grade I fell in love with him again over a 3D Puzzle of the White House that we completed on Mrs. Pobanz’s back table. I wrote about him constantly in my journal. Any journal entries from that time period that didn’t revolve around him usually ended with a “P.S. I still love Ryan!”. Unfortunately, it came to an abrupt end when he got in a fight and broke some kid’s glasses. I guess I wasn’t into bad boys back then!
I’m not sure if he was picking up my vibes. I guess it takes longer for boys to figure this stuff out! In 7th grade I had my friend ask him if he would dance with me at our back to school dance and he was so terrified of girls that he left school. So either I was coming on too strong or…..?
Throughout high school we were just friends and honestly didn’t see each other often. I think we may have had Fly Fishing together but other than that we didn’t have any classes together our entire high school career. Why yes, I did take Fly Fishing. To be fair, it was only because it counted as a gym credit and I was sick of running the mile. Also, I totally paid off some kid to kill my fish for my final because I didn’t have the heart to smack it on the head. But that is beside the point! I remember seeing his mom as I was walking to my seat after I had received my diploma at high school graduation and yelling to her “Tell Ryan that I love him!”.
Fast forward a couple of months and I was riding on a float in a very large, very busy, and very hot parade. I saw his mom again and I yelled my phone number at her. As crazy as it sounds, he actually called me the next day and we went on a date. His plan was to take me bowling but when we got to the bowling alley, it was closed. So he basically gave up on life and took me back to his house and we watched Legend. If you haven’t seen this “cinematic masterpiece” it is Tom Cruise’s first movie and is nothing short of a fairy acid trip.
I remember coming home from that date and telling my mom that he was really cute but super awkward. And that was it. We didn’t see each other for almost 3 years.
I had just returned home from Ecuador where I had lived working in orphanages. My boss had emailed me a week before I returned home telling me that they could no longer hold my job at the hospital. And then as soon as I got home I went through one of the toughest break ups of my life. I sat in my mom’s basement for 3 weeks- jobless, boyfriendless, hopeless, only emerging from the depths for Ben & Jerrys Half Baked. After what seemed like an eternity of pity parties and self loathing, my mom came into my room and told me I needed to get out and do something for myself that didn’t involve cookie dough. So I threw on some dirty clothes (I’m telling you, I really was in the depths) and drove to the gym.
When I walked in, I locked eyes with the cute guy behind the counter. I realized that I knew him! Quickly, I looked at the opposite wall and tried to run away when I heard him calling after me.
“Hey Hannah! How’s married life?”
I wasn’t sure if I should run and be the worlds most awkward human or if I should turn around. Considering that I couldn’t remember the last time I had showered, let alone looked in a mirror, running like a crazy person seemed like a pretty good option.
I did it. I turned around. And laughed in his face, because I definitely wasn’t married. And also because 3 weeks of solitary confinement had caused some loss of sanity and social skills.
The rest is mostly history.
I gave him my number, and he actually used it. I showered. We went mini golfing on our “second first date” and we talked until 4 am. He kissed me on our 3rd date like any gentleman would. A month later he took me to a field of fireflies (which are very rare in Utah) and told me that he loved me.
There were many months of dating. Late nights of laughing our butts off, watching the stars on my parent’s trampoline, and being amazed by his magic tricks. Literally, he is the best magician! (Card tricks you guys, get your minds out of the gutter!)
On a brisk fall day a caricature artist turned this portrait around and he proposed to me. Afterward, we went to a Coldplay concert. It was the best night of my life.
Four months later, on an early spring day we were married and I have been thanking my lucky stars ever since.
Ryan is the sweetest, most loving man. He is the guy that you call when you need help and he is on your doorstep 5 minutes later. He is the calm to my crazy. He is my sweetheart and best friend. He is the world’s best daddy. He is my sanity. We make the best team. Together we are unstoppable.
Don’t get me wrong, we have been through many struggles. We always make it through together.
Every year we watch our wedding video on our anniversary, and cringe a little because we are so awkward, hilarious, and undoubtedly the world’s worst dancers. This year I couldn’t help but notice how young we were then! Things were so simple. I thought back to that time and wondered if I had known everything that I know now, would things be the same?
I have to be completely honest and say that my heart has been a bit heavy recently. We have faced some disappointment and hardships. But then I think back to that magician who stole my heart all those years ago and it brings me peace. Because I know with him by my side, I can get through anything.
“And if you were to ask me, after all that we’ve been through, Still believe in magic? Oh yes I do.”