If you have not already done so, you can click on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 to read the first parts of Our Love Story.
I won't leave you in suspense any longer, about six weeks after college graduation, Jake moved down to Charlotte. We lived with my parents while we looked for jobs and saved money to buy our first home.
That summer, Jake proposed to me in a very Jake-like fashion (sweet and understated). We had looked at rings together, so I had a feeling that it was coming - but did not expect him to propose when he did.
I grew up playing tennis and Jake and I had been playing a lot together that summer. During one of our matches, Jake lobbed a ball really high into the chain link fence that surrounded the court. When I went to retrieve the tennis ball, I noticed that there was writing on it. Scrawled in Sharpie read, "Bre, will you marry me?". Jake came over to my side of the court, got down on one knee and revealed the ring that I had really wanted. Clearly, I said, "Yes!". Later, Jake told me that he had hit that ball to me several times and I unknowingly hit it back to him.
That winter, we bought our first home together. The night after we closed, we were so excited that we slept on the floor of our empty house, even though we had a bed to sleep in about twenty minutes away at my parent's house.
For the next year, we were very busy settling into our new home and planning our wedding.
On April 16, 2011, after nearly twelve years of dating, living in eight different cities combined and spending four years long distance, Jake and I committed our lives to each other.
I would like to share a reading from our wedding that I feel sums up marriage perfectly,
"Why do people marry? Because we need a witness to our lives. There's billions of people on the planet. What does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... All of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying, 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."
(Full disclosure: This quote is from a kind of horrible movie, starring Richard Gere and J. Lo - but, when I heard it a few years back, it really resonated with me.)
Disclaimer: On this Valentine's Day, I am going to sing the praises of my husband, if this makes you want to vom, now would be a good time to click that little x up at the top of the screen ;)
I appreciate you for understanding that when I am in the kitchen, all bets are off. Usually, by the time I am finished cooking it looks like a bomb went off. Thank you for always doing the dishes and accepting food as payment.
You are the kindest person that I know. I have looked far and wide, but have yet to meet a single person that does not instantly love you. There is not a mean bone in your body.
Thank you for making me feel like the greatest stand up comedian around. The fact that you constantly laugh to the point of tears at me does wonders for my self esteem.
I know that I can be a downer sometimes, I am working on it. You, on the other hand, never complain. You are appreciative for the smallest things and you n e v e r ask for anything. I admire you very much for this.
You are affectionate without being over-the-top with the PDA. You always kiss me before you leave for work in the morning (most of the time when I am still asleep) .
When I watch you with our nieces (and with Penelope), I get a glimpse of the father that you will be some day. This makes me very excited for our future.
You are supportive of all of my crazy ideas and big dreams.
You bring out the best in me.
I love you.