Seven and a half years have gone so fast. I was seventeen when I met you. We had spoken before that, but as the tech-savvy teenagers we were, those early flirtations were eagerly awaited text messages that made my tummy flip. I had known of you for a long time, always stunned by photos of your beautiful blue eyes and genuine grin. We had mutual friends. We had mutual values and morals for the most part, and we had chemistry. The first time I saw you and heard your voice I was hooked. As cliché as that sounds, there is no other way to describe it.
December 3rd 2007. Our date. The "official" date.
You won my parents over in 2 minutes flat. We went to the movies for our first date and I stared at your hand as you shyly placed it on my leg. You took it away after a few minutes because you were worried it freaked me out. Then I had to make a move! Playfully I slapped at you for cracking your knuckles and subsequently entwined your fingers with mine. We didn't let go for hours.
Mum made us roast lamb the second time you came for dinner and it was like you had died and gone to heaven. You went back for thirds - Dad was cutting as much meat as possible from the bone for you and it was then I realised just how much you could eat and it made me smile that you were so comfortable around us already.
We were really busy the first year of our relationship. I was working so hard doing year 12, you were an apprentice and I was working 2-3 shifts a week at McDonald's. Saturday night was our night. You would come for dinner and we would stay up until 2am watching Channel V and talking. You had some career changes and actually started earning money the following year and I went to Uni which I hated so much. Saturday nights moved to your house with our home-made CD mixes and your electric blanket blaring while we planned for our future.
After many alcohol-fuelled nights with your boss and friend, you decided to move out of home and I tagged along for the ride. I cleaned and cooked and drank too much. You worked a lot and your love for the Xbox grew even more if that was possible. We spent many hours cuddled up in your bedroom. Ordering fish and chips and watching endless TV shows - our favourite pastime.
We were together 4 years in December 2011, my final year of Uni and I'd just started my first full-time job a week after graduation. You took me on the loveliest road trip. Swansea for lunch, walks on random beaches and then all the way back to Hobart and to the top of Mount Wellington. I was taking photos of the beautiful view when you told me you had another anniversary present for me. A beautiful princess-cut, white gold engagement ring at that! I was shocked but so happy. We hugged and laughed and it started to snow. We raced back to the car as it got colder and colder, calling our family and friends on the way out to dinner where we drank champagne and couldn't stop smiling.
After this we decided it was time to get our own place and we found the cutest town-house right on the beach. I was so in love with that place and with you. We created a home.
We were married 15 months later, on 2nd March 2013. I wore a huge ivory dress and you were so handsome and nervous in your suit. We laughed and danced and shared the best night with our family and friends before a relaxing road-trip honeymoon through our beautiful home state.
Our dream was always to have a home of our own. We saved and saved and spent hours looking at real estate. We worked so hard and were finally able to afford to build our first home (due to some great incentives) and we patiently waited for a land title to our block of land. December 2014 we moved in, still in disbelief that something so beautiful is ours. I am so proud of you. You have worked so hard to provide everything you can for me and to build our life together. You never made excuses and you cultivated a work ethic on your own. We come from different worlds; completely different family units with vastly different priorities. But we make it work.
Our marriage is truly built upon love, trust and respect. We have had issues, relationships are hard work, but we do not give up. We believe in each other. We support each other.
Our lives have changed but I will never forget the 19 year old you - showing me your favourite places when you were growing up, picking me up from 18th parties, driving me around and not judging me for my insecurities.
Saying I love you sometimes doesn't seem like enough. I am just so grateful for you. So blessed that you chose me to spend your life with. Thank you for loving me so unconditionally. Thank you for believing in me when I don't. I love you so much, always and forever. <3 xxx.