I'll never forget going to Collin's house in 7th grade asking for flour for brownie mix. My friend and I were trying to make brownies using a recipe from Home Ec class and of course we didn't have everything. We ran down the street to Collin's house to ask for the rest of the ingredients and proceeded to make the worst brownies ever. Later, Collin brought down a box of brownies and we all went to see "When a Stranger Calls" later that night.
At the time, both of us were "dating" other people, you know how that goes in middle school. We ran into each other every once and a while, but our paths crossed again our sophomore year of high school. I told this mutual friend that I thought he was cute, she gave him my number, and he texted me. A couple of weeks later, we went ice skating on a double date.
On February 3rd, 2009 Collin was driving me home from school. I was 15 at the time and he said "so do you want to make this a little more official?" In typical awkward teenage fashion, I proceeded to change the subject talking about the snow outside and how I was worried it would cause flooding in the fields because there was so much snow. "Steph." And that's not the last time I heard my name in that slightly frustrated, yet flirtatious tone.
That summer we exchanged I love you's not really knowing where this was going or what the depth of those words could even mean. We did actually break up for a hot second that September. I was, hum, well a bit controlling maybe or just insecure and Collin didn't know what he wanted either. It lasted about a week and we got back together after the camo-themed football game that night. We've been together ever since.
Collin and I are two different beings. I value fashion and love the city. Collin loves the woods and is okay to wear a Purdue t-shirt basically every day. My idea of a vacation involves any type of adventure, preferably that involves an airplane. His idea of vacation is staying home to chill. The reason we work so well is because we allowed each other to have our own lives and develop as individuals first. We went to different colleges and did our best to see each other every other weekend although sometimes it was more like once a month. I went abroad for three months and lived in New York City for two months. Collin made friends in car club and enjoyed summers as a camp director for the Y. We gave each other space and still grew together.
It takes a significant amount of trust and patience to do long distance. There was a time in college when I think both of us questioned if this would work. When senior year rolled around and Collin got a job offer, we pretty much decided this was it, we were in it for the long haul.
We got engaged in July 2015 after we graduated. We spent the next year living together, working through the typical stresses of being full-time employees, and learning more about each other in that year than we had in the last six years.
On August 27, 2016 we happily tied the knot and celebrated with all of our friends and family. We both value the relationships we have with the people who love us and agree that life wouldn't be nearly as fun without them. Our wedding was rather traditional, saying our vows in a church where I was baptized with a reception that ended in me taking shots of Fireball and Collin drinking Jack and Coke which later became just Jack.
I often think that I don't deserve this wonderful guy that God put in my life. Guys, he makes my dinners, does our grocery shopping, shoots my photos, makes my lunches for the week when he knows he'll be gone because otherwise I eat a lot of rice. And that's just a handful of things he does for me. He goes out of his way to help others.
At the end of the day, we love each other and we enjoy living this life together. Our love story isn't extravagant by any means, but it's ours and we are happily married, enjoying so many adventures together.
Cheers to love and finding the one that supports your dreams,