Friday, February 14, 2014

My Funny Valentine

Having gotten all of the kids ready for their Valentine's Day celebrations by helping them with making their Valentine's for friends, I remembered that I hadn't gotten a Valentine's Card yet for the High Roller, and that I needed to do so. Cards with long personal, hand-written messages are worth more to me than gold... So naturally I always try to honor him with a great message of love and appreciation from me on special occasions as well as random days and times.... But this year for Valentines Day I'm going to write a letter about him in this blogpost, so that anyone who takes the time to read this will understand how special he is to me, and why he's all I ever wanted. Here's a picture of us right after we got married:

We met unexpectedly in my Freshman Spring of College, which was his Junior Spring. I had been dating around at college after having gotten out of a hideous abusive and controlling relationship just a few months before, and really was not looking to get into a relationship (isn't that when you always find what you need?). A mutual friend of ours that I had graduated high school with and that the High Roller was playing college baseball with invited me to go to a party/gathering to hangout when I was home from college one weekend... And the party happened to be at the High Roller's parents house. Walking into the house, I only knew the friend who had brought me, but I started to talk to everyone, and then I saw him. The High Roller was (and still is) a big guy... About 6'5 and heavy-framed. He had jet black hair and dark brown eyes, with the longest eyelashes I'd ever seen (until I gave birth to our youngest daughter.. Those eyelashes could break records) and a healthy tan complexion. I instantly took note of him... I was definitely interested in learning more about him. From watching him interact with everyone else there, it was obvious that he was very laid-back and good with people... Very self confident and entertaining, with a great sense of humor, but not pushy or arrogant. And a guy's guy, in the sense that he very obviously liked outdoor sports, hunting, fishing... All important factors for most Southern girls evaluating a guy for dating potential. We talked a bit and I felt a connection... And I knew I wanted to see more of him. 

My friend took me home and I let him know that I was interested in the High Roller.... Or at least in finding out if he was interested in ME.  Started seeing him at more group gatherings... One of which was at our friend's house... They wanted to play cards.. I was sitting across the table from the High Roller and my phone kept ringing... And hanging up. And finally I realized it was him calling me by holding his phone under the table. I figured it out and he was enjoying teasing e and watching me get riled up.... That's still a sport in our household. It's funny to look back at that night, because so many inside jokes that have survived the entirety of our almost 12-year relationship were created then. Makes me smile to think about it. For a couple of weeks later, I kept getting prank phone calls... Nothing rude or mean... Just me answering the phone... Someone saying "Got her" or "Thank You" and hanging up. Didn't take me long to realize it was my friend and the High Roller calling... So I found out the a High Roller's number and started returning the calls in kind... The first time I called him I chose to wake him up at 7ish in the morning... Which is tortuously early for most college students. He's told me that me calling him at that point kind of hooked him... Guess he liked the fact that I would play back and was confident enough to return the prank. This eventually evolved into calling back and forth wars... And finally he said "Whoa! Don't hang up! I want to talk to you"... And so we did. For a long time... And we discovered how much we had in common in terms of both being very traditional, enjoying the same things...and one of the funniest commonalities of our relationship: our fathers had been close friends in high school and consequently, gotten into some interesting scrapes together. We had both grown up hearing each other's Dad's names in stories from their high school days.  We also realized that we knew TONS of the same people and had even been at some of the same parties in high school at the same time and never seen each other... That's God's timing, for sure.... We weren't ready for each other yet. It's hilarious to me that we grew up in a town where there's so much overlap with sports and schools and parents knowing each other, and although we went to two different private schools in the city, we had so many common friends but had never met. Still blows my mind to think of all the times we must've walked past each other and never known. 

He invited me to come over to a gathering at the house he had just moved into with two roommates, where, interestingly enough, a BUNCH of my guy friends from high school were there playing cards. He ended up kissing me outside the house that night before I went home, and we talked on the phone until about 5AM. Excluding a three week period of time the following January (cough, cough High Roller wised up) we have been together ever since. 

We have done so much growing up together (I was 19 when we met, he was barely 21) and had the most fabulous adventures so far... We've conquered college, first jobs, getting engaged then married, and having four stair step kids all together... And I know that I could not have done all of those things successfully and happily with anyone else. I love how extremely smart he is... And in completely different ways from my areas of strength. Which is perfect... Otherwise our finances would be scary... Numbers aren't my strong suit. We balance each other out tremendously... He chills me out and makes me think twice before acting too quickly.... I motivate him (nicely and not so nicely, at times) to get up and do whatever needs to be done. There's a LOT of give and take... Which is far from perfect... But then, wouldn't life be boring if it was perfect? Mainly we have a lot of fun and laugh a lot... And I think the real glue is that we love each other to death... There are times when it's easy to take each other for granted... And I work constantly to not do that... I try to recognize hi. And praise him for the wonderful father, husband and man that he has become, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him. 

To my husband, I love you more and more everyday, and I am so blessed to have you for my best friend. You can make me laugh harder than anyone else, and you own the keys to my heart. Thank you for loving me through all of my endless craziness, being an amazing provider and head of our family, and for growing with me every step of our journey. I'm forever in awe of all that you do, and will never grow tired of the True Love that I was given at such a young age. I'm yours, whether you like it or not. Can't wait to see you when you get home! 

Love, Me