This weekend I'm doing something shocking, something "wrong," something you just don't do after you get married. My husband and I are taking a weekend out of town to celebrate our 5 year DATING anniversary. I think it's a great idea. My family thinks it is ridiculous. I don't care. I don't subscribe to the belief that it's not an important day anymore. In my mind, I shouldn't have had to start the clock back at 1 day when I said "I do." I knew I did way before that. Technically, I think I should've started my clock this night, 5 years ago. Enjoy the walk through time :)
That's right, Halloween 2005. The night Zac decided he just couldn't live without me. And shortly thereafter, I was surprised to realize I felt the same. Of course, how could you not love me, dressed up as Dolly Parton? (PS...those sleeeves were puffy as all get out and they came to a point on the back of my hand, I wish you could see that in this picture).
Zac knew he loved me right away. By the time I had made this wreath (annual Christmas craft #1 with my bestie), he had abandoned his boys and was spending most evenings at my little apartment.
He even came to see my family and spend some time with us, as awkward as that may have been. Just imagine, he called me on his way up for Christmas (the second time he was gonna be around my family) and I told him, "Just stay on I-57 until Mattoon. You can meet us at the hospital." He didn't even try to negotiate. God knows I waited forever for my Aubrie Grace to get here and I wasn't missing one minute of her. Now, Zac hasn't missed a minute of my first niece's life either, and I love that.
From then on, Zac made it up to almost all family holidays.
Like Easter 2006
When we were back in Carbondale, he slept in on Sundays with me...and got annoyed that I thought he looked cute sleeping wrapped up in his dino blanket.
But he still loved me and let me take more pictures, like this one.
He bought himself a sweet tight t-shirt that said "American Power"and a flame covered bandana to wear "for grillin' out" and I still loved him.
I especially loved him in his uniform.
Zac made it to my first college graduation. He even took the time to stare down my ex-boyfriend....and then tell me about it.
Time moved real fast, and before I knew it we lived in St. Louis. A few months later my sweetheart was 24, but not too old, or too big, for balloons and party hats. Admit it, even you love him in this picture.
Two weeks later, it was time to celebrate our first anniversary. One year down, lots more to go.
Over the course of the next year I got to meet Zac's parents, Jim and Lolla. I got to find out that Zac comes from a highly functional family, a fortune we are both lucky to share.
I also had the opportunity for Zac to prove to me that he would even give me the shirt off his back if I needed him to. In this case, I needed kleenex for a terrible cold. Zac instead gave me a big white t-shirt and took the liberty of cutting out the pit stains before he handed it over. I laughed really hard at this, then couldn't let him leave the room until he modeled the pit-free shirt for me first. I think it's marketable don't you?
By the time we got to Christmas again, Zac was fully a part of the family. He even participated in Ugly Sweater Christmas.
2007 brought many great things, like the marriage of my best friend
and my little sister, Maggie...
and the birth of this little guy
and another themed Christmas...
We watched some ball in 2008
and got engaged.
When I came home with a ring, Dad took the opportunity to make sure Zac was prepared for the life he was signing up for and took us to Rural King to get Zac fully outfitted for farming.
Doesn't he make a darn cute farmer!
In February we made the time for a short familyvacation to Galena to ski
and before I knew it, we were pronounced man and wife.
Then we were off to see the world.
We got home just in time for Caroline to join us and for me to graduate....again.
Then we wrapped up the year with the Vest Christmas ever!
This year we made it to Portland
and had our first married anniversary and so much more that would make this post even more ridiculously long.
So you see...after all these years, I can't just start back at one. I will not give up my dating anniversary. Zac and I earned a little time for celebration. Five years have passed so much faster than I ever expected. I imagine five years from now I'll be putting together another couple dozen pictures asking myself again, where did it all go?