5 Years.

Prepare your eyes for the sappiest blog post to ever be posted ever. Once upon a time, I was 19 years old. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years and was an emotional catastrophe. I enrolled at Zion Bible College in the Spring semester of 2006 and was determined to get my life together.

It was the day classes started. I was sitting in the UFR (The Ugly Furniture Room-- a co-ed hang out room) with a guy I had just met, watching a movie. All of a sudden, the door opened and this young, brace faced, long haired kid poked his head in and said, "Hey. Have you seen Tara?"

I had no idea who Tara was. And I had no idea that that boy would become my husband.

I won't bore you with all of the little details of our "friendship" which was always a little deeper than that, or our dating life, or our engagement life. I won't tell you about all the drama that we went through and how we almost broke up several times before we got engaged.

I'll just tell you about how that brace faced boy held my hand, as I lay on a bed in the ER, drugged up to oblivion, when the doctor came in and told me I would never have babies. I'll tell you about how he came into the girls dorm later that day while every one was at chapel and hugged me and told me that everything was going to be OK.

I'll tell you that the night he told me he loved me was the night that I was trying desperately to make him see that I wasn't good enough for him, would never be good enough, and was too damaged to be deserving of love. And even though I BUTCHERED our first kiss by laughing half way through it, he still kissed me again. (And again. And again...)

I know you want me to tell you all about our engagement. Well, I'd love to say that he was brave and didn't break a sweat, but the truth is, he had a fever all day leading up to his proposal. So much so, that I suggested he go to the doctor. But he totally caught me off guard and ROCKED IT.

But really, what I want to tell you is that the day I got all dolled up in my white dress, and stood behind huge wood doors with my arm in my dad's, and heard Brooke Fraser singing my cue... when those doors opened, I didn't see all the people standing and smiling at me. I just saw him.

I married my best friend 5 years ago today.

At 21, I had no idea what life would throw at us. I had no idea how amazing and selfless and loving he could be. I had no idea what an incredible father he would be. I could've never imagined how infuriatingly sassy he could be in the middle of a knock down drag out fight or how his ridiculous "thug talk" in our fights would make me laugh hysterically, rendering my argument useless (every. time.). I STILL have no idea how he's able to put up with my crazy without using physical force. 5 years ago, I didn't know how much marriage can bring out the ugliest sides of people, and how humbling it is to know that the person you continue to hurt is the person who is going to love you indefinitely forever. I had no idea how much I could love and how much I would be loved. I didn't really know what it felt like to look at him and instantly be home. And I  absolutely could have NEVER fathomed how INCREDIBLE and other-worldly it would be to look at my children and see their father's features and quirks reflected in their perfect little faces.

Five years ago, I had no idea how blessed I really was. All I knew was that I was young and in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life with the brace faced boy who loved me in spite of all my brokenness  and bought me daisies and convinced me that I deserved to be loved and didn't run away in spite of all my levels of crazy lady.

I love you, Zach LaValley. Thanks for being awesome.