That conversation got me thinking about our life and the evolution of our relationship. We first met at a college retreat in the spring of 1999. I had traveled with my roommate 6 hours to be at this retreat and we arrived late that evening. Everyone was gathered in the main room of the lodge and my brother was running me around the room introducing me to new people. It was in that rush that I met Cale and for the life of me couldn't remember his name. I knew that both his names were kind of different and so in my mind he became the boy with the strange name. I never thought he'd make me the girl with the strange name, too!
Cale circa 2001
We've come a long way since then. Our friendship grew and developed over the next few years, even going with me to Benin, West Africa where I'd get a random email from him once in a while. When I returned to Cleveland our friendship escalated and before we knew it, we were dating. A blink of an eye later (literally- it was 3 months later!) we were engaged!
Newly engaged at college graduation May 2002
And before we knew, we were married, had moved to a new city and Cale had started his first full time job. It was a crazy year!
Newly married- on our honeymoon at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada
Now we've been around the world and had all sorts of adventures. Life has not been slow or dull over the last decade. I've had the best person in the world by my side.
Cape Town, South Africa January 2005 (pardon my crazy, wind-blown hair!)
We've grown up a lot and I've witnessed first hand Cale becoming the man God intended. I watched him throw himself whole heartedly into being the best dad he possibly could be and loving his children more then anything.
New family February 2006
Together we've had more fun then should be allowed. We've laughed until we've cried and have a slew of inside jokes and nicknames that would certainly reveal our ridiculousness if ever shared with another. But to us, they're golden.
Chatauqua Lake, NY October 2007
We've also walked through lots of hard things, just like any other couple. We've had to choose to love and hold tight to the promises we made. It isn't always easy, but it is certainly worth it.
Heinz Field November 2008
We've stood hand-in-hand and watched God do things that we never dreamed possible. He's led us places we could have never imagined and Cale has followed hard after those things, sometimes pulling me along. We are overwhelmed with blessings.
Our growing family July 2009 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Thirty years old today and a humble, kind, servant-hearted man. And I get to claim you as mine. How lucky am I?