Celebrating Our Love Story

Today is our second wedding anniversary and I can’t believe that two whole years have already flown by. I remember the very moment we met and cherish the time my husband and I have been able to share with each other whilst looking forward to the many years we still have in this life. Here’s our love story.

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I met my husband back in April of 2012. During that season of my life I was barely hanging on by a thread, but no one other than my best friend knew it at the time. I was struggling at work, my longtime relationship had brutally ended, I found myself distant from God, and was making choices that weren’t healthy. I had tried, and failed, at online dating in attempts to block all of the emotions from being dumped and continued on a path of self-destruction. I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. Due to the person I had become within just a few short months, I didn’t believe that I was worthy of love the way my husband has always loved me.

One night in April my girlfriend wanted me to get out of my funk and invited me to tag along to a going-away party that was in honor of one of our mutual friends who was soon deploying. We set off and arrived at Murphy’s Irish Pub in Old Town, Alexandria and made our way upstairs to meet our friends. I don’t know about you, but whenever I entered a room I always did a quick scan just to see who all was there. That’s when I noticed this cute dark-haired fella who was already seated at one of the tables engaged in conversation with another party-goer. I slowly made my way around the crowd, saying hello to everyone and grabbing a beer from the bar. I stuck close with my girlfriend and her boyfriend since I was a bit shy to talk to anyone else.

That’s when he first approached me.

I remember feeling the initial butterflies as he came up to us and introduced himself – asking who all we knew. He told me his name was Philip, turned out to be new to D.C., and only knew one other person there at the party – a woman whom he served with (also named Kelli) when he was deployed in Greenland. I was already intrigued with this man and was mentally kicking myself when he offered to buy me a drink and I already had one. I wanted a reason to keep talking with him, but didn’t want to appear too interested; not to mention my shyness beginning to get the better of me. So, he made his way around the group, striking up conversation with others as I kept to my little circle and mingled with others here and there. Philip then popped up again asking if he could refresh my drink and again I had to decline, hating that I had only managed to drink about a quarter of it during the time it took for him to come back around.

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After a little more time had passed, and having caught my interest in him, he came around a third time and instead of offering to buy me a drink, seeing that I was doing a poor job at drinking mine, he simply asked if I could walk with him to the bar since he had offered to get the next round for a few of the guys he had met that night. That I could do without looking desperate – even though at that point I wouldn’t have cared. I walked with him to the bar and he told me then that he just wanted to get me away from my friends so we could talk more. I smiled, feeling my cheeks get rosy. Was this guy flirting with me? I almost wanted to glance around just to make sure I was the one he was, in fact, talking to- I wasn’t the girl who got hit on at bars. Thankfully it wasn’t just my imagination and somewhere between needing ‘tits to get a drink’, many Snake Bites, and hours of conversation later, we shared our first kiss and he had asked me to take me out the next night.

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The very next (hungover) morning I drove him back to his place and that night he picked me up for our first official date. He let me choose the place so I picked Maggiano’s, a cute Italian restaurant that seemed fancy. Although he lived a good 40 minutes away, he was determined to do things right and insisted on picking me up at my place and actually take me out – he scoffed when I offered to meet him at the restaurant. I wasn’t used to feelings like these so soon let alone meeting a man for the first time who was an actual grown up. All night we talked as if we’d known each other in a past life, laughed, and truly enjoyed how easily we connected. He was such the gentleman and made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the room and continues to do so even four years later.

We were married on June 28, 2014 at The Wynn in Las Vegas in front of our dearest friends and family. It was five days of debauchery, laughter, and memories made with friends who have become family.

Flashing forward to our lives today we’ve accomplished a lot in this life together and I am so thankful that although he met me at a point in my life where I didn’t know which direction to move, he became my compass. I was just some girl in a bar and he was just some guy who managed to sweep me off my feet when I least expected it.

Cheers to many more years, my love.

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