Summertime is so full of magic. As a kid the freedom of no school, long sunny days, family time from evenings at the pool to beach vacations – so many moments of summer are frozen in time in the minds of those who take advantage. Then we grow and summer is full of adventures with friends, summer jobs, and late nights full of crazy shennigans that often define your youth. As an adult the mystical powers of summer have played a pretty big role in building the foundation of my life, every five years.
It was the summer of 2005 and I was in-between my second and third year of college. Home for the summer I was back working my regular summer office gig (the association my Dad had spent most of his career serving, as a summer admin in the meetings department) during the day, and spending my summer nights and weekends having a BLAST. At 20 the summer meant friends, parties, adventures, hangovers in your bathing suit, fast food, gossip magazines, and hours of just being. Each weekend we headed back to school where my rental townhouse was empty for the summer and we would – spend all day soaking up the rays, laughing till we cried, and eating Wendy’s. At night more friends would show up and we would add music, cocktails, and boys to the mix. That summer I knew I was living each and every moment, and really appreciating it. Being a person who is always ready for the next phase in life, I knew adulthood was calling and it would not be long before my days of bathing suit wear as a summer uniform were limited. Knowing these moments were fleeting, peppered with what I would remember forever – I really soaked up the feeling of warm rays tanning my skin, looking over at my friends and realizing that doing nothing, was a whole lot of something and why I would love them forever. I breathed in the true fountain of youth. Life was good and I was loving it.
Nothing is ever perfect, that is why life was just good. I had experienced my share of boy troubles and perhaps one of the worst dating experiences of my life had left a shadow on those past few semesters. I was never one who sweared off guys or dating….but I was certainly much more interested in fun, then anything of substance. Guys were jerky and pretty limited in the department of intelligence….so I figured I would worry about serious later. But serious came knocking fast and furious and I heard from Danny.
10 years ago we went to lunch and although I can admit I tried not to let it get much further – Danny was persistent. Once I let him take the lead I saw him almost everyday that summer and right after July 4 weekend, I realized something was so different……. that summer went from good to remarkable with a summer romance that would last a lifetime. Summer 2005 will forever mark the best summer of my youth – family, friends, adventures, and a summer love that actually took my breath away. By that time the next year I was moving home to finish college locally and be with Danny all the time.
We are beach people, we are summer people, we fell in love under the summer stars in the hot and heavy weight of DC summer evenings, so 5 years later when we choose between October 15 and July 17 for our wedding day – July 17 was our day. Right there in the middle of the beauty of summer Danny and I said I do and promised our lives to each other. So now each year as we pull out our flip flops, slop on our suntan lotion, feel the thick weight of the season settle around us – the many memories of our love story drift in and out of focus. You never know when a humid Friday afternoon as I pull out of my office parking lot, crack the windows and lift my sunglasses from atop my head that I will remember tearing down 81 to a summer escape with some of my favorite girls. Or when I grab my cell phone and see my husband’s name fill the screen just as I begin to smell the fresh cut grass and he asks me something about the weekend- I am hit with those same butterflies from 2005 finding their way to my heart and I am transported to that first summer of endless dates. Perhaps best of all when the sun just starts to set and we head out with the dog for an evening stroll, I am suddenly at the exit of the country club grabbing the hand of my new husband to escape away into our future under the bridge of sparkelers. Summers will forever feel like a season of my life’s secrets – those revealed and those still to come…..
Which brings us here, to right now -another 5 years gone by to 2015. As with our pattern – the advancement of five years has brought some significant changes to our world. After several years of a lot of turmoil with Danny’s health – we still have some pretty significant hiccups – but the plan for his care is stable and promising. My adventures in the world of business have landed me back at the same organization from my summer years with a job I love and a role I am excited to call a career. Following many an address change, we have settled into an actual house with so many unique characteristics that are just so perfect for our family. We have expanded our family by one and found quite the number of lessons in love and puppy pawenthood. Both Danny and I have take some concrete steps towards dreams we have wanted so much for ourselves – and for each other, the possibilities are feeling endless.
Most importantly, I am proud to say our marriage has found a strength that has taken us years (YEARS), tears, laughs, trials, tribulations, and a test of wills that has made us feel nothing short of olympic worthy. It has been a true lesson in faith and patience – yet with time a partnership has been born that we both have prayed for, dreamt about, and dedicated ourselves to- that I know this moment in time is a gift straight from HIM. Falling into a pattern, into an ease, with a trust awarded only to those who have gifted away the human desire of self focus to learn to truly love another above themseleves. I know that we both won’t be able to do this 100% everyday for the rest of our lives, but finding the strength it gives our world today – the muscle memory we are building will give us a foundation to continue to return to as the years pass. All realized amongst the beauty of yet another sweet summertime.
The journey that is life, the human experience is one of beauty. Whether in sadness or elation – there are lessons to be learned, memories to be made, a life to be curated and no matter what each day holds – including moment of weakness- Danny and I know this gift is to be cherished, but we have also chosen to make it one to be shared. As of next week I will have blogged for one year here and through that experience I have gained more than I could ever imagine – we both have – and yet realized that we are only just “at the tip of the iceberg” phase. So we have made some changes starting with a website we own to share our story. The excitement blended with a sense of privileged duty I find in being the storyteller of this great tale – I am so excited to see where the next five years take us….and beyond. So thanks for reading along….and cheers to soaking up the rest of what summer 2015 holds!