Somewhere around September we really started kind of "talking" and really getting into this whole thing with each other. Somewhere in October we started officially dating. We say October 11th but we both really have no idea, it just sort of happened. I decided that I would move home when my lease was over in March. We started visiting each other whenever we could. He came to Jacksonville for about 12 hours one time just to see me. He drove 3 hours after school, and we went to a Scotty McCreery concert that night. This is us that night :
It got to the point where I was trying to make the commute every time I was off work, and it was getting expensive. Thanksgiving came, and my heart was just so full. I had Matt, my niece was 8 months old and growing so quickly, and I just didn't want to be far anymore. I decided I wanted to move home. December 8th, I came back and I will never leave again.
For the sake of shortening, (I know, bummer) I have left out some stories such as :
- Our first rental home
- Bringing home our pup, Ruxin (ugh - didn't want to leave this one out)
- Buying a truck
- Buying a home (miserable process, happy to leave this one out!)
Here are some pictures that document those amazing times :
Okay, now back to the good stuff!
Everything was going so good for us for awhile. We had our bumps in the road, but we were working hard and doing what we could to survive and enjoy ourselves. We had our little babe Ruxin, and the puppy stage was SO FUN. (No, not really - still dealing with is 2 years later! But totally worth it!) We went out with our friends, binge watched Netflix every night, and just really enjoyed being together (still pretty relevant to our lives now). And then July 6th 2016 came. I was nauseous all day at work, and friends joked that I was probably pregnant, I said no way! Matt had told me to take a test a couple days prior, and my dog was following me around crying all day everyday. (Dogs are super smart - weiiirrrdddd) Finally after being nauseated all day I said what the heck, and took a test that I had laying around. I thought I'd be able to go vacuum or something in the mean time, because it takes a couple of minutes. That test turned positive instantly and I thought the world was ending. I wish this part of the story was different, because my little girl is so amazing. I panicked, and called Matt 1000 times with no answer. I called his department, and our boss answered. She knew I was a mess. She told Matt to call him. He did, and I shared the news right then and there. Over the phone. At work. Freaking out. This was not apart of the plan. Per usual, Matt was as calm as can be and said "okay, I'll be home soon." Meanwhile I'm losing my mind, and had to have my mom come over. I made Matt bring home like 4 more tests, and of course all positive. We we pregnant. It was real, and it was happening. We were stressed about money, about where we would live, how we would afford diapers, a nursery - everything. We basically didn't talk about it again for another solid 3 weeks. We pretended it wasn't real. Finally I started to get excited and we did a cute announcement, pictured below. Still, Matt pretended it wasn't real. This part of our story is very important to me, because it's very real and very raw. I'm not going to tell this story like everything was perfect. Like Matt was perfect, and we were the perfect couple. We have had plenty of downs, with our ups. Matt pretended it wasn't real, or it wasn't safe to talk about. I was always "still early on" and we always "still had so much time." This is really the first time and place I'm talking about this because it's hard. It's hard to watch everybody you know have babies, and their significant others just be over the moon excited. I did not have that. But we hustled on, and I tried my best to just be the best I could be and take the best care of myself that I could.
Eventually after much much stress and craziness, we bought a house. This was the most stress I have ever experienced in my life, and honestly I don't know if I would do it again. I love our home. I love owning it. But I hated the process that much. Being pregnant was going awesome for me. I was feeling great in my second trimester, everything was normal and healthy. I had a cute little bump. Matt was finally starting to come around. He monitored every single piece of food or drink I took in. I knew this was his weird way of trying to show he cared. A couple of weeks ago, he told me he wishes he would have reacted differently. He said coming home to her smiling face everyday is the best feeling in the world, and he wishes he would have known then how amazing this whole experience was going to be. (heart wrenching ugh!) The holidays came and went, and it was a wonderful time. We got lots of baby gifts and everybody is just plain obsessed with you when you're pregnant. Being the attention seeker that I am, I was loving it. (Nobody tells you that goes away when you have the baby 😂) My baby shower came and went and it was beautifully thrown by my sister and my mom and I just felt so loved and thankful for all of the amazing things we received from family and friends. I felt so lucky for more than just that. We had amazing friends that had helped us get to this point as far as moving (thanks Taylor & Kaitlin for those horse trailers - serious life savers) and cleaning up our yard for the party (again Thank you Kaitlin, Mike, Mr. Chieca - you guys are amazing people) Matt really hustled and got everything put together just how I wanted it. We had so much help, but as always Matt worked like 60 hours that week AND made sure the house was perfect for me. The following week we went on our "babymoon". This was so much fun! Our last vacay just the two of us! We ate some amazing, food, walked enough to put me into preterm labor that Monday, and most importantly we got engaged. If you know me at all, you know I begged for a ring, basically since the day we started dating. Poor Matt! He took me to St. Augustine for the weekend and it was gorgeous, but cold! He had this elaborate plan to propose at this beautiful restaurant on the beach, that had a lit up dock descending into the ocean. It was gorgeous. But we got there, and there was an hour and a half wait because the inside was at capacity, and the heaters outside were broken. I was 34 weeks pregnant and totally could not afford to get sick. So we jumped back in our car, and searched for a place to go. Dumb us, it was a Saturday night and we didn't make reservations! So we finally drove around downtown, mostly searching for a parking spot , for about an hour. Finally, we just parked by the Fort, and got out and walked into Al's pizza. It's so funny, because while at Al's I went to the restroom, and thought to myself "Man, the polish on my right hand looks so bad, but my left hand is looking pretty good. Not a bad time to propose!" I was gonna say something to him as a joke but thought, nah, we are on vacation. I give him enough crap! After dinner, he begged me to walk over to the Fort at night. I said no you're crazy that place is haunted! You guys, he dragged me to that fort at night, and I was literally crying. He asked these random teens walking around to take our pic in front of one of the lights. Still crying and freezing. Finally, he gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him. Now I am crying like somebody just hurt me. Ugly crying forsure. Can't even catch my breathe to say yes! But I did, of course! Here's the super sweet part/terrible thing on my part. I had been giving him crap about not proposing FOREVER. I used to cry daily about it (I know, dramatic). He went to the HR department at his job a year in advance, and had them set aside a certain percentage of his check, every check, to be put into a secret savings account. So he could pay for my ring. So he had something in the works for almost a whole year! How terrible am I?! But how sweet is he?!!! And smart! He knows, that I know, where every single penny of ours goes, so he had to be sneaky! Best day ever!
Our greatest adventure yet. Like I said, we walked so much in St. Augustine that the following Monday I was in the ER having some bleeding and some contractions. Luckily, we got them to stop, because I was only 34 weeks along. So I took it easy at work, and tried resting as much as possible until I hit the "safe" mark. At 36 weeks we were walking like maniacs. I was over being pregnant. You can have the greatest pregnancy ever, but I feel like all you really remember is those last few miserable weeks! At 38 weeks, I went into labor! I woke up at 6 AM when Matt left for work and was starving. I heated up some pizza from the night before, ate it, and went back to bed. At 9:30 AM I texted my friend Kaitlin and said : "I'm going to walk from my house, to the river, and back. It's 3 miles round trip. If I go into labor, can you come and get me? Everybody is at work." She said yes of course. Matt was at work, my parents and sister were both at work, and my best friend Capri was also at work. Perfect timing! Right after I sent that text, I stood up from laying down, and heard a pop. I ran to the bathroom, and it took a couple seconds, but my water was officially broken! I called Matt to head home from work, and my mom also rushed home from work. I finished packing my bag, and we rushed to the hospital. I finally got my first hard contraction at about 11 AM when we arrived at the hospital and were getting registered. They brought us up to L&D. I was already 4 cm dilated, so I was good to go for the epidural - thank God! We both worked at this hospital, so we picked our anesthesiologist, which was great. From there on it was honestly smooth sailing. I had a wonderful labor. It was 12 hours, which isn't terrible for a first time mom! At 9:59 PM our perfect little girl entered the world. Becoming a mom was an amazing, indescribable experience. I love our little girl so much, and I feel that we are so blessed to call her ours. My bestie Capri raced over from her job about 45 minutes away, and made it just in time. Thank God she was there, because she literally hand fed me while I was trying to figure out breast feeding. She's the best, and we are so lucky to call her Abigail's Godmother!
The rest is still unwritten...
These days Matt is working like a maniac so I can be a stay at home mama, and be with my girl. He works about 100 hours a week to provide for us, and we really are just so grateful to claim him as ours! Nobody warns you how crazy a relationship really can be, and how many different obstacles you may cross together. Finding somebody to ride this crazy train that is life, is what it's all about. Writing it all down has really brought us back down memory lane, and really helped us remember exactly where we started out as a couple. I will never forget the nights that I would lay in bed alone in Jax, trying so hard to imagine his scent and his touch just to fall asleep. I will never forget how he saved me when my best friend left this world. I will never forget the smile on his face when Abigail entered the world.
Moral of story : Find you a Matt. And don't ever let him go.