3rd Wedding Anniversary

3rd Wedding Anniversary
Lorimer Loving 

See what I did there?

Okay, sappy post alert! I promise I'll be back later this week with an organizational DIY post. But today is Ricky's and my 3rd wedding anniversary and so I have to talk about him a bit today. 

 Ricky & I met 6 1/2 years ago through a mutual friend. Our first (brief) introduction was in the chapel of my college, but a couple of weeks later we were both in a group that went to an indoor soccer match and spent the entire evening talking by ourselves. I honestly have no idea which team won or who the teams even were. I just knew I wanted to get to know this guy better.

The day we met, my hair was straightened like this (which is an extremely rare thing) and I remember feeling like it was important that he know it was normally curly. Weird, but true. 
However, I had recently gotten out of a bad relationship (really the only bad relationship I had ever been in) and was a little hesitant to immediately start seeing someone else. So even though I was interested and was okay hanging out in group settings and talk on the phone, I tried not to encourage much else. Unknown to me, Ricky was a little gun-shy from a previous breakup as well and was not only not looking, he was kind of on a self-imposed dating hiatus. So we did the group thing for a couple of months. :)
About 6 months into our relationship
After a while, though, Ricky asked me a few times to go get coffee (or in my case, a chai tea latte) and talk. The more I got to know his heart for God and his humorous and kind personality, the more I thought that this could really be something special. The first time he asked me to officially be his girlfriend, I told him "Ask me again some other time," because I just wasn't ready, and he wasn't even scared off by that! He politely waited another couple of months until I was really sure that I was ready to be in a relationship again. The day that I said yes was my "re-birth-day" or the anniversary of the date when I had gotten saved as a kid. Ricky got me a card for it, which I thought was adorable and spoke a lot to the kind of guy that he is. Neither of us are big believers in "dating for fun." We both wanted to go into a relationship knowing that it had potential, and we felt great about each other's potential.

At my cousin's wedding--I caught the bouquet!

On our 2 year dating anniversary
A few months after we started dating, we attended a Song of Solomon conference. The speaker was mainly addressing married or engaged couples, but he talked about laying out all of your baggage for the other person and how important that is from a trust & security perspective in your relationship. If you always have a secret from your partner, you may think "If he/she knew that about me, he/she wouldn't love me anymore," so telling them everything removes that doubt. The whole conference was great, but that part was our big take-away that night. We were supposed to go to a movie that day but ended up talking and crying in the parking garage for 3 or 4 hours instead. It was amazing for our relationship--he already knew everything about me and still chose to be with me.

At a co-worker's costume party--as Star Wars characters, naturally!
Easter at Ricky's Omi's house in Springfield
The next couple of years were just a confirmation to me about Ricky's Godly character and our compatibility. He became my very best friend in addition to my boyfriend. We argued and learned how to communicate with each other in a productive way--no sweeping things under the rug or pretending they didn't happen. We spent time with both of our families and both families were warm and welcoming. My sister even loved Ricky and she has hated all of my past boyfriends! In fact, on October 5th, 2011 after a little more than 2 1/2 years of "official" dating, my sister Kaylyn helped Ricky's brother Joshua capture our proposal on film. See our proposal story here. :)

Me looking at my ring & crying while Ricky proposed
I (as you may have guessed, knowing as you do that I am an organized, Type A personality) threw myself into wedding planning. It was equal parts exhilarating and stressful. I wanted a huge party with all our friends & family and that is exactly what (thanks to my mom, mostly) I got--but in those last few weeks I thought seriously about changing my mind and eloping to Mexico. :) 
We also participated in a great (& free!) Christian pre-marital counseling through my college, Evangel University, which brought up some great questions and topics for us to work through and really go into married life with open eyes. 

Engagement photo at the coffee house where Ricky asked me to be his girlfriend
(the second time, where my answer was yes!)

All the stress and planning was extremely worth it. Even though tons of things went wrong on our wedding day (broken A/C's, 110 degree heat, leaky freezers, wrong color cake, missing flowers, and so on and so forth--all of which my parents & other family & friends had to step up and made it work! So grateful to them), it was still the most magical day of my life because I got to marry my best friend and be a family with him for the rest of my life. 

Look, nobody said we weren't goofy. :)
After the wedding, heading into the reception

The day after the wedding, after opening presents at my parents' house
Ricky surprised me (only me--he told literally everyone else) with a Jamaican honeymoon that he had planned! My mom & sister helped me pack so I would have appropriate clothing, but he didn't give me any clues until we were on our way to the airport.

In our suite at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica 
Heading to dinner at the resort
It was an amazing, relaxing honeymoon which I definitely needed after graduating college, moving, & getting married all within a few weeks. Although we did have our first married "fight" on our honeymoon! A little awkward when the maid comes in your room to clean and you have to take your crying self out onto the balcony to finish your discussion. But today, we look back and laugh at that experience--it was a good first taste of married life! We rarely really fight but we have a lot of "discussions" and it's good to learn how to handle those things early on.

The fall after our wedding. 
They say the first year is the toughest, and I hope that that is true. It was definitely a tough year for me, in law school and then as I came to terms with the fact that I didn't want to go back for a second year. Meaning, I didn't want to be a lawyer--huge identity crisis for me, as well as guilt for "making" Ricky support me through a year of school that wasn't going to "count" for my future. God was really working in my life and helping me put my identity in Him and not in my own perception of what makes me valuable. Ricky really did a great job helping me work through all of that, but it wasn't easy. I tell you this because I want to be real about the fact that hard stuff happens, even when you are so happy with your spouse. I don't want to be a blog that only shows you the perfect, Instagram-worthy moments.

Our 2nd anniversary, drinking smoothies
By our 2nd anniversary, we were really starting to feel comfortable in our roles together in our new household. I'd been at my current job for nearly a year and Ricky was about to go back to school for computer networking. We got on the waiting list for the apartment we are in now and were hashing out our 5 year plan with a little more confidence, yet still leaving some room for the fact that God and life don't always go along with our plans.

On my 25th birthday a few weeks ago-he made that cake himself!
I can honestly say that I love Ricky more now than I did when we got married-even though it's only been three years, we're at a deeper level now than ever before. We definitely don't feel like we have it all figured out by any means, but we're happy to be figuring it out together. We feel more and more like "our own family" of two every day. We are teammates for life. I'm so excited for that to continue in our marriage! 

Thanks for sticking with me through my sappy post! There are some decor/DIY/organization posts to come later in the week, so rest assured we will be back in the swing of things very soon!

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