Saturday, January 26, 2013

10 Years

Alex and I have been a couple for 10 YEARS today!  We met when we were15 and have been on quite the journey in these 10 years.  In honor of today, I thought I would take a little photo walk down memory lane:

Our first "date" and our first dance.  Winterball 2003.  I asked Alex to be my date on January 26, 2003.  He said yes.  A few  hours later, he asked me to be his girlfriend and if I would go to the dance with him as his girlfriend.
We went to 14 school dances together.

Freshman: Winterball, MORP
Sophomore: Homecoming 2 (K & LC), Winterball
Junior: Homecoming, Prom 2 (K & LC)
Senior: Homecoming 2 (K & LC), Winterball, Turn About, Prom, Masquerade ball

My first concert EVER.  We went to Kenny Chesney at the Resch Center in Green Bay!  It was so much fun and a great first with my new boyfriend. March 2003.

Our first photo shoot.  Our good friend, Ashley (who also happened to help set the two of us up) and I always got our pictures taken by her mom on her birthday.  This was the first year we included the boys.  Still one of my favorite photos.  Summer 2003

The day after the photo shoot, Ashley had her birthday party. It ended up pouring rain and we all went out to play in it.  Alex leant my his sweatshirt to wear.  Someone caught this candid moment.  I absolutely love this photo.

Our First Christmas together.  I joined Alex for the Gloudemans Christmas party in 2003.

We supported each other through all of each other's events.  I was on the Varsity Gymnastics and Track teams.  He played foodball and Basketball.  I also was in Choir and he was his High School Talent show host.  We always supported each other in what ever the other one did.

Alex's Confirmation. I was there to support him and enjoy the day with him and his family.  It was a big day in his life, and I was happy to be a part of it.
High School Graduation.  We graduated 1 day apart.  He came to my ceremony and I woke up early the next morning on only 5 hours of sleep (from post grad) to go to his.

I also chopped 7 inches of hair off in the morning between our graduation ceremonies to surprise him.

Highschool was full of great memories and great times, but college brought it's own challenges.  I went to school in De Pere (by Green Bay) and Alex went to UW Madison.  2 hours apart. Lots of challenges on our relationship, but still full of many great memories.

Following freshman year of college, I planned our first trip together.  We flew to South Carolina to visit my dad over the summer.  We went with my brother and his then girlfriend.  It was the first time I planned a trip, we flew together (and not with our parents) and went to the ocean together.  It was an amazing vacation.

We went with our friends on a camping trip.  It was the first time we had been camping together as well as the first time we relied on a map to get us where we needed to go.  Our flight from South Carolina got cancelled so we had to stay there one more night.  That meant instead of driving from the airport to our home (2 hours) to unpack, repack, and head back out, my parents had to pack our camping gear for us, drive my car to us when they picked us up from the airport, and then we drove to the campground while they drove my brother back home.  I would say one of our first "nightmares"

My first Packer Game.  Alex bought me tickets for my first Packer game in 2007.  They were an early Christmas present.  He visited me at College and then from there we went to the game.  It was a cold, but a GREAT time!

We went on our first spring break vacation. We flew to South Carolina again to visit my dad.  We had a lot of fun and it was the first time we traveled on our own.

For our 6 year anniversary, we bought each other cards. We were so excited to give them to each other because we thought they were perfect for the other.  We chatted on my 2 hour drive down to Madison about how perfect my card was for him and his for me.  When I arrived we went out to a nice dinner and then decided to exchange our cards.  When we opened each other's cards we could not believe our eyes....we got each other the EXACT SAME ONE!  Apparently they really were perfect for each other, and so were we!

Alex proposed to me while I was doing a practicum for school.  I was at the on-campus children's center.  He got my professor/center director's permission, worked it out for my roommates to take pictures and video, and dressed in the same tie he was wearing the day we met.   It was an amazing proposal pairing the two loves of my life in one: him and teaching.

We decided we should travel to South Carolina again to tell my dad about and show him the engagement ring.  Plus, we just wanted a vacation.  This time we decided to road trip it all the way there.  We stopped at the Louisville Slugger Museum, The Original Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Smokey Mountains, and the finally arrived in Greenville. We spent 2 days there and then my dad took us to his friends place on Myrtle Beach where we spent the week.  It was a GREAT vacation and it was such an exciting time in our lives.

Upon completing Alex's Third year of school in Madison, he was accepted into Midwestern University's Pharmacy School--in Chicago, Illinois.  Madison was always a special place we spent many weekends and made many memories at.  Leaving Madison was a momentous weekend.  We did all the touristy things: The zoo, the capital, picnic point, and sitting at the terrace.

It was out on picnic point we carved our name in an old tree, the first time we carved our name in a tree.
We then traveled to Illinois to get some of Alex's medical tests he needed.
We all went because we wanted to see the campus.  It was an emotional day, driving 3 hours to a different state to prepare to send my fiance away.

In September, I made my first visit to Illinois to visit Alex.  He had his white coat ceremony and I wanted more than anything to be there, but it was on a Friday during the day.  I was student teaching so I could not leave during the day so I would have to drive on my own after school.  I got stuck in traffic, missed my exit and spent 5 hours driving the 3 hour drive,  and was VERY frustrated with how late I was, but it ended up being a good weekend.  On Saturday, I experienced my first visit to the city with Alex as well as my first train ride.

We really enjoyed the Green Bay Botanical Gardens.  We weren't living together or married yet, but we loved it so much that we made this our first Christmas Card!

Senior year of college I was confirmed.  I was confirmed as a part of my marriage preparation, but also because I was at a Catholic campus and it was time to confirm the religion I had been practicing my whole life. Alex was my sponsor.

On April 9, 2010, I drove to Illinois to apply for a job, which they offered me on the spot.  It was official, I had a job in Illinois. I was now all set to travel down to Illinois to stay with my fiance!  I was so excited.

Many of Alex's pharmacy friends are St. Louis Cardinal fans, we were Brewer Fans.  They were playing each other that Saturday in Milwaukee so we all drove up to Milwaukee from Illinois to watch the game.  We had a blast celebrating my job, and good times with friends.

I graduated from St. Norbert College on Saturday May 16, 2010.  This was also the Sunday before Alex's finals from his first year of Pharmacy School.  He studied his butt off, came and watched me graduate, helped my pack the car, and then headed back down to Chicago, all in one day!

My graduation speaker was none other than Bart Starr!  Alex was excited for such an awesome speaker, and so was I!

The next morning, I woke up at 6am and got in the car with everything I owned that didn't fit in the U-Haul Mark and Katy were pulling and drove to Illinois to move there.  Monday morning, I called Illinois my home.  We had our first apartment!

Alex smiled for a quick picture, but then was off to take the rest of his finals.  I had to unpack and get ready to start my job on Wednesday.

The June before our wedding, we took our engagement photos.  It was exciting to celebrate a year until the wedding, and it was nice to make a visit back to WI after the big move.

In August, we stood up on our best friend Ashley and David's wedding.  They were the couple who set us up many years before and we could not be more excited to celebrate their wedding with them.  This was the first wedding either of us stood up in.

In February of 2011, we endured our first actual blizzard.  It snowed for 3 days, many feet, and we had to dig our cars out as they were completely covered with snow.  It was kind of fun to be stuck in for a few days drinking hot chocolate and spending time together.  Digging our cars out is a memory we will have forever.

June 25, 2011
We were married!

We traveled to Mexico for our Honeymoon.  It was our first time out of the country and our first time all inclusive.  It was also the start of our marriage.

We also went on an excursion and went zip lining, walking and swimming in underground rivers, and created many amazing memories.

The following fall, we went to our first day of school.  I had started a new job and he had started his junior year of school at Midwestern.  This was exciting because it was our last first day in Illinois and our last fall in Illinois.

In February, We got our first dog!  We love our Pudge so very much and he brought us so much joy. He really made the final year in Illinois go faster and more enjoyable.

In August, we moved back to Wisconsin where we belong!

 I got a job in July teaching 4K in a Catholic school 15 MINUTES from our new home.  It has been amazing and has helped me grow as a teacher, as a Catholic, and as a person.

We now have a cute little home we rent, a dog we love, and are living a wonderful little life.

 We cut down our first Christmas tree and decorated our own house for the first time.

Being home for the holidays, waking up in our own house for the first time, and then heading out to be with family all while not living out of a suitcase has been a wonderful blessing.

Alex left for a rotation in Wausau (2 hours away, AGAIN) for 6 weeks, but was sure to return the day after our second blizzard.  We missed him, but his days of not living at home should be done!

Alex is home, I am making this house a home, and we are looking forward to graduation in May.  There are many more changes up ahead.

And there you have the many firsts for Alex and I over the past 10 years.  The emotional, physical, educational, and spiritual growth of two people from 15 to 25.   Two high schools, two colleges, two states, and many other things that didn't make life easy, but made it our life.  Here is to 100 more.

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