I just so happen to have a scrapbook that I made in 2008 full of photos from before Luke and I were married. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? Please enjoy my phenomenal scrapbooking skills (don't laugh :-P This is why I do DIGITAL scrapbooking now!)
Here we are...two complete lovebirds together, circa 2004. This was the very first picture of us together EVER taken, and it was right after Christmas. This was also one of the first pictures taken with my very first digital camera, which I had received for Christmas that year. Luke looks like he is half dead in this picture, but trust me...we were in love :-) We had been dating for about 3 or 4 months here, and were still in that puppy love stage where your heart beats faster every time the other person walks in the room. In fact, I believe we first said "I love you" not long before this. Ahh, memories. Please note my highlights and poof of curly hair, which was my hairstyle of choice for about 3 years, and Luke's spikey hair. We were cool :-P
***Here we are a few months later. It was April, and we were at my parents' 25th anniversary party. There is a shadow being cast behind us, so please know that my hair was not that big, and Luke's hair was not that high. And holy cow, we were both so skinny!! This was around the time when things started getting serious, and I think we both kind of knew that we would be spending the rest of our lives together :-)
***The above two pictures were taken at a rehearsal dinner and then wedding for my cousin and Luke's friend. (Who are now our neighbors, btw!) We had been together for well over a year at this point. I remember Luke said something really sweet after the evening about how he didn't notice anyone else there except me, or something like that. I'm sure he doesn't remember it, but a girl doesn't forget something like that!
***Here we are a year later. The second year of our relationship was a lot more rocky than the first, because it's hard once those puppy love feelings are gone, and you have to start being unselfish in the relationship. I remember coming to a crossroads a few months before this picture was taken. I was sort of questioning the relationship a bit. I asked myself if I could picture my life without him, and I knew the answer was a resounding "no." So I decided I was going to stop being selfish and demanding attention all the time. I believe there comes a point in every relationship when love stops being just a feeling, and starts being a choice and an action. Once I made that choice, I knew I was in this for the long haul! And everything became so much easier and happier after that point. It's gotten better and better every single day since :-) Anyway, this picture was taken at Tower City in Cleveland right before our annual TSO concert. It was taken when our relationship and love was coming into a new, more mature phase. And it was a few weeks before I became an engaged woman!
***And speaking of that, this picture was taken on the night that Luke proposed to me! The date is completely wrong...it was December 23, 2006. I made the scrapbook in 2008, so that must be the reason for the year mix-up :-P Anyway, this was obviously by far the best Christmas of my life. Such a happy time!
***These pictures were taken on Christmas day, two days after we became engaged. Luke's cousin Matt had gotten engaged to his now-wife Steph on Thanksgiving, so we had to get a picture taken together :-) I think you can tell we were all ecstatic. Our smiles were huge! Our weddings were about a month apart, so it made for a crazy summer for Luke's family!
***This was our awkward engagement photo for the newspaper. It was taken in the middle of February or March I think. Can you tell?? We could be Cullens here based on our skin-tones.
***....Aaaaand welcome to the longest engagement in the history of all time. We were engaged for over 18 months. I know, what were we thinking?! I would not choose to do it that way again. Anyway, I got to go with Luke's whole extended family to Myrtle Beach in 2007. We had been engaged for 6 months and still had a year to go before the wedding! We had a fun time together, though! (Again, look how skinny we were! Apparently marriage has made us both gain some weight. haha)
***Fast forward to May of 2008 and we're still engaged, but the wedding is only two months away! This was one of our professional engagement photos. We still look like Cullens, but this time I think it was the photographer's fault. My hair was a crazy mane that I had been growing since the moment we got engaged. I chopped it off the day we got back from our honeymoon.
***And here we are on July 12, 2008! Best day of my life. I had no idea what married life had in store, and really, I still don't know. These past three years were just the beginning. They have been wonderful, challenging, humbling, unbelievable and so many other things. When I was in high school I worried that I might never get married. I was awkward and shy and not ever finding "the one" was one of the biggest fears in my life. I am so thankful that not only did I find "the one," but I found him early, and God completely blew me away with the man who is now my husband. I know that right now I don't have the job of my dreams (although I'm working on it) and I don't have children yet, and sometimes those things are really discouraging. However, I have to remember that my dreams came true when Luke came into my life, and I wouldn't trade that for the world. I have nothing to complain about. I am truly blessed.