Marrying My Best Girl

I spend most of my Friday night getting our apartment ready to host about 15 guests for our wedding.  I think  it was more to calm my nerves and keep busy.  I couldn’t eat, I barely slept, I made sure that our rings fit, and I looked at myself in the mirror every time I went to the bathroom, and practiced saying “I do”.  After taking Mary trick or treating in our apartment complex, I set up some minimal decorations as per Callie’s request because she didn’t want to make “a big deal” about it, especially because it was taking place in our living room and not at some big fancy hall like we had always dreamed of (it’ll happen eventually).  I organized, moved furniture, moved the zoo into the nursery, and hoped that I hadn’t forgotten anything important.  I kept telling Callie, “In just 19, 16, 12, hours, you’ll be my wife!!”  The smiles that followed that will be engrained in my mind forever.  My friend Nikki spent the night for an impromptu bachelorette party that consisted of watching Bridesmaids and drinking non-alcoholic wine (for Callie) and shots of Fireball (for us!)  We  stayed up later than we probably should have, but it was fine since I couldn’t really sleep anyway.

Saturday morning, the BIG DAY, my alarm goes off at 8:03 ( always set to some random time…OCD thing).  I wipe the kitchen counters down one more time.  I make sure that there isn’t any hair on the floor of my very white (and usually immaculate) bathroom.  I take our clothes out.  I iron Callie and Mary’s dresses.  I Iron my clothes and Nikki’s son’s (basically my nephew) clothes.  My sister got to  us at around 10:30am to style Callie’s hair.  I brushed my teeth and found my something old, new, borrowed, blue.  I had to make some rice so I put the pot on for Nikki to watch while she made her baked ziti, cut some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and put them con crackers with a little basil leaf, and I jumped in the shower.

At around 11:30 our guests started arriving, putting their homemade dishes in our kitchen for the potluck lunch, and getting really excited about our vows.  I put my socks and slacks on, taking deep breaths, I button my shirt slowly and fidgeted with my tie (I must have tied it like 10 times before it was “perfect” and I don’t even believe in perfect!), I buttoned up my vest, tied my new shoes, and walked outside to let the judge into my garage spot (parking by us is a nightmare!) .  We walked upstairs, and I got everyone to find a seat.  I stood there with the judge waiting for Callie to enter the living room.  Callie walked into the living room down our long hallway and at the very moment, I couldn’t believe that after all that time of talking about our little shotgun wedding, it as actually happening.  I had seen Callie in her dress, but I hadn’t seen her done up with hair and make-up in her dress.  My head was reeling!  In about 5 minutes I was going to be married.  I was going to have this amazing woman as  my wife.  My heart couldn’t contain itself.  My eyes filled with tears (didn’t spill any though!) and I held Callie’s hands as the judge welcomed everyone and introduced herself.

She asked if anyone objected (NOPE!), she asked if we wanted to marry each other (YUP!) and then we exchanged rings making promises to be there for each other as spouses, not only when we wanted to but more so when we didn’t.  We were told to never forget our commitment and to love and honor each other every day for the rest of our lives.  And we will.  I just know it!  Something about the way that Callie looked at me during those 5 minutes, I knew that I was making the best choice of my life. That having her as my wife, and her choosing me to be the other mother to our children are the two most important and life changing decisions I could have made.  For the rest of my life I will be reminded of that in the smiling faces of my kids, or the tears of my wife when we see them off to college, or the first time we meet our grandchildren.  I will know that I made the best choice by choosing her.

We took a ton of pictures, had lots of delicious food, and celebrated with some music and some reminiscing.  It was nice to have such a small intimate affair.  We were able to talk to everyone, to listen, to share hugs and know that we will remember everything that happened, even to the smallest minute detail, like how Gracie (our kitty) walked across us and the judge when she asked if there was anyone who objected (really Gracie! You little hater! I know you love mommy but DANG!).  I’ll remember all of the kin words that were said about our love and the tears shed by friends and family. It was an amazing day that I will never forget.  I keep looking down at my ring and saying, “Did his really happen?!?!”  It really did.  Today, I woke up the same person that I went to bed as on Friday night, but somehow, everything is different.  The only thing that comes to mind is our favorite song, as song that us of our relationship, of our story, of our love…

Want To by Sugarland

I packed a cooler and a change of clothes
Let’s jump in, see how far it goes
You got my heart in your daddy’s boat
We’ve got all night to make it float

We could sit on the shore
We could just be friends
Or we could jump in

The whole world could change in a minute
Just one kiss could stop it spinning
We could think it through
But I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came
with nothing to lose
But I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

I got your ring around my neck
and a couple of nights I don’t regret
You’ve got a dream of a degree and a shirt that smells like me

Yeah we both got dreams
we could chase alone
or we could make our own

The whole world could change in a minute
Just one kiss could stop it spinning
We could think it through
But I don’t want to if you don’t want to
We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came
with nothing to lose
But I don’t want to if you don’t want to

Never waste another day wonderin’ what you threw away
Holding me, holding you
I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came with nothing to lose
But I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

But I want to
But I want you

WAITING FOR THE JUDGE

WAITING FOR THE JUDGE

WAITING FOR MY BEST GIRL

WAITING FOR MY BEST GIRL

WITH THE JUDGE

WITH THE JUDGE

WHEN I SAID "I DO" AFTER ALL THAT PRACTICE IT STILL DIDN'T SOUND PERFECT!

WHEN I SAID “I DO” AFTER ALL THAT PRACTICE IT STILL DIDN’T SOUND PERFECT!

I LOVE THAT GIRL!

I LOVE THAT GIRL!

MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF THE DAY

MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF THE DAY

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MY RINGS

MY RINGS

WITH MY SIBLINGS

WITH MY SIBLINGS

WITH OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS

WITH OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS

HAD TO GET IN A FREE FEEL! FIGURED I WOULDN'T GET YELLED AT ON OUR WEDDING DAY...LOL

HAD TO GET IN A FREE FEEL! FIGURED I WOULDN’T GET YELLED AT ON OUR WEDDING DAY…LOL

TEMPORARY MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

TEMPORARY MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

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BED REST NEVER LOOKED THIS GOOD!

BED REST NEVER LOOKED THIS GOOD!

Our Love Story

Two days shy of the day I marry the love of my life, and I can’t stop thinking about how I fell in love with her.  How when she walks into a room, even if there are hundreds of people in there, she is the only one I see.  I think about how she is laying in bed, making such a huge sacrifice to make sure that our 2 glorious little boys are kept safe and sound.  I remember how from the first time I met her, I gravitated towards her as if our hearts knew something that we weren’t privy to yet.  Some big old secret and plan to eventually see us together.  This is the story of how our love came to be.

I was in a relationship.  As married as you could be in NY at the time.  I had been in this relationship, trying to conceive with a women I knew wasn’t for me.  My heart always knew it, but my brain tried to make it work, because that’s what you do when you are “married”.  My ex-wife and I were invited to a BBQ at Callie’s best friend Jenny’s house.  Her best friends girlfriend was my biological brother (from my father’s side) lesbian sister Trudy.  We had a few beers, sat in a huge circle on the deck, played some badminton, and had a few burgers and hot dogs.  As the night started closing in on us, the fireflies set the mood, and the music had a bunch of drunken lesbians rapping along to B.I.G.’s “Juicy”, we decided to play a game of spade’s.  I had already seen Callie’s competitive nature during our not so friendly 2vs2 badminton match, and was surprised to see that no one wanted to play with her OR against her. “She’s CRAZY when it comes to spades!” “She REFUSES to lose!” “I can’t play with her crazy ass!” I, was totally up for the challenge.  I am a spades master after all! So we played together, all night, across from each other, high-fiving, laughing, telling jokes, and talking loads of crap. Loads and loads of crap!  We won, tons of times, and spent the next three hours in our seats at the table as pair after pair were spanked several times.  Spades Masters we were called.

We didn’t see each other for months, probably closer to a year.  We barely spoke.  I ended up calling my relationship quits, dissolving our domestic partnership, and moving out leaving my 2 fur baby puppies behind.  I ended up back home with my parents and attending an outpatient treatment program.  I was a wreck.  My life was in shambles.  I started a rebound pseudo-relationship.  It was great while it lasted I suppose.  We connected but something was just off, and after all of the hard work that I had put in during those 2 years working on myself, I wasn’t willing to settle.  I started hanging out with Trudy (my brothers sister) and hung out with Callie a time or two.  She asked if I had 4th of July plans, which I didn’t, and we ended up hanging out that day.  Her parents boat neighbor took his boat out and invited Callie, Jenny, Trudy and myself.  We spent the whole day talking crap, hanging out, drinking ice cold beer and smoking cigarettes.  There was something about her.  How easy our conversation was.  I loved the way she laughed .  She would start with a chuckle, then full belly laugh, but she would cover her mouth and you’d only be able to see her eyes over her ridiculously chubby little Vienna sausage fingers.  I actually told her that, and it’s become an ongoing joke.  She responded with, ” Just as ridiculous as that Spongebob watch!” ::Swoon:: She could trash talk with the best of them.  At one point, I was ready to go swimming, and she wasn’t ready yet.  I told her (in a very flirtatious but not trying to be flirtations way) that I’d hold her hand as we jumped in.  She hesitated but agreed.  At that very moment, I felt something. Holding her hand, I got a shiver down my spine.  A flash of a future with her.  Electricity.  About 2 years later, Callie told me that she had felt “a spark”, and she could tell by my expression at that very moment, that I had felt the same thing.  I went home afterwards, even though she had asked me to stay the night with her and the girls.  I knew, that was the beginning…

OUR FIRST DAY...AND CHECK OUT MY WATCH!

OUR FIRST DAY…AND CHECK OUT MY WATCH!

A few weeks later, I went on my annual camping trip with my closest friends.  It’s a rule that we are not to use electronics on this trip.Only twice a day it is allowed: 1)while we wait for everyone of us to be up, give or take an hour in the morning and 2) in the early evening when we all went down to the rec center to take our turns for showers, about another hour or so.  Callie had remember that I was going, and she sent me a Facebook message wishing me a good time. I didn’t have any reason to check FB considering that all my closest friends were there and I usually steered clear of social networking all together on our trips, but something kept beckoning me to check.  I have to admit, after I saw her  message, I spent most of the next 4 days formulating an excuse or another to go back to my tent and check my phone.  I wanted to talk to her so bad but I didn’t know why.  While away, my girlfriend Laura had text me that her parents caught her drunk again and were sending her off to a rehab center in Florida.  It was a devastating blow, but there wasn’t much I could do.  We tried long distance for about 2 months but that didn’t work out well.  Callie said we should hang out, so we did, as soon as I got back.  We “non-dated” for a while.  She would pick me up after program and we would go down to the dock, where we inevitably fell in love.  I knew I loved her about a month in, when we had plans to go fishing and it started pouring rain.  She told me we didn’t have to go since the weather was so crappy.  I told her fishing in the rain was one of my favorite things.  We sat on that dock, for hours, in the pouring rain, holding hands, joking around, and letting fish after fish free upon catching them.  We had a blast, and I was officially in love with the woman of my dreams.  Outdoorsy, funny, kind, loving, beautiful, a shit talking spades player who was ballsy, always speaks her mind, and never fails to surprise me.

OUR FAVORITE SPOT IN THE WHOLE WORLD.  WHERE WE FELL IN LOVE, WHERE WE FISHED IN THE RAIN, WHERE I PROPOSED, AND WHERE WE PLAN TO TEACH OUR BOYS TO SWIM AND FISH

OUR FAVORITE SPOT IN THE WHOLE WORLD. WHERE WE FELL IN LOVE, WHERE WE FISHED IN THE RAIN, WHERE I PROPOSED, AND WHERE WE PLAN TO TEACH OUR BOYS TO SWIM AND FISH

August 21st we had our first kiss, September 5th we went on our first real date to the bowling alley, and September 22, 2010 we made it official.  We spend that whole month laying in bed inside the cabin of her parents boat, catching up on Glee while Netflixing, eating PB&J’s at 3am, doing puzzles, playing scrabble, making out and talking until the sun came up.  She was everything I could have ever dreamed of.  Flashes of us as old ladies on the porch in rocking chairs waiting for our grandchildren, filled my head.  She was the one!

Years passed, our relationship flourished and I was ready to take it to the next level.  We wanted a big wedding but it was more important to start our family. We made plans to have our babies and the wedding would come later, but first I had to propose! And I did, with an amazing scavenger hunt that fills Callie’s eyes with tears every time she talks about it.  It’s been almost a year since that day.  In 2 days I get to marry and spend the rest of my life with the most amazing woman I know.  She keeps telling me how lucky she is to have me, but I keep reminding her that I am the lucky one.  I am the one that has been blessed beyond finding word to express.  I am filled with gratitude that God has sent me such an amazing soul to share my life with.  In 2 days, all of my dreams will be realized. There are many love stories, but ours is my favorite.