Eleven years ago, I took a giant leap of faith in myself, and in the man I love, and I moved to Michigan to live with him.
At the time, I lived in Texas, and Daniel flew there, so he could fly back with me as I closed that chapter of my life, and we opened a new one together.
Neither of us had any idea then what was in store for us as the years unfolded. We were young, energetic, full of excitement and great expectations of our future. We had no idea how hard reality could and would kick us in the ass, over and over.
I don't think we had any idea how big and wonderful and magical and formidable our love would grow as we clung to each other through all of it: marriage, loss, death, relocations, health crises, difficult decisions, heartbreaking disappointments, quiet joys, heavy responsibility.
And the list goes on.
I like to celebrate our anniversaries, not just the wedding, but all the little and big anniversaries that mark our lives together. I like remembering how lucky I am that he is still with me, and I get to be with him every blessed day.
On this day in 2002, our living together began. Living with him made me so very deliriously happy and paved the way for the happiness and stability to come. I trusted myself to know this was right, to deal with it if I was wrong, and I trusted him to love me and let me love him back.
That's my favorite photo of me and my Daniel, taken over 5 years after we moved in together, taking that dizzying, wild, wonderful leap into this amazing love. I love this photo because it is so quintessentially him, so quintessentially me, and so beautifully, perfectly us.