Ten years ago today I said, "I do," to the most important person in my life. 7 months and 14 days before that I made the smartest decision and asked my wife to marry me. 9 months before that I somehow conned this woman named Kim into thinking I was cool enough to date.
Let's take a quick trip back to the high school and college days of my life. To say that I had no game would not be an overstatement. I knew that some girls were interested in me, and I knew how to flirt, but I didn't have any freaking clue how to date.
When I first moved up to Minnesota that did not change. However, I did move to Minneapolis with my brother and his wife who knew how to whip this hopeless romantic into shape. One bit of advice my brother gave me when dating Kim was, "call her every other time you want to call her." Years later when I told her his advice, her response was, "you mean you could have called me more?"
When I was pursinging Kim there was the possibility of another dude in town, but my friends and I didn't know the status of that relationship. So when I was starting to pursue her there were two possibilities. Either there was another dude and I was out of luck, or I acted like an idiot and fucked the whole thing up. We literally called my pursuit of Kim, "Operation Don't Fuck This Up."
My brother was a helpful wingman. During my pursuit, our church was building out a space and needed lighting. Knowing that interior design was a shared interest between us, Jeff just so happened to put Kim and myself on the job. So naturally we would have to go to IKEA and pick out lighting. And if we get lighting from IKEA naturally we have to assemble it in front of a movie with red wine. You know, totally not a date at all, just two kids in the early 20's hanging out assembling lighting "for the good of the church."
After a couple months of flirting, Kim and I went out on a date where my best friend Josh played the third wheel. Josh was a gracious friend who helped me through the idiocy that is "Josh being a boyfriend." Along the way I had my brother, his wife, and another dear friend who would give me advice based on their proven experience.
After about 9 months of dating and a few convos between Kim and I it was time to consider marriage. Being that Kim was the first relationship I ever had I waffled some. During that time I had a conversation with my dad where he very rightly told me, "you'd be an idiot to not marry her." I took his words to heart, purchased a ring, asked her parents for their blessing, and on New Year's Eve 2006 I proposed. 7 months later we got hitched and now I am here writing this post.
I could tell you more about our dating relationship, our wedding, the ups and downs of our marriage, or the two joys in life life that we are raising. But I am not going to tell you about that. I want to tell you about the woman that I am married to now.
She is strong - She will most likely shrug that statement off, but right now she is taking care of our kids, running the logistics of our household, taking care of me when I am down and out, and while doing all this she is still pursuing her art.
She is loving - My wife knows how to love others. I mean she has put up with me for 10 years, and in 2016 I was a bit of an asshole. Talk to all the people in her life and they will speak of times where she just listened, and listened, and listened.
She is selfless - The amount of times she has put others before herself is countless. She cares for others well, helps when needed, and provides wisdom when asked.
And during what is the most trying experiences in our marriage, she is my rock. She listens to my endless babbling, she puts both of the kids to bed when I need to rest at night, she speaks encouragement when I need it, and speaks truth when I need to hear it.
The Kim I am married to now is 10 times more beautiful, 10 times stronger, 10 times more loving, and 10 times more of the woman that I married 10 years ago.
Kim I love you more than you could ever know. I am wildly blessed to get to call you my wife, and I am a much better person in life because 10 years ago you said, "I do."