Monday, December 22, 2008

The Story of Us ~ December 22, 1996

December 22, 1996. That is the day that changed my life forever. I was 17 years old and it was the first weekend of Christmas break of my senior year of high school and my friends and I had a full weekend of partying on our calendar. Friday night was a 'private' party at a coffee shop that led to all kinds of mayhem including me in a cute little cocktail dress on my hands and knees in the snow puking my brains out. Saturday was our usual round of bars that we knew we could get into underage. On Sunday, Liz, Aimee and I decided we were still in the mood to dance and have a beverage or two, so we decided to check out a bar we had been hearing ads for on the radio, Fat Cats. They were known for their Sunday night dance party and they were near the college campus so we knew that increased the chance of being able to get in. We hunted down an ID for Aimee, dressed to impress and decided to check out Fat Cats. It was one of those nights where everything just fell into place.

We got past the bouncers with no problem, and settled in for a long night of dancing and drinking- bars in Buf.falo are open until 4am! Soon after we arrived, I ran into some friends of one of my ex-boyfriends. We chatted for a few and I was secretly hoping that Dan (ex-boyfriend) might show up at some point. Why not? Some fun and free drinks to boot! Dan never showed (THANK GOD), but Corey and Brian did come back over to find me and tell me that someone was asking about me. I made my way across the crowded bar and there stood the hot, red-headed, 21 year old goalie from their hockey team. I remembered him right away! When I used to go to the games with Dan, the goalie with the amazing blue eyes and sparking smile had always caught my eye. He introduced himself as Sean and commented about how he remembered me from hockey and just had to talk to me. We ended up talking for awhile and before long I was itching to dance with my girls. He followed me to the dance floor where we 'danced' to "Let me clear my throat" and "Pony" (it was 1996 after all). We got pretty close and I believe we may have kissed once or twice. I also spilled my sex on the beach all over his really nice cream colored Tommy Hilfiger shirt and he made some dick comment about how it had cost $80. I let it slide, I was intrigued.

Liz decided she was ready to go, see she was dating a MUCH older man and she wanted to go find him at another bar. I was not ready to leave, so we broke the cardinal rule; she left the bar alone and Aimee and I stayed and accepted a ride home from Sean in his purple Mustang! Liz ended up having a pretty crazy night of her own, so I don't feel too badly looking back. Sean was a perfect gentleman and even took Aimee and I to breakfast. After he dropped us off, we spent the few remaining hours before daylight on the phone. He revealed that he had always been interested and thought it was a shame that I had been dating a loser like Dan. I confessed that his blue eyes had captured my heart a long time ago. His shirtless appearance in the locker room after the games never hurt either. We never acted on our instincts at the time, I was with Dan and he had a girlfriend, Heather that I used to chat with at the game. Little did we know that Dan would turn out to be huge loser, Heather a psycho stalker and Sean & I would end up living our happily ever after.

We spent the next few days hanging out whenever we could and talking on the phone the rest of the time. We went Christmas shopping for our first real date. He took me to Ruby Tuesday's afterwards & I did not order anything. How stupid! Did I really think I was impressing him? Too bad I am not closer to that girl today, see I can overeat Sean on most days. Oops!

When I went to work a few days later, I was on Cloud 9 and I told the older women I worked with that I had met the man I was going to marry. I just knew.

Christmas was supposed to be the first chance for us to meet each other's families, but we got a wicked storm and my Mom was not comfortable with me driving around with a near stranger in a hot little sports car. We ended up talking the night away and he asked me to be his girlfriend on Christmas night, just before midnight.

He met my parents at a holiday open house a few days later and this photo was taken - our first ever:


The rest, as they say, is history. 12 years and 13 Christmases later, here we are. We have had our share of ups and downs. We had a long distance relationship from 1997-2001. I was away at school and Sean spent every other weekend driving 7 hours to visit me. He proposed for the first time in December of 1997, you can read about that
here. We have survived my Dad's cancer and his heartbreaking death, my mom's cancer diagnosis, surgery and survival, the loss of one grandparent, his Dad's cancer diagnosis, countless surgeries, a college 'infidelity' (a stupid kiss in a bar), a few minor breakups (I call them growing pains now), high school graduation, prom, college graduation, a few weddings and a funeral or two along the way, vacations, hard times, prosperous times, 7 moves, building 2 homes, remodeling a home, a few career changes, raising a puppy, a big huge Irish/Italian Catholic Wedding, family disagreements, a car accident, a family crisis or 2, and we opened a business and closed a business. Of all of that, I believe the hardest thing we have been through, the thing that defines us the most is our infertility. This past year and its 3 failed IVFs has been the toughest of all our 12 years together. I do believe like everything else that we have been through that it will strengthen our relationship and bring us closer together.











Sean is my best friend. My soul mate, my missing piece. He is my strength, my rock, my safe harbor. He knows me inside and out, he loves me unconditionally. He makes me feel beautiful. He makes me feel safe, and loved and protected. He spoils me rotten. He is the most selfless person I know. He lets me take up 3/4 of the couch and the bed and the blankets. He loves my crazy family as unconditionally as he loves me (well, almost). He is laid back and easy going and the perfect compliment to my type A personality. He is the best Daddy to Libby in the whole world and it makes me realize just how lucky our children will be to have him as a Daddy. We have grown up together in so many ways and fallen more in love every step of the way.

In many ways, I feel like Sean saved me. I was prone to partying and heading down a rocky road when I met him. I was dating losers and generally being a foolish 17 year old girl. I feel so lucky to have met him when I did and been able to share the last 12 years growing and learning and loving with him.


On this Christmas, I still feel he is the greatest gift I have ever been given...


*edit - I am still earning how to use the scanner, obviously! Need to learn how to get rid of white space and crop!

17 comments:

ashley said...

Really, you should be a writer. That was a beautiful post.

Clio said...

I love the story of you two, and how you posted it, with the pictures. What a great moment to celebrate this union. Yes, going through this great challenge of IF brings you together, but don't let it define who you guys are. A very wise friend said to me once, and I feel the need to repeat it to you now: "don't let your wounds define you". You are much bigger, you are much more. Always remember that.

Christi said...

that was beautiful, you have me all teary now. thanks for sharing!

Just Another Infertile said...

That's such a sweet story. I love all the pictures from the "early years."

It's hard to focus on all the good in our lives at a time when IF seems to take it over. I'm glad you have someone like Sean in yours.

sweetpeanme said...

What a great idea!!! It was really great to hear your story...and the pictures were fun too!

Kristen said...

What a beautifully touching post. I hope you and Sean have a wonderful Anniversary!!!

RMCarter said...

I felt like I was reading my own 'high school sweetheart' story too! Hubby and my 'first Christmas together' was my senior year in high school 1996. :)

I am happy you have such a kind and caring man to be by your side during this last difficult year. May there be happier times to come!

Lisa said...

Beautiful post - thank you for sharing this part of yourself.

Lost in Space said...

Emily, this was so beautifully written. You brought tears to my eyes. It is sometimes so hard to remember how lucky we really are to have found one of the "good ones" while going through all this IF stuff. You 2 have been through so much in your years together!! What incredible communication skills you must have! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

bunny said...

So sweet! I love "how we met" stories, thank you for sharing!

Lisa said...

Hey E - I have nominated you for an award - check out my post today.

Yaya said...

I LOVE stories about how couples get together! thank you for indulging us!

I'm sorry for your infertility troubles...not fun at all....

Merry Christmas!

Straubles said...

I loved reading this. it's such a blessing to see how much you focus on what you have together over the years. i try (unsuccessfully) most days to focus on all that we have, not on what we don't. what a great encouragement this was. thanks for posting this. i need to go give my hubby a hug after reading this--and thank him for all the little and big things he does (the blasted Repronex shots for one!! :-)

M. said...

What a great post, Emily! I loved reading your story -- this explains a lot about why you guys are totally in love and staying strong for each other. I like what a pp said -- that you are so much bigger than anything you're going through. You guys really are :)

penlighted said...

That is a sweet love story. Keep praying..Miracles can happen if you ask and believe. You look good together. I love the pictures..

Light it Up

WaterBishop said...

This has to be the sweetest post I have ever read.:)

the Centurino Family said...

I remember you meeting him 12 years ago - how scary how fast time has gone by. And you are right - he did save you - we were all on a scary path in those days. I think I may cry....