Chris first approached me at a concert at our college. He surprised me by putting his arms around me without saying a word and swayed to the music. We had never really spoken before but I knew who he was… the boy with the beautiful blue eyes. How do I best describe this man I love so much? He is my best friend, the love of my life, and the place I feel most at home. He is so many wonderful things; funny, fair, rational, caring, and is more patient than anyone I know. With him, I am a better me.
Nicole asked me the other day about my memories of our relationship in its beginnings. As is true with most women, she could recall in vivid detail several occasions that have since slipped my mind. I, on the other hand, recounted a few insignificant memories of our days in college. One thing I was able to tell her, however, was that I knew I would marry her from the moment I met her. At the time, I knew nothing about her other than that she was absolutely beautiful. I have come to find out her beauty is outmatched by her kindness, her loyalty, and the love in her heart...unless she's in a bikini, then her beauty wins. She makes me a better person every day, and I could not imagine my life without her.
I am completely and utterly blessed to have my large and traditionally flawed family. I can’t express enough how much I love my parents (all of them). They are each overly generous with love and support and I’m forever grateful to have been brought up in such an environment. My mom is so kind and thoughtful. She is completely selfless when it comes to her kids. She taught me to love. My dad is one of my best friends. I can talk to him for hours and hours and I can always count on him to put a smile on my face. He taught me how to laugh. Bob, my second father, is an amazing person. Without him I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. He taught me dedication and hard work. Michelle has introduced me to generosity without expectation. Through my sister I have experienced a bond and a friendship incomparable to any other. My brother and younger sister remind me constantly of how priceless innocence is. Last but certainly not least, I owe any strength that I may have to my grandparents for they have shown me, through example, how to live through it all, the good and the bad, and appreciate every day.
I am absolutely grateful to my family for the lessons and experiences that have shaped who I am. I have learned the values of loyalty, dedication, and honesty. I have learned that it is good to work hard AND play hard. I have learned how to boat, how to fly, and how to drive. And I have learned how to love. I have also learned that a family is not defined by blood. I look forward to making our own family and only hope I can offer the love and guidance I have experienced.