It all started for us in the fall of 1994. Yes, that's right, '94. We're pretty sure that it was fate that brought us together. We had come from very different backgrounds.
I am Michigan grown. Born and raised. I always stuck close to home and had wanted to attend Michigan State University to become a teacher since the time I was old enough to talk.
Rex on the other hand was an Air Force Brat and had lived in more countries than I could ever imagine visiting. He had moved in with his aunt and passed up a scholarship to the University of Michigan (the OTHER school) in order to attend community college. Somehow this landed him at Michigan State.
I first remember noticing Rex at a floor meeting in our dorm. (5 West Forever!) It was one of those informational, pass the basketball, get to know you things. We were planning on going on a hayride as a floor and I just remember that he and his friends were incredibly funny and made the meeting tolerable.
The hayride was a blast! My group of friends (this was my sophomore year of college so we all lived together on the same floor) began to hang out with "the boys". We had one hard and fast rule: We were not to date a boy from our floor. There was no way that would work out. (BTW-we are not the only ones that survived that rule, our friends Wilma and Paul also met on 5 West.)
Fast forward to Halloween: he was dressed like a woman, me like a french maid, and we shared our first kiss. By Christmas my family knew something was up when I received a glass ornament (made from Mt. St. Helen's ash) as a surprise in the mail. That's when I knew that this was more to him than just a good friendship.
From then on we were together all the time. One of the best parts of our relationship all these years later is that we have so many of the same memories. It's so wonderful to look back on our college days together, sharing the same group of friends, the same hang-outs, food cravings, goofy sayings, etc.
Anyway, after college we spend a year or so separated by anywhere from an hour to three hours distance, but that didn't stop us from seeing each other all the time. One particular weekend stands out: Rex actually showed up at my parents' house (where I was living at the time) and told me that he was joining the Navy. On Monday. That's the weekend in 1997 that he asked me to marry him. Wow! I'm pretty sure my parents were freaked out.
After much discussion, we decided that it wasn't the right thing for us at the time and Rex did not end up joining the Navy. We weren't ready to be married, and we weren't ready to be a part.
From that point in time, we moved downstate together (after he got me a subbing job near his work, which led to the job I have today), and lived happily for a while....a long while...waiting to SOMEDAY get married.
Finally in the spring of 2002 Rex moved out because I had decided that if he was not going to propose soon, it was not going to work out. After 8 1/2 years, I was ready to get married. I thought that was the end.
One night about 2 weeks later (May 31st to be exact) Rex showed up (he still had a key) in the middle of the night and scared the living daylights out of me. I was not even able to comprehend that it was him. I thought someone had broken in to my apartment in the middle of the night. I started screaming, crying and punching him. It was the most scared I had ever been. After a couple of long minutes he was able to calm me down enough so that I recognized him and was able to talk to him. He got down on one knee and with a peach gummy ring (my favorite) in one hand he asked me to marry him. Apparently I didn't answer him so he asked again. Somehow I just knew he meant it. (You should hear him tell the story...something like: "I was just standing there on the porch at Jer's house and it hit me, I was going to marry that girl.")
At 1:30 in the morning we called our parents to tell them that we were engaged! The next day after work we went to "look at" rings and when we got there my ring was already ready. Rex had surprised me with the most gorgeous engagement ring!
From then on we spent the next 14 months planning the most perfect wedding. On August 2, 2003 we were married. Every detail was perfect. Never again in our lives we will be blessed enough to have all the people we love in one room at the same time, and to celebrate us. Wow!
Fast forward 6 1/2 years: we have had our share of ups and downs. We've had to deal with the loss of jobs, the loss of friends and some personal demons along the way. But each one of those things has made our relationship SO much stronger. I can honestly say that we are better for each other and with each other than we ever have been. These are the best days so far and I wouldn't trade my husband for all the scrapbooking stuff in world! (LOL!)
Seriously...I love you Rexy. I love you when the sun comes up in the morning, I love you when the sun goes down at night. I love you when the sun shines bright on our faces, I love you when the clouds cover our eyes. I love you 4-ever, I love you 4-always, I love you 4rw4rrwr44wwrrr!!!!
Love, The Wif