Our Love Story

(Disclaimer: This is a really sappy love story.  Stop reading if you are at all cynical of love, marriage or happy endings).
Growing up I was always a little embarrassed to share our love story.  Not because I wasn't confident in what we had but more because I was fairly certain our friends thought we were crazy.  But the truth is, I've always loved our story.  It's different and unique to us and I love that we beat the odds...
When I was 13 years old I spent a week at summer camp near Traverse City, Michigan.  My friends and I were cabin mates with several girls who were very boy crazy.  All week we kept hearing about a really cute boy named Jeremy Baker.  On Wednesday of that week during morning chapel I said the words out loud, "Who is this Jeremy Baker kid anyway?" and I heard, "I'm right here."  I turned around to find him sitting directly behind me.  We spent the rest of our week hanging out in one big group during free times and different camp events.  At the end of the week we exchanged addresses and went home our separate ways.  I think that's what all campers do-- exchange addresses with good intentions. But hey, when you're 13 years old nothing really ever comes of it, right?
Two weeks later I received a letter in the mail addressed from Jeremy Baker.  He wrote that I was very pretty and had asked permission from his mom to write me.  And so began years of handwritten letters back and forth.  What started as a silly little camp crush led to my very best friend living 6 hours away.  Every week we would each wait eagerly for the mail man to deliver a new letter. Every other Saturday Jeremy was allowed to call me for exactly a half hour and I looked forward to those calls as if they were Christmas Day.  
At 15-years-old (two years after meeting and beginning our friendship) both sets of parents agreed to drive six hours round trip and meet halfway in northern Indiana for an evening of dinner and bowling.  Looking back now, we both agree that our parents must have been crazy to agree to driving that far for their two teenagers but we are so thankful they did because it was a stepping stone to get us to where we are today.  This was also the year Jeremy wrote me a letter and told me he believed there was something special in store for us.
The summer of 16 years old was the summer I really fell in love.  That was the summer we spent three months together working at camp. It was summer of stolen kisses and dancing in the rain and falling asleep at night wearing his sweatshirt. This was also the summer Jeremy told me he was going to marry me and I believed him.
Over the next two years we continued to write letters, send emails, our phone calls became more frequent and sometimes lasted for hours. We visited each other for weeks at a time and we went to homecoming and prom together at both of our schools.  When it came time to apply for colleges we made plans to apply to all of the same schools and we would decide together where to go. We were both accepted to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.  In the fall of 2004 we moved to Chicago and were together for the first time in 5 years.
The summer between our freshman and sophomore year of college Jeremy proposed to me after spending a summer in Africa and we were married the summer after that.  While we were students at MBI, our school newspaper published a story about us. We still have the article framed in our kitchen as a constant reminder of where we began. 
Under our bed is a box of hundreds of letters and cards that we love to go through every now and then.  I hope that someday Mackenzie (and maybe even Levi) will read and learn about how their parents fell in love.

I know that most people will say marriage is hard.  That staying in love is hard.  But babe, it's never been hard with you. 15 years and exactly 7 months ago today we met.  There has never been anyone else for me. Thank you for this beautiful life you've helped me to create.  Thank you for giving me such amazing babies. Thank you for believing in us and for always fighting for our dreams.  You always knew we were worth it. I love you.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! This is the cutest story. The kind I dreamed about when I was 13. Happy Love Day as they say on Daniel Tiger. ;)