I moved to the mountains of North Carolina to attend Appalachian State University. Yes, that school that beat Michigan. I was so excited to be moving away from high school. I wasn't the biggest fan of high school and was more than ready to meet new people. So I started right away and literally within two months I started dating someone. No, not Taylor. But, it's how I met Taylor. In fact, we both were dating other people when we met at an intramural soccer game for the first time. And we continued to date those other people for the next three years.
For three years, I thought I was where I needed to be. I was enjoying college, dating someone, making new friends. And so was Taylor. We actually became pretty great friends my sophomore year, attending football games, tailgating before-hand with IBC cream soda. It's at this point that I set him up with a friend of mine. It's pretty hysterical to think that I was matchmaking the man I would one day marry. The relationship was short-lived with no hard feelings.
We remained friends over the years and chatted (seriously only as friends) on AIM. Do you remember AIM? I remember his little icon was a smiley face pirate. But, he was that friend I could talk to about anything and he gave great advice. My junior year, Taylor suddenly moved away to Virginia to attend Liberty University. We honestly didn't talk much that entire year he was gone. We were both in different places and caught up in our own lives.
The Summer before our senior year (Taylor was a 5th-year senior), he moved back to live in Boone, work, and take classes online. I moved back and was busy with RA training and getting ready for classes so we hadn't even seen each other. It's at this point that I suddenly realized I was holding on to a relationship that wasn't meant to be. Not that he was a bad person, but he wasn't meant for me. With a heavy-heart we ended the relationship and I felt strange and at the same time relieved. One of my best friends decided we needed some retail-therapy so we headed out to the mall. Which in this small town, consisted of Bath and Body Works, and Old Navy. And wouldn't you know who worked at Old Navy...Taylor.
We had only seen each other once since being back. And here we both were, single. I started seeing him differently, maybe because I allowed myself to now that I wasn't in a relationship. We started hanging out in a group with other friends. One Saturday, we drove to a popular waterfall, because college students love to jump off waterfalls. One of the worst ideas I had ever had. My bum was blue and black for a week. Taylor told me much later, that when we were hiking back up to the car (and it was a STEEP climb), he realized he wanted to be the one carrying my backpack for me. How sweet is that?
Thus started the texting relationship. He was still in the Army Reserves and had to leave the first weekend of the month for drill. So we texted the ENTIRE time he was gone. And of course I had a 50 dollar texting bill that month. On his drive back from Army, he asked if we could hang out that night. We drove on the Blueridge Parkway and stopped at an overlook. We made small talk while sitting on the hood of his car. The conversation turned to hockey because he knew I wanted to go see the Pittsburgh Penguins play when they came to North Carolina. He asked if we could make that our first date. I was giddy at this point. and of course said yes. We talked until late and he drove me back to my dorm.
Within a week we had our first kiss and said "I love you." I know, we don't hold back. But, it honestly was the easiest thing I had ever chosen. It felt so right. And we did make it to that hockey game a few weeks later.
About five months after that night on the Parkway, Taylor took me back out there and asked me to marry him. Six months after that, we got married.
To most people, it seemed (and seems) like it happened too fast. I've heard it all. But, it is our love story and it was and is perfect. I always tell everyone, that you can't hold others to your standard or story. It happens differently for everyone. Ours just happened at high speeds.
And now, a slew of pictures from college...