Once upon a time there was a boy. He was new to the big city of Dallas and was just looking for a good time. And there was a girl. She grew up in the big city of Dallas and was tired of the dating scene. She even wrote a list of 50 qualities of the ideal mate as an excuse to not get serious about anyone. And yet, both were looking in the Personals one fall day and they found each other. That boy called that girl’s Personals Ad and said, “Call me back because I’m the one.” And the rest is history.
Since January 30, 1999, that boy, Jeff, has been the one next to me as we laughed, cried, and screamed on the rollercoaster of life. Some said we wouldn’t last a year. To be sure, there have been times it took a lot for us to last another minute. But as I reflect, I am amazed at how much we have been through together. For fun, and in no particular order, here are is a brief summation of the details, memories, and statistics of our 15 years of marriage:
· Encouraged each other through 8 career changes and 5 part-time MLMs (most of which were mine).
· Improved ourselves with 1 college degree and 1 teaching certificate.
· Survived 6 surgeries, 1 stroke, 2 ambulances, and a few major illnesses (mostly mine).
· Mourned the loss of two grandmothers, one father, two uncles, one aunt, three cousins, and too many friends.
· Supported each other through sibling struggles.
· Traveled to 3 countries, 13 major cities, and many small towns along the way (which doesn't include all of Jeff's travel for work).
· Enjoyed the outdoors through camping, canoeing, hiking, and boating.
· Experienced the real and perceived fears of Y2K, 9/11, .COM crash and Wall Street debacles.
· Calmed me down from a panic attack on a plane to NYC after 9/11.
· Put up with the speed of Dial-Up and cell phones that only dialed numbers.
· Bought, sold, maintained, and banged up 5 cars.
· Moved all our stuff 4 times.
· Bought 2 houses.
· Worshiped at 5 churches.
· Prepared for numerous ice storms, tornadoes, and zombie apocalypse.
· Said "NO" 10 times each to 4 timeshare salesmen.
· Telecommuted (worked from home) for 15 years.
· Traveled 5 days a week for 2 years before 1 major move from Texas to Arkansas.
· Took the girl out of Texas, but not the Texas out of the girl.
· Held me through hysteria in a small plane over the Rockies.
· Still claimed me after I screamed cuss words on the Batman ride at 6 Flags.
· Videotaped the zap trap that couldn’t stop the mouse.
· Laughed about your slide across the bathroom floor.
· Sailed and feared drowning on a Hobie cat in the ocean.
· Gifted me a ride in a Hot Air balloon over McKinney.
· Paddled a canoe in alligator infested waters.
· Accompanied me on a dream to sing at Carnegie Hall.
· Forgot to put the drain plug in the boat on the first day on the lake.
· Participated in 5,340 banter sessions and 5,340 laughter sessions.
· Created over 82,000 memories.
· Shared in the losing, gaining, losing, gaining, and losing of too many pounds to mention.
· Helped me find lost jewelry, money, glasses, clothes, and keys.
· Generated 2,340 loads of laundry.
· Fell in love with our dog and fur baby, Ginger, that day at the SPCA.
· Helped move my Mom closer to us.
· Loved through the heartache of 5 rounds of Clomid, 2 rounds of AI, 1 Invitro procedure, 1 international adoption information session, and 6 foster-to-adopt classes.
· Made it possible for us to adopt and for me to stay at home with our beautiful daughter.
But most importantly, you have adored me despite my sassy remarks, artistic quirks, Lucille Ball tendencies, and housekeeping challenges. I love you, Jeffrey Grau.
Happy 15th Anniversary. Thanks for being “THE ONE.”