You can pack a lot of punches into twelve months. If someone would have told me last January 12th that the next day I would go on a date with my soul mate and never look back, I would have been so excited. (Warning, this is a sappy, sappy post.) I was already excited to go on that January 13th date, I just didn’t know what was waiting for me in that Mexican dive bar besides tequila shots and amazing nachos. I didn’t know there was a perfect human right inside that bar, waiting to take me on the adventure of a lifetime. I want to capture our first year story because I love it, but also because it is such a reminder to me every day how much your life can change in a moment for the better.
He got there first. The second table on the left, right in from the door. The bar is long and narrow and the draft from that door in February is fierce. He sat facing the door with beautiful eyes, sandy hair and a scruffy beard. I was wearing my signature “date” outfit, pleather leggings, white silk shirt and black leather jacket. I wish I could remember if we shook hands or not. Maybe he got up and we hugged? It was that typical, “I’ve talked to you for a bit, but don’t know if you’re weird, still judging you from meeting you on a dating ap”, first awkward meeting. But then I remember quickly no longer feeling awkward. We talked easily, but I felt shy because he was so stinking cute. A lot of conversation about our lives and a tequila shot (or two) later we decided to go dance at this (tacky) country bar in downtown Kansas City, which I secretly love, and couldn’t believe he was willing to go. We walked in and the bar was filled with young, like 18 – 19-year-old, cowboys wearing black and white Holstein cow jackets. They were in Kansas City for some junior cow showing convention, and there they were, sneaking into the country bar. I walked up to one of them to ask what they were there for, all wearing matching outfits, and I remember the look of pure joy on his young face as he exclaimed why in a sweet southern accent. They were precious really, and hilarious because I work in dairy pharmaceuticals, but in a sea of young cowboys, it still felt like it was just us. I remember turning back around to look at my date and he was just smiling at me, and I felt so happy. A few beers and dancing later, waiting on an uber outside in the cold, I bought the last hotdog from the street hotdog vendor and then promptly dropped it and watched it roll under the hotdog cart. Upset about my lost hotdog, it’s pretty much a miracle he didn’t run away. It’s hilarious to think about now, how I didn’t even try to hide my love for street vendor hotdogs in downtown KC. Our next date was to watch the Grammy’s. Afterwards, as he got up to leave he gave me a hug and Paisley the dog barked and growled at him. She knew she would soon not be the only most important thing in my life in Kansas City. Built on a shared love for tequila, food, travel, learning, and having a good time, we quickly grew into a couple and haven’t looked back. Three weeks in he accompanied me on a sporadic trip to Memphis and Nashville, then we went on to explore the West on an epic road trip, California trips, home to see our parents, making the huge decision to move to Seattle, remodeling and selling his house, tons of mini weekend trips, and most recently holidays across the US.
Now, Paisley Mae Mae can’t get enough of his cuddles and we live thousands of miles away from our friends, our family, and all that felt familiar. We spent the last year learning more about ourselves and life than I really thought was possible to pack into that short amount of time. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been so worth it. I’ve been able to watch someone I love follow their dreams and that is an inspiration to me every day. He is the nicest, genuinely best person I know. He is so fair and level-headed and intelligent about everything in life. He is such a good balance to my constantly daydreaming, emotional spirit. I’m so lucky to be on this journey with him, so I made a little video to remember a few of our favorites this first year.
Spread the love, ya’ll ~ Amanda