I can't be the only one with a baby picture in this space, and so I introduce to you my husband, Andrew. He's already made an appearance through his video debut, but I can't get to where we're headed in the list if I don't first meet him, so I'll start at that beginning.
When I met Andrew I was just about to finish my undergrad degree and I was working two jobs - as a nanny and managing the office of a walking tour company in downtown Savannah. Andrew was a tour guide for the company and I can definitively say, we were not on each other's radars. When we started spending time together I was fresh out of a long relationship and he was trying to get me out of my work/school/home hibernation, introducing me to everyone he knew and prodding me to pull myself up and out. It seems impossible with the amount of time we spent together with his friends, but for quite a while we weren't even flirting beyond what happens subconsciously (I'll leave room for what we don't always realize we're doing). We both say now that it didn't even cross our minds at first, as if we weren't really an option for the other.
Fast forward just a bit to the Savannah Jazz Festival in Forsyth Park, just a block or so from Andrew's apartment, where we're sitting with a group of friends listening to a great concert and sharing a bottle of wine and other little snacks, when suddenly I notice Andrew's behaving differently. There's more questions than usual about my interests and history, and I though I have no recollection of why it came up, I remember Andrew describing what he considered to be the "New Alpha Male." I realize now that he was trying, in his sweet, misguided flirtation, to charm me, and honestly, though the talk of men and art confused me, I was intrigued. In that park surrounded by hundreds of people, some I knew, many I didn't, I felt as if I'd closed my eyes to blink and opened them back up to a person I'd never really seen before even though I'd spent almost every day in his presence.
Everything changed after that night, even more than just our relationship titles for each other. The more I got to know him, the more I loved him, and the more time we spent together the more in sync we became. It's slightly nauseating, but sweet sometimes, how much our minds function in rhythm with the other, especially considering our clueless beginning.
Meeting Andrew changed my life in a lot of big, obvious ways that are still to come, but it's the smaller, subtler ones that day to day, moment to moment, reassure me that after our walk home from the park that night when he asked if I'd kiss him on the cheek before I got in the car to go home, when we were still so mired in figuring out what was happening between us, leaning in to him was one of my best decisions yet. After all the heartbreaks and my stubborn insistence that maybe this love and happiness gig just wasn't for me, I leaned into a big win, and I feel so lucky for it.