Yesterday, Kirk and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. Seven years isn’t a huge milestone, but we have experienced a lot together in that time. If you include the 4 years we were dating before that, I personally find it miraculous that Kirk isn’t sick of me yet. Relationships are hard work, but marriage is a whole new level. And, to be honest, there’s nobody I’d rather work hard at this with than Kirk.
We met on Good Friday in 2007. This was the weekend that the Indians home opener got snowed out – we got a blizzard for Easter. I was home from law school for the holiday weekend, and – not expecting a snowstorm – I only brought warm-weather shoes. I distinctly remember Kirk poking fun at me for wearing footwear that was inappropriate for the weather. I also distinctly remember thinking he was unlike anyone I had met, including the guy I was dating at the time (relax, we were dating for like 2 months and he was a total dud compared to Kirk). Kirk was funny, charming, loud (some things never change), and just drew me in. I knew that if a guy like this was out there, I couldn’t keep dating the guy I was seeing and broke it off soon after.
About a month after we met, I got an email from Kirk. His birthday was at the beginning of May, and he invited me to come up for a minor league baseball game. This totally caught me off guard, because I didn’t fully understand the kind of person Kirk is. He will invite ANYONE to a party – the epitome of “the more the merrier.” To be honest, I was a little creeped out. I met this guy once, and he’s expecting me to drive 2 hours to Cleveland for his birthday? Do I stay with him? Does he expect things from me? Is he a serial killer? So, I said I couldn’t make it. It was also during law school finals, so I had an easy out.
I had a summer job with a (very terrible) law firm in Cleveland that year. So I went home and my 24-year-old self moved back in with Mom and Dad for a few months. A couple weeks after I got home, I got a postcard in the mail.
“Enjoy the summer.” This cracks me up. We made plans to meet up downtown on his way home from his trip to Hawaii. He was jet lagged and unshowered, but still up for happy hour and fun. His friend Ben met us as well (Ben seemed to “chaperone” the first few times Kirk and I met up). Although Ben was supposed to give Kirk a ride back to Mentor (where he lived at the time), I said I was happy to do it. Parma – where I was living – and Mentor are NOT close. At all. As in, a solid 30 minute drive, maybe more. But I was just happy to spend time with him.
That’s how I felt most of the summer – I just wanted to get to know him. He was so interesting to me- I had never met someone who actually listened to what I said and remembered things about me. Who genuinely cared about what happened to me, or how I was feeling. He had stories that I could not believe were true (some are still a bit suspect), but man- he was (and is) a great storyteller. He was creative, fun, and definitely worth hanging onto.
Fast forward 9 months when I took the bar exam. While studying, I had what Kirk lovingly refers to as “breakdown Wednesday” where I’d have a complete mental breakdown about halfway through the week. As the exam got closer, it became “break down Monday and Wednesday” and pretty soon Kirk was talking me off the ledge nearly every day. Finally I took the bar at the end of July 2008, and Kirk got me a card to open every single day after that day’s testing. The thoughtfulness that he still displays is not something that he was taught – it is a quality that he has, that I hope our children have. Over the past 11 years, Kirk:
- Made me a buckeye necklace himself. Collected buckeyes, drilled holes, and strung them on a necklace
- Wore an offensively LOUD shirt at my first half marathon so I could find him in the crowd (he also rode his bike around the city so he could cheer for me at various points in the race)
- Tortured me with Rebecca Black’s “Friday” for like 2 months straight, every Friday. Including one week when he wrote out all the lyrics on post-it notes and put them around the house
- Threw a last-minute New Year’s party with me, which ended at a bar near our house, Kirk shirtless and declaring himself the “King of New Year’s”
- Had the colors on the Terminal Tower changed to blue the night Reid was born (yes this is true, and deserves its own blog post)
- Sent me flowers during my first week at a new job to “set the tone” and “make other ladies jealous”
This list is not exhaustive. I could go on and on about all the beautiful qualities he has, the wonderful things he has done for me and our family, and the way he has changed my life. We had a beautiful wedding (about 6 months after Kirk proposed to me in our basement while I was wearing SWEATPANTS) at which I was so excited that I didn’t eat dinner and drank 2 bottles of champagne instead. We left for Tahiti a couple days later for pretty much the best honeymoon EVER.
Since then, we have been through a lot. A lot of people have left us; some have joined us. I know that we have a lot more adventure in our future – and there is nobody that I’d rather have by my side.