It’s crazy for me to think back on the people we were when we met – so carefree and young! – and everything that happened to those two crazy college lovebirds since our first date at The Cheesecake Factory.
Sometimes I look at Ryan and still picture him as the shaggy-haired college junior I met but then I realize he’s no longer 19 and he’s so much more to me than just the hot guy I saw at the gym. I’m so proud to be married to someone who always makes feel like a priority and there’s truly no one else in this world I’d rather have by my side every day. I feel incredibly lucky to have a husband I consider not only the love of my life but a true partner in every sense of the word.
Whoa! I didn’t mean to turn today’s blog post into a mushy-gushy love fest, but sometimes I feel like in the craziness of day-to-day life it’s a GOOD thing to sit back and count our blessings and Ryan is certainly one of mine.
When we were driving back home from Florida after Christmas, Ryan and I got into quite the comical discussion about little things we know about each other that we think might surprise those who don’t know us very well. I thought this discussion might make a fun blog post and so Ryan and I turned our random car conversation into today’s blog post.
We’re each sharing seven things we think those who don’t know us very well might be surprised to know about the other person. We each brainstormed seven things about the other person – 14 total, in honor of our 14 year anniversary because we’re cheesy, but hopefully this doesn’t come as a huge surprise to you guys by now. I also threw in some throw back pictures for your amusement!
Seven Things You Might Not Expect About Ryan
In Julie’s words…
He owns “A Little Bit of Mambo,” the Lou Bega album that came out along with his first (and only?) hit, Mambo Number 5. I think we’ve all owned semi-embarrassing CDs in our past that make us laugh but here’s the thing with this one… Ryan STILL maintains that this album is a GOOD one. He still owns it, plays it and sings along with nearly every word. Oh and his first concert was Up in Smoke with Dr. Dre, Wyclef, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Warren G. He also maintains that this concert was a great one, but that one I will give him.
His all-time favorite breakfast (from anywhere, ever) is McDonald’s hotcakes and sausage. His dad used to take him out for hotcakes and sausage when he was a kid, so I think Ryan’s love for this meal is wrapped up in nostalgia, grease and sugary sweet syrup. When McDonald’s began offering breakfast all day, it was a very good day for Ryan.
He plays the drums. Ryan has serious rhythm. He’s always noticing beats and creating his own beats to songs. I always thought this was cool and then the cool-factor went WAAAY up when I learned he used to be in a band in high school called… wait for it… “The Bandits.” You should probably know something about Ryan in high school. He was very far from a rebel and a pretty squeaky-clean soccer-playing kid, so this band name choice made me laugh so hard when he first told me about it. My little bandit.
Little repetitive things easily annoy him. Ryan is an up-for-anything kind of guy which might lead you to initially believe he’s laid back… but he’s also very easily annoyed by certain things, especially repetitive things like someone shaking their leg or tapping a pen on their desk, scrolling through their phone right next to him, a clock ticking, etc. Before I stopped biting my nails, we got in a heated fight or two because he couldn’t handle me going to town on a rogue nail out of the corner of his eye. Also, after 14 years together, I’ve finally come to realize that it’s better for our relationship if I don’t drive when we’re together because the man cannot handle keeping his mouth shut when I am behind the wheel.
He hates spiders. When we lived in Florida, Ryan was our designated roach killer but if a big ol’ spider somehow made it into our house, I had to step up to the plate. (Is it just me, or are cockroaches WAY worse than spiders!?) Also, whenever we go hiking, if Ryan happens to walk through a spider web, he does this spastic Matrix-like move to try to avoid getting any more of the web on him and it freaks the heck out of me every time.
He had shaggy highlighted blonde hair when I met him. He also wore a puka shell necklace and I thought he looked like some kind of a hot Abercrombie surfer model.
He’s an amazing dog dad to Sadie. This one might not be all that shocking because I talk about our obsession with Sadie on this blog a lot, but Ryan’s love for her truly is on another level and it makes my heart so happy. He wants to take Sadie everywhere with us, researches drivable vacation destinations that include her, gets the most overwhelming dog-guilt if something happens and Sadie misses a walk one day, etc. Before Chase was born, I remember thinking to myself that if Ryan loved our first child half as much as he loves Sadie, we’d be in good shape. (Good news: I was right. He’s the best father and Chase wants to be and do everything “just like Dad.”)
Seven Things You Might Not Expect About Julie
Okay, before I copy/paste Ryan’s seven things, I feel like I need to preface his bullet points a bit. I asked him to text or email me his seven things and sent him mine so he could see my formatting. When he sent over his seven things, he said “don’t change or delete anything… unless I spelled something wrong” and I had MAJOR flashbacks to our wedding!
Our pastor asked us to submit five things we love most about each other to him that he planned to read aloud on our wedding day and I sent mine to him directly fairly quickly. A few days later, Ryan emailed me his five things to pass along and I found myself sobbing at my desk at work. I instantly emailed our pastor telling him to throw my five things away and re-wrote everything because Ryan brought the heat and I felt like mine seemed silly and dumpy by comparison. So that’s kind of how I feel about the things he shared below. There were a couple of bullet points he sent my way that made me laugh out loud and a few that made me smile so big that I instantly I wanted to go back and make my bullet points way better but time limited me so, Ryan, you win this one. And I love you.
In Ryan’s words…
She’s very competitive during Game Nights. Day in and day out Julie is a fun loving, relaxed person but the minute a game comes out during Game Night, she becomes the most competitive person I’ve ever met. Seriously. No where else in life is she competitive, but bust out Catch Phrase and I think she would sell her soul to win. Numerous times she opts to not have me on her team because I’m not the best. What the heck!?
She can’t dip to the right. Julie is a great dancer and we’ve been known to get our boogie on at a wedding or two. So as we prepared for our own wedding we laughed away the idea of taking dance lessons for our first dance. Who needs that? We’re pros! 😉 Well, come to find that the we are not. The weekend before our wedding we decided to practice our jig at home. It started great. A little box step, a slow turn, we even threw in a twirl or two. We were feeling confident, smiling and enjoying our practice. But then I tired to dip her right. I planted my foot, she pivoted her hips, but when she bent over her right side she turned into a tree. Stiff as wood, couldn’t bend more than two degrees. Literally she went no where towards a dip. So we tried again. And again. Well, after a couple of the same awkward misses we tried to dip left and she nailed it. We consider this her Zoolander trait and still have fun dancing in our kitchen and trying to dip to the right to this day.
Her driving terrifies me. This one speaks for itself. If you see Julie driving, you should probably drive the other direction. Julie gets nervous going fast and she is easily distracted by her thoughts, the radio, the wind… I often fear for my life when a passenger in Julie’s car and feel my heart rate rising and my butt clenching as I jab my foot relentlessly at the non-existent brake pedal that should be on the passenger side. Julie makes it clear that she doesn’t enjoy my ‘color commentary’ to her driving and therefore this cycle makes for a less than ideal family experience. Needless to say, I drive almost everywhere we go together.
She really is that energetic. Julie is simply the most energetic person filled with positive intent I’ve ever been around. She has a aura of infectious positive energy. She’s the kind of person that you find you are instantly in a better mood after spending time together (unless she’s driving, see bullet above). It’s a joy to see her with Chase and the excitement and love she brings to being a parent. I admire this quality and hope that I bring her as much joy and positive energy as she brings me.
She could eat Ice cream forever. Have you ever played the game where you ask someone what they would choose to eat if they were stranded on a desert island? Julie’s answer is “ice cream.” I’m here to confirm to everyone that I truly believe Julie would happily sustain on ice cream any day, any meal, any flavor. If it weren’t for lactose intolerance (She’s not lactose intolerant medically, simply we all have some intolerance to lactose at high enough quantities. Google “The Milk Challenge.”) she could clearly sustain on ice cream without end. Some of you might say…I’m like this too! Let me assure you that you are not. Just this past Saturday she polished off half of a half gallon of Moose Tracks in one sitting. Yup, this is why we generally don’t keep ice cream in the house.
She’s a Super Mario champion. This one is truly random and goes back to a moment in time from our early dating years. Our first spring break together, Julie’s high school friends came to Florida to hang out. One of those nights we all went out to dinner then decided to just relax and have a few drinks at home. We made some hunch punch and a cup or two later everyone was being silly. My college roommate and I schemed up a plan to have some fun with Julie. He recently found his Super Nintendo and we were nostalgically playing classic games of yore. We plotted to convince Julie that we had agreed on a bet that needed her to get past level 3 in Super Mario or I would lose some astronomical sum of money. (Mind you we were in college and I think the “astronomical” sum was $25.) Needless to say Julie was a bit tipsy and reacted as nervous and bashful as expected when we told her she needed to play. Well, what happened next defied our minds and lives with me to this day. Julie jumps on the controller and proceeds to pilot Mario like Drain-o through a clogged drain. She literally went 14 levels without dying. But here’s the thing: I’m pretty sure she never stopped sprinting and jumping little Mario’s heart out. Mario literally never stopped moving. Our jaws hit the floor and we have been in awe to this day. So, long story short, never bet against Julie on Super Mario.
She’s incredibly kind. This one may not be a shocker but it’s our anniversary and I’m allowed to be a little mushy today. Julie is exceptionally kind and thoughtful. It’s not just the authenticity of her kindness but also the intentional way she goes out of her way to brighten another person’s day. This is another quality I admire and have learned to emulate. It’s the little things here and there that are special. From something as trivial and passing as an informal compliment to a stranger to going out of her way to help others, her authenticity and intent is subconscious. The cliché statement is “she makes me want to be a better man,” but in this case it fits. She makes me want to be a better person to others. Kinder. More intentional with positivity.
Question of the Day
What is one thing you think people would be surprised to know about you?
For those in a relationship, what is one thing you think people would be surprised to know about your partner?