Crash Into Me: Our Love Story

I drove his Jeep to work this morning. The AC is broken, which meant I was cruising with the windows down- all four windows – on my way to work.

His radio is broken too. So I plugged my iPhone into his cassette adapter and listened to Pandora.
The first song that came on was “Crash” by Dave Matthew’s Band. 
I instantly thought of the first night Justin and I met.
Our first photo!!!
How we crashed into each other so unexpectedly. 
I was not ready for a relationship. Well, emotionally anyway. But I guess I was always the girl secretly looking for that “once in a lifetime” love – but after so many heartbreaks, I was fragile. 
And broken. 
Oh, so broken.
And I suppose I wasn’t ready to “settle down” – it’s funny looking back at my former self. 
I was so stubborn and independent. 
I think Justin would argue that I still am both of those traits.  
But I was convinced I would move to New York City. 
I would be a columnist or author like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & the City.
Or become the next Oprah Winfrey. 
Or write novels like Stephen King – only my novels wouldn’t be horror stories. They’d be inspiring love stories or hilarious tales from a single woman’s hilarious life in a big city. 
Maybe I’d have kids. 
Maybe I wouldn’t. 
But if you’d ask me when I was 19, I would tell you kids aren’t for me. 
I glanced down at my belly.
My 8 month pregnant belly. 
It’s amazing how people can change you – in a good way, of course. 
And it’s amazing how your expectations and dreams can also change. 
I started to think back to the moments in our relationship that defined us. That shaped our future.
That first night we met.
We were just 19 years old.
Babies. 
We were just babies – trying to figure out who we were and what we wanted to do with life.
I’ll never forget that night. What we wore. The first words out of his mouth. Our first kiss (yeah, it was that night – sorry for being so classy, mom). 
We won our first game of beer pong together. I told him he was my soulmate. Little did I know, I was right.
 I had found my soulmate that night in a dirty college basement.
The night we crashed into each other.
The night that shaped my future. 
One single night.
Just a few short months later, I knew I loved him. I hated every second I was away from him. I wanted to sleep next to him every night. I wanted to see his face every single morning. I wanted to eat every meal with him. I wanted to tell him every story about my day. I simply wanted to share every moment with him.
I remember one night we were studying for an all-nighter together.
I looked over at him.
He looked so handsome.
He didn’t know I was watching him. He had his glasses on and he was deep into reading his text book.. His hair was longer. His eyebrow was pierced back then too.
Justin had more piercings than me. Kidding, but really.
I love this man. 
I had only known him a few short months, but I felt it with every inch of soul. I knew I never wanted to experience a second of this life without him by my side. 
He caught me staring at him.
Oh crap! Look down!
“What?” he asked and smiled.
“Nothing,” I said and quickly pretended to be reading again. 
Who wants to read about tribes in South Africa for their Anthropology class when love is on the mind?
I couldn’t be the first to say “I love you” – even I though WAS the one who said it first a few weeks later.  I was getting ready to pick up a friend from the airport and I stopped by to drop off something. He gave me a hug and kiss goodbye then I turned around and yelled, “See you later! Love you!”
We just starred at each other without moving. 
Yup, I just said it. Those three small words with such a big meaning. 
But I pretended I didn’t say it.  
He pretended not to hear it. 
And then we later joked about it. 
Just a few days later, he told me he loved me as I was crying my eyes out because my car got towed.
“This stupid girl said I could park there!” I said bawling. “How can I even afford this?!”
“Don’t worry, baby!” Justin said. “I can help you out.”
I looked at him with tears overflowing my eyes and he said, “I love you!” 
But he said it so quickly that it sounded like one single word. We joke about that all the time too.
I have many other memories and moments in our relationship that melt my heart. 
The time he borrowed someone’s car in a HUGE snow storm just to get to Marsh and cook me dinner. 
Our first Valentine’s Day dinner together.

My boo.
The time he took care of me when I felt like I was dying from my wisdom teeth surgery. 
Wisdom teeth removal = the worst.
Our first vacation to Florida together (I was kind of an asshole, but he stuck with me). 
Beach babes.

One of my favorites.
 We always joke that if we could survive that trip together – we can survive anything….
We have so many firsts.
The first and only time I wore shamrock earrings.
Sure, we have bad days. 
And we are both guilty of saying things we don’t mean.
We’re human.
We aren’t perfect.
But I do believe we are perfect (as perfect can be) for each other.
It’s easy to forget those moments and memories when stresses and worries from the day cloud my mind. 
But this morning, my mind was clear as the sky. 
My windows were down.
And I couldn’t help but be extremely thankful for the day that Justin and I met.

The day I fell in love with him.
Our first all nighter!

The day I actually told him I loved him.
We look so young!

The day he proposed.
Cheers to a perfect day!
Even though he actually proposed on my 21st birthday with a cocktail shrimp!
I said YES!

The day we got married.
Such an incredible day…

The day we found out I was pregnant.
Baby Sieb!

And every single day in between.
Love in a nutshell.

Love (in all forms and capacities) is truly what life is all about…plain and simple. 
Thank you for making me a better person, Justin. I can’t tell you how happy I feel looking through all of these old pictures and thinking about all of our great memories. I know we have many, many more to come…I love you.
Much love,
Ashley

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