Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fairy Tales do come true.....

at least in the simplest form.

It all began thirteen years ago in the basement of the Briggs house in Great Falls, Virginia. I was a junior in high school and it was close to spring break. Well we were still in school but college was out on their break. Our band of friends were having a great time playing pool and being, well your typical teenagers. We hung out at the Briggs house a lot, especially in the summer. They had a pool in the backyard and a huge basement. I knew Chris from Marching Band and had only a month or so earlier discovered he had a twin brother, David. So you might imagine my surprise to find out on this day that my friend had yet another brother.
It was, as my sister described in her MOH speech, a West Side Story moment. This tall, dark, handsome guy came walking down the stairs and it was as if time stopped. Everyone and everything faded into the background until it was just him and I. And my first thought was OH MY GOD he is so freaking hot, who the hell is he? It didn't take me long to find out it was just Chris and David's older brother, Fred. YOUR WHAT!? Fred looked nothing like his brothers. He had long dark, gorgeous hair (longer than mine) and totally sporting the "bad boy" imagine. I was hooked.
After that first meeting, Fred and I slowly became friends. Keeping in touch, emailing each other and hanging out when he was home in the summer. It was in this getting to know him that my feelings really started to take off, but of course being the immature teenager, I was too scared to admit how I felt. Though I was sure he knew, thanks to the guys of the group who would tease me about it every moment, especially if Fred was around. But nothing was said, at least not out loud. The years went by, I graduated and went off to college. We continued to keep in touch while dating other people. However, Fred constantly occupied my mind for the next six years driving my sister and friends absolutely nuts. Luckily, the summer of my second year of college my sorority sister decided to hold a party at her parents home in Arlington.
It was August of 1999. The party was getting started, we were waiting for our friends to arrive. I had invited David (not sure where Chris was) and other friends from high school and began thinking of how I would like to invite Fred. Of course I was too scared to do it and a friend of my sorority sister decided to do it on my behalf. To my surprise he agreed. Now the story gets a bit funny here when Fred arrived without his brother David. You see the Briggs boys don't really communicate with each other. Neither knew they were invited to same party and had left on their own. David, apparently got lost. I'm sure at this point in the story you are thinking, good god this woman is a talker. Hang in there this portion is almost done. A few hours and many drinks into the party I was having a conversation with some friends and my sister when once again the topic of Fred came up. Shocker! My sister, totally drunk off her ass and really annoyed with hearing this story for the umpteenth time, disappeared only to return with Fred following her. I was mortified because I knew what she was doing. A few things were said that I don't remember but the most important of them was this. My friend mentioned that he thought Fred and I would make a good couple and Fred responded with, "so do I." I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped and my eyes glazed over making me look like some moron but I couldn't help it. I was paralyzed. Stunned by what I just heard. I'd been dying to hear that for so many years and was sure I was just imagining it. I wasn't.
That night I guess you could say we started "dating." However I was living in Harrisonburg and school was about to start again. Thus began the many travels of Fred down 81 to visit me at JMU every weekend for the next three years. The first time we kissed, I have to admit my heart was pounding so fast I was sure it would explode out of my chest. I don't recall ever being this nervous to kiss someone in my life. The first time I knew and wanted to say "I love you" was about a year later. It was the weekend and Fred had tickets to a Redskins game. He drove down to Harrisonburg to pick me up, then all the way to D.C. where we caught the metro to the stadium. I was developing a horrible cold at the time but wasn't about to pass up tickets to see my favorite football team or a chance to spend time with Fred. I remember standing on the platform, Fred holding me, and I looking up at him. The first thing that came to my mind was, "I love you," but found myself once again scared to say it out loud. It wouldn't be until a few days later that these words were said out loud by either of us. Not sure who actually said it first, but does it really matter?
From this moment on, I was really falling in love with him more everyday and even allowing myself to wonder about marrying him. My last year of college Fred bought a little townhouse in Sterling and I moved in with him. Despite his allergies, Fred agreed to keep Zeke while I was at school. Those months created their special bond and I knew things were getting serious between us. This was by far my longest relationship ever and my parents just adored him.
After graduation, I fully moved in with Fred and over the years watched as our friends get married, starting their lives together. Quite honestly my "life" had already started with Fred. We were living together and shared everything as if it was "ours." Still I longed for that ring on my finger. I would tease him about it sometimes. After all we'd been a couple for 4 years. How long did you need to know that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?
My question was answered on November 1, 2003. The night before we were hanging out at the Hobby Shop, where Fred used to work, and singing karaoke. Well I guess I was the only one singing. I thought it would be funny to sing the song, Wedding Bell Blues. Little did I know the ring was in his pocket that evening. The following day Fred was on the phone making secretive plans. I was getting suspicious, especially when he suggested we get dressed up and go out to Sam and Harry's for dinner. He never does things like this. Something was up and I was guessing he might propose. Now it has been 6 years since this happened and maybe its time to finally admit in full disclosure that I actually found the ring one day in his desk at work. Well, not the ring itself but the box. I was looking through his drawers like I always did when bored waiting for him to end the day and there it was. I immediately closed the drawer trying to act as if I hadn't seen a thing. Though I honestly thing he suspected that I did. I stopped opening his drawers after that day. Ever since I kept waiting for it to happen and was beginning to think maybe I even imagined the box. Once at dinner, and it was a very nice dinner he planned, we talked and ate and I kept waiting for something to happen. I even tried to get it out of Fred but he wasn't admitting anything. Once dinner was over and dessert arrived and nothing I was convinced that I was wrong. It was this moment that Fred admitted he did have an alternative motive. Of course now I wasn't expecting it and I felt my heart leap up into my throat.
I'm sure he had some special speech prepared but he took one look at my face, which he said was looking as if I would pass out, and thought he better get this out fast. I said yes. Like he really had to ask. The next 16 months of our lives were consumed by wedding plans until the big day.
It was the most beautiful day in April that year. Sunny, warm and gorgeous. We really lucked out with the weather for an outdoor wedding. The weekend before was a huge thunderstorm and we heard it rained the two subsequent weekends. The venue was perfect. The Thomas Birkby House, a cute historical home in downtown Leesburg. I put everything into this wedding. Hand making every invitation, program, bouquet, centerpiece, etc. I was expecting to be totally nervous and a complete teary mess. Surprisingly I wasn't nervous at all, expect when Pachebel Cannon in D started signaling my walk down the aisle. But my dad just squeezed my arm and told me to breathe. I didn't even cry, like Fred suspected I would. The women in my family are very emotional. I was all smiles and never more sure of any decision I ever made in my life. As my dad said, you couldn't wipe that grin off my face all day. I was on cloud nine and rightfully so. It was the best day of my life!! I married the man I thought I could never get. My fairy tale had come true.
Now here I sit four years later watching the video of that day, and trying not to cry. Thinking back over the last four years and all we have managed to accomplish. A lovely home in Leesburg and now this new home in Ashburn. The birth of our son and watching him grow over the last two and half years. The success of Fred's company and now the impending birth of our daughter. I feel like we have been blessed with so much. It's been rocky and definitely not perfect but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I know that my life is better because of Fred and my children and fully believe that I would die without them. As our Wedding song states, "I could not ask for more."

I love you babe, thank you so much for loving me, marrying me, giving me the chance to be the mother of your beautiful children and putting up with all my crap. You really are the best man I know. Happy Anniversary!!!

Below is a highlight video of our wedding day.  I've had some difficulty getting this converted from a DVD to a clip I can post on a website and this was the best I could do.  So please forgive the watermark in the center of the image and enjoy the video anyway!!  
Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment