Ten Years.

chester and lauren

Our very first picture together

Today is the tenth anniversary of the day that Chester and I first met. TEN years, people. That calls for a little trip down memory lane, yes?

Let’s look back to March of 2005, when I had just ended the relationship that I was in through half of high school and all of college. I quickly realized that spending all of those years with the same person had left me with virtually NO idea of how to date. Prospects in my circle of friends were slim and I was absolutely not the type to hang out in a bar, hoping that the love of my life would walk in.

So, I decided to take my search online. After several horrible experiences with guys from Match, I decided to move over to Yahoo! Personals (which has since been purchased by Match). I had no reason to believe that this would yield better results, but it was cheaper and you all know how I love a bargain.

I had been on for about three days when this cute guy (that would be Chester) sent me an “icebreaker”—a short, little message to say that he had liked my profile. Thankfully, I had chosen a photo taken before my despair over being single led me into the poor decision of letting my mom cut my hair.

I sat on the icebreaker for several days, not really sure if I wanted to be disappointed again. But, late one night, just before I was about to go to bed, I just felt like I had to answer him. Something was telling me that he was different.

And, the rest, as they say is history.

For the next month, we e-mailed and IMed (those were the days, right?) and agreed to meet in person. On April 23rd, I showed up to our agreed upon meeting, on the corner of 3rd and Chestnut Streets.

And, I waited. And, waited.And, waited.

It started to rain. I became annoyed that I had bothered to spend the money to have my hair professionally blow dried so that the mullet was less obvious.

When random guys riding by on bicycles started whistling at me, I mentally gave Chester five more minutes to show up before heading home.

Luckily for him, he careened around the corner in his silver car, just in time. Which was actually a full 45 minutes past the appointed time. So, it was also lucky for him that he was just as cute in person as he was photos.

And, I was hungry, so I figured the least he could do was buy me dinner. So, we headed to Continental.

I kept up the charade of being annoyed for awhile. But, he was so nice and easy to talk to that it was hard to stay mad. And, he didn’t seem to mind that my hair was reminiscent of David Bowie’s, circa 1972.

We ended the night with coffee at Cosi and a walk on Penn’s Landing. By then, I knew that he was the “The One.”

I cancelled my Yahoo! membership that night. By that summer, we had moved in together.

In 2009, we got engaged—which is also a good story, but one that I’ll save that for another day.

engagement

Returning to where it all began, for our engagement photo shoot

We got married the next year.

wedding

Three years later, B came along.

11-bdai-1011

We had NO idea what we were doing.

So, ten years, one apartment, one house, two cats, one dog, one kid, several job changes, thousands of miles traveled together by plane, train and automobile, hundreds of fights, millions of laughs later, there is still no one else that I would rather be with.

toledo

One of my favorite photos of us, in Toledo, Spain on our honeymoon

Every day has been THE BEST.

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