Our Love Story

I could tell our story over and over again, because sometimes
I still can't believe it finally happened to me.

This is the story of how I met my "Lobster"...

I got a phone call from a friend of mine. She was out with her husband at a retirement party, and there was another cop from his precinct there who they were talking to - "He's cute!" she says, "and he's divorced... can I give him your number"? In spite of the fact that the last time she had tried to fix me up with someone it was a total disaster, I thought to myself, "what do I have to lose?"
So I told her to give him my number, and kinda forgot about it.

*This would be a good some brief background on my relationship with R's dad. I will try to keep it brief. I met him in 8th grade. We dated until my senior year of high school. He was my first love, and I really thought we would be together forever. Of course, we weren't. Skip ahead five years - now I'm done with college, working full time, loving my life. We ran in to each other at a party, and the rest was history... or not. Five years after we got back together, I got pregnant with R. It was not planned, but I was under the impression that we would get married eventually, so I was happy. I had always wanted to be a mom, so I was on board. He, on the other hand, couldn't handle it. I came to find out later that he had been cheating on since before R was conceived. After denying it for a while, he left me for the other woman for good when I was 5 months preggo with R.                             He was gone, and R & I were on our own. *

Anyway, back to my "Lobster"...
I hadn't been feeling well for a few days, but decided to take R out for a walk, hoping the fresh air would do me some good. While we were out walking, my phone rang. It was the guy my friend gave my number to! I couldn't believe he actually called! Come to find out, his name is Jay. At this point, he is in the middle of getting divorced, and has 3 boys, ages 7, 3 and 1. We had a really nice chat and I agreed to meet him at a local diner that Saturday night. Little did I know, the man upstairs had other plans.

I still wasn't feeling well, and I had started to swell in my hands, feet and legs. It was getting worse by the minute. Long story short, I ended up in the hospital! I had to cancel our date :(
I was there for a week and it was the longest week of my life. I was literally having panic attacks daily from being away from R, who was only 20 months old at the time. They never did figure out what was wrong with me - they called it virus of unknown origin. I was unable to work for a month after, and was on breathing treatments for quite some time. Needless to say, dating was the last thing on my mind.

A couple of months went by and I was finally starting to feel like myself again.  I was getting together with a bunch of friends at a local bar, and the couple who had given Jay my number were also going to be there, so I decided to send Jay a text and see if he could make it. I admit, I took the easy way out. I was too nervous to call him after all that time had passed, so I sent him a text message instead. I couldn't believe it when he answered! He was going to come!!! I literally invited every person I knew.
I was SO nervous!

It must have taken me 3 days to pick out an outfit. Then I changed my clothes at least 5 times before I left the house. Thank goodness my sister agreed to babysit, because I definitely needed her fashion advice and brutally honest critique before I left the house. I remember walking in to that bar that night so vividly in my mind. That night changed my life forever. Now, I need to preface my next statement by saying I am not a shallow person, looks are definitely not at the top of my list of important qualities. However, for some reason, I was picturing Jay a certain way based on the sound of his voice, and for whatever reason, the picture wasn't pretty. Maybe my subconscious was trying to keep my expectations low so I wouldn't be disappointed. Who knows?! Anyway, I remember thinking as I walked in
"Oh thank goodness, he's SO CUTE!!!"

His personality definitely matched his good looks. He was so sweet, polite and chivalrous. Of course we started talking about our children right away, and we really hit it off. At the end of the night, he offered to drive me home. I know my bestie was nervous about me leaving with him, but I just had this feeling... like I had known him forever. He drove me home in what has been lovingly referred to since that night as his "little blue spaceship", or Toyota Prius, lol. I was so fascinated by the workings of the hybrid, plus he was concerned about the environment! That definitely scored him some points! When we got to my house, he told me he wanted to kiss me, but he was too nervous... so I kissed him instead. I'm usually not like that, but something in my gut was telling me this was right. 
We made plans to see each other later that week, and said good night. 

... and just like that, my world came alive again. After almost 3 years of depression, fear of being alone forever, and living my life only for my son - my world was filled with so much color and hope. I don't really believe in love at first sight per say,
but something was definitely going on here... and I couldn't wait to see him again. 

To be continued....
Our first official date was on a Wednesday night. I called my sister over to stay with R, and Jay took me to a local restaurant for dinner. I can't remember the last time I had butterflies in my stomach like that. The atmosphere was nice, the food was great, and there was no lull in the conversation at all. I was on cloud nine after that. I could not stop thinking about him, or talking about him. 
I couldn't wait to see him again.

We started seeing each other a couple of times a week. A few weeks passed and he asked me to be his girlfriend... Did grown-ups do that? I don't know, but I thought it was the cutest & sweetest thing ever! About a week after he asked me to "go steady", we were out at the movies. We went to see Transformers, and I will remember this date forever. We were sitting there in the dark, holding hands, and I was leaned up against his chest. I don't think I've ever felt so safe. I remembering closing my eyes and thinking "I could see myself still sitting here 30 years from now", and that's how I knew I had fallen in love with him. The only thing left was for me to meet his boys.

The following week I met B for the first time. Since he was the oldest (7 at the time), we knew he was going to have the hardest time. We took him to a Yankee game with some of Jay's friends, this way we would have a buffer. I think it went as well as could be expected. He was shy, nervous, a little stand-offish... and rightfully so. Rome wasn't built in a day, so we knew it would take some time.  I'm telling you about this night, because this was also the night we said I love you to each other for the first time.
It was July 18, 2007.
Little did I know that on this date, exactly 3 years later, I would marry this amazing man. 

Eventually I met Jay's other two boys, and we started spending time together on the weekends. Incorporating our families took a little work, but aside from that I think our relationship progressed like any other. We started house-hunting at the end of 2008. I knew I wanted to be with Jay for the rest of my life, so I wasn't at all nervous about buying a house together. I knew my father was less than thrilled with us living together before we were married, or even engaged, but I was going to do it anyway. By the first week in February of 2009, we had an accepted offer on our home.

What comes next is one of my favorite parts of the story...

Since Valentine's day was a Saturday that year, we knew we would never get a sitter. Jay's parents are still head over heals in love, so they were going on a date, and my dad was taking his girlfriend out to celebrate. Since we haven't found a babysitter yet who candle all 4 boys, we decided to make plans for Thursday, when my dad could watch R and the boys would be with their mom.

Jay made reservations for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. We had made a deal that we wouldn't exchange gifts since we were about to go to contract on the house, and we were going out for this fancy dinner. All I asked for was a small box of Godiva chocolates (Yum-O!!!). I wasn't feeling well at all that day, I was so miserable. I tried to make the best of it at dinner, but my tummy was no good. Poor Jay, all I could think of the whole time at dinner was that I had only seen a card in his hand. I was furious because I thought for sure he had bought me a gift card, and now I didn't have a gift for him -
and where were my Godiva chocolates??? 

After dinner he gave me the card. I was feeling a little less guilty when I realized that there was no gift card inside. As I started to read the card I realized, this was my gift. You see, Jay isn't so good with words, and his handwriting is atrocious! He painstakingly typed multiple paragraphs about how much I meant to him and his boys. He even made it fancy by cutting out the paragraphs with his mom's scrap booking sheers! Tears came to my eyes as I read his touching sentiments. By the time I got to the end I was shaking. I had no idea when we sat down at that table, but now I knew what was happening... When I looked up Jay was down on one knee, right there in the middle of the restaurant, 
and he asked me to be his wife!  

Of course I said YES!!!

When we got out to the car after dinner Jay told me to pop open the glove compartment. What was in there??? You guessed it, MY GODIVA CHOCOLATES!!! Who's better than this guy???

We made a few stops on the way home... my best friend's house, my sister's, my dad's...
 It really was an amazing and surreal night. Sometimes I still can't believe it happened. 
I'm so lucky to have found my soul mate.

Since Jay and I met there have been a few days that I would classify as the best days of my life, and this day was definitely one of them. Truth be told, every day I spend with Jay is the best day. 
There is great comfort in knowing that you will wake up every day next to your best friend, 
and that no matter what that day brings, you won't be facing it alone.
Marriage really is a compromise, a give and take. You must make an investment in each other and keeping your relationship fresh and exciting.
For me, the returns on my investment are well worth the effort.


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