Dear Thomas,

Much like today, that day was hot. Not just a wow, what a summer day kind of hot, but an oppressive, Chicago August day kind of hot. But I donned 5 lbs of ivory silk taffeta and you wore a black wool suit, and we survived the 100+ degree temperature. The sense of calm that enveloped my normally erratic mind was so welcome. Months of planning…and not just in a logistical sense, but in a much bigger life sense, culminated that sunny morning. And as I rounded the corner, arms linked with the two people who had given me life and taught me the values that you and I share at our very cores, I knew there was nowhere else I should have been. At that moment, I knew this thing we had fought for…this thing we had defended and sacrificed for…this thing that people thought we were crazy for keeping going…it was right. It has always been right.

One of my favorite movies…you know, the one you claim you hate watching but usually sit next to me for and alternate laughing at the dumb jokes and rolling your eyes at…that one? There’s a line in there that I love: “I’d rather fight with you than make love to anyone else.”

Is that cheesy? You bet.

But honestly…isn’t love?

But that line just strikes home for me. I’d rather live apart from you for 6 months than be with anyone else. I’d rather move thousands of miles away with you than be “home” with another.

This year has been, in spite of all the blessings, pure hell. You know what I’m talking about…the crap that doesn’t get blogged about, the petty stuff that nags at you and snowballs until it splits you open with a resentment you didn’t know existed, the little stuff that becomes the big stuff, the big stuff that is just big and major and scary, that makes you question everything you believe to be true. We’ve seen it all this year. And honestly, there were times when it was suffocating. When it felt easier to give in, give up, walk away.

But you pulled me back. Every single time.

The goofy grin you give when I need a laugh pulls me back. The squeeze that you give my hand, thinking you’re being gentle with your gorilla grip, pulls me back. Your loyalty, kind heart, and willingness to always do the right thing pulls me back. Your dogged determination and quiet force pulls me back. The shy intelligence you hide away pulls me back. Your willingness to admit your weaknesses pulls me back.

It’s so funny how everything we wanted last year is everything we don’t want this year. A year ago, we were talking about adoptions and mortgages, full-time teaching jobs and masters degrees, running 5ks and baseball games. And now we talk about ice baths and rent checks, Olympic dreams and Sinclair formulas, crossfit and beach camping.

I firmly believe we were meant to be here, be together, and be building this life together. This crazy, beautiful, messy thing is ours. And I know it’s only going to get crazier, more beautiful, and altogether messier.

You are my very favorite.

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