On this day, fourteen years ago, I married my soul mate. Handsome guy, huh? I definitely think so. And boy, do we look so young there.
I want to share with you a story about a man. He's the most incredible man I know. His real name is Steven, however, I'll call him Colt to protect his anonymity. ;)
The ceremony was short and sweet, exactly the way we both wanted. Well, technically, we wanted to get married in Vegas, but because our families were opposed to the idea, we settled for a Justice of the Peace ceremony, followed by an incredible reception.
Anyway, on to the story...
Fourteen and a half years ago, on October 16, 2001, I received an email. Someone had responded to my personal profile on Yahoo. I was a single mom at the time, I spent all my time at work or with my kids, and I definitely didn't have time to go out and meet people. so I figured what the hell. However, I posted the profile and then didn't think anything of it.
Until I get this message from this guy. I didn't know him, but he gave me a link to his profile, which had a picture of him. Keep in mind, my profile did not have a picture of me. I thought he was handsome, so I decided to message him back. That started an email conversation that lasted for about two weeks. At that point, I gave him my phone number. And for the next two weeks, we talked on the phone every single night for hours and hours. We talked about all the things that we had in common, which was a lot. We both loved the same broad range of music, we both spent most of our time working... For those two weeks, I think we learned so much. I still never gave him a picture of me.
And then, on November 17, 2001 - one month after that first email - he asked me out.
I was terrified. Absolutely scared out of my mind to meet someone on the Internet. I mean, seriously, bad things happened to people who did that. Like the girl in the horror movie who always goes in search of the noise...that kind of stuff. What if he was a serial killer? Or something equally as horrible? Or what if the picture he sent wasn't really his picture? What if he had a third eyeball or something?
I was smitten.
For the two weeks after that, we spent as much time together as we could, but I was still leery of letting him meet my kids - Tyler and Taylor were 8 and 5 at the time. So, on the weekends, I had my parents babysit while he and I went out on dates. And then came the day when my parents couldn't babysit and he asked if I wanted to go do something. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what he would say if I mentioned my kids would have to come along... so I blurted it out. And this amazing, incredible man said he'd be glad to meet my kids and he took us to the park. My kids thought he was the greatest thing ever. My daughter treated him like a jungle gym and he didn't have an issue with it.
For the next two months, we spent all of our extra time together. I was head over heels in love with this crazy wonderful man.
And then, on January 18, 2002, he took me to a Dallas Stars hockey game.
That morning, I woke up at my mother's house with excitement fizzing in my veins. It was my wedding day. Getting ready took precedent over everything, including eating, but food didn't matter. Getting married did. Getting married to the most amazing man in the world was all I could think about. Well, that and whether or not he was hiding a violent past, or maybe a kid or two. Yes, I was thinking those things because this man... he was too good to be true.
For the entire week before the wedding, I worked myself into a frenzy. I was freaked out thinking of the worst possible scenarios. This guy opened my car door, he held my hand whenever possible, he bought me dinner, he wanted to spend time with me, he loved my kids, he loved me... surely there was something wrong with him. Guys like him didn't really exist, right?
So, with my nerves eating away at me, I convinced myself that he was simply a good guy. Although, I still couldn't wrap my head around the fact that he was mine, but that was for another day. I had to accept that he was, and I'm happy to say, he wasn't hiding anything from me. He was and is simply a good man.
The moral of the story is, I wouldn't be here without him. I owe him all of my success. This incredible, wonderful, handsome, funny man doesn't have a selfish bone in his body. Every single thing he does is for me, our children and our dogs. I only hope he knows how much he means to me.
He is the very reason I can write about happily ever after... because he gave me mine.
Here's to many, many, many more years together, Steven.
I love you with my whole heart!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nicole Edwards lives in the suburbs of Austin, Texas with her husband and their youngest of three children. The two older ones have flown the coop, while the youngest is in high school. When Nicole is not writing about sexy alpha males and sassy, independent women, she can often be found with a book in hand or attempting to keep the dogs happy. You can find her hanging out on social media and interacting with her readers - even when she's supposed to be writing.