the other one

When I got my first tattoo for Ethan, I made a post about it. Getting the tattoo that I had wanted since I first knew that Ethan would be arriving was a big thing for me, as someone who tends to just push things to the back of my mind out of fear or nervousness. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that in May I got a second tattoo and then never blogged about it.

Today, I want to blog about it.

I love talking about the love story that my husband and I share. I love digging up old pictures from when we were fifteen and sixteen years old and falling in love over our mutual love for punk rock, silly socks, overzealous eyeliner and weird plaid clothing. I love confirming what strangers are always inquiring about: that we stayed together, always together, since that day in January of 2002 when he asked me to be his girlfriend over the internet because he was too scared to do in person or over the phone. With my "yes" and immediate AOL Profile marital status update, well, our forever was sealed. And that seal, really, has never been broken. Some people think it's sweet. Others turn up their noses and retort how awful it must be to have been with the same person since you were fifteen years old. But what it is for me, what it will always be, what it has always been, is a beautiful chunk of my life that I have spent with the person who created this world for me. And so in May, in honor of our wedding anniversary, I bit my lip and all-but-cried my way through another tattoo appointment to have this tattoo done in honor of my husband.

People ask "why the sailboat?" It was inspired from lyrics of a Glen Hansard song -- perhaps you know it from the film Once -- that says, "take this sinking boat and point it home, we've still got time." These lyrics encompass so much of how I feel about my relationship with my husband. When he met me, I was trying to swim my way out of a dark, destructive place that I had put myself into through careless, stupid actions. My life was nothing but a notebook full of Matt Skiba lyrics and willing this life to end, to stop; wondering what my purpose was, if I had one at all. It was your typical teenage melodrama served with a side of I really should make better friends and choices and I hated much about life and, really, myself. When my husband came into my life in the form of a sixteen year old boy, we fell in love and he saved me from the darkness I found myself swimming in. I never thought it possible, not at fifteen and not now at 28, to be loved so unconditionally like the way he has always loved me. No matter if I'm an acne-laden teenager with frizzy hair and a poor sense of fashion or 36 weeks pregnant and sobbing between vomit fits on my hemorrhoid pillow, he always made me feel like I was beautiful. He was always that fresh air I had to follow to find myself home.

Life isn't always easy. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes college can be painful when you're teenagers trying to live a grown up life amongst people who make it their business to not understand. Sometimes graduating college can be tough because you're buying a house while all of your friends are refusing to say goodbye to the parties and single life. Sometimes parenting can be tough when your spouse is working crazy schedules and you never see one another or get to spend valuable family time. But through it all, whenever life seems like it's at it's darkest, my husband has been the one person there to point things back in the right direction and reminding me that life? It has the capability to be beautiful. There's always time to bring things back to beautiful.

I had wanted a line drawing sailboat but as the days got closer to my appointment, I couldn't shake the feeling that I wanted text as well. At nearly midnight the evening before my appointment, my sweet friend Ashley (who lives in another state! And has three children! How grateful I am for her!) penned me the lyrics I'd been dreaming of in a handwriting I likely poorly described -- but she nailed it. I saw what she came up with and I knew that was it, that was what I wanted. The lyrics come from a Get Up Kids song that I've been putting on mix CD's and playlists for and about my husband since we were teenagers. "I wouldn't change anything, you're still my everything." Having grown up alongside the man that you love, well, it's always been fitting. He's always going to be my everything. He's always going to be the man who drops what he's doing to make Ethan his first priority; the man who I will be endlessly in love with always. The man who is the daddy I always dreamed of him being, the husband I always dreamed about marrying. And this amazing life we have together, the struggles and stress and hard times included in all of it? There's no one else I'd want to navigate through it with. He'll always be my everything.


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