three years.

Brian and I celebrated our 3 year dating anniversary on Friday, August 6th. He had a softball game to play late that night and we were busy all day Saturday, then the week started up... and another week has gone by... and I'm now getting around to finally publishing the post that I'd been working on in honor of The Big 3.

There's this guy that I've been dating for three years today, and I kinda have a thing for him.

(first date, first picture, first experience in Brian's baaad sense of direction, hence our fanciness. august 6, 2007)

Three years, y'all. 1095 days. 26,280 hours.* When you're our age (23 and 24, with me being the cradle robber) and you've last this long, there's almost a feeling of accomplishment that you've successfully stuck it out and made your relationship work for this long.

(the night before Brian left to study abroad in Australia for a semester-- three weeks after the first date! talk about a whirlwind... august 2007)

It has not been easy. For all of the amazing and wonderful times that we've had together, we've for sure had our fair share of aggravated arguments, stubborn standoffs and frustrated f
ights. We obviously eventually made up after the weak moments in our relationship threatened to break us, and while it would be easy to say "I wish we never fought and never disagreed and things were just perfect," well... a) that's not realistic, and b) that's not something that I would hope for.

(Salem at Halloween 2008)

Agreeing to disagree, compromise, and learning which buttons to never not ever push are just a part of what makes a relationship healthy and strong and secure. We know that we have differences, but it's the different people that we are, with opposite personalities and views and beliefs, that make one really good couple.

(Graduated! Brian's celebration at Colgate, May 2009)

This past year has been a pretty monumental one in our little relationship. After our first two years together (minus summers and school holidays) were spent long distance, with the two of us going to school with 5 1/2 hours between us, we've had an entire year to really and truly get to know each other and spend endless amounts of time together (this is both good and... a learning experience). We moved in together late last August and came to realize all of the little quirks that we both have that had never really and truly been revealed. When you live apart, you go to the person, see their space, stay for a bit, and then exit the scene before Still Live Alone behaviors come out.

(new year's eve 2009)

I'm OCD about my bathroom being clean. I hang up my towels, wipe down the counters, clean water spots off of the faucet... it's my daily post-getting ready routine, whereas Brian drapes his towel over the footboard and forgets about it. I make my bed every single morning and am constantly smoothing the wrinkles out of the comforter; at school, the boy slept on one sheet with a purple comforter. ONE SHEET, my friends, that got washed when I went to visit. I've learned not to nag and he's learned that yes, there is indeed a towel hook on the bathroom door and yes, it DOES matter if the stripes on that pillowcase face vertical or horizontal. Compromise, people... we compromise. Brian can also play video games and watch sports for hours. on. end. This, as I've been told, is just typical man behavior and is the reason why we will have a "man cave" in our someday-home.

(Hootie and the Blowfish concert, August 2008)

Brian likes to recycle. He undoubtedly learned it from his dad, who will watch what you're throwing away in order to catch any piece of recycleable material and put it in the "to be recycled" pile in his parents' kitchen. I don't even think about it while I cook, often just throwing trash into a grocery bag and taking it to the trash chute, but I'm trying. Thinking I was doing a good deed, I picked up a bin at Target one day, with the intention of it holding our recycleables. Y'all, I created a monster. "Styrofoam-- NOT recycleable. Can, yes. Plastic tomato container, yes. Foil, yes. Again, Katie-- styrofoam, NO!" I love him for it, and he's so proud of his little separated recycle bin in the kitchen, so I let him have it.

(summer 2010)

The Boy also puts up with my MawMaw ways, and for this, he deserves a medal of honor. On certain days, I can go from full of energy to passed out on the bed in about 5 minutes. I can't eat or drink anything acidic without Nexium, and he shakes his head when he can hear my just-in-case pill bottles for all of my "ailments" rattling around in my bag. He's well aware that he's dating an 82 year old woman in a 24 year old's body, yet he still loves me.

(The Nutcracker for my birthday, December 2009... and please excuse the makeup and my look.)

BGK, you have made me so happy these past three years. While we've for sure had our moments, there is no one else in the world that I could ever imagine going home to at the end of the day and nobody else who I can't wait to spend my someday-forever with.

(Brian's sister Meghan's wedding, December 2007)

You meet me everyday at the train with a smile; you help me cook when I'm so tired I don't even want to stand up; you support me 152% in my running and my efforts towards healthy eating (and eat every meal with a compliment), and that means so much; you know just how to make me laugh, even when I don't want to; you have the most fabulous singing voice and treat me to your melodies all of the time... all. of. the. time.; you no longer gag when I eat bean burritos; you dance with me, even when you really don't want to; you drink wine with me, even though you hate it; you love that I love just the right amount of and have just enough knowledge of sports, yet am still all girl and would rather throw a sports party and entertain than be yelling on the couch with the guys; you don't complain when I come home on bad days and put on baggy pajama pants and my favorite stained sweatshirt.

(Plymouth Plantation, March 2009)

You get along well with my family (big stuff right there, my friend), play with Lucy, and pay just enough attention to the cats to get you by; you're just fine with staying in and having relaxing nights for our date nights; you see girlie movies with me, as long as I see action movies with you (like I said, good ole compromise); you don't complain when I insist on multiple Mexican nights for dinner; you let me plan our weekends/dates/trips to my little heart's content and just come along for the ride; you appreciate my goofiness and just laugh laugh laugh (may it be at me or with me, I really don't care).

(Brian's first trip to Texas! San Antonio, May 2008)

You encourage my snapping routines; you embrace my ungracefulness and inability to coordinate or walk straight; you love me even on my most moodiest of days and have learned to handle the tears that I can so, so easily cry; you're so smart, determined and focused, and you know what you want out of life, which is something that I completely admire; you can talk sports with my dad (and brother), which I always knew would be a dealbreaker when it came to qualities the guy in my life would have to have.

(Aaand... San Antonio trip #2, May 2009)

I love that I can trust you with no hesitations, and that I know you always have been and always will be honest with me. You take care of me and support me and love me unconditionally. You have happily embraced with me the fact that we've moved on from the lovey dovey honeymoon phase of our relationship, to the old married couple phase, and can laugh with me at stories of new couples who have yet to see what's still to come. More than anything, you are my true best friend. My life with you is happy happy happy and I am so beyond grateful to have found you and to get to share my days with you.

(Weekend with my family in Connecticut for my graduation, May 2010)

Happy Three to Us!

(sidenote: I initially wrote "8760 hours (I think-- my math skills aren't anything to brag about)," which is obviously true. Because it's so me, it stayed in the post).

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