Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Four Years Ago

Most of my posts about Mike or us tend to skip over "our story." When Three Bracelets started most of the readers already knew it so I never went into much great detail, but now with some new friends here it's time to share something that still makes my heart skip a beat. Get a snack because this post is a long one. Four years ago tonight this happened:

In 2006 I packed up my life and left Boise, Idaho, and went to Sydney, Australia, for a little study abroad experience. In 2006 I was also crushing over another boy and thought life was pretty darn perfect. Ah to be caught up in the moment...

While living life up "Down Under" I met one of my best friends, Brielle (aka Bee). Now "our story" never would have happened had I not sent my parents into debt by spending a semester abroad, which as a result would never have presented the opportunity for me to meet Bee. Returning home after one of the most amazing times/semesters of my life, I quickly realized life wasn't all that grand. Nope I felt my first broken heart, I was separated from Bee (she retreated home to New Jersey, and I back to Idaho), and last but not least I still had 1 1/2 more years of college to wrap up. In the interest of getting to know Bee, here she is:
Bee, Annie and Me - The 3 Amigas getting ready to climb the Harbor Bridge
Here is where we fast forward to 2008. Bee has a faster way of finishing things and getting places in life than I do, and so naturally she is quickly on her way to graduation. Yup, homegirl is about to get her diploma and say adios to college life. She is also getting ready to ask me if I want to spend a week on the beach in Sarasota, FL, for a little post-grad celebration. Um Florida, um sun, and ... um reunion with Bee? Count me in! It's the end of May, I didn't have a care in the world except which swimming suits to pack, and I find myself getting ready to head to the airport ... BUT wait at the last minute I decide to bring along my journal for sh*ts and giggles. Back in the day I had 20 journals and diaries hidden in my closet, etched with boring stories and taken over by big dreams.
When I arrived in Sarasota I had no clue what the trip would include, but I was hopeful for a lot of margaritas, some serious sun bathing, and lots of shopping. What I never expected was to go out on my last night in town and meet a boy who was in spring training, would chime in about the latest PBS Frontline, and buy me a drink from the Daiquiri Deck. 
Oh Hey!
I also didn't think I'd head to bed that night writing down his name (actually wasn't even close, but I was drunk and in love) and eventually stalking him 24-hours later. The creeps always get the boy, right? Oddly enough, I have a picture from the night we met except I'm not in it and you can only see his back. 
Boy in the blue on the right. Not the boy in the blue (on the left) puking.
Journal where we wrote down a wrong name, which made the stalker search that much harder.
It wasn't long after sending Mike the initial Facebook email, "Hey do you remember me from last night?" that things took off. The random checking-in type of emails soon became texts which then led to phone calls. (Insert biggest smile here.) Rather than getting paid to work as a Barista, I was soon getting paid to stand behind the counter, pretend that I was brewing coffee, and spent hours texting Mike. If only I had an iphone back then and could laugh at the things I sent him. It's probably better that I don't. Any who moving on ... Now that some time has passed and I've managed to squeeze in 23 credits into my last semester, I wanted to treat myself with a graduation gift to the east coast! Yup, remember those big dreams I mentioned above? Part of my life-long plan was to experience the east and work for a nonprofit. Well the only way I was gonna get my foot in the door was to call this trip a "growing up vacay!" 

Lucky for me, Mike lived on the east coast (Baltimore, MD, to be exact) and was on board with meeting me in NYC! I was more than nervous to be meeting this boy in person after only really knowing him via phone, but you only live once and I would have been one nervous soul in NYC all alone. I arrived at 9:40pm, Mike got to my hotel after 10 and we spent the rest of the night walking the streets of the Big Apple until 3 in the morning. If you're really going to break the ice and get to know someone, take the safe route and venture to one of the biggest cities on earth together :) After getting to know NYC a little better, it was time to see what was going on in DC and the job market there. Mike and I went our own ways and the ever-so amazing Bee decided to meet me in DC. 
DC Monument Tour at Night.
And here is the minute ... the minute I knew something different was up. Getting the chance to hang out with my bestie, I couldn't stop talking about this boy. Sometimes you fall hard for someone and sometimes you simply just fall. We picked up right where we left off and with Mike living in Baltimore, he was only 45 minutes north of DC.  It's not hard to guess, but he darted (okay maybe he didn't dart) to his car and met me in Chinatown. Of course, this trip was just as amazing as NYC, but only this time I was clever enough to say on our last night together, "Shoot we should take a picture together!" even though I was sweating at the thought of asking and knew I'd burn a hole in the photo from looking at it too many times.  He was up for it and below is our very first picture together, in a DC train stop, at who knows what time in the morning, and of course the most awkward smile on my face.


Even though my heart fell for Mike, I wasn't a fan of NYC or DC. I wasn't quite ready to pack up my life and move a gazillion miles away from home, but instead decided on Denver, CO.  Living in Denver for 1 year was one of the best and worst times. I lived with the most amazing friend/roommate, Emily, I wasn't all that happy with my job, I was soooo poor, and my heart was missing a certain someone. Over the course of my year in Denver, Mike and I hitched the wagon on the long-distance train on said let's give it a go.
Estes Park, Colorado
We did it and while it was tough and left us both extremely poor, it was just what I needed. Time to grow up, time to figure out what I want, and time to realize I can make it away from home. Also, time to get to know this boy and see that he was worth something even bigger - a bigger move. Two days after my one-year anniversary in Colorado, I packed up my life again and headed east toward Baltimore, MD. Mike flew into Denver for the last time and joined me on the 1,800 mile/3-day journey. If we were really going to get to know each other it would be sitting less than 2 feet apart for 3 days straight.
And so here we are today, coming up on my 2 Year Anniversary in B-more and celebrating quite simply the best day of my life 4 years ago. Never in a million years could I have planned that I would meet a guy, in a bar, in Florida, on my last night of vacation, who I would talk to for 1 year, date long-distance for 1 year, move across the country for, complain more than 100 times about this city and how it's nothing like my home, but somehow fall for B-more a little more everyday, and truly fall for Mike the way I have. I guess never in a million years would have I thought my semester abroad, Bee's graduation celebration in Florida, and a night at the Daiquiri Deck would have brought about "our story." 

But then again, I also never would have thought my boring stories and big dreams would have packed themselves up when I needed them the most. Mike, I can't say it enough, but I am so thankful you walked into the Deck four years ago tonight ... simply the best day of my life!


Mike, I love you and our story!


  1. Best post ever! Best girl ever!

  2. Awh, makes me smile. Love you Two!

  3. Just found your blog (thanks for following btw!)...this is an awesome story! You guys make a gorgeous couple!