Saturday, May 30, 2009

Love Love Love

The following was originally a facebook note written 02.27.09. I was an even newer newlywed then, but i still feel the exact same way. This is my account of what love has been for me & brad. & how it can be for anyone...

i just watched the movie "ONLY YOU" which is an 80's movie, i would guess (by the hairstyles...) with Marisa Tomei, Bonnie Hunt & Robert Downey Jr. And i loved it. And at the end i got a little teary, as i always do with romantic comedies. And then i realized something. I used to cry at the end of romantic comedies- i say comedies, because it fits my personal love story most...haha... but any romantic movie... i used to cry when the 2 people who you had been hoping would get together from the start of the movie- when they ended up together. And then i would fantasize and be in a goofy dreamland for hours after watching the movie. Some movies had that effect on me more than others... 

I always believed in "soulmates" and "the one" - until the latter part of my singleness when i started to doubt. So when i would get teary at the end of those movies, part of it was because of the beautiful love that was in the movie. But part of it was a LONGING, a deep hope & dream that THAT kind of love is really REAL & TRUE. And another part of me wondered - if it was true - would i EVER find it? Like tonight in one part of the movie, Marisa's character is telling her friend that "soulmates" are real & "the one" is something real & that it has to be because people wrote love stories. She said something like this: "It has to be real. You know those love songs & love stories we love? People wrote those! They came from their EXPERIENCES!" and her friend (Bonnie Hunt's character) says "No, it came from their IMAGINATIONS." Well, not too long ago i would have fully agreed with Bonnie (her character- sorry- i can't remember their names in the movie!). But now I agree with Marisa's character. And i did before, too. You know, before I got all cynical & stuff. Love has a way of messing with your doubt!  ;)

All that to say- it may come from our imaginations when we dream about it and wish for it... But we saw it somewhere...in another couple that we know or maybe on a movie screen. And we began to believe in it. Unfortunately, there came a heartbreak. and another one. and oops- OWWW...another one! And then you doubt. And then you put walls up and you say, "Forget this- it's only in the movies!!" But you know...at some point, those stories DID have to come from someone's experiences. It's not just make believe!

At the end of the movie, I got teary. See, he gets on his plane & he sees her. They stand and that look crosses his face like "omg- i haven't lost her...she is here". And i realized tonight that i no longer cry in these movies because i long for it. I cry because i HAVE it! And, OH HAPPY DAY - i know that it's real!

Now when I watch these romantical scenes, I feel like they are in on the secret. :) The secret is this: God really does have someone planned for someone else. That we do really have "meant to be" & "the one" & "fairytales". Fairytale love is REAL! And i do not mean that in a silly naive way. I know i can be silly. But i am serious when i say that there IS that kind of love. And yes- you do have to get back to day-to-day life and pay the bills and take care of each other and cook supper and do laundry and talk about things that are not easy or comfortable to talk about- but important to your marriage. You have to figure out things and be there for each other... all these things you have to do... But you get to do it with "the one"! And that makes it worth it all. Even in the midst of all those things- it is the MOST WONDERFUL JOY to be paired with someone that you KNOW from the depths of your soul that you were DESTINED to be with.

And even if you don't believe in that kind of love. Even if i'm being all sappy and making it into more than it is- i STILL would say- that you end up with SOMEONE- who you have chemistry with- who makes your heart pound every time he kisses you, who sends shivers up your spine when you are washing dishes & he comes up behind you and kisses your neck. Who you know would do ANYTHING for you. Who you know cares about you more than anyone else on the planet. It is the greatest thing! Such a gift! And i love that now i know.

And now i would tell anyone who is still longing for it and hoping for it- if you are single- then keep on knowing & just rest assured that it will come. And if you are married- then pray for your own marriage that the spark you had in the beginning will return. I do not think that if you are in a troubled marriage that means you have missed out on your someone. And i think that even if you HAVE- if you know you've settled or whatever- do not think that God can't turn it around and make a MIRACLE out of it!! Because i totally believe in that, too! Either way- i know that with those romantic comedies we laugh at them and say "oh wow- only in the movies- if only REAL love were like that!!" Well- it IS like that. I don't mean that it is 100% happy happy joy joy all the time! (although pretty close)! Please do not misunderstand & think that!! But living with a person that you LOVE with all your heart and soul, that you would do ANYTHING for, that you TRUST with all your heart... THAT IS REAL. Believe!
Actually- you don't have to believe it can happen for it to happen! If you do not believe it- that is not going to somehow jinx you & mean you won't get it. It may - just may - make you more prone to it! HA! Love might knock you upside the head & make a believer out of you! But if you are that hopeless romantic who can't help but believe- it will happen for you too. Don't you worry. Don't you doubt. Just keep on the path that you are on, and one day- it will happen. And you will know it. And you won't be compromising or having to lower your standards- that person will be exactly who you needed and who God made for you.

I know this is all very easy for me to say, being that i've only been married 3 months!! But i have friends who also waited for "the one" & who got them and who have been married 5-10 years now. And they are still very much in love and happy- and several of them have actually told me that it gets BETTER and BETTER! Can you imagine that?! I pray that i am like them! Please do not think "oh, Melissa is a newlywed! Of course she feels that way. Wait till she's been married 3 or 4 years. Just wait!" I pray to God that you are wrong! I know that happens to some. I know they get sidetracked & focus on everyone else in their lives except for their mates! i know that some people get really selfish or just begin to worry about day-to-day life. I know that some carry secrets with them that they do not share with their husbands and then walls begin to form and communication is down. I understand that some hold back affection so the other partner is left starving for it & looks for it elsewhere. I know painful things happen also, like death of a child or divorce of a parent that can shake the walls of any marriage. I know life happens.

But I pray to God that when struggles like that come, that we will not forget how we felt in the beginning and that we will work everything out. I am not writing this as someone who has not had one argument with Brad! i know we are happy & in love but we have had things we have had to talk about & deal with & work through. But you know what? There is no drama. No hatefulness. Words that hurt were apologized for and forgiven. Misunderstandings are now understood. Common ground was found. Yes, relationships are work. But it's not really that hard, when it's with this person! It is SO WORTH every hard moment. I'd rather have 10 arguments with Brad than with some guy i settled for. It would just be different. I love LOVE. I love romance! And for a little while- i was beginning to doubt that it was real. I was 29 and had not found anyone. And it was becoming a lonely place. But let me say- that now that i have him- and now that i have seen TRUE LOVE. There is no way in a million years i could settle for something less. If i had to go back and have the same love story... but this time i was told "Melissa, you'll have the same wonderful romance... but you won't have it till you are 50. So you can either wait & be single again until you are 50...or you can date & have fun in the meantime with other guys...or you can forget him and have another nice decent guy right now" I am telling you that i would WAIT until i was 50. That is how serious i am when i say that settling for less would be like getting a cheap imitation of what God actually had planned for my life. Even if i found a great guy! Even if i found another sweet romantic funny guy with the same values! I'm just saying- that waiting for Brad again until i was 50- would be well worth every moment.

Only this time i'd do it with JOY and with HOPE. Not with worry or doubt. Not with confusion. Not with anger, that God had given everyone their someone but me! But with confidence & memories of the best thing God has given. Love. REAL and TRUE and FAIRYTALE love. I believe in it. But not because i am special. We all can be strong for so long and then we begin to doubt. That is what i did. And then- in the nick of time- Brad came back into my life. I didn't have to DO anything. I didn't have to FIND him. He found ME.

...so that is what i wrote back then. And here it is, now 6 1/2 months in & i still feel this way- if not more so. We are so happy... And don't even get me started on The Notebook. I hated that movie 5 years ago. And recently, i thought, "You know? every girl i know loves that movie. Wonder if i was just single & bitter about it at that time. i should try that movie again." & so i did. And...wow. I cannot even explain what that movie meant to me. Touched me in a deep way. That movie is so much OUR own story! How crazy is that?! Not the details, of course, but the basics. Getting together young, breaking up, many years passing, & then getting back in touch. He was always my one true love. Just some growing up had to be done before we were together 'till death do us part'. I love him more now than i ever did. After watching The Notebook, i could not stop crying. No, it wasn't that time of the month! And i'm not pregnant! But it touched me that deeply. I just was - overjoyed - & a little shocked - at how our story was so similar to that of theirs in the movie. And i was reminded once again that I have been one of the lucky ones. I did not want to settle and i didn't. i waited. As lonely a road as it sometimes was. But it was worth it. I am now completely enjoying this life with my husband... my lover, my soulmate, my best friend, my favorite person. 
And I am thankful.

Memorial Day 2009

Memorial Day was WONDERFUL!! My parents invited the Venable's (my in-laws) & the Gross' over. Some of you know that my parents & Brad's parents have been friends since we were babies. Well, the Gross' were also friends at that time. So we spent the day together at my parent's house. Absolutely wonderful day.

Michelle & Mr. Jim

My mom

He loves me.

Me & my sister

Michelle, Jaimie, Brad & Melissa

HAHA- love his face in this one!

My in-laws, Cheryl & Stan

My parents, Paul & Donna

Mrs. Joanne & Mr. Jim

Paul, Brad & Jim

My sweet Fievel

Michelle, Brad & Me


All of us!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Crawfish, finally!

I recently put a status on Facebook, saying it was such a shame that crawfish season was nearly finished & i still hadn't had any. Well, cousin Matt to the rescue!! He just couldn't let that happen! He came over with his son Zachary last Sunday, pounds of crawfish in tow! Thank you, Matt!

My sister was in town, so she joined us as well! She can't pass up an invite for Crawfish eating!

I got a bike!!

Ain't it purty!?!

Recently i started really wanting a bike. i do not know why, seeing as how i have not ridden one since i was in high school! Anyway, Brad started talking about getting his bike out of the shed & using it again. We are so out of shape. :( So anyway, last Saturday, we went to Capitol Cyclery & this is what i left with. It is so nice! I've been riding every single day! I love it but my legs are sore! Oh-well, they will thank me later! ;)

Amanda's Big Move - April 2009

My very good friend Amanda is moving to California! I am so proud of her. She got a job as an RN in Cali & now she can be near her boyfriend, Matt, who moved there a year ago (or more? I'm not sure!).

I am so happy for Amanda. She missed him a lot. I wouldn't see Brad for a day & would miss him so much my heart hurt. Imagine if he LIVED across the country! I mean-Cali ain't no short road trip! Anyway- i am so glad they can be near each other now...even though i will miss her a ton!!

Love you, Amanda!

This is us at her Goodbye Breakfast Bash, at Another Broken Egg Cafe.

My 31st Birthday - 03.02.09

We did what we always do for my birthday- dinner at La Carreta's. It's my favorite restaurant!

Becca & Jenn

Amanda & Becca

Ali & Eric

Rachel & Natalie

Me & Brad

I always hope i can get by without this! But it's always fun anyway!

Valentine's Day 02.14.09

I have no idea why there are no pics from Christmas?! What's up with that?!

Well, anyway. My little happy from Brad on Valentine's Day.

And, here we are. He took me to dinner at Mike Anderson's- one of our favorites & where we got engaged...

SNOW in Baton Rouge! 12.11.08

I mean...this just doesn't happen here!

Fievel checking it out...

Our little trailer.

Thanksgiving 2008

We spent Thanksgiving Day at Brad's Aunt Paula's.

These girls are Brad's cousin Chad's kids. So- my 2nd cousins-in-law??! Kiersten & Riley. I love these girls!

Me & my sister, making faces

Me & Brad's cousin Whitney. I lurve her!

Me & my baby! Just back from the honeymoon!

Honeymoon Pics - November 2008

The limo took us straight to St. Francisville, where we spent the first two nights of our honeymoon at Butler Greenwood. They have cute little cottages, very private. I absolutely loved this place & hope to go back! We stayed in their cottage, "The Gazebo", and loved it!

Opening our gifts to each other- we planned to do it before the wedding, but everything was so crazy. I'm glad we waited till our first morning as husband & wife! He got me pearls! I love!


First day as Husband & Wife! Very happy indeed!

On Sunday morning, we headed to Galveston, Texas for our CRUISE to the CARRIBBEAN!! Neither of us had been on a cruise before, so we were very excited. Here we are on the cruise ship!

Um, so yeah. Never been a big ice cream fan until cruise ice cream! Love that soft serve swirl! MMM! We made...wayyyy too many...trips to the ice cream machines!! They were everywhere!

I think Brad put 6 of these things on his tray for breakfast every morning...chocolate milk!

This is my "i am so happy i'm married i'm on a cruise with my new husband" face. Which i make a lot these days. Even though the "i'm on a cruise" part is no more. I want to go back!!!!

GASP! COZUMEL!! I loved Cozumel! It was fanfreakintastic! SO beautiful. SO fun! Cool Friendly people!

Our excursion of choice in Cozumel- Passion Island. All you can eat Mexican Buffet, Hammocks, Private Beach, etc. Worth every dime.

You probably have heard that the cleaning crew of Carnival does an animal-towel & puts it on your bed each night. We'd always come in & find a funny animal. This was our favorite!! The monkey!

The honeymooners!