Love

This Messy Life

He had a cocky smirk on his face when our eyes meet, almost like a child who got caught stealing from a cookie jar. Crowds of kids swirled on and off between us. Instinct declaring upon a single glance I would be burned alive, yet oxygen was fueling the flames inside my veins. Ignore it my head sang but it was too late, I couldn’t tear myself away.

How does a chance encounter end up laying the foundation to something extraordinary? What are the odds of meeting the one person who could derail all of the plans I had so carefully crafted? At an event I wasn’t supposed to addend no less.

Yet there he was, with a grin permanently plastered across his face. As if he had already won the war even though my stubborn nature was still trying- failing to rebel. My cheeks flushed poppy pink. I could barely make out the shape of my own hand let-alone guess the trajectory which this night would take us. Glow sticks were waved into the air as school advisors cranked fog machines to max capacity.

When the cloud cleared, he was in the middle of awkwardly peeling another girl’s hands off his body. Wait a minute… how dare she? Yet he was still looking at me. I lifted my chin to meet his gaze while heat crept up my spine. The girl was persistent. Her hands balled into fists which gripped his T-shirt as they danced even though he was becoming exacerbated with her. So, I squared my shoulders, waltzed over, and I cut between them to take what was mine…just as the beat was getting good.

“You looked like you needed rescuing” I mused into his ear.

“I’m so glad you stepped in to save me.” His voice sounded husky.

He was exactly a foot taller than me. Lean, with brown eyes which turned to gold in the flash of a strobe light. His dark hair curled a little on the ends and he had to hunch over to meet my small frame. Something between us felt perfectly clear as we danced our way towards curfew.

“What’s your name?” He asked but I could hardly hear.

“You can call me Lish.”

“Trish?”

“No. L-I-S-H.” Confusion furrowed his brow.

“My name’s Rob.” He said, and I was left feeling spellbound encompassed by his arms.

Outside glossy gymnasium doors, the teachers had hauled tables from the cafeteria. We grabbed water bottles out of ice chests which were provided and re-hydrated before heading home for the night. If I had been less naive, I might have noticed he was rather inebriated. Instead, I handed him a slip of paper containing the phone number he had asked for, and hoped he would call. To this day we’re convinced he accidentally used it to smoke a joint.

Freshmen year of high school Rob had been an honor roll student who spent the summer playing football. He was in band, taught himself how to read music, and played several different instruments. He tried out and made it onto the swim team. He won second place in the state for a math competition, even though his calculator broke less than halfway through it. While everyone else had the advantage, Rob tackled equations in his head. He was smart, driven, and accomplished.

By sophomore year none of his achievements measured up to the allure of spending time with the wrong people doing the kind of things which got him into trouble. Rob and his friends ran from the cops after being clocked going far above the posted speed limit. Rather than face jail, his brilliant idea was to lose the tail by sneaking into a subdivision and parking in a stranger’s driveway. He forgot to take his foot off the brake and was caught over the glowing lights that bounced off the pavement.

It should come as no surprise after searching his jean pockets the following day, the phone number I gave him at the dance was nowhere to be found. It also shouldn’t come as a shock when I was told by a mutual friend about Rob’s more wild behavior, I decided I wasn’t interested anymore. The spark of electricity between us was quickly snuffed out by my stubborn nature and refusal to settle.

The following Monday Rob looked for my face throughout the hallways at school. Yet when I was finally located, I turned on my heel… to head in the opposite direction. There was no way I was getting sucked into making the same mistake twice. He assumed I was angry because he never called.

When the new class schedules were handed out the following semester, I showed up to P.E prepared to do whatever it took to avoid exercising. I waltzed into the weight room and ran right into Rob. His body towered over mine and his mouth was wearing that smile again.

On the track, we were manipulated by our teacher into running for a passing grade. I pulled my hair into a ponytail and stretched out my hamstrings even though I planned to jog at a walking pace. I linked arms with one of my girlfriends out of solidarity and when the whistle blew… we practically crawled towards the finish line.

“Hey Trish!” Rob shouted.

“If you can’t bother to remember my name… you and I are not on speaking terms.” I quipped.

Using his long legs and height to his advantage, he embarrassingly sprinted from one classmate to another.

“Do you know what the redheaded girl’s name is? I need to know so I can get her to talk to me.”

By the time he had it figured out, he had already lapped me and was running backwards with his hair blowing in the breeze. There was a glimmer in his eyes and a wicked smile crept across his lips as he faced my direction.

 “I’m going to convince you to go out with me Lish.”

“Over my dead body.” I laughed with conviction.

Seventeen years of marriage, eighteen years together, and over twenty years of friendship. I still can’t believe that he talked me into it. Waking to find his fingers tangled in my hair and his lips covering mine, taking walks together on rainy days, and kissing underneath streetlamps. There is nothing more enchanting than strolling through this messy life with his hand in mine.

Happy anniversary week to us!

Taken by my amazing friend Chris Hansen of Rob and I on our horses
A picture of us when we were living in Germany visiting my favorite castle (Burg Eltz)
The two of us dancing at a friend’s wedding
Is it just me or is it getting a little steamy?!
Our first wedding ceremony when we were just babies. I was 18 and Rob was 19.
My Soldier and I
Rob headed back to a war torn Afghanistan

75 thoughts on “This Messy Life”

  1. I LOVED LOVED reading about your love story, LaShelle! You word it so beautifully, it felt like I was there with you guys – which is often what your posts do to me! Your words are so descriptive and catchy! Just loved hearing how you guys met! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By the way, my internet was super sketchy last night when I was trying to write you back but I wanted to say that your comment about the way I write seriously made my day friend. I was absolutely elated so much so that I read it to my husband 🥰 thanks for your love and support

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone loves to hear the tale of how someone got together; this was a classic. Accidentally using the paper with your number for a joint makes the story even funnier. When we’re with the right person, many of life’s challenges seem a little less painful. Congratulations on finding the right one. When does the Lifetime movie come out? 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete! I can’t wait to share the more funny moments of how we got engaged and married so this was a set up to those that will be written about at a later date. It took rob 3 years to convince me to date him and then we got married fast!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, fun, “messy” story where everything turns out just right. A happy ending, which is my favorite kind! I love the story and the photos that go with it. Long lasting love is HARD and so damn wonderful. Happy anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seventeen years! What an example you’re setting. And it all started by Rob forgetting your name too, lol. What a lovely way to capture your relationship. Wishing you many more years together. Happy anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! what a delightful story and pics. I followed this through all its twists and turns and it landed in such a good place. That last sentence with the phrase ‘this messy life’ is exquisite; you took such care over this narrative and made it special; Happy Anniversary 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Doesn’t sound that messy to me, LaShelle (or Lish 😉 ) It woulds like a beautiful love story that is all the more so because it took some effort (especially on his part!)
    Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like this light-hearted look at how you two met and what your life has become. This was such a nice post to reflect on your life together in tribute to your anniversary week. Your wedding gown is just gorgeous! Here’s to many more anniversaries LaShelle!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Coolest blog I’ve ever read, and I’ve probably read most of them. It’s uplifting too – looks like a fairytale (perhaps some of it is your photography).

    It is so cool to hear of a family doing something so unique; such a hopeful and uplifting feel – I’m awestruck and enamored. Thank you.

    I hope you continue to share this soulful and beautiful journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh you’ve made my day! What a wonderful compliment. Thanks so much for reaching out to me by commenting and loving on my posts. It means so much!! This December will be my one year blogging anniversary and I plan to keep going ☺️ last week I hit my 10k views goal. It really helps when people share it with others. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What an adorable story! You two are just about the cutest things ever! Beautiful photos and I LOVE your dress.

    I too married my high-school sweetheart and we will celebrate 24 years in November! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CONGRATULATIONS 🎉 24 years is AMAZING. In this day and age it’s hard to find long haulers who wanna stick it out ❤️🥰. There are two separate dresses and funny story but I actually got married THREE times but never divorced 😂. We first got married in Korea (which is a really funny story that I will share later) and that time my dress was to my knees and cost probably $15.00. The dress I’m wearing while riding my horse… $30.00 (I never had a professional photographer so we had a bow renewal on our 7th anniversary). The one of me standing in a church with a long train… $50.00 and that was the first ceremony with family after we got married in Korea. It was no secret that we were getting married in Korea, everybody knew about it but he was a soldier and for us to live together and see each other… We had to get married. So we did! I’ll definitely be sharing those stories more in depth at a later time because they are just soooo funny.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sometimes hard to write about some things because you want to get it just right. I wrote this post about 100 times. All year I struggled to get it right..I’m working on something else that’s similar. It’s a story about my husband in Afghanistanm.i wasn’t there so it’s a little tricky to get right and it will solve a mystery for someone my husband knows who to this day has no clue who did… Something (😂 trying not to give too much away here!!) Anywho I’ve been writing it half a hundred ways and I’m still trying to work through it 😩 any and all advice is welcomed

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Personal stories are super hard to write. I’ve tried to write about really tough times in my life and it feels like the words simply won’t come. For me, it’s because a lot of my stories deeply involve other people and it’s hard to tell my story and not theirs—if that makes sense. To keep the story about my experience and not try and guess/tell what it was like for them.

        I personally love how you tell a story. You are wonderful at giving the right amount of details to paint a very rich and beautiful scene. Keep to your style of giving lots of rich description and I’m sure you’ll find the words.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. As a side comment… It must be perfect because my husband is going to tag this person in the comments on Facebook soooo yeah. Tricky but if I nail it… It will be hysterical

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful and fun love story. You never know when that special person might pop into your life. I remember the first moment my gaze fell on my husband, and it was love at first sight. It’s been over 30 years now. ❤ ❤ And the photo of you both on the horses is so romantic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob isn’t in the Army anymore but he’s still away a lot for work. In the Army he was an Apache helicopter mechanic. As a civilian he’s a life-flight helicopter and airplane mechanic. He’s the guy they call when a patient needs to be saved an a helicopter is broken down on a helipad on a high rise in Atlanta or in a field somewhere. He travels a ton for work and is super good at his job. ❤️ So I hold down the farm when he’s gone.

      Like

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