Sunday, January 8, 2012


Dear Mia,

Exactly one year ago today was one of the best days of my life.  On January 8, 2011 your Dad and I were married at the First United Methodist Church in Normal in front of 85 of our closest friends and family members.    The wedding was the culmination of months of planning and stress, but in the end, it was all worth it.  Our wedding day was the most joyous, exciting and memorable day I've ever had.

Your Dad and I went on our first date in January 2006, after being introduced through an online dating site called Yahoo! Personals.  I was working towards my bachelors degree in Marketing and Public Relations at Illinois State University at the time, and your Dad was pursuing his bachelors degree in Computer Science at the University of Illinois.  Your Dad drove to Bloomington to pick me up for our dinner and movie date, but we ended up missing the movie because we couldn't stop talking!  We sat on my dorm room couch for hours talking about ourselves and our families.  When we finally stopped talking (a few hours later) we went to dinner at Carlos O'Kelly's.

We spent that entire first weekend together, and many more after that!  Your Dad and I dated (sometimes on-and-off) for the rest of our time in college.  We made plans to move in together after graduation, and did so in May 2008.  We rented a two-story townhouse in Normal, and quickly learned that living together would be an adjustment!  I tend to be overly organized, high strung and a little anal-retentive.  Your Dad on the other hand, is very relaxed and goes-with-the-flow.  We drove each other crazy for a while until we figured out how to work together.

Your Dad already had two dogs when we met, Buddy and Toby, and they moved into the townhouse with us.  We added Oscar and Wilson in the fall of 2008, and our little zoo family was complete.  (Oh, did I forget to mention Tucker, my pet rabbit from college?  And your Dad's three ferrets?  And Russian Tortoise?  And bearded dragon?  Well, that's because when we tell people we have all of those pets they look at us funny.)

Your Dad asked me to marry him on Friday, May 28, 2010.  He came home from work carrying a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers, got down on one knee, gave me a beautiful diamond ring and said that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  I of course said YES! and we began planning our wedding.

I asked your Aunt Kirsten to be my Maid of Honor, and your Dad asked Uncle Julien to be his Best Man.  Aunt Courtney, Aunt Clare, Uncle Josh, Uncle Seth, Aaliyah, Corbin and Lily were all in the wedding party, too.  Grandma Young walked me down the aisle while Canon in D was played on the church organ.  We exchanged our vows and rings, and were pronounced husband a wife!  After the ceremony, we took pictures in the church and then escaped in our limo for more pictures around Bloomington-Normal.

Our reception was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, where we enjoyed an evening of good food, great conversation, lots of drinks, laughs and delicious wedding cake!  Your Dad and I made sure to take it all in- the sights, sounds and feeling of that day.  We were able to let ourselves truly enjoy the moment, and I wish the same thing for you, Mia, should you choose to get married one day.  Make sure to take time during the day to enjoy it.

We also made sure that our wedding was an expression of who we are and what we like.  After our wedding rehearsal, we invited everyone to the same Carlos O'Kelly's where we'd had our first date five years earlier.  We chose to get married in the winter because the holidays are our most favorite time of year, and used red as decorative accents because it's my favorite color.  We gave each of our guests little boxes of chocolates that contained one dark chocolate butter cream (a favorite childhood candy of mine) and one milk chocolate butter cream (a favorite childhood candy of your Dad's!).  We asked the DJ to play songs that we enjoyed, including Unforgettable by Natalie and Nat King Cole (a song we've both loved for years) for our first dance.

And the best part?  Mia, your parents are more in love today than they were that day.  Your Dad and I are head-over-heels in love with each other.  We laugh, hug, kiss and cuddle every day.  We tell each other our inner-most secrets, thoughts and fears.  We're best friends and truly enjoy each other's company.  And we couldn't be more excited to welcome you into our world.  It's because of this deep, profound love for each other that we decided to have you, and we can't wait for you to get here!


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