I met Garrett when he was 18. I was 17. We had both just moved into the South Wonders dorm at Michigan State University.
He was confident, loud, and funny. He wore his MSU athletic sweats around the clock and belted country music at the top of his lungs. He was magnetic, and unlike anyone I'd ever met.
We started dating a month before his 19th birthday. Still getting to know one another (but on a fast track to falling in love), we kept our celebration minimal. I got him a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream; why, I couldn't tell you.
A few weeks before Garrett's 22nd birthday, he asked me to marry him. A few weeks after that, we graduated college together. By his 23rd birthday, he had secured the first "grown-up" job out of the two of us; one that moved us cross-country to Arizona 6 months before. We grew a lot during those years together in the desert, so far away from a life and people we knew well. Just us, our dog Mollie, and a newfound family made of friends, trying to figure out this thing they call adulthood.
Shortly after Garrett turned 24, we were married. A year after that, Garrett's career enabled us to move to San Francisco. Once in San Francisco, we started talking more about traveling and sailing. Halfway into his 28th year, Garrett and I bought a sailboat. Right before he turned 30, we made that sailboat into our home.
As I write this on the eve of his 30th birthday, I can't help but think back over the years and marvel at all of the wonderful things that Garrett has brought into my life. We've grown up together, really, and it's hard to imagine where I might be without him. I've always been a dreamer, and Garrett's been a doer. He's made so many of our dreams come true.
So cheers to you, Garrett, and to quite an impressive decade. In your 20s, you graduated college, moved cross-country, launched a successful career, got married, moved again to San Francisco, learned how to sail, and bought a sailboat, all while being a good, kind, and loving human being. You're still that confident, (sometimes) loud, and (always) funny 18-year-old I fell in love with all of those years ago, but just...better. I love you so much and can't wait to see what this next decade has in store. For now, though, one last look at the past 11 years...