Lane Jones – It would appear that I missed years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of my birthday “To The One” post to you on your birthday… such shame! Though in fairness we’ve lived in and renovated five houses and had a baby over those few years, so maybe you didn’t even miss this silly post that I try to pawn off as a “gift”? Either way, I’m back!
In 2011, when I posted the first “To The One”, we had been together for two years. It seems now like we were just babies. So much was different then. We had no money, no responsibilities, and MAN did we have fun. We made the most of all that we did have – which was essentially just each other and Baron and Duley. And sewage in our bathtub. We swam in the middle of the night, we drank margaritas that were way too strong, and I stood in the ocean in your favorite boots. Young and wild and free.
By 2012, for the next “To The One”, we were seven days away from our wedding. Our reception venue had just cancelled on us and I was a hysterical mess. We didn’t know then that what seemed to be an absolute disaster, turned out to be the best possible thing that could have happened to us. We had the wedding of our dreams that we could never have afforded had it happened any other way.
Back then it was so easy to focus on the “wedding” that we didn’t always focus on the MARRIAGE and partnership that was before us. We didn’t know that it wouldn’t always be carefree, strong cocktails, and sleeping in. (Oh how I miss the sleep.) We didn’t know that it would take work. It would take choosing each other over and over again.
In 2013, for the third (and last until now) “To The One”, we’d been married a year, had just finished all of the renovations on the first house that we bought in Jacksonville. Though we thought we “weren’t quite ready” to buy a house yet, something told us it was time. So we worked so hard and overcame at least 50 million obstacles to get that house. We worked day and night, often until 2 or 3 a.m. (when we had to be at work at 7 a.m.) to renovate it ourselves. We were so proud, and rightfully so.
At the time we had no idea that would be the house to set us on a path of buying, renovating, and selling. Even still I can’t believe how readily you jumped on board when I said “this is our house.” You never questioned me and suddenly the crazy dreams that I had didn’t seem so crazy. What an amazing thing to do for your wife.
Now, in 2017, we are approaching our 5th anniversary. We have a two year old daughter, and another due in less than five weeks. There are (temporarily) lots less margaritas, and lots more diapers and Fruit Loops. We are in our SIXTH house in Jacksonville – technically Saint Augustine now I guess – and at the moment it feels like this could be “the one” when it comes to houses. Guess we’ll see…
Seven years ago we picked a spot on the map. We packed up a whole lot of nothin’ and made our lives here. We did it all on our own. No one offered help, and we wouldn’t have taken it anyway. Though we never really spoke it, we both knew that if we were together we couldn’t fail. I still feel that way.
Seven years later… we’ve had six jobs, six houses, five years of marriage, two sweet babies, and more love and happiness than I could ever have dreamed.
This time around, for this “To The One”, I want you to know that if I could go back to the beginning, I would choose you again.
Though these days I’m usually in full blown mommy-mode – too busy with Mickey Mouse and fruit snacks to feel like a wife or woman – please know that somewhere in here I’m still the girl who sat across the table from you under twinkly lights all those years ago and said “I want to go with you.”
I’m still the one who fell in love with you holding hands on a porch swing, with boiled peanuts and cold beer.
I still think of the stars that you sent me every time the sky is clear enough to see a few constellations. And my stomach still does a flip.
I still see the happy and grateful heart that said that a plant and a lamp on my Rubbermaid box as a nightstand made the room feel “so homey”.
You’re the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing I dream about at night. I am so grateful for our plans for the future, the fun that we have in store, and the goals that we won’t ever give up on. I love that we still make big plans together, and I know that when we come out from the newborn/toddler haze it will be easier to once again see each other as Katie and Lane and not just Mommy and Daddy.
This parenthood journey has brought out the very best in you. Your heart, your joy, your patience, and love shine through when you look at Lila. I knew that you would be a great dad, but I had no idea it would be like this. I fall in love with you all over again every time I see you two together. I can’t wait to see you as a father of two sweet girls, though I don’t know if my heart can handle it.
So to the one who is, always has been, and always will be my perfect one, even when I’m covered in spit up and hormones, I just want you to know that I still see you, Lane Jones. And I love you more now than the day you stood in waist deep water in the middle of a school of giant mullet, grinning like a jackass eating briars.
Happy Birthday to THE ONE.
All my heart,