Five Years Later: A Look Back.

Casey and I have never been big on celebrations.  On our own wedding day, our biggest struggle was that we both hated the idea of being the center of attention.  So when I looked at the calendar yesterday, and realized what was coming up, it was funny to think that it almost passed us by without notice. 

Today is the five year anniversary of the day we met.  As we laid in bed last night talking about that day, I found myself tearing up because I was laughing so hard at the memories of our early days of dating.  I thought a good way to celebrate (and a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon) would be to share with you guys, a little trip down memory lane, and our journey to year five…

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On November 12, 2005 (a Saturday night) I headed out to a cheesy nightclub with my group of girlfriends, for a fun night of dancing.  One of my best friends was in the very early dating stages with a guy, and she called him to meet us out at the bar.  And since 20-somethings all travel in packs, he brought along his two roommates – one of which was Casey.

I was sitting in a corner booth, packed in around crowds and tables.  I remember seeing Casey crawl over the two people to my right, and he plopped himself down next to me.  Having had two boyfriends in my entire life prior to him, I was awkward and nervous, and had no idea why he was talking to me.  We talked until the bar closed, and eventually numbers were exchanged.  For the first time in a long time, I gave out the real one.

Heading home in a cab that night (and fueled by several beers), I announced “I met a hot guy at the bar tonight and I actually gave him my number.  I am going to marry him.  You may call me Mrs.  Malone.”

After all, who wouldn’t fall head over heels for a guy who hoola hoops?

But it wasn’t quite that simple for us.  I had just gotten out of a miserable year-long relationship, and Casey was still dealing with divorce from the previous year.  Neither of us was looking to be dating whatsoever, but for some reason we also couldn’t forget each other.  I put his number in my phone as “Kacey” and he texted me the next day.  The next month or so was incredibly casual – just meeting up in bars on weekends (I was 24 at the time) and the occasional phone call in between.

Our first official “date” was to see the movie Walk the Line, the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter.  Five years later, we danced our first dance at our wedding with Heidi Newfield singing in the background…

I wanna love like Johnny and June, Rings of fire, burnin’ with you

I wanna walk the line, walk the line, Till the end of time

I wanna love, love ya that much, Cash it all in, give it all up

When you’re gone, I wanna go too, Like Johnny and June…

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But obviously that is skipping ahead quite a bit.  I dug back and found the first picture ever taken of the two of us together, at my holiday party in December 2005.  I remember being so nervous that he was coming over and meeting all of my friends.  (Doesn’t he look thrilled?)

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And then just as most relationships grow, we continued to get closer and closer, and hung out on a more regular basis.  I can still remember the first time I simply went to his house to watch TV – it felt like such a turning point.

In March of 2006, Casey decided he wanted to get a second dog.  As a newish girlfriend, I was totally thrilled that my boyfriend was getting a puppy.  Little did I know that I was adding to my own eventual family!  We picked up Indy on a farm in the middle of nowhere, and with a new pup in the house, I found myself over at Casey’s place more and more.

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The following summer, Casey took the two of us on our first group vacation together to a friend’s lake house.  Indy and I were both a little nervous to be meeting all of Casey’s friends.  At least I could swim – turns out Indy does better on a raft (and sinks like a stone in the water!).

Huey wasn’t so sure about all the newness in the house – a new dog and a new girlfriend hanging around all the time.  It took him a very long time to warm up to me, but now we are the best of friends.

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Summer and fall brought lots of fun outings – baseball, Indy Car racing, football, cookouts, tailgates – you name it.

At the time, I was working my full time job and an additional part time job, and I found that I spent most of what little free-time I had at
Casey’s place.  In just a short year, we really felt like a family.

In June 2007, just a year and a half after we met, we decided to take the leap and officially move in together.  We worked around the clock to get Casey’s house ready to sell, sold it ourselves, and moved into our new place together.  It was the first time I was living apart from my roommate of seven (!) years, and it was a scary (but fun) transition.

Fast forward to March 2008, Casey proposed in the middle of our dining room, and our house officially became a home.  May 9th, 2009, I married the guy that crawled across a booth to sit next to me in a bar, and a few years after my prediction – I finally became Mrs. Malone.

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In our five years together we have lived in three houses in Cincinnati, spent a year in Charlotte, and eventually landed in Alexandria, Virginia (where we plan to stay!).  We have changed so much from the two kids that met in a bar five years ago, but we have learned so much about each other, and about love, in the process.

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Here’s to many, many more…