Dear Keegan,

I’m writing this post the night before our two-year anniversary. I told you I forgot to do something work-related that’s due tomorrow, and I can’t believe you believed me. So here I am, typing away on Junip’s favorite yellow chair while you’re watching the Jungle Book in bed.

As you know, it’s been two years since we tied the knot at the Readyville Mill in Readyville, Tennessee. I felt so anxious and nervous and eager and hopeful all at once. The 5 months leading up to the wedding flew by and the next thing you know, it’s over. In the blink of an eye we’re done and yet, we’re only just beginning. June 7th, 2015 was the best day of my life, and we still have so many good days ahead.

I can’t believe how much has changed in the last two years: Between the wedding, the move, new jobs, a mortgage, and my Master’s Degree, we leveled up for real. Those are a few of my favorite moments since we embarked on this new adventure together. But your favorite author said, “Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things”.

Here’s a list of my favorite little things from the last two years, in no particular order:

  1. Snow tubing at Red Feather’s Lake, despite the biting wind and being way under-dressed. Warming up by the fire between runs.
  2. Holding me till I fell asleep in the field during Courtney Barnett’s set at Bonnaroo
  3. Reuniting with Buddy and retrieving him from those college chicks down the street. I seriously thought you were going to divorce me, 4 months into our marriage!
  4. Watching tv in bed and falling asleep with you and the pets. Feeling like we’ve “made it”, because we finally have a tv in our room.
  5. Hanging with my parents at Dairy Queen the night before I graduated. The stray was a plus.
  6. Eating way too much at the Colorado Chocolate Festival. Off-setting the chocolate with several cheese samples.
  7. Crying in Utah, because I thought we were literally going to die.
  8. Chillin at P.S. Lounge. Cheap drinks in a carpeted bar.
  9. Hiking Horsetooth Falls our first week in Colorado– encountering several frogs on the trail and bats that divebombed us repeatedly.
  10. Finding Gnar Gnar hiding in our half-dead tomato shrubs in October.
  11. Taking back our water sprinkler from our former, shitty neighbors.
  12. Going to Christine and Jimmy’s Mardi Gras party; finally finding our own friends out here.
  13. Suffering without an A/C last summer; I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny at the time!! If anything, I now greatly appreciate our new cooling system.
  14. Discovering the Ute Trail. It didn’t feel real.
  15. Refusing to ditch our paddleboard plans, even though it thundered and lightened for 2 hours.
  16. Tasting our first Juicy Lucy’s.
  17. Walking to Cups and the owners lavishing Buddy with treats and pets.
  18. Reading your note in the bathroom the morning after we’ve had a fight.
  19. Dozing off in the hot springs as we surrendered to sleep in Santa Fe.
  20. Driving to Pawnee National Grasslands, only to realize it’s boring as fuck, and we basically wasted our Saturday.
  21. Exploring Old Fall River Road at Rocky Mountain National Park with it’s treacherous switchbacks.

I could go on and on about the past, but it’s the present that truly counts. My love for you extends far beyond our past experiences; I love you so much, and am beyond grateful we wound up together. You’re very kind, handsome, talented, genuine, funny, smart and authentic. You’re the least narcissistic person I know, which is weird, because you’re the very best person I know. You have every right to toot your own horn: You’re ambitious, successful, compassionate and caring and yet, I’ve never seen the ego in you. You’re not obsessed with social media, and I admire your abililty to remain centered and present. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to keep an open mind. And most of all, I love how you treat other people. You constantly put others before yourself without expecting anything in return. You bring a whole new meaning to altruism, and I honestly want to be a better person because of you. You encourage me to put forth the very best version of myself, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

I know I’m not easy to love. It took a long time for me to truly open up to you, and you treated me with nothing but kindness and respect in the meantime. You showed me what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship. I appreciate you sticking with me all these years and always having my back. Your loyalty doesn’t go unnoticed, and I know I can come to you when I need help, advice or someone to help me grab the rice near the top of the cupboard.

In a nut shell, thank you for being you. I could go on and on about the different things I love about you, but the existential nature of our relationship keeps me going. We acknowledge our inner turmoil and how our struggles relate to “the givens”: Death, freedom and responsibility, isolation and meaninglessness. We see the big picture together, we talk “heavy shit” together and we strive to make it work together. Brene Brown spoke of the betrayal of disengagement, and for the most part, we engage when things get tough. We’ve talked before of how oblivious people can be sometimes, regarding self-destructive tendencies and an inability to align their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. We value congruency within ourselves, ultimately strengthening our relationship. Not only do we “get” each other, we know exactly what it takes to make this work. I love you to the moon and back, and more than anything, I’m grateful to have wound up with someone that’s not oblivious. Or as the cool kids say these days, someone that’s “woke”.

With all the love in the world, your other half,

Cathy