We were just kids.

Fifteen years ago, I was a junior in high school. My life revolved around marching band, getting good grades so I could get into college, actively participating in church youth group, and a quiet under-the-radar senior that I had a huge crush on. A senior that also happened to be my squad leader in marching band.

Fifteen years ago today was a Friday, and our high school football team was getting ready to play in the first round of the playoffs while the marching band was getting ready to travel to the away game against Saint Ed’s. There are just a few things I remember about that cool Friday evening. I remember being excited to spend another Friday night in the trumpet section doing everything I could to make sure I was sitting next to Scott in the stands. I remember the altercation that took place after halftime between our band president and the assistant principal of the high school that ended up with said band president getting kicked out of all band programs for the rest of his senior year. I remember our football team losing, but it didn’t seem to matter to me.

…And I remember the bus ride back to the high school after the game. Our friend MR was sitting in the seat in front of us, and I was sharing a seat with Scott. I remember MR sitting up over the seat the whole time, while Scott politely tried to get him to turn around and sit down. I remember MR finally calming down and turning around about 10 minutes before we got back to the school. I remember Scott turning to me and saying something along the lines of, “So, would you like to be my girlfriend?” I remember saying “Yes” and trying to contain my excitement.

I remember going home that night and telling my mom that I had a boyfriend and that his name was Scott Haligowski. And that I really really liked him. (Although, I think by that point that part wasn’t a surprise to anyone.)

Not too long after that night, we went on our first date which took us to the movie theater to see the movie Monsters Inc. A movie that has become very special to us over the past fifteen years, and a movie that is still one of our favorites.

And, I suppose, as they say, the rest is history.

Fifteen years is a lot of life to share with another human. Especially when that fifteen years starts in high school. We’ve shared a lot of life over the past fifteen years–almost half our lives have been spent as a couple.

We’ve traveled to so many places together.

We’ve been through the deaths of grandparents and family friends and aunts and uncles.

We’ve navigated challenges including long-distance dating and being newlyweds living in grandma’s basement and moving away from our families and adopting our friend AP into our lives and house for a year

We’ve grown together through serving in youth ministry and leading trips and retreats side by side.

We’ve made so. many. memories.

And, in the past year, we have experienced heartbreak beyond comprehension.

There is nobody in this whole world who I would rather navigate this life with. And, you know what? I knew that from the very beginning. I knew when I went home after that football game on November 3, 2001, that this was it. This was my person. The one I wanted to live life with. The one I wanted by my side through joys and heartbreaks. The one I wanted to marry. The one I wanted to raise children with. The one I wanted to spend my life with.

This man. He’s the best dad. He’s the best husband.

He’s my person.

Happy 15 years, Scott. I love you from now until forever, and so much more.

You’re the best dad to Alexander, and the best boyfriend, best friend, and husband to me.

Here we are on our five month anniversary during a high school marching band trip to Hawaii. This is one of the earliest photos I have of us together. Check out those braces and glasses.
Post-prom trip to Cedar Point.

 

There is no one I’d rather have holding my hand through the ups and downs of this life.

 

Senior prom, 2003.

 

Memorial day camping in 2002. Don’t mind the sweat and goofy look on Scott’s face. He’s a keeper.
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