The story of how we met: Hank and I met the night of September 25, 2010. It was our mutual friend's birthday party. I seldom go out alone, but that night I really wanted to wish my childhood friend a happy birthday so I did. Call it fate or destiny because I know if I went with friends or even a singular friend, I wouldn't have had the chance to make conversation with a complete stranger! I was at the bar with the birthday boy when Hank turned around and offered to buy the birthday boy a drink, and by default bought me one too. The birthday boy, being the birthday boy, got pulled away and that's how our story began. Hank was lively, spontaneous and most of all, fun. We chatted the night away~
That night he mentioned planning to check out an art fair in Dumbo, Brooklyn the following day with his friends. He called me first thing in the morning (I can tell he had just woken up from his voice), asking me if I'd like to join him. Behind the scenes he told his friends they no longer have to go with him, making it a "date". Hank wore a beige argyle sweater and I wore a loose fitting t-shirt with a graffiti print of monster characters on the front and back. Hank recalls thinking I must not be interested in him to wear an outfit like that!
It was our first time exploring Dumbo. Being by the water and both Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge, it was very scenic. The best part being that there was art just everywhere, both inside the studios and spilling out on the the streets - even a huge installation on the rocky "beach" that leads into the water.
It was then it became apparent we make a good fit because I am extremely right brained (creative, visual, imaginative), while he is far left brained (practical, logical, analytical). It was almost like we needed the other and clung to each other. We've been inseparable since. This is where we are different and compliment the other's weaknesses with our strengths, but over time we found ourselves very compatible in many ways. I think traveling with someone, anyone, really reveals a lot about your compatibility. That's when we knew there was something long term. We went on our first vacation together to Napa only a couple months in and were engaged and living together by 6 months. It also helped that we had both been in long term relationships in the past and knew what we were (and were not) looking for.
Hank is the most patient and even-tempered person I've ever met. He makes me feel loved the entire range of ways. From the big gestures to being the most hands on husband/father on an every day basis. On top of that, he loves to make me laugh. I don't think there's enough I could do to live up to how he makes me feel. I've learned what love is from him, it's selfless and about doing whatever it takes to see the other person happy.
All relationships take work. In our case, it's about quality time - especially now that we have a child together, and one on the way! Hank doesn’t have the shortest work hours, so we have to make an effort to make time for each other. I'll even follow him into the bathroom while he showers to take any extra chance to talk to each other. When we are home together, we implemented a no-technology "family hour" for eye-to-eye face time. I think it's really important to connect and cherish what we've built so far, not taking a moment for granted.
This Valentine's Day, we'll probably celebrate it over a nice relaxing and romantic dinner either out or at home. We often leave the house taking turns watching our son, but rarely just the two of us for dates. When we do get alone time, I love how it reminds me of when we were dating and those early butterfly feels.
Thank you Old Navy for this mini Pre-Valentine's day date around downtown!
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- Photographed by Stevi Sesin