On July 3, 2008, my best friend (and ultimately savior of my soul) Kim and I embarked on a mission to attempt what must be the dumbest thing either of us has ever thought of:
We went to Europe and tried to drink 1000 beers.
I mean, what do you even say to that? Two guys wanted to drink 1000 beers in just less than a month, in countries they knew nothing about (except for Scotland because Kim is kinda English so he sorta knew some stuff there), on teachers’ budgets.
We did a ton of dumb shit. Like, for example, trying to drink 1000 beers. That was extremely stupid.
And we got hurt in the process. In fact, we went to the ER 3 times between the two of us.
Side note: We went to the ER 3 times in 30 days and paid a total of $0, AND THEY KNEW WE WEREN’T CITIZENS OF SCOTLAND. In December 2014 I paid nearly $5,000 for a healthy baby to be delivered here in Washington after I had already paid about $12,000 in insurance premiums that year. Go figure.
But we did some fun stuff too. We didn’t just get hurt trying to hop fences to sneak into private techno parties.
We met people.
We met some chill dudes at a hostel in Poland.
We met a guy in Latvia who loved alcohol and hated shirts.
We met a seemingly nice old couple who got increasingly racist at a bar that we thought was in Wales but turned out to be in Scotland.
Things changed pretty quickly once I got home from that trip. Between the hours of noon and 4pm on a day in early August 2008, I made two decisions that ended up having pretty significant impacts on me:
I bought a motorcycle.
I met Meghaan.
Man I really wish I would have done those things in reverse order, because I guarantee if I would have met Meghaan first we would have gone drinking and I would have saved a lot of money on that stupid motorcycle that I never rode and ended up selling at a loss a few years later.
But I wouldn’t change any of that because the past 8 years of my life have been so great. And more specifically, the past 3 years.
Or, if you’re doing the math, 1096 days.
We got married June 29, 2013, which according to my calculator was 1096 days ago (WORKED SOLUTION: 3*365+1 because of the leap year in 2016)
That’s 3 years of some pretty major changes. We’ve bought a house, started a business, acquired 2 dogs (ew), had a human baby, sold the first house, bought another house, and invested in a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
Additional side note: Maui Jim’s aren’t just sunglasses; they’re a lifestyle.
But a lot more happened in that time. Since we got married at your family’s house in Boise, the house on Denton that your mother and her siblings grew up in, so much more has happened.
Every single day I have tried to be a better person, and a better husband, and a better father, and a better teacher. I have learned to stop and think before I judge, and to always try to see things from someone else’s perspective, and to do everything I can to help people who need it, and to never forget that everyone has their own story and struggles. Anyone who’s ever talked to my mom for more than 5 seconds knows that I was born with most of those values already embedded in my DNA, but it took someone special to help me finally realize that I had it in me.
Three years ago I said that I thought that loving someone meant you’d start to look different and act different but never completely change who you are. I said you’d start to let go of the things you didn’t like about yourself and start to evolve into the person you actually wanted to become.
I want you to know that you have done that for me. You’ve made me the best version of myself that I’ve ever been. Despite all my flaws and all the ways I want to improve, I have never been a better version of myself.
If you ever wonder if I love you or if I’m proud of you or if I’m thankful for you and what you’ve done for me and Lela and yourself and us as a family, please know that I am and that I sincerely thank you for being patient and taking the time to learn who I am and understand how I work and to really just listen to me talk about weird random shit for hours.
Those 1096 small changes that you inspired me to make have helped change me into the person I am today. I am so grateful for how you’ve inspired me.