Our 10 year story.
Goodness yall. Today is a very special day in the Lucas household. 10 years ago I asked the woman of my dreams the biggest question you can ask a lady… Well, the second biggest. “Will you be my girlfriend?”
I’m going to set the whole scene for how everything went down in just one second, but when I asked Sara this question – I knew it was going to be more than just a regular relationship. It may sound cliche or whatever, but in all honesty, when we re-met ( I’ll explain that in that later ) I felt something a lot different with her, and I really had a feeling that shs could be “the one.” I know that’s crazy to say when I was only 17. But it seemed so crazy that God made our paths cross in a very odd way for the second time. I knew that it couldn’t just be a fluke ya know. And I’m by no means what you would call a romantic. This is just something that I really felt in my heart.
Let me start from the beginning because every time we tell this part of the story people get a kick out of it. When Sara and I were 13 we met at the Hoover Galleria, a big Mall that all the “cool” kids used to hang out at. We had a mutual friend who just so happened to bring me along to the mall and Sara was there. Or Elie as some friends called her then – Her middle name is Elizabeth. Elie (Sara) and I hung out a few times at the mall and decided to date. I probably asked her out over A.I.M. AOL instant messenger was THE way to chit chat back then. Here’s where it got fun. Again, we were 13! So Sara invited me over to her house to hang out, supervised by her Mom of course, and we had a great time! We lived about 30-45 minutes apart. Aka a long distance relationship by pre-drivers license standards. I don’t remember the exact setup, whether our parents didn’t drive us to hang out as much as we wanted or something, but we just stopped dating (read: stopped I.M’ing each other). So now we were broken up.
13 year old us crossed paths here and there over the next few years. But nothing too significant. Maybe once or twice a year or say “hey” on MySpace here and there. Over the next 4-5 years, we weren’t even acquaintances. Except for that time we both applied for the same job at Pac-Sun when we were 16. I got the job; she didn’t.
Here’s where it gets good. In that December 2008 – January 2009, our Senior year, we met at a friends birthday party. How Sara ended up at my best friends birthday party was a little bizarre. But it turns out Sara was “kinda” seeing a guy who was invited to the party, so she came along. From my memory, it was almost instant that we caught each other’s attention. I remember it very vividly. We stood between a doorway, leaning against opposite sides but still awkwardly close, and just chatted about everything. How she ended up at this party, what she had been up to, etc. From what I can remember we chatted for a long time at that party. Why this dude she was “seeing” didn’t come to get her at some point was beyond me. Somehow, before the night was over, I got her number… Ya know so that we could text. That’s right, AIM was no longer a thing, and we could text. Again, not sure why this girl who was seeing someone would give me her number but my guess was, it just wasn’t anything serious.
From that point on we texted probably every day. This was our last semester in our senior year. So most of our classes were things like Library Aid and Art since we both had finished up most of our core classes in the first semester. So we plowed through our 1000 text limit real quick. Remember when texting had a limit hahaha?
Now that we were both 16 and had cars we had a shot at a second relationship. So I asked Sara on a date. Like most 16-year-olds I didn’t have any money to my name. I was still working at Pac-Sun (the job I stole from Sara) and I was making $5.50 an hour. To say I had no money for a real date was an understatement. So we went to a dollar movie theatre. If you’re not familiar, this is a theatre where movies play that are out of real theaters but not released on DVD yet. And it’s literally .90 cents. I forget who picked the movie but we watched and it was horrible! Some, end of the world/ apocalypse movie. It was not good. AT ALL. So we silently just talked through the whole thing. There may have been a few other people in the theatre so we weren’t bothering anyone. But we just talked for the 2 hours that this “awesome” movie was playing. Somewhere in that chit chat as asked Sara if she would be my girlfriend. 10 years to the day, I asked the woman I would marry if she would date me. And for some reason, she said yes. Y’all can look at me in these photos and judge. It’s ok! I was quite an interesting person back then =) But with my Shawn White hair, band tee shirt, and lip ring – this girl said yes. Boy, she had no clue what the next 10 years would hold.
So our senior year, we did all the usual things leading up to graduation. We went to each other’s prom, we planned out college plans, skipped school a few times (hope my mom doesn’t see this), as well as planning our plans after graduation. Fast forward past two proms and graduation to September of 2009. After 8 months of dating, Sara’s mom moved to China and her brother was moving to Florida, so she had the choice of going with one of them or moving into a house of her own. So we landed with the idea that we would move in together.
We found this SUPER crappy 800/sf house for rent in a not so good part of town. It’s all we could afford! We got a dog, Kruger, who is becoming an old man nowadays. So it was official. We shared a lease and a dog! The stories and experiences that we’d accumulate over the next 4 years were just unbelievable. Most of them were horrible. We were very very broke and what seemed to be an unlimited supply of bad luck. Things were not good back then. Don’t get me wrong, we were still in love, and our relationship was great. But sometimes it would’ve just been easier to break up and move back in with our parents. I mean, for real! It was bad. The house condition was almost unlivable. It would get so cold inside that house that with the heat running 24/7 it would never get warm. We racked up a massive gas bill, that we couldn’t afford. So we turned off our heat and heated our house by opening the oven turned to high, we unplugged the dryer vent, and also ran a kerosene “open flame” heater that we sat in our living room. We had all the makings for a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. We did almost burn the house down, which is a story for a different time.
So after a few short months of living in this house, we just decided, we’d leave. Just leave! Not anything official when breaking a lease. We just stopped paying rent and found a new place to live. Apparently, our landlords didn’t care much because we never saw any repercussions from them. We moved into a SLIGHTLY less worse townhome to live in, to only be kicked out of it a few months later because we owned to Pit Bulls at this point and we said they were Labs on the lease. Classic =) But it was ok because the occasional gunshots in the parking lot and drug use that was going on in our surrounding houses just wasn’t ideal. Although still better than the first house.
We bounced around from apartment to apartment for the next few years. Finally landing in my parent’s rental house, the house I grew up in, where we didn’t have to pay rent as long as we were in school and took care of the house. This is where life started getting better for us. 5 years into our relationship and we finally saw some good luck. To say we stuck together through thick and thin was an understatement! I don’t know why we stuck together through all of that. It would’ve been 1000 times easier just to go our separate ways. But the thought never even crossed our minds.
In this house would be where we both graduated college, found good jobs, got engaged, and started this photography company. As I sit here for the first time recapping 10 years in a blog post the only thing I can think about is how God had a plan for us all along. He made us grow up together, He prepared us for real life, He prepared us for tough times, to get stronger when things got harder, and most importantly to get closer when the going got rough. It was truly Him making all this happen!
Now we’re in a whole new chapter of life. We made it! We moved on to purchasing a perfect house. It was the first and only house we looked at! We moved in and started our dream life. Our business was doing great! We (Sara) got pregnant with Jaxon and life has literally been dream ever since. Again, it might be cliche but I reflect on things a lot, and I don’t understand how I ended up with all the things in the world that I wanted. It’s incredible that life ended up the way it did. Now life is chaotic in a different way with running a business and a 2-year-old. Chaotic, but nowhere to the level it was when we first started.
I know this blog post is extremely long. Hopefully, you made it this far. I knew it was going to be long and heck I could’ve been longer! But hopefully you got some enjoyment out of this. This is a pretty monumental day for us and hopefully I get to share more decade recaps with you guys.
Thanks for reading
-Alex (and Elie… I mean Sara)