at the Water's Edge


Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Ten Years With Tom

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a full 10 years since I first met Tom.  We met on January 20, 2001.  A brief history: I was in high school at the time—a sophomore, 16 years old, and on the cheerleading team (shocking, I know).  Tom was in college at Cedarville University in Ohio, and his roommate was a friend of mine (Rick) from summer camp.  Rick wanted to come up and visit for a weekend, but he did not have a reliable car.  Turns out that Tom grew up about 20 minutes from me, so he knew the area and offered to drive Rick up to Michigan for the weekend.  That Saturday, January 20, 2001 I had a cheerleading competition.  My friend Kim and I came back to my house afterwards and shortly thereafter Rick showed up at my house with his roommate, Tom.  The boys slept in the basement of my parents’ house that weekend, and we all hung out, watched movies, and went to the Detroit Auto Show.  From that point on, Tom and I became friends and communicated via e-mail and AOL Instant Messenger (remember those days??) on a semi-regular basis.  Two years later, Tom moved back to Michigan and we started dating.  Four and a half years after that, we were married.  Now we’re three and a half years into our marriage and a decade into our friendship!  It’s been an amazing 10 years, so I thought I’d share a bit of it with you:


2001:
Tom’s third visit to my house – we had a fun bowling outing.
-      Tom and I met in January 2001
-      The weekend after we met, Tom showed up at my school’s basketball game and watched me cheer (as a flyer, no less) – and totally freaked my mom out because she spotted him and had no idea he was going to be there (he lived in Ohio, remember?)
-          Tom visited a few times and we became pretty good friends



2002:
Everyone loves the Big Boy!
 -          Tom was living in Wisconsin in 2002, with his parents
-          Our friendship grew and we began making more frequent visits to see each other
-          We had several fun outings together, including Paintball (where I met some of Tom’s good friends for the first time), Cedar Point, and a couple concerts


2003:
Our first Christmas as a couple
-          Tom and I started dating while I was a senior in high school
-          We got into rock climbing for a while, which was great fun…even climbed outdoors at “Grand Ledge”
-          I went on my first vacation with Tom’s family (to Florida) for spring break and experienced my first Manistee camping trip with some great friends; we also went to Steamboat Springs, CO to ski with my dad
-          I (ironically) went to Cedarville University for a year, and we did the long-distance thing


2004:
Goofing around on the playground at Petoskey State Park

-          I finished my first year of college and transferred to Grand Valley State University in the fall of 2004; Tom also moved out to Grand Rapids to live with friends there
-          It was a season of adjustment, new city, new college, new friends
-          We spent many-a late night in the guys’ apartment watching episodes of Firefly and Roswell w/ friends
-          Tom’s niece, Kayla, was born
-          We took a trip to Florida, a trip up north to my family’s chalet, and a trip to Manistee
-          2004 marked our first annual Halloween party!


2005:
President’s Ball at GVSU; I salvaged my prom dress from 10th grade!

-          2005 was a tough year – we experience the death of three loved ones: Tom’s good friend, Craig, my grandmother, and my stepmom. 
-          We did have some fun, and took several trips, including Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Florida with Tom’s family, and of course our yearly camping trip to Manistee



2006:
Colorado Ski Trip – we had such an eclectic group; it was great fun!

-          We drove out to Colorado with friends at the start of the year, and met some other friends and my dad out there to go skiing
-          We went to Florida again with Tom’s family, and spent a lot of time in Manistee over summer
-          I graduated college in August and started my first real job (which I’m still at!); Tom started working an IT job at a local school district
-          Tom and I spent an interesting weekend in Frankenmuth– it was fun, but very…Bavarian.
-          On New Year’s Eve, 2006, Tom proposed to me.  My response: “Oh my gosh, are you serious?!”


2007:

Wedding day!
-          I spent the first half of the year wedding planning – we got married on June 16, 2007
-          We got married at our church, and Tom picked out our reception location: Fredrik Meijer Gardens – it was beautiful and was a wonderful ceremony to kick off our marriage and next chapter in life together
-          We moved out to Hudsonville, MI and rented a townhouse – it really was a great spot
-          Our honeymoon was in Riviera Maya, Mexico – we also did trips to Manistee, the family chalet, my first backpacking trip (I think), and an awesome ski trip in Quebec




2008:
On the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

-          In 2008, we spent a good portion of time preparing for and going on a missions trip to Honduras – we built a playground, had a medical team there, ran carnivals for the kids, and even hooked up with some of my family there!  It’s a beautiful country, and I’m glad that Tom was able to see it, and it was very neat to serve the Lord together down there.
-          We had our yearly trip to Manistee, and backpacking trips to North Manitou Island and the Manistee River Trail
-          We also had our annual Halloween party – I had my most creative costume to date: I was a piñata…Tom was the birthday boy with a stick!
-          Tom took a new job for a local university, and decided to go back to school himself and finish his college degree
-          After Christmas, Tom and I spent a week in Lover’s Key, FL and really enjoyed all of the natural beaches and wildlife (manatees!)


Cherohala Skyway -- North Carolina
2009:

-          2009 was the year of the houses.  We house shopped for 8 or 9 months, bid on 7 different houses, and finally got one in September!  We really enjoy the neighborhood and area where we ended up!
-          Over the summer, Tom bought a motorcycle (he’d ridden in the past, but took several years off) – less than a week after buying it, we took it to North Carolina to visit my mom and stepdad – they have a Harley, and we were able to take some beautiful rides together out there
-          We backpacked the Hoist Lakes and Manistee River trails
-          Our nephew, Trey was born
-          We also took one of our most amazing vacations: Maui – it was beautiful, and I’d love to go back someday!  Totally worth the plane flight!

2010:
Manistee, MI – our yearly summer vacation destination
-2010 came with adjustments to life as homeowners, and included lots of home renovation projects
-I learned to garden and Tom learned to tile, in addition to many, many home maintenance and repair tasks
-We had some house guests over the summer, including a good friend of ours while he took a class at GVSU, and also my mom and stepdad for a few weeks after they decided to move back to MI and were trying to figure out where their jobs would land them – it was a busy house, but a lot of fun!
-We went on a trip with friends over the summer on motorcycles all the way around Lake Superior – such a beautiful lake!  Of course, we also spent some time around Lake Michigan in Manistee, and we had Christmas and New Years in Florida with Tom’s family.

Life with Tom has been one great adventure, full of fun, not without its challenges, but always pushing us closer together.   2011 is off to a great start, and we are excited to see what the future holds for us! 

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ABOUTME

Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Happy Gilmore. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!

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