I Followed My Heart And It Lead Me To You..."
Those are a few words from the Chris LeDoux song, Two In A Million, which is one of Dustin's & my songs. Why am I bringing up our song today? Because it's our anniversary. :o) It's our 8th "official" anniversary...a.k.a. our 8th Real Anniversary.
Ok ok ok I'll explain. Dustin was supposed to get out of the Marine Corps in June 2002. Well everything was hunky dory until September 11th happened. He wasn't sent anywhere, but was kept at Cherry Point, NC. Then we started dating 10/26/01...just about 6 weeks after September 11, 2001. So he was off to Okinawa, Japan for his last 6 months in the Marine Corps (which was already scheduled to be from January to June 2002). So we planned our wedding for July 2003, the next year. All was calm, all was bright until the government issued a Stop Loss/Stop Move for at least one year. This wasn't good. This means that no one in the military can get out & every single person in the military HAS TO STAY PUT!!! So he couldn't even go to Camp Pendleton & be near me. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Because we had NO idea when he'd be out, or even be able to move bases, we postponned our wedding from July 2003 to June 2004. They thought that they MAY be home in 2003 but weren't totally sure, so to play it safe we just planned for June 2004. So...in the meantime...June 28, 2003 comes around & I'm at my great-grandma's house & I get a frantic call from Dustin saying he's literally walking on a plane & gave me a time to pick him up THE NEXT DAY from the airport! I'm not even going to go into the shock I was feeling...I'll just move on! ;o) Long story even longer...We moved back to MT in August & both lived with our parents. I'm a pastor's daughter so it wouldn't have looked good to move in with my fiance...plus we wanted to do things the right way. So we both lived with our parents & didn't move in together. A month after doing that we needed another plan! It was September 2003 & we knew our 2 year anniversary was coming up...so why not get married on our 2 year anniversary?! So that's just what we did! We got married October 26, 2003, but there was just 1 problem...we still had this huge wedding planned for June 2004. So we just kept it a secret from everyone (except our parents & grandparents of course) & still planned our big wedding.
Our real wedding is our REAL wedding. That's where I became a Vance. That's where we were actually married. That's THE anniversary. My dad married us & it was a cute little wedding with just about 15 people at Dustin's parents house in front of their fireplace.
The June wedding was simply FUN & AMAZING. It was, by far, the absolute best day of my life. It was a total blast. We both had 2 maids of honor/best men & 3 bridesmaids/groomsmen and a flower girl & ring bearer. It was absolutely perfect. Our June anniversary (which was just 7 years ago this past June) is just a fun excuse to celebrate & go out to dinner. I call it our fake anniversary.
So that's our story. I've never actually told the whole story like this before except to a few people here or there. What made this anniversary special was that we have been together 10 years. That's exciting!!! I couldn't ever imagine spending the past 10 years with anyone other than Dustin. I'm not going to go in to how amazing of a father he is, cause I'll save that for Father's Day. Our annversary is about us. He's perfect for me & I'm perfect for him. When I'm discouraged, he's uplifting. When he's in a bad mood, I'm happy. When I have a cold, I'll share it with him.....you know...what's mine is yours! ;o)
So...all that mushy stuff aside...we get to spend our anniversary in Chicago! What's so unfortunate about it is that I'm still sick & not really up for doing much of anything. We really wanted to have dinner at Ditka's (Mike Ditka's restaurant) but Brooklyn is SUCH a pain to take to restaurants now-a-days. So that's out of the question. None of our nevus friends are here anymore so we're forced to do a family day! ;o) (Which isn't so bad afterall...)
We decided to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It's a FREE, yes, FREE zoo in Chicago. Here are some pictures from that:
The Lincoln Park Zoo entrance
This was inside the Children's Zoo. There wasn't a weight limit, just a sign that said 35 kids max & 52" max...so I was tempted. But Cali climbed it like a champ. They remind me of Aladdin's magic carpets. They are very secure, don't sway or anything. But they're carpeted pieces of hard plastic that kids climb on. You start, of course, at the beginning, & just make your way up & over allllll the way to the other end of the building where the end is! It was long & it took Cali about 20 mins to climb to the end but she loved it!
Here they are in the Children's Zoo looking for the bear.
They have a House of Lions...which is this huge long rectangular building with any type of cat inside. There was a lion, lynx, jaguar, and a few others that we can't remember the names of...but they all looked like kitties that you wouldn't wanna mess with...
The Lion - which roared while we were in there. The echo made him soooo loud. It was very cool!
And of course...THE PHOTO MACHINE. Where & when Cali ever heard of these things I have no idea. But my gosh you literally have to direct her attention the other way or else she'll nag & nag until you let her take her picture in the photo booth. Cali & Brooke did it together & they just had a ball.
The Chicago skyline - taken from directly in front of the zoo entrance. I had a few extra minutes to snap a picture because we were waiting for the AAA man to come because I just so happened to lock my keys in the car (and that's all I'm gonna say about that.)
Happy 8th Anniversary, my Love.