Since Zach and I got married a little over six months ago, not a day has passed without one of us (blissfully) exclaiming, "I've seen you (insert a number larger than ten, which was our pre-married life record) days in a row!" or "Eeek, you don't have to go back to Camp Lejeune tonight!" or the most popular: "Oh my goodness, WE'RE MARRIED!"
Call it the honeymoon phase, call it the four-and-a-half-years-of-long-distance-is-finally-over phase, call it the suck-it-Marine-Corps-you-don't-own-our-life-anymore phase (my personal favorite)... but I'm constantly in awe of the fact that this is my life. After everything we've been through, after years of putting things on hold, after an anything-but-normal dating relationship, we simply get to be together now. It absolutely blows my mind.
Multiply those feelings by about a billion, and that's how I felt last Friday when we biked the Virginia Creeper Trail together.
I biked the Creeper Trail two summers ago without Zach. He was deployed to Afghanistan at the time, and all I could think about as I rode the 17-mile trail from White Top to Damascus was how much fun it would be to bike the trail together. (Well, that's all I could think about when I wasn't thinking things like "Why did I agree to be responsible for a dozen middle school boys who have apparently made it their life mission to give me a heart attack with their reckless bike riding?")
I knew Zach would love the Creeper Trail just as much as I did, so we put it on our "someday" list. Not the someday-we'll-travel-to-Europe-together type of "someday" list, but the someday-we'll-be-able-to-do-things-that-normal-couples-do-without-Uncle-Sam-changing-all-of-our-plans-with-last-minute-duty-or-a-range type of "someday" list. You know, the usual.
It took a while, but "someday" finally came.
And it was perfect.
It was better than perfect, actually. After building this trip up in my head for so long, there was no way it could have lived up to my insanely high expectations.
Except it did. It exceeded my wildest dreams... and it was pure magic.
I'm not even sure what made the whole day so perfect: the fact that we're still in awe of actually getting to spend time together or the fact that we initially fell in love while being a couple of outdoorsy adventurers five summers ago. Whatever the reason, that high-on-life feeling that accompanied biking through the Jefferson National Forest, crossing over restored railroad trestles, and wading through a rapidly-flowing creek with my best friend was one of the greatest things I've experienced in quite some time.
Here's to four-day weekends, outdoor adventures, and finally being able to cross things off our "someday" list.
And here's to love, because it's pretty great :)