Disclaimer: I’ve been hesitant to post the story of our family for quite some time, basically since I started my blog. I feel like I’ve kind of been hiding it from you all because I don’t want to bring unnecessary judgement or unneeded scrutiny. But you know what? I’m tired of hiding it. I’m stepping out of the shadows and telling you our story today. Because that’s just what it is, our story. It’s how my little family came to be. Take it or leave it, but this is us.
Cory and I met when I was going to college at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. He’s actually from that area and lived a couple blocks away from my school. We met at a party one night and that’s as far is it went. Until he texted me on my birthday a couple months later. Just completely out of the blue on my way to my friend’s boyfriend’s cabin to celebrate, I received a “Happy Birthday!” text message from Cory. When I look back and think about it now it kind of makes me giggle to know that one little text message started it all. How twenty-first century are we? I responded with a quick thank you and he responded asking me how I was planning to celebrate. And then I never texted him back.
Until almost an entire month later when I was laying in bed in my dorm avoiding studying for my Chemistry exam. I remembered that I had never responded to him and immediately apologized. He invited me to a BBQ at his house, but I ended up backing out at the last minute because I didn’t want to go alone. That rejection, led to another invite that I actually agreed to. Him and his friends had tickets to the fights. Yes, you read that right. Full-on UFC cage-type fighting. They had ring side seats and for some crazy reason I agreed to go with him and a group of his guy friends. (Cory’s always been such a romantic!)
That afternoon before Cory was supposed to pick me up, I ended up going out to a hibachi restaurant downtown for a birthday dinner with friends. We talked and laughed and watched the chef do all those fun tricks and then when I got back to the dorms I felt it. I felt like I got hit by a truck. And couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough, if you catch my drift. If you’ve never had food poisoning, I pray you never get it. I was just picking up my phone to text Cory and let him know that I wouldn’t be able to make it when he was calling me to let me know he was downstairs already to pick me up.
So, I bucked up, fixed my make-up quick and headed downstairs PRAYING that I wouldn’t toss my cookies (or other things) while we were out. It ended up being a fun night though. His friends had a little too much to drink, gave me a hard time, and I took it with stride. (Cory says that’s when he knew I was a keeper!) We joked around and I honestly don’t even remember much of the fights. I was too lost in the moment with Cory’s arm around me. And later that night, back at his place with all of his friends, he leaned down and kissed me for the first time. Just a simple, sweet little peck that I’ll never forget.
We spent every moment we could with each other after that and made it “official” (you know, back in the day when you weren’t “official” until it was “Facebook official”) on April 24th, 2009…
…And then two months later on June 21st, 2009, my period never came. I took a pregnancy test that afternoon in my friend’s bathroom and picked my jaw up off the floor after seeing two pink lines. Looking back on that day, I hate that my first reaction was fear. And lots and lots of tears. At just 19 years old those two pink lines were scary. They were unwanted.
I’ll never forget when I told Cory. He was living in Hudson, WI at the time and working in the Twin Cities and we were just trying to figure out how all this long-distance relationship stuff worked. I called and told him the news on my break at work and he never ever left my side after that. We talked and cried and laughed on the phone for hours that night. We weighed our options, but there was never a question in my mind of “keeping” the baby. She was already mine. Already growing inside of me and already creating something so special between Cory & I.
And another shocker? Cory and I never got married and still aren’t to this day. We talk about it and we know that we will get married, but we’re not ready to yet. Right now our top priority is Alea and me finishing nursing school. We’ll figure out that whole marriage thing once I’m done with school and we know we’re ready. I think it’s different for us too. We’re both the product of divorces. His parents got divorced when he was younger and mine have been for a couple of years now and we know for certain we never want to put Alea through that.
We started out things a little bit unconventional and maybe even “sinful” in some eyes. But this is our family and in our eyes? We’re doing pretty darn well for ourselves and our family.
And now looking back? Those two pink lines and the little girl that came with them changed my life in every way possible.
You want to know how our family started? It started with two pink lines and the little Alea Anne that came after. She’s the glue that brought us together and continue to hold us together today.
No marriage certificate or ring could ever hold us together like our little girl does.