Our Love Story

While we were camping last week, Dan and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. It seems so silly saying our third wedding anniversary...when it feels as though Dan and I have lived a thousands lives together. We've been married such a small amount of time compared to so many, and yet we've been through way more than so many. I have been spilling my heart all over my blog for the last five years and somehow I've never really shared much of our wedding day. I took a moment this weekend and looked at our photos for the first time in a loooong time. I am surprised that I never shed a single tear! I just kept saying "Ahhh Dan! Look! Remember that? Remember this?" I may be biased, but our wedding was pretty incredible ... 

Our journey begins as many couples do ... Dan and I met early within our sophomore year of college (2004). He lived in the dorm room just beneath me and his red hair caught my attention. Honestly, I was attracted to him first and racked my brain on ways to try and talk to him. He rode a skateboard to and from the one class we had together, Economics. He sat clear across the lecture hall from me, and I paid more attention to him than my professor. I liked the way he stuck his tongue out while taking notes. Something he stills does when he is concentrating on something. I got a C in Economics, but an A in Dan Saldana. He was my boyfriend by the end of that semester. ;)

For a ridiculous sorority dress up party I had to wear boys underwear and I jumped at the chance to ask Dan if I could borrow a pair! Yes, that was our first interaction. I walked downstairs, knocked on his door and asked him to borrow his boxers. I saw he was making a quesadilla with a plastic white spatula. He quickly ran to his room to grab his undies and handed me a pair of grey boxers with tiny diamonds all over them. When Dan tells this story he says "She made me burn my quesadilla!" Anyways, I was so happy I held onto his underwear and waited until the perfect time to give them back/talk to him again. When I gave them back we exchanged AOL screen names and I guess the rest is history. Dan's mom, would send him college care packages full of Oreos and he would Instant Message me late at night to come eat cookies with him. A pretty innocent booty call. We spent our time studying, watching television and listening to music while cuddling on his tiny twin bed. I asked him to my sorority formal by baking him a cake and frosted "Will You Go To Formal With Me?" on top. So much happened in a few short months. I borrowed boxers from Dan in October and he finally asked me to be his girlfriend in December. 

Right now, twelve years later, the white spatula is still being used in our kitchen and helps make the best pancakes. The infamous borrowed boxers are spattered with holes and folded nicely in our closet.

Our story is actually pretty simple and unique to Dan and I. We dated through out college, grad school and 1st time jobs. We did our own thing and spent a lot of time together when we had the time to. We starting dating when texting became a thing and Facebook was just born. I like to think we grew up together, we grew up into adults together and into parents together. Our friends and family knew us as "Dan and Jacqui". A few didn't even know if we were dating still since college or if we just had morphed into close friends. We were best friends. We are best friends. After six years together we were happily surprised/shocked when we found out I was pregnant with Ryan. Our dating friendship hit the pavement running quick towards parenthood and honestly we kicked ass at it all. When I take a moment and think back on us living in our first tiny apartment with our first tiny baby ... my heart just feels so proud. 

So, just three years ago Dan and I got married. Surrounded by all the people we love the most. The best part is that our son was there and our wedding photos prove just how happy the three of us were. How we all thought this was our forever. When I see my son's face he has these knowing angel eyes. Dan and I had no idea of the life that was ahead of us, though I am sure Ryan was preparing us for it. Actually, I know he was. God only gives us what we can handle, and he knew, and Ryan knew that we could handle anything so long as we did it together.

I wish so badly I could relive our wedding day. It holds so many great memories. We had a photo booth and about 30 photo strips are just of the top of Ryan's head. He just kept going in to the booth and hitting the button, but was to short to reach the camera. We had a taco truck and they brought popsicles to go along with our wedding cupcakes. Both Dan and I never got a popsicle, but Ryan ate nearly six. Apparently he was the only one who knew where they were being kept and was single handedly giving them out one by one to the people of his choosing. In all our reception photos his mouth is colored bright strawberry red. After our wedding Ryan referred to it as "Mommy and Daddy's Party". I can't wait to show Mila the photos of her parents party! 

Anyways, there are way too many photos to share here but below are a few of my favorites. 

Happy Third Wedding Anniversary To Us! 

Dan and Jacqui being Dan and Jacqui since 2004 ... I love you so much Dan. 

I made a lot of wedding decor on my own. I made our table cloths from fabric which I dyed grey and splattered with gold paint. I went to home depot with Ryan and I had twelve of these wooden blocks cut. I then bought thread and a thousand nails to make my own table numbers. I requested wild flowers and decorated the outside cocktail area with photos highlighting the best moments of Dan and Jacqui. 

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11 comments

  1. HToler says…
    08/08/2016

    Such a beautiful story. I'm so glad that Ryan got to share that moment with you guys and mila gets to learn if it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. calebrubio12612 says…
    08/08/2016

    My eyes are full of happy-emotional tears after reading your story. I love every detail of the party and the way you met you guys met. The last picture is my favorite. Happy Anniversary to Dan & Jaqui

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. AnginNapa says…
    08/08/2016

    Thank you for sharing such a special time in your life. This made me cry and also remember my own wedding day! 17 years ago and with my husband for almost 30 years. I am so thankful for you and reminding me to always cherish life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. latere76 says…
    08/08/2016

    Happy anniversary ?

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Karissa says…
    08/09/2016

    The most beautiful love story - Happy Anniversary!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. grcosch says…
    08/09/2016

    Oh my Goodness, so many happy tears for you, the last picture just sent me over the edge with tears. We have a baby boy about the same age as Ryan in that picture. Can you please share the campground name in Humboldt County would love to go there, we live in Reno, NV and camp in Tahoe all the time but would love to expand to the coast! Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. AnnieVovan says…
    08/14/2016

    I love your storytelling so much. Love that you got an "A" in Dan. Love that you have so many photos of Ry at the wedding. Big hugs to you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. dobbyjr says…
    08/17/2016

    It is so interesting to me, because as viewers we don't get to hear your husbands voice or perspective often. But it as if you can see who he is and your love through his eyes. I am a college student around the age you would have been when you met Dan, and me and my boyfriends story is so similar this made me smile. Instead of boxer shorts, I "needed" to borrow his computer. And when I got in his room I "accidentally" left something so I would have to come back. I feel that your love is the one true light (besides Mila, now) from this story. Most couples are driven apart. Your love story is inspiring and I can only hope mine will turn out like this someday. I cannot get enough of the softness in his eyes and smile and the way he looks at you, Mila, and Ryan.

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  9. JaniceL says…
    08/31/2016

    This is a fun story of how you met which brings us to the present. God Bless your sweet family.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Lenapastina says…
    10/01/2016

    I love everything about your love story, but especially that Ryan got to take part in your special day! <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Lindsay937 says…
    02/25/2017

    I have been a follower of yours on instagram for years now and I never get tired of seeing your page or hearing your funny and cute stories. Seeing how open and how strong you are has pushed me through difficult obstacles. ❤️ Sending love and a happy anniversary from Pittsburgh PA ? ? ?

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