The Truth of Meeting My Husband 8 Years Ago

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it was eight years ago that my soul collided with another’s. eight years! that’s a pretty significant amount of time.

my mother-in-law recently forwarded an email she received eight years ago on 5/5/2007…

first date the new wifestylea few things about this email you need to know

a) i purposefully left my husband’s old email unblocked out so you can appreciate it. “austin” is one of his middle names (and the capital of texas, where he hails from) and “humble” is actually pronounced without the “h” and this is the suburb of houston he grew up in. no joke. i would have personally rearranged them to be ‘humbleaustin’ and added ‘texas4forever’ on the end but the choice was his.

b) he was very interested in a woman (my feminist heart loves that he didn’t refer to me as as girl, after all i was 20 years old at this time)

c) my husband is great at many things, but spelling is not one of them. “here” name is chelsea (let’s all recall that he totally misspelled my name when he proposed)

d) this is the photo of us he attached in the email

ryan and chelsea predating

a few things about this photo you need to know

a) this was taken before we started dating on his 20th birthday celebration at chili’s

b) we only met a few weeks before this

c) this was before i realized my hair didn’t have to be straight for it to be pretty

d) why was he wearing a (cream colored) sweater in may in colorado and i’m in a tank top!?

e) we had our friends take a few other pictures of us and this conversation was sparked between me and my non-boyfriend:

him: “this feels like it’s going to be what our engagement photos look like!”

me: “that’s weird. yeah, maybe we’ll be covered in paint or feathers or something like that!”

him “yeah, or we’ll be naked.”

(update: we ended up in boring, normal clothes for our engagement photos).

when i read this email his mom forwarded, i felt a little jolt inside of me. it was like i was being let in on a secret that wasn’t meant for me to see (even though we’ve now been married for over four years). it made me smile to read how he talked about me.

when i go back to that day eight years ago in front of the chili’s in colorado, i didn’t know i’d marry that man standing next to me. i didn’t know that we’d move to portland, oregon and still be living here. i didn’t know we would travel the world and i definitely didn’t think we’d ever start a business together.

what i did know in that picture is that i was standing next to someone who was truly like no one i’d ever met before. i knew that i felt comfortable around him and comfortable enough to be my weird self around him (obviously same for him). i had just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship that lasted years too long but the guy standing next to me had wild ambitions, big dreams and was living a full life.

relationship advice the new wifestyle

what i knew about myself, back in that photo, is that i wasn’t prepared to immediately jump into another relationship after just getting out of one. that being said, i’m sure glad i took the chance. the guy standing next to me in that photo never really made me nervous. i never had those ‘first date jitters.’ he was easy to be around, made me laugh and more importantly…he laughed at my wise cracks. i did know that someone incredibly interesting and unique had just entered my life and that it was something i should pay attention to.

i have no idea what our lives will look like in another eight years but i feel confident that when i look back to this video below, i will feel happy with where we’ve been and where we are, together.

i accept zero responsibility if you download the “dubsmash app” on your phone and then spend way too much time on it.

i figured this would be a fun time to link up with emily at ember grey for the grateful heart monday because i’m grateful for technology to see this email and for spending the last 8 years with my boo-thang!

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

1) thinking back to when you first met your partner, what were some of those initial feelings?
2) do you agree that you need to find someone who loves your weirdness and quirks?
3) what were you doing 8 years ago?


  1. Brittany

    May 11, 2015 at 7:57 am

    That is adorable! So neat you have the email!
    Brittany recently posted…Summer Wedding Guest Style with Rent the Runway

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 10:06 am

      i got SO excited when i saw that she had not only kept but then forwarded the email, brittany! it was fun to see something i never had before 🙂

  2. Amanda

    May 11, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Aww look at Ravery’s spiky hair, haha. You two are too cute, and this is so sweet.
    Amanda recently posted…SoapBox Acai Berry Shampoo Review

  3. Audrey

    May 11, 2015 at 8:28 am

    That video is spot. on. Well done! Mine always look fake so I never post them 😉

    Eight years ago I was “talking to” and falling for my now-husband, too! We weren’t dating yet (not until Oct. 2007), but we were close!

    This weekend we went to a wedding and my husband stopped to talk with the groom’s brother, whom we’d both gone to high school with (he was between K and I in age) and I though to myself: 10 years ago when I met all these people did any of us every dream that we’d be conversing at the same wedding and married and friends? So strange and wonderful!
    Audrey recently posted…The Art of Friendship

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 10:09 am

      i love that you do the videos too, audrey! i totally did one from ‘bridesmaids’ that i’m very proud of because it looks like i’m kristen wig on the plane all drugged up…otherwise mine don’t always either.

      awww yay 2007 as a big love year for us! it is so strange how we don’t know things at the time (duh) and here we are years later! makes me smile to think about you with your friends over the wedding weekend!

  4. Dawn

    May 11, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Well, he was unavailable when we first met so feelings were kept at bay. What I do recall was similar to you—being absolutely comfortable with each other, and drawn to each other. I did get butterflies when we were together —I still do!

    I believe that you need to find someone who accepts all of you and celebrates what makes you YOU. I believe that when you learn to be your authentic self, you will attract the right person who will love you as you are and you won’t be hiding anything.

    8 years ago I was living in Newfoundland finishing my Bachelor’s Degree!

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

      ah that comfortable feeling is so so good, isn’t it? i guess i do get butterflies sometimes when i haven’t seen him for a few days and i’m picking him up at the airport and that’s fun but i like the comfort feeling more. happy you feel that too, dawn!

      couldn’t agree with you more about finding someone who celebrates your authentic self 🙂 that’s beautifully said!

  5. Lindsay

    May 11, 2015 at 9:33 am

    This is so sweet Chelsea, I love learning couples’ “how we met” stories! I’m really glad you forgave him for misspelling your name in the middle of the proposal, because spelling can be hard sometimes and also because you guys are an adorable couple.
    Lindsay recently posted…Cinco de Mayo

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 10:13 am

      i’m a sucker for ‘how we met’ stories too lindsay, so glad you enjoyed ours 🙂

      i distinctly remember when we first started texted he told me to have “sweat dreams” one night so that was awkward…and hilarious. i’m glad i forgave him too…he makes up for it in other ways. #heeeyo

  6. Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete

    May 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Too. much. cute.
    If you don’t consider yourself a weirdo, I can only assume you aren’t comfortable enough with yourself yet for a relationship 🙂 So yes, loving your weirdo is a must.
    Our 12 year dating anniversary is coming up on the 15th (and 2 years married in August), it is crazy to think back to our first few dates. I remember thinking that it would be absolutely impossible for our relationship to last past summer. I mean, we went to different high schools! It would never work! Bah. The stuff I used to stress out about is just so hilarious to me now.
    Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete recently posted…Dirty Kanza Prep: My Bike Setup

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 10:15 am

      haha love it, courtney! you do need to be comfortable enough with yourself to let the weirdo flag flllllly!

      wow 12 years together! that’s amazing! oh that dreaded summer break for relationships, glad you both withstood it 🙂 take us back to those simpler days!

  7. Shelby

    May 11, 2015 at 10:37 am

    When I met my husband I was not ready to get back into something — I didn’t intend to get into something. I was coming out of a bad relationship, and some poor choices after that. I decided it was time for myself…and then I met Dan. And it was different. He felt different. I didn’t know it meant marriage, but I did know that it was something worth exploring; I just knew it would be different.
    Shelby recently posted…Can’t Live Without it: St. Germain

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      whew we are similar in that regard, shelby! i was ready for glorious time for myself too but of course fate had something else in mind for us 🙂 good description about just knowing it would be different. i’m right there with you!

  8. carissajade

    May 11, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Yall are just the sweetest! I want to snuggle you both.
    carissajade recently posted…Weekend Snapshots -Mother’s Day Weekend!

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      bahah that made me laugh, carissa jade! thanks for reading and for your comment 🙂

  9. Diana

    May 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    What a beautiful post. My husband and I met 7 years ago and it feels like a lifetime ago, also I never felt first date jitters with him either. It was like we just clicked right away.
    Diana recently posted…Little Girl You are Perfect

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      it’s funny how some people feel those butterflies and others just feel like click and comfort, isn’t it diana? how is time moving so fast?!

  10. Jennifer Haston

    May 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    oooh! Love the anachronistic email!!! I totally agree with that “its like a secret”

    1) thinking back to when you first met your partner, what were some of those initial feelings? Much like you I had exited a painful long-term relationship for the second time (yep, you read that right) and I thought, even if the best he does is establish the gold standard for how I am to be treated, that is fine.. I remember thinking he sang really well and was a bit of a showman which me being in theatre, I really liked..
    2) do you agree that you need to find someone who loves your weirdness and quirks? 100%… I am going to steal from “How I Met Your Mother” now.. simply because its really well stated.. Ted tells a joke about “not sharing lobster being very shellfish” of his date and she openly says, “that’s bad” as in not funny and downright awful.. and later as they are talking about the debacle of that date.. she says you should hold out for your shellfish lady.. and all this to say, you should NOT settle for someone who loves you in spite of those things but loves you BECAUSE of those things… 🙂
    3) what were you doing 8 years ago- May 2007 well I had not met my love yet and was in the midst of extricating myself from that aforementioned mess.

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      i love that piece of acknowledging that at least he set the gold standard of how we should be treated, jennifer. i think you sparked a new blog post idea for me so thank you 🙂

      ohhh i didn’t really watch HIMYM and i really love that piece about loving those because of our quirks!

      glad you got out of that mess, jennifer and cheers to happy and healthy relationships!

  11. Pech

    May 11, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    How fun to be let in on the other version of the story as it was happening back then! This is especially because often, we don’t get to see the other side besides our own, and especially if it’s in a documented format like this so it is a snapshot in time! When I met my now husband, we felt a connection right away- but being 19 and at the time interested in other people, we became very good friends instead of acting on the spark. One thing that was definitely different between us and our relationship with other people is that somehow we instinctively knew to share a lot more openly/not “play the game” like in other relationships we had, which helped us grow even closer and closer over time until we couldn’t deny what we had. 8 years ago we were not married yet, still dating, and I was wondering if we would step towards that final commitment. 7 months later, we would be engaged!
    Pech recently posted…Recipe for Balkan Cheese Pie – Burek and Adjika Sauce

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      that’s a great way to put it, pech! i was totally let in on a version of the story 🙂

      that’s such a fantastic piece of not playing ‘the game’ and you were more open with it all. that’s how my now-husband approached things too and it was so refreshing!

      happy to hear you had that similar experience and it’s interesting to see how life plays out.

  12. Rachel G

    May 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Aww, so cute! Seriously, I think it’s adorable that he told his mom about you right away. Angel kept ‘me’ a secret for a comparatively long time, I know…I think he only told his parents about me when we were already planning on getting married. Of course we’d been ‘official’ for about two weeks at that point so maybe it wasn’t really long.
    Rachel G recently posted…Fearless Woman

    • chelsea

      May 11, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      i thought it was SO sweet too! i had no idea he was already telling his family about me before we even started dating. wow two weeks and then you knew you’d be getting married, rachel?? i’ll have to stalk your blog for the full story if it exists (and if it doesn’t…you should write about it)!

  13. Emily

    May 11, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    haha!!! This is awesome! I love that you still have the email and photo. (And I LOVE that he told his mom about you – the sweetest!)
    Emily recently posted…Twelve Months of Bliss (A Grateful Heart)

    • chelsea

      May 12, 2015 at 11:06 am

      i’m so thankful my mother-in-law saved the email and sent it over! it was a pretty sweet thing to see 🙂

  14. Velma

    May 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    i love this article. I remember when Kathy told me that Ryan had meet a girl and how he was going to take it slow because he wanted to enjoy every moment of getting to know you!

    8 years ago I was a couple of months away from meeting The Love of My Life. The first time we meet in person I knew I was going to marry him!

    • chelsea

      May 12, 2015 at 11:06 am

      awww i didn’t know that either, velma!! that’s even sweeter! thanks for sharing that. 8 years ago was a good time for love and so sweet that you knew you would marry him when you met him!

  15. Vivien

    May 11, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Too cute and thanks for sharing! 🙂
    I can only sum it up to Ryan being from an environment that is way further south on the globe (and therefore much warmer) and not used to the Colorado weather! If it’s not that, then I have no clue.
    Vivien recently posted…Reaching Deep, Being Brave

    • chelsea

      May 12, 2015 at 11:07 am

      haha you MUST be right about that vivien! the texan was probably freezing in like 75 degrees. or he just really wanted to wear a new sweater he got? ha!

  16. Joyce Feustel

    May 11, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Chelsea, I just loved this entire post! It was so sweet to hear about you and Ryan when you first met.
    1. My initial feelings when I first met my husband were of excitement and happiness. I had just taken a job as a meat wrapper at a meat purveyor and was working in a 40 degree cooler, wishing I hadn’t taken the job, but I needed the money to pay the rent (just had graduated college and had no other job prospects at the time). I met my husband in that 3-person meat wrapping department. He was cute, funny, kind, responsible and much more – and he is still all those things after being with him for nearly 44 years.
    2. Absolutely, it is super important. for a partner to embrace the other partner’s weirdness and quirks.
    3. 8 years ago, we took a terrific trip to Boston where my husband attended a conference and then we got to hike in the White Mountains in New Hampshire after that. It was fun to travel to the part of the country where he is from (upstate NY) and to see Boston again.

    • chelsea

      May 12, 2015 at 11:12 am

      thanks so much for reading and for your comment joyce! wow a meat wrapper?! what an experience…yikes but it was obviously just the place you needed to be! love that he is still all those things and more 44 years later, i hope we are like you both in 40 more years!

      i’ve never spent time in upstate NY but it sounds beautiful! glad you are creating those memories together.

  17. Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties

    May 12, 2015 at 9:43 am

    oh my god this is precious!! I love that email and that you are just now seeing it!! How cute 🙂 Hmmm eight years ago I was wrapping up senior year of high school I think! Whoaaaa so weird. So long ago.
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…Reminder: Luxuries aren’t normal

    • chelsea

      May 12, 2015 at 11:16 am

      high school?! now i feel old(er). ha. we both graduated in 2005 from high school which means high school reunions this year….ahhhhhh! i was SO excited while i was reading this email she sent. glad she kept it!

  18. Melissa C

    May 16, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    There is so much awesomeness about this post. I LOVE reading about how couples met and got engaged and all that jazz. Y’all are adorable… bad spelling and all. 🙂
    Melissa C recently posted…Best Friends

    • chelsea

      May 18, 2015 at 8:03 am

      haha bad spelling and all…love it! thanks for reading and i love reading about how couples start off too 🙂

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