Day 5 – Thankful for a Smile that Changed the Direction of My Life

I’ve told this story many times before and you can check it out in more detail here in case today’s post doesn’t quite cover it all as I take it in a slightly different direction.

Exactly 17 years ago today Becky agreed to go on a date with me.  We were both standing up in a wedding together and had only met the night before.  After the wedding rehearsal I thought she was kind of a nerd, she was talking about school and her field trips for college.  She thought I was kind of a dorky loser for many reasons (most for good reason!).  During the wedding ceremony itself I looked across the aisle and saw Becky.  She looked at me, we made eye contact, and she smiled.  At that moment my entire life changed.  I just knew she and I were meant to be together, no questions, really that simple.   As the Counting Crows put it in their song Long December, “All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl.”  That smile lit up my life like no other moment.  Later that night while I was riding home with my parents I told them that I had met the girl I was going to marry.   On a funny side note, you know what Becky’s first impression of that smile was?  She remembered the moment as well, seeing me look over at her and smile.  The only difference was that while I was falling in love she was thinking, “oh shit, he likes me.”  True story!

While first you see a smiling couple after a second you’ll notice photo bombs, finger pointing, etc…  It would have been easy to crop out, but it would take away from the point of today’s blog. 🙂

This weekend was a pretty excellent three day weekend.  It was filled with pretty much everything I enjoy.  My family, my friends, and a little creating (and blogging!).  As I was thinking about today’s post I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with too many ideas of what to choose from.  We had a great time with friends at Oktoberfest yesterday after running our half marathon.  My mom and stepBrad hung out with Steve & Kathy, and Becky & I last night.  This morning we hung out, ran errands, spent some time working on a wood working project, and had a never ending round of fun texts with friends.  I played some pretty epic Four Square with my boys and had a lot of fun giggling away.  Supper as a family and now finishing a movie together.  So many awesome things, so much time with people I love, just a great weekend.

As I really thought about it and kept thinking about the smile from 7 years ago it struck me like a bolt of lightning.  Had that one smile not happened, none of this weekend would have.  I have no idea where I would be or who I would be had I missed that smile, had I not acted on that smile, had I not followed my heart on that smile.

That smile is why I live in La Crosse.  That smile is why I have two amazing boys.  That smile is why I have my entire group of friends in La Crosse.  That smile is why I left my least job almost 17 years ago and started my career with Express.  That smile has impacted my life in such a profound way that it blows my mind.

Maybe I’d be happy somewhere else or with someone else.  Maybe I’d have a great family, great friends, and a great career.  Maybe, but I doubt it.  I’ll never know for sure, but I can’t imagine being happier than I am today.  That was the smile that lit up my life and made me happiest.  While today I am thankful for it publicly in this blog, every day I am ecstatic that I happened to gaze across the aisle at a wedding to see a beautiful smile that set me free and started me on a path of happiness.

Thanks for smiling at me 17 years ago Becky!!!

3 thoughts on “Day 5 – Thankful for a Smile that Changed the Direction of My Life

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