5 1/2 years ago, two people began to correspond and wrote their very own love story. Exactly 5 years ago today, that "love story" became "Happily Ever After" when they both said "I do."
The following are excerpts from letters and my diary that tells our story. I will be surprised if anyone reads the whole thing! It's a little lengthy but sometimes I just have to go back and re-read and realize how truly amazing our love story really is and how far we've come!
My commentary in red:
August 5th, 2004
Home for 1 month from his LDS mission (2 years) in KY where he got to know my family...
How goes it? Summer time treatin' you alright? Me, things are back to normal with everyday civilian life...
My guess now is, and I bet I'm not too far off, that you're quite surprised and maybe perhaps a bit giddy to be receiving this letter in your pile of mail. (At this point, I was still clueless who this was from...I mean who was Shannon Phillipenas? I never knew his first name while he was serving in my area and we only really knew him as "Elder Phill" at church so for such a cocky young man, I had no clue who it was from really the first time I read it! hahahahahaha Oh yeah, and "pile of mail...are you kidding me? I was just graduated from high school! I didn't get mail!)
For some reason when I think of Greenville you pop into my mind. Maybe because you're exxtremely good looking. I don't know. But anywho, ("anywho?" really Shannon?) I thought I'd drop a line and see how you were doing. (Mr flirty flirt, eh?)
How's life treatin' you over in Muhlenberg County? Are you ready to get out of there?...
Following lots of conversational questions and small talk about school, careers, and hobbies came this paragraph:
Hopefully you don't think I'm crazy. If I was 1500 miles closer I'd have to take you out. Maybe if I head back that way we might just have to do that. I'd love to hear back from ya. My email is__________. My number is _______.
AKA Elder Phill
(Thoughts going through my head: "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" Then I furiously go back to the beginning after reading "AKA Elder Phill" and re-read the whole letter with new meaning and am quite flattered and, I'm not gonna lie, a little "giddy" as he said. Darn that boy! So then I decide to write that boy a letter of my own)
August 9th 2004
Wow! Surprised or giddy doesn't begin to describe my thoughts about your letter! You were the last person I ever expected to get a letter from just because I didn't talk to you all that much while you were here... of course I would tell you that I think that you're hott except that you already know that! (I know, I know...I laid the flirting on quickly. But, you know. I honestly thought this was just an innocent little "pen pal" relationship! hahahahaha)
Then I answered his questions from his letter about school plans and what I'd been up to for the summer and then confided in him about some hard family issues that were going on. He had somewhat of an idea since he was around my family while living here and so I felt comfortable talking or writing to him about it.
It's hard sometimes because I don't ever talk about my "family problems" with anyone because no one knows what my past (or present) holds... It's better that way. You know more about me than my very best friends do. You should feel privileged! *wink*
Goodness, this is a long letter! I guess I need to put a title on this novel! (bad joke!) Of course I think you're crazy. Thanks again for writing me... I would love to keep in touch and I will most certainly take you up on the offer if we happen to meet again someday.
I'm in between changing emails to my college address but my current one from 9th grade is (DON'T LAUGH) is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know, I know...super lame-o email address! But Hey! I was totally into Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious" song when it came out and some friends and I joked that this was my name...Oh how silly I
At the bottom of the letter I gave him my phone numbers and told him to call me. I've just always thought that a boy should call me first not the other way around! And I wasn't calling him so he was going to have to pick up the phone...and guess what? A day after he got the letter he did call me. After we were married, he admitted that it took him a day to build up the courage to call me! lol He said he was very nervous! Awwww..how cute! And to top off the whole letter...the postage stamp my grandmother gave me to use was a leftover VALENTINE's one with a conversational heart that said "I love you" on it! Geez Louise!
December 22, 2004
I'm still struggling with some things in my life right now but I have found something to keep my spirits up and give me something to look forward to....Shannon Phillipenas! Wow...what a last name. Haha. I absolutely adore him. I talk to him daily. When the phone rings and I see his name on the screen, I can't help but smile. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the fact that we have so much in common and we just get along so well? We can joke around and then seconds later be able to have a very in-depth conversation which is one thing I've always wanted in a relationship.
I hate couples...not that we're a couple, because we're not anything close like that, but....I hate couples who just go over each others house to sit and watch TV and talk about nothingness. I just think that is so boring. We talk for hours and I don't get bored...and I don't even like to talk on the phone! I don't know if it is normal or not, but I've been scaring myself here lately because I have been thinking about marriage a lot. I've always thought of myself as being the "runaway bride." I might think I like a guy for like 2 weeks and then I start to find every little thing wrong with the person...
The funny thing is that there was one particular guy I dated in high school that was so shocked when he heard that I was getting married because he couldn't believe I could settle for one guy! He told my grandma that! haha
Shannon asked me the other day on the phone if it mattered to me if I lived on the east coast or the west coast when I get out of school. I told him that it honestly didn't as long as I had my family and a job... (Looking back now, I can see he was getting a feel for me being a possible companion...sneaky sneaky.)
I'm beginning to think about the possibilities between him and me. I think I might want to marry him someday. I am so surprised by myself for even saying that. I would never talk about something like that so seriously with someone that I haven't seen in 6 months and that I've only been talking on the phone with. But what if....
December 25, 2004
Wow, Christmas is almost over. so much planning, so much spending, so much everything for just one day! ....I got a CTR (Choose the Right) ring for the first time in a long time. I had one when I was younger and I lost it. Santa got me a new one! *wink. I'm wearing it on my wedding ring finger so that it will remind me of who I am. It will remind me to stay pure and that I'm a child of God. I know it sounds silly, but it feels like something very spiritual and holy. It's meaning is powerful to me. I've thought about Shannon a lot today. He's so great. I like him so much. He sent me a text message this morning that said "Merry Christmas. I wanted to wrap myself up in a box and place myself under your tree for Christmas. But you will have to accept an I Owe You. I'm sorry that we can't spend this day together but there's only a few more days until you come to Nevada for 8 days. I can't wait. Talk to you soon my adorable southern gal." He always calls me his southern belle. (When he would call me on the phone and I'd pick up and say hello, he would always say, "can I talk to the most beautiful girl in Kentucky please!")
December 26, 2004
Wow! I can't believe that a girl as beautiful as yourself is going to be traveling 1200 miles just to see me. I am in much anticipation to see this good lookin' gal in person. I really can't wait. I can't believe it's only a day away. Goodness, you are one hot young lady. Tell your mamaw Anita I need some more pics of you and to send them over. I will talk to ya later.
(Did you notice the "love, Shannon" That was the first time "love" was ever mentioned!)
January 7th, 2005
Wow...My life has changed drastically over the Chrsitmas break. I just got back from Viva Las Vegas about 2 days ago. Hours of flying and sleeping in short increments built up the anticipation of seeing Elder Phill. I was so excited. I followed the arrows in the Las Vegas airport to lead me to my luggage. (I had never flown before or really been anywhere far away from my little hometown). As I came down the escalators, I was scanning the crowd for "Elder Phill" without the suit (The last time I saw him was as a missionary...) As I saw a recognizable grin, I quickly noticed the single red rose in the attractive man's hand. As our ees met, I suddently felt a warm tingling feeling come over me, like I was seeing someone I hadn't seen in a while but had known all my life. We immediately embraced for a moment or two and then looked each other over again. Well, at least I know I looked him over again. He had bleached his hair. He had on a red and blue shirt that said "Eastern" across the chest of it which showed off his muscles through the shirt. Hmm...the things a white collared button up shirt, tie, and name tag can hide! WOW. He was better looking than I even remembered and I was about to spend 8 days with him! How privileged was I? .....
After snatching up the last of my luggage, we found his car in the parking garage and headed out. He drove me down the strip of Las Vegas and I was in shock...I had never seen so many half naked women on bill boards before. But the lights and buildings were amazing!....
He took me to eat at Planet Hollywood. I took a picture of the bathrooms. They were so awesome. (I'm redneck, I know!)....
On the way out of Planet Hollywood he grabbed my hand and held my hand the rest of the day. I was surprised at this. I thought that holding hands would have come later in the week! haha.. (He later told me he only had 8 days to work with so he didn't have time to waste! haha).
We drove through all of these neighborhoods. I had no clue where he was taking me until we drove up a hill and slowly these tall white steeples become more uncovered as we drove. He looked at me and smiled. I smiled for ear to ear and a tear came to my eye. The Las Vegas LDS Temple is so beautiful. He knew that I adored it. We parked and got out and walked around the spacious building. It was so peaceful and I was in awe. He put his arm around me and we just stared at the temple. Time froze. I said, "It's beautiful." To that he replied, "so are you." He then took both of my hands and pulled me closer as he kissed me. My heart melted. My knees were definitely weak. I was surprised at this! I didn't think that he would have kissed me on the first day, but I'm glad that he did! I don't like procrastination! ...After this sweet walk around the temple, we then headed to Logandale, where he and his family lives. It was storming on the way home and he suddenly pulled over to the side of the road to pray. This showed me that he was a wonderful man who always had God in mind and in heart.
The next day...
After the movie, we went back to Logandale and he took me to the recreational building in town where he had blankets laid out behind it for us to lay under the stars. We snuggled on the wet ground where our clothes eventually got soaked. We laid in each other's arms and just talked about anything in the world. Eventually, he looked at me with his gorgeous smile and said, "Keshia, I think I've fallen in love with this beautiful gal from Kentucky." He said a few more things but I can't exactly remember those things because my heart was so overwhelmed and drowning in his first words.I was so happy to hear him say he was in love with me because, honestly as crazy as it sounds, I kind of had been having such thoughts before I came to visit him. When I came back to reality, he said, "Well, waht do we do about this? You will be going back to Kentucky before too long." I just said with sadness thinking of flying home without him, "I don't know." and then he said, I want to be with you forever."..... Silence..... (I was crying and trying to decide if this was really happening or not... and then he broke the silence, "So where should we get married?" (JUST FYI- he didn't have this planned before I got here. There was no ring until a couple months later, but he said that after being with me, he felt this strong confirmation that I was to be his bride. And I concurred.)
I love his personality. I love the way he smiles at me. I love the way everything he says is positive and uplifting. I love how God is the most important person in his life. I love how he took out two years of his life to serve the Lord. I love how he loves his mother and treats her. I love how he treats his family. I love how he laughs. I love how he looks at me. I love how he turns his head and leans in closer to indicate that he wants a kiss. I love how every time I state that something is beautiful and he replies, "yes you are." I love how he's understanding and compassionate. I love how he loves me. I love him. ...
Keshia Phillipenas (soon-to-be!)
(This entry was soooo much longer but I thought I would spare you from all the sap!)
July 9, 2010
Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be....
I'll love you forever and ever babe. Happy anniversary!
*As if this wasn't enough reading material for ya...for more of our love story, see these previous posts here and here.