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Dating

Dear Jalen,

Your dad and I had our first date on July 4th, 2007. We ate lunch at a place called Crazy Horse. After our first date we quickly spent more and more time together and pretty much became inseparable ever since. Your dad owned a sparkly blue bass boat and we’d love to fill up the cooler and take it out on the lake. We’d spend all our days and nights out on that boat. We’d fish and picnic while we got to know every little detail about each other. I learned that when I graduated from Ball State with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, he had graduated from Purdue with a degree in Engineering. It was in the first few dates that I learned that he hoped to have a daughter one day. I remember how confident and certain he was about wanting to have a little girl. Your dad has that way about him, a sort of self-assuredness that is one of the many things I find attractive about him. Aaaah young love.

Here we are together in those early days.

Dating

We had so much fun together spending the warm summer days out on the water soaking in the sun and the cool Fall days enjoying the view of all the leaves turning beautiful shades of orange, red and gold. When it would get cold, we’d save our money and travel to someplace warm.

We’d celebrate my 30th birthday in Las Vegas. During the day we’d do silly things like visit Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and take silly pictures.

Golfing with Tiger Woods Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas

Shooting Hoops with Shaquille O'Neal Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas

We’d be serenaded while riding the gondola at the Venetian.

Venetian Gondola

We’d watch the fountains dance at the Bellagio. I’d be so fascinated by the fountains that I wouldn’t be until later that I’d realize I was filming half of it sideways.

We’d check out the lions at the MGM Grand. Your dad teased me relentlessly for being so excited to see that lion. Yes, that’s me giggling and cheering “Yay!” at the sight of him.

We’d later dance the night away at Club Body English in the Hard Rock Hotel.

We had the best time. So much so that later on in our relationship I would arrange a a trip back to Vegas. I secretly reached out to his boss at work to make sure they’d be okay without him for a couple days. I bought the plane tickets and reserved a room at the Hard Rock Hotel. I then surprised him with the trip. I told him to pack a bag, we were leaving in only a couple days. He was so surprised and excited and in disbelief. It is one of my many fondest memories.

This brings me to one of many thoughts I wanted to make sure to share with you.

“Sometimes the most romantic gestures don’t have to be limited to the movies or the greatest romance novels. They are created. Life is too short to wait for life to happen to you. Create the life you want to live.” – Unknown

xoxo,

Mama

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