How I Learned about Real Black Love

To that special guy:

Almost seven years after becoming your partner in crime, I feel like I get what black love is really supposed to be. I'm so thankful for you, and here's seven reasons why: 

A throwback pic of us at Centennial Park for the culture. Ya'll see the matchy-matchy fly! LOL! He was 21 here, and I was 20. 

A throwback pic of us at Centennial Park for the culture. Ya'll see the matchy-matchy fly! LOL! He was 21 here, and I was 20. 

  1. YOU'VE GROWN WITH ME: We were babies when we met each other the first time. I was eighteen, and you were nineteen. As a country girl, the whole "ATL dude" thing took some getting used to. We've been through some crazy moments together, from surviving on ham sandwiches for our rescue kitten's surgery to me throwing your phone into the woods at our first apartment because your 22-year-old self was a complete idiot. I love that we're SO grown now and can laugh at our younger selves. 
  2. YOU'RE A NATURAL PROVIDER: The first time I went to your grandmother's house and saw you working on her car, I knew I wanted you to stick around. I'd never seen a guy close to my age who actually enjoyed getting their hands dirty. Where I come from, everyone only wants to be seen. I knew that someone who was willing to not be 'perfect' all the time might be the change I needed. 
  3. YOU'VE BEEN MY NURSE: Two years ago, I almost died from a clot in my lung. The ER doctor told us both that if it hadn't been caught that night that I would have been gone within 2 days, and it was the only time you've ever cursed me out. I was in shock and couldn't speak, but you were afraid. Your eyes always say so much without you opening your mouth, but you had TIME that day to let me know that you weren't with my hush-mouth behavior, and you sat in the hospital bed with me and hugged me tight. You told me to never suffer in silence if I felt like something was wrong. Now I tell you every time I crack my knuckles too hard LOL! 
  4. YOU LISTEN: I'm hard on myself, and never think I'm good enough. You never put me down for my feelings, but you're quick to remind me of all the things I'm capable of doing. You always encourage me to go after the ideas I have, and you're always there to support me when it gets hard to handle. 
  5. YOU SEE 'ME': So often I lack self-confidence. I'm not the same 90-pound girl with killer 8-pack abs from years ago, and I scowl at myself most days when I walk past the mirror naked. I always catch you staring at me with a grin on your face when I'm standing in the mirror picking myself apart, and I'll ask "WHAT?," ready to defend myself against the opinions of myself that I project onto you. You always say, "Nothing. Just felt like staring at you." You don't think my legs are too big, or my thighs too wide. For almost seven years you've said I'm "just right."
  6. YOU TEACH ME: You've taught me to stay patient with myself, to treat myself, trust myself, challenge myself and cherish myself. When I learned how into cars you were, I was excited but worried. I wanted to learn way more about them, but was always told that it wasn't for girls. We talked about it on one of our late night phone calls as I sat on that hideous hot pink comforter in my freshman dorm room. A few days later you called me and said to come over, "but don't wear anything nice." YOU TAUGHT ME HOW TO INSTALL A CAR RADIO THAT DAY, and I remember being so proud of myself. Now I know how to rewire steering columns, too! What are we learning next? 
  7. YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND: Now, I now it might sound corny to say..but it's TRUE! I come to you for advice on everything. When we started hanging out at the end of August 2010 (yep, I remember), I knew you'd always be my friend. We hung out almost everyday, even if it was just you helping me study for a test, playing pool in the student center or walking around the mall to talk about life (because #teenagers, right?). Six months later when you asked me to be your girlfriend I was shocked. You'd already told me you loved me three months in, but it was never weird. I remember you saying, "IDGAF if you ever say it back to me. I'll still tell you every day!" You never pushed yourself onto me, and I was never worried about you trying to harm me in any way. 

 

We turned into some good-looking grown-ups, huh? We're both 26 now, but his 27th is coming soon and it's going to be AMAZING!  Image by  Aneris Photography  

We turned into some good-looking grown-ups, huh? We're both 26 now, but his 27th is coming soon and it's going to be AMAZING! 
Image by Aneris Photography 

Best Friend,

I'm thankful, grateful, and lucky to call you my person. Here's to 70 more.

Love,

Karmen

PS- Bet I'll smoke you on my Hoveround years from now! 

"How Come You Don't Post About Him on Your Page?"

Christmas is HERE.

I had this grand plan to make gifts for the ladies in my life, but that's gone so far out the window now. Those gift card stands are clutch for me this time of year!

I'm preparing to spend a solid 4 days with family, and I'm already hearing those nagging phrases:

"When's the wedding?"

"When are y'all gonna have a baby?"

"So have y'all talked about it?"

An awesome caricature this guy did of us at the Perry Fair this year when we visited family in GA. (Peep my boo's glasses! Lol) 

An awesome caricature this guy did of us at the Perry Fair this year when we visited family in GA. (Peep my boo's glasses! Lol) 

I've been told by my mother that I don't have the most tact when it comes to voicing my own annoyance with people, but a lot of times I just see no problems with my response folks. I mean, which is it? Do you want us to build together first so you can talk about how we've been together five years and he hasn't asked me yet? Or do you want me to have a kid so you can talk down on how we moved too fast? 

At the end of 2016, I'm reflecting a ton on how much social media plays into the relationships of many of the folks I follow on my own timelines. In our earlier years, I used to worry that us not posting about each other would give off the impression that we really weren't that into each other.  

I grew up.

 

Honestly, we're around each other constantly. I don't want to plaster him on my timeline. We need a break from each other sometimes. 

I can't resist this pic of him and my niece! It's only in this post for that reason!  

I can't resist this pic of him and my niece! It's only in this post for that reason!  

I've noticed that we actually spend a ton on meaningful time together when we're not on our phones. He'll help me cook, I'll help him work on his truck. We'll play board games or watch an endless string of YouTube videos.  

 

I dont post him on my page because I'm too busy enjoying him! I'm not sure I'll tell the world I'm married until after the wedding, and I need a few more years with him before I can share him with a little one who looks just like us. What's helped us sustain our relationship for this long is not worrying about what the internet thinks. So y'all...and I mean this in the most loving way:

 

Don't worry about what we have going on!