Josh and Danielle Files | A Decade Together | Personal Post

It was ten years ago that a 19 year-old spiky haired guitar player with a calming, laid back demeanor met a 21 year-old girl with long dark hair and straight bangs wearing a shirt sporting the saying, “I Do My Own Stunts.”567004_10101190340080964_2057204151_o

They locked eyes across a very crowded outdoor deck area at Mark’s Landing on Guilford Lake just outside of Lisbon, Ohio. You may have heard that story.

The story you probably haven’t heard lies within those ten years. Every couple that stands the test of time goes through obstacles in order to stay with one another.  When we met, Josh was a sophomore at Kent State and I was a senior at Kent State. We met on Memorial Day Weekend of 2005 and the summer was a whirlwind of so much fun. I still count that summer as one of the very best of my entire life- we lived pretty darn carefree and laughed and had fun and had those incredibly, deliriously happy times that a new couple does. I am pretty sure that I had a permanent smile on my face. Josh was sweet, fun, easygoing, and exactly what I needed in my life.

It was the end of August that year that we decided to move in together. . . what?! We’d only met about three months prior. What in the world were we thinking?! 🙂 I remember the moment that Josh first mentioned the possibility. My initial thought was, “No, that’s nuts.” My second thought, two seconds later, was, “Heck yeah! Let’s do this!”

But there’s a bit more to the story than “we just moved in together.” You see, Josh had an apartment with four of his friends (three guys and a girl). I was planning on commuting to Kent from my parents’ house outside of Columbiana. The drive was an hour long, though, and I was definitely not looking forward to it. So I moved in with the gang. It was a three bedroom, three bathroom apartment that we shared between the six of us. Man, it was fun.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. After that year of fun and a pretty short list of responsibilities, it was time for me to graduate college. I was so scared to leave the comfort of Kent and the convenience, fun, and happiness of living with the person I wanted to be with most.

In August of 2006, I left with then 7 month old Norris and moved into my own apartment in Cuyahoga Falls to attend law school at The University of Akron.

If you’re local, you’re definitely familiar with the fact that Kent State and U of A are only about 15-20 minutes apart. Not bad, right? Everything should’ve been easy-peasy. . .

Well, it wasn’t. My workload in law school (especially first year) was intense and like nothing I’d ever experienced in my life. Josh was now a junior in college and living back in the dorms with his buddy Matt. Our lives were suddenly very, very different. Our schedules didn’t align very well. Making time for each other was an effort instead of a given thing we could just take for granted like we’d done when we lived under the same roof. Law school was very stressful and there were a couple of date nights that consisted of Josh just holding me as I sobbed uncontrollably because I was sure I’d fail miserably. Not so carefree and fun all of the time anymore. . .

Throughout that year and the two years that followed when I was in law school, we had to decide to commit to one another and to work at our relationship. And I know we’re stronger now as a couple because of it.

Love isn’t always easy. It’s not always effortless. But the thing is, the last ten years have easily been the best years of my life. Even the hard ones. The ones full of doubt. The stressful ones. The ones that made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. And I wouldn’t trade a day.

I love Joshua more than I’ve ever found a way to explain to him. The most beautiful type of relationship in the world, in my opinion, is the kind that has to strive to stay alive amidst difficulties. I’m so blessed to be Josh’s wife & I can’t imagine having given up on us during those times when it wasn’t as easy.

Here’s to another ten years and ten more after that and ten more after that ad infinitum. 😉

All I have to say is, I am so thankful that my childhood friends decided to start up a band and that I went to watch their show that Memorial Day in 2005. My life hasn’t been the same for the past ten years & I can’t imagine it any other way!Pregnancy_Session_0019Photo cred- Pixel Pop.