Our Love Story

In almost all of my blogs, I mention Zack. While I think it’s pretty clear we are high school sweethearts, there’s more to our story than that.

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Zack and I are coming up on 7 and a half years together, which just feels insane. We have been together since we were 16, and talking about marriage since we were 17; which,  to some, might have seemed naive or unrealistic at the time, but never to us. Neither one of us had ever had the desire to date around in college/ as adults. I can still very clearly remember Zack telling me when we were 16 (and just barely starting to ‘talk’) that he always knew wanted to fall in love one time and marry that person. He didn’t want to experience heartbreak (who does?) and he did not ever have the desire to date around when we graduated. He wanted to marry the first and only girl he had ever fallen in love with.  This was music to my ears (and any other teenage girl’s) because I felt the exact. same. way.

Zack & I met when we were in 7th grade. We went to a very small private Christian school where everyone knew everyone, so I don’t ever distinctly remember meeting for the “first” time. I just remember knowing who he was. Zack recalls having a crush on me for a short period of time in middle school but that’s about it. Lol.

High school came around and we were in the same Algebra class our freshman year. I remember sitting directly behind Zack and being absolutely L O S T — I’m an idiot when it comes to math. Zack would always explain the answers to me over his shoulder when I didn’t get it. This quickly turned into helping me with homework too. We would talk on the phone several times a week while working on assignments and he would talk me through the problem (LOL). Winter formal was quickly approaching and I remember wanting to go with Zack soo bad, but he asked someone else 😂😂 I ended up getting moved to a lower math class because I was the most incompetent person in that  algebra class (not kidding) & Zack and I didn’t talk too much after we no longer shared that class together.

I was pretty boy-crazy the first few years of high school. Hate to admit it, but it was true. I was a flirt. I liked a couple guys during my freshman and senior year, “seriously” (as serious as you can get in high school) dated one of them for about a year and then that ended. After that time, Zack and I started hanging out again and we got super close. He was undoubtedly the best guy friend I had. As it usually goes in high school, a lot of people started asking me what we were, if we liked each other, if could I ever like him, etc. And more confident than I was in anything else, I was absolutely positive that I had zero feelings for him – and on top of that, NEVER would. You know when people say, “he’s like my brother!! I could never see him in a romantic way!” ? That was my answer. I had just gotten out of a ‘relationship’ and was really just enjoying Zack’s company as a friend as we continued to hangout every day.

The end of that summer, Zack and I were sitting on a ledge on PCH in Huntington Beach and reminiscing about the summer. We talked about all the crazy nights with friends and all the stupid dates I went on. In the sweetest, most unassuming way, Zack said,

“Well, you do know that I like you right?”

“I know!” I brushed it off. He then asked me,

“Could you ever see yourself dating me?” After a long pause I said maybe. At this point, I felt like I just didn’t have the heart to tell him. He asked me to go on a real date with him and to try to see if I felt like we had anything more than friends. I went into that “date” with an open mind, and the next 7+ years are history. 🙂

We have been through just about everything you could think of these past several years. We graduated high school together, walked through passings in our families, learned to deal with distance during college, getting our first jobs, to now being graduated with degrees & careers & 4 months away from getting married. It’s crazy to think that in middle school & high school, my future husband was sitting in front of me in class. Running around on break at the same school as me. At the same dance as me, but there with someone else. He was right in front of me all those years! It’s nuts….the way God works!

It is absolutely insane to me that it wasn’t me begging on my knees for Zack. He has been and still is the closest a man gets to perfect, even with his very few flaws. He is truly the most selfless person I know. He is giving of all he has. He makes everyone feel included and welcome. Though he would insist he is more on the introverted side, he will find the most secluded person in a room and go out of his way to talk with them & make them feel welcome. He is patient in almost all times (except in LA traffic), is the first to apologize, and never holds things against me. He is tenderhearted, but strong when need be. He is hands down the funniest person I know, sings frequently and raps (too) often. The list goes on. He is my perfect fit and it is mind-blowing to me that he is mine forever! I can’t wait to see how much more I will love Zack as the years rack up. Our love story is one built on faith, along with the best friendship I’ve ever had, and is still my favorite to this day.

Zack + Toni -- Engagement-56

Zack + Toni -- Engagement-52

Zack + Toni -- Engagement-128

Zack + Toni -- Engagement-113

Zack + Toni -- Engagement-140
Photos by Maple & Elm Photography

Happy Valentines Day, loves!

    XO

    Toni

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