Us 20 years agoMe, a recent University of Arizona grad starting a new job – scared and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

You, an Arizona native, who had started a few months earlier thanks to your Pops, who left an application on the shop’s chain link fence.

We had both been on our own for many years – navigating our twenties without any sort of plan or guidance.

Ryan introduced us – in the break room.  I remember the warmth you gave off when you smiled. I remember feeling attraction, giddiness, and curiosity.

Our first date Feb 4, 1995– Chinese food, then dancing and drinks. We found out about each other.  I can’t remember a time after that where I didn’t feel special around you.

You ‘got’ me. I ‘got’ you. Our life began to flow.

We moved to VA. Got married in Vegas. Bought the house. Adopted Scully, the dog.

Three years into our marriage, we found out we were having a baby. Neither of us had been around babies growing up. Shocked by the news, we had no idea what to expect. Our family and friends were supportive and excited for us. It was such a fun and happy time.

Hannah Bea came into this world right on her due date. Our lives would never be the same. We became parents. Two years and one month later, Nathaniel Ryan was born. A girl, a boy; our family was complete.

HoaglundsWe became increasingly busy and had more demands put on us. Family, work, and life responsibilities constantly colliding – we began to lose track of time and failed to appreciate how preciously short life can be.

We got a big wake-up call, didn’t we? Cancer reared its ugly head. We quickly shifted the gears of life and put all of our power and energy into getting you well. As with most challenges you have faced, you stepped up with determination, humor and quiet strength.  It wasn’t easy, but you did it. Cancer Free.

Our life began to flow again. A bit different than before the big ‘C’, of course, but strong and steady all the same.  We moved forward with the gift of perspective.

Today, far from perfect, we are happy. We have a sincere affection for each other, rooted in love, laughter and security. There is no one else in this world I trust more or who makes me feel more at home than you.

Twenty years ago today, a wonderful adventure began…

Hoaglunds

Hoaglunds