For my husband.

I miss you, my love.
I love you, my love.
I love you more than before.
Before we became parents. 
The greatest thing to ever happen to us.
She’s our Jupiter.
Our Fortress.
Our Queen.

And it’s all been such an adjustment.
The best kind of adjustment.
Her coos, her squeaks, even her cries.
They’re the only sounds we care to hear now.
She’s beautiful beyond what we’ve ever known.
She’s magic and she’s light.

And when I put her down at night,
I wrap myself around your body.
And after I wake up to nurse and you change her diaper and we put her back down to sleep,
I wrap myself around your body.
And when she wakes up again,
and still the moon is shining,
I wrap myself around your body.

Breathless, because we’re so tired.
Breathless, because I’m still so in love with you. 

And while she will forever be our Love,
you’re still my love, 
my Love.
I love you.
I miss you when you’re away.

you're the only one (for me).

You're the one I love when the storm clouds are thick and grey.
You're the one I love when water pours into the boat.
When the waves feel sixty feet high, you're the one I love. You're the one I crave.

You're the only one I want to fall down this mountain with. 
You're the only one I want run across this desert with.

You're the only one who makes my heart beat and fills my lungs with air.
You're my Jupiter up in the sky, and you're my hand to hold at night.

Tangled in blankets, shivering, wrapped around each other, hoping, praying.
"I don't know,"
you say.
"I know,"
I reply.

You're the only one I love amongst so much unknown.

Still, you're the only one who sees the beacon in the distance and rows with all his might.
You're the only one that sees the rain and builds a dam to withhold it.
You're the only one who hears the word no and turns it into a yes. 
You're the only one who keeps his eyes open amongst the hail or  dust.

You're the only one I love. The only one I crave.

The day I met you (four years ago).

aug 30 2013 eric kimberlin sutro baths

I remember this day like yesterday. You picked me up in your friend’s car. I came outside, you got out of the car. You walked around to my side and wrapped your arms around me. But I didn’t know it then. 

 

We drove. The hills were steep, the fog started thick. I was a bit nervous and tried to stay calm. That day was the first day of the rest of my life.

But I didn’t know it back then. 

 

We parked the car. Your hair was crazy. You put your red beanie back on. You still have that blue shirt. I thought I bought you that blue shirt. I wondered who you were.

But I didn’t know you quite then.

 

We walked. We talked. Our conversations were deep. We climbed down the dirt path and into the light. The fog was lifting. The air began to warm. 

And that’s how it all began.

 

I despised the fog, the cold and the gloom, but things always felt brighter when I was next to you.

 

I offered you a piece of fruit, you took it. You ate it. I smiled as I ate mine. The first gift. First exchange. 

 

You handed me seven spoon rings. I didn’t know I was to pick only one. I put them all in my pocket. You smiled and you left. It was late, I went home. You fell asleep sitting on a bench, waiting for the train.

 

Kate asked me how it went. I told her you were nice. I played you off cool, but we never stopped talking after that day.

 

Day after day, you and I have grown together.  

 

We laugh, we laugh a lot. We argue. I guess that’s how it goes. But one thing I know,

is that my love for you grows deeper

and deeper

and deeper 

than I’ve ever known any love to grow.  

 

ek sutrobathsaug302013

I didn’t know when you got out of the car and walked around to my side that I was really holding my husband. I had almost given up on meeting you. 

 

But I remember how your arms felt. They felt like the arms that wrapped around me in a dream I had when I was only 16 or 17. 

And I knew, upon waking from that dream, that though I didn’t know what you looked like, I would always remember how you felt.

 

You still feel the same, my love.

As if it were yesterday

It’s so funny to me, because I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Two years ago to this day, I first met Eric. We met at Sutro Baths and I remember him giving me the biggest hug ever, which I thought was a bit strange as I’m not the biggest hugger, but I remember that hug so clearly, and he hasn’t stopped hugging since then. It’s so funny to me because I had zero idea who this guy was, but I remember taking photos together and hiking up through Lands End and feeling so comfortable and relaxed around him. I remember feeling safe around him and like I could completely be myself. I remember feeling pretty flattered, because he really liked my writing and blog posts. I remember thinking he was a great a conversationalist and asked really meaningful questions and gave very insightful answers, and that’s just him, that’s the Eric I met and still know. It’s so funny to me because as I was hiking through Sutro Baths with him, wondering who this really nice guy was, I had no idea that two years later I’d be engaged to him and that soon he’d become my husband. It feels so magical! And I can’t help but thank God and know that God knew exactly what he was doing, because I certainly didn’t. 

I have this journal that I’ve been writing in every day for the past 5 years. Each day it asks you a new question, and then repeats that same question on the same day every year. It’s really fun because without being able to say a lot, I can read something I wrote a year or two ago and instantly be taken back to that memory and how I felt that day. I’m almost done this journal. The last day of this journal is the day before we get married, and then I’ll start a new one, I’m sure. 

A few days ago we were back in San Francisco taking photos at Sutro Baths for a client. We hadn’t been back there together since the day we met, so it was nice to be there and relive some very special and quirky memories. 

We have no idea how life’s puzzle pieces come together, but I’m so thankful for each one of them, the good and the bad pieces, because together they make up something quite beautiful.

Oh, Kimberlin.

It’s weird to say many, but it’s true, it has been many. Many years ago when I was living in San Francisco, there was this Walgreens a few blocks from my apartment in the Mission that I used to go to when buying toiletries or makeup. I remember going in one day, probably to buy soap, and the lady who worked in the cosmetics department was wearing the most beautiful colored lipstick I had ever seen. I had never really worn lipstick before, but she changed my mind. She was the sweetest older lady with the most beautiful smile who walked me through the aisles to show me which lipstick she was wearing. She brought me back up to the register and asked me if I had a Walgreen’s card. I didn’t, but decided to sign up, and when I gave her my full name, Kimberly, she somehow misheard me because after that day, she always called me Kimberlin. 

I didn’t realize at first that she was calling me Kimberlin. She had a thick accent, and whenever I would go back she would say, ohhh, Kimberlin, hello, Kimberlin, that’s such a pretty name, Kimber-Linnn, until I finally realized she was calling me Kimberlin, not Kimberly

I had never heard the name Kimberlin before, but I was too embarrassed to correct her when it had been so many months, and so I went with it. Whenever I’d go buy another bottle of lipstick, or soap, or whatever it was I was buying, I’d smile and we’d chat and she’d tell me again how lovely my name was.

Fast forward months later, I had moved out of my apartment and no longer went to that same Walgreens. I never saw that lovely older lady again, but I still wore that same shade of lipstick. I was in this really strange time of my life and the furthest thing on my mind was meeting a guy, but one day, I randomly got an email from a stranger. His name? Eric Kimberlin.

I read his email (from one photographer to another) and quickly googled him and Facebook creeped him and Instagram’d him and did every amount of Internet stalking I could do before finally responding the next morning. I said a few things, and then I ended my message asking him if his name was really Eric Kimberlin, followed by,

“My full name is Kimberly, but there's a lady who works at Walgreens up here who is convinced my name is Kimberlin. She calls me that all the time and it always makes her chuckle for some reason. I didn't have the heart to correct her and now it's been too long haha. I thought she made the name up.

Let me know if you're ever in SF.”

Eric was living in Seattle, and despite him not knowing where I lived, it turned out he was flying to San Francisco the next morning for a “music related project” (oh, I love that humble guy…). A few days later, we met and, well, that is how I met my soon-to-be-husband. :)

It’s amazing how life happens. I can’t even imagine where my life would be right now had I not met Eric. I can’t imagine where my life would be right now had I not gone to that Walgreens and fell in love with that lady’s lipstick. I can’t image where my life would be right now had my parents not named me Kimberly and Eric not be a Kimberlin. Kimberlin was the only reason I replied to his email, and so fate, well, it must be.

The Proposal...

(...or at least the before and after part of it).

It was May 28th.

There was a conversation I had with my co-worker earlier that day that was basically me reflecting on how I am trying to live in the now, and not the future. As the future becomes closer to the moments I want right now, I know that those moments I long for in the future are going to happen before I know it. I don't want to be so caught up in the future that I miss the moments happening right now.

In the back of my head, I was referring to getting engaged. To dreams of when he'd propose and how exciting it would be to marry him. But instead of longing for that day, I wanted to just focus on today. That day would happen one day, but until then, I wanted to be happy in the right now moment.

That night Eric and I went and grabbed a drink and as he was talking to me, I had this surreal but peaceful feeling come over me. I was watching his facial expressions and how excited he was about the story he was telling me and I thought to myself, wow, he's my boyfriend, how amazing is that? Our relationship together hasn't always been seamless, but it's been really, really amazing. That being said, there have been so many times where I've been so caught up in the future that I've forgotten to enjoy the right now moments. And so for me, this moment was crucial. I had zero idea he'd be proposing in a few hours, and that soon he'd become my fiancé. To reflect on him being my boyfriend brought me to the present, where I realized, despite all the unknowns in our future, right now is exactly where I wanted to be with him. I needed that moment because when we've been married for 30 years and things maybe don't feel as exciting as before, I will always be able to remember what it felt like to date him. I will always remember why I first got together with him and why being with him is one of the greatest things that's happened to me. I will always remember sharing a drink that night and being so happy he was my boyfriend. I didn't know it then, but that moment was important for me because it was closing a chapter with a memory and feeling I needed to remember, allowing me the space to open a new one.

There’s this thing called “observer’s paradox,” where basically one will act differently than they normally do when they know they’re being watched. While I had no idea Eric was going to propose that night, I can’t lie and said I hadn’t thought about a million and a half times and wondered what it would be like. Of course, cameras always appeared to be in the proposal scene, until one day I had this realization that I didn’t want there to be cameras there. Why? Observer’s paradox. I think it’s beautiful that so many people have been able to capture their engagements on camera, and I love seeing photos and videos of proposals, but it’s not what I wanted. I didn’t want to feel observed, because I knew my reaction would change. My posture, my smile, my words… I just wanted them to be genuine, free and intimate. I never told this to Eric, but he must have read my mind.

Eric proposed with not a single camera in sight. It’s partially why I was caught so off guard, and it’s exactly what I wanted and needed. Being observed is similar to how I can get caught up in the future, or even observing photographs of the past. Having this moment be so private allowed me to be completely sucked in to the moment. I love that it was pitch black and we were alone and that this moment is forever locked in my mind. I love that I can remember this moment through the words I wrote later that night when I was too excited to fall asleep and through the images burned into my mind. I love that this moment is ours.

I want to keep this moment just ours. It doesn’t matter how he did it or where he did it, it just matters to me that it happened. And while I could write another entire blog post about the proposal itself, it’s not actually about our story. It's about how we live out our story with one another, and those we interact with daily. 

While that moment was so significant and has and will continue to change the rest of mine and Eric’s life, that moment isn't even what it's all about. It's about all of the moments we are going to continue experiencing, the good ones and the bad ones, the easy ones and the hard ones. It's about the moments where we choose to grow together when we are frustrated with one another instead of growing apart. It's about when we will laugh so hard it makes us cry and when we've cried so much we will choose to laugh instead. The proposal is one of the most significant moments of our lives but it's small in comparison to the future. It's small compared to right now. Where now that the buzz has died down and the excitement turns back to reality, we still want to be together and love each other even more. 

That night was filled with so much joy, and it’s a joy I want to take with me for the rest of my life. I think it’s one thing to put on a smile when cameras are clicking and we know everyone is watching, but it’s another thing to put on a smile when no one is watching. This is the joy I’m talking about. It’s been a theme in all of my latest blog posts… the behind the scenes moments, the quiet moments, the present moments, the insignificant moments, the mundane moments. It’s these moments where no one is watching and life is just happening that I want to fill with so much joy. Because even though these moments seem small, they’re the moments that are going to make up our daily lives, and therefore, these are the moments that really matter. These are the ones I want to continue living and giving value to. These are the moments that give me joy. 

I really don’t have a single photo to show you of that night, and this blog post isn't actually about how he proposed. The only photo I have is one I took later on that night after we got home. I told Eric that we needed at least one photo of us to look back at later. The photo is dark and grainy and our hair is everywhere and we both look tired and there’s not even a ring in it. But it makes me smile every time I look at it.

-- 

(Latergram...)

It’s felt like both yesterday and forever.

I feel silly and somewhat shy about exposing too much of my relationship online, and I am also very conscious about showing my boyfriend that I love him and not showing the world how I love him. But today feels special. Special in its own way where we were supposed to go camping this week for our one year anniversary but it fell through and so he’s downstairs making spoon rings and I’m upstairs writing and life today isn’t some grand adventure, but it’s him and I. And this is what I love, when it’s just him and I, doing our thing, both separately and together. 

I bought him this card that says, “let’s weather it together” and the cashier told me that it was such a sad card for me to buy for such a happy occasion. I nervously laughed but proceeded to buy the card because it just felt right. 

Life isn’t about the smiles we publicly show or the adventures we post photos about. Life is about what’s happening behind closed doors where even though our romantic getaway trip had to be canceled due to life happening, life happening is still the best because it’s still done with him. 

Once again, it’s these moments I love, where it’s just him and I creating, both separately and together.

A year ago we decided to make it official, and it’s felt like both yesterday and forever, and I hope it always feels this way. Yesterday, where we’ll continue to challenge each other and make new things and remain committed to keep the excitement, newness and passion in our relationship alive, and forever where we know all of each other’s secrets and that’s okay because we are best friends and we’ll stick through it together, whatever the weather. 

I love you, Eric.

Oh, and also, may the fourth always be with us :D