Heath & I met the summer before 8th grade at the softball fields behind O'Banion MS. I thought he was such a hottie! I suppose I left an impression on him as well; he can still tell you what I was wearing that day. I went to Brandenburg and Heath went to Lyles so our paths didn't cross again until our freshman year at South Garland High School. Heath played football, I was in Dixies and we had all the same friends. We "went out" for about 2 months our freshman year but decided to be just friends, and that's what we were, BEST friends. We were there for each other through all the boyfriends and girlfriends and all the drama that came with that. We also knew how to have a damn good time! We were always getting into something! Most of my favorite high school memories are filled with things we used to do together. We just "got" each other and would do anything for each other and that was that... or so I thought. Sometime during the summer of 2002 Heath came over to talk. Nothing out of the norm, right? Not so much. I still remember his excitement when he started telling me he was joining the Navy. I was shocked! I was so happy for him and the opportunities this would provide him. But, at the same time, the selfishness in me wanted to say "No! Don't gooooo!" So I think I said something along the lines of "I'll believe it when I see it." The next thing I know Heath is working out, running and getting ready to head off to boot camp. I knew life as I knew it was really going to change. I mean, my BEST guy friend was going off to boot camp and would be living on a ship for the next 4 years. Even so, I put all my personal feelings aside and supported and encouraged him like no other. I wanted him to succeed. I wanted him to see places he had never seen and most of all I wanted him to gain the discipline and responsibility that goes with that. So, before I knew it, it was October 3, 2002 and we were off to witness Heath being sworn in, and then... leave. :( So after many hugs and tears he was gone... and things just weren't the same. After a few weeks of moping around my mom asked me what was wrong and I told he I missed Heath. She knew, as mothers always know, that I obviously had feelings for him, more than just friends. So I finally quit denying how I felt and had to make a deision. I could never say anything, and live with always wondering what could've been. And then there's the whole ruining our friendship thing. I treasured what we had so much and did not want to lose it. I was torn, but one day it was like that scene in Clueless when Cher realizes she loves Josh. It hit me... "I love Heath!!" I quickly found a pen and some paper and started pouring my heart out in a letter to him. I think the first 3 pages said "don't freak out but..." and "if you don't feel the same way I totally understand" so then I read over it probably a million times and then sealed it up and sent it off to Illinios. The next several weeks were torture!! I don't know how Rachel & my mom put up with me. I was a mess! I didn't know how long it would take for him to get my letter, how he would react, if he would feel the same way or not and how long until I heard something from him?? So then, I got "the letter" I was shaking and overwhelmed with so many different emotions. At first it was filled with a million questions like "Why did it take me leaving to know you were in love with me?" Towards the end of the letter he told me he did have feelings for me too and we should see where this could go. We both knew it was going to be a long distance relationship for the next 4 years but we were willing to give it a shot. Thanksgiving of 2002 Heath called me in the middle of my family's dinner and we had the shortest but THE BEST conversation we had ever had. That's the first time he told me he loved me and the first time I got to tell him I loved him too. All of a sudden it was so so real, and so so awesome!! Heath got out of boot camp and was assigned to the USS Harry S. Truman. December of 2002 Heath got to come home on leave sometime between Christmas and New Years. It was so amazing, & almost unreal to finally be able to see each other and hold each other and actually tell each other face to face how much we loved one another. We were on cloud 9! Before he left he got me a beautiful promise ring and we both knew it wouldn't be long until that was replaced with an engagement ring. So, fast forward about 2 years to October 3, 2004 (exactly 2 years to the day he left for boot camp) it was the BEST day of my life... we tied the knot and I was Mrs. Heath Allen Dunn!! Nothing was better than that! We went to Vegas for 4 days for our honeymoon and 3 days after we got back to Dallas he had to leave for a 6 month deployment! We were newlyweds and we wouldn't be able to see each other for 6 months! We just had email & occasionally a phone call. We were heartbroken but knew when he got back we would never have to be apart again. I was going to pack up and leave Texas and live with him in Virginia Beach. May of 2005 we were off on a brand new journey as husband and wife in a state I had never even visited! HA! We were finally getting to start our lives together!! In November of 2005 we found out we were pregnant!! And that's when life started being about more than the 2 of us!