The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Monday, November 7, 2016

Anniversary Time!

It's that time of year again!! The anniversary of our first (aka: Pacific Northwest) wedding!! YAY!! Be sure to check out Deek's post about it here.


After my last blog post, many of you contacted me to talk about your own situations. So I feel the need to speak to you again--the abused, the alone, the heartbroken--about second chances. About finding your happy again after sadness. Of course, I want to speak to and celebrate my beloved husband, but I also want to show you the joy that can exist on the other side of pain.

Play this song while you read my post...

I could not ask for more than Deek. 
He's everything I ever wanted, needed, desired, or dreamed and #always!

I am SOOOO excited to be celebrating another wonderful year of marriage to my best friend and the man of my dreams -- Deek Rhew!! 

Another AMAZEBALLS year of marriage!

At times like this, I often think back to the beginning. Deek and I had both, thankfully, gotten ourselves out of terrible relationships. I talked about mine in this blog post, and one day, when the time is right, Deek will talk about his. But suffice to say, we had both come out with emotional baggage, and we'd both vowed never to be in relationships again. I'd been planning to be the perpetual, eternal cat lady, and he'd been planning, for years and years, to backpack alone through Europe. It's kind of amazing when I think back to that time because neither of us knew a life and love like this existed in the world--neither of us believed it could.

I never would have believed I could be so happy!

Now, of course, we knew each other during this period because we were critique partners. We'd even spoken a few times on the phone about his project, when he didn't understand my editorial notes and called for clarification. But since we'd come out of terrible relationships with major battle scars, we'd never really thought of each other "in that way."

I remember it so clearly. I was editing 122 Rules, and I came to a letter Tracy wrote to Sam. When I read it, I felt the character's pain. I mean, I really felt it. I choked up. So, I made a note on the manuscript to say how much it had impacted me and how it sounded like something from his own personal experience. And he responded to say it definitely had its roots in personal experience. We traded war stories about our past relationships. It started out more as a friendly commiseration. He told me all the awful things his ex had done, and I told him all about my horrific experiences.

I love his smile, and I'm so glad I get to see it often.
His friends told me he didn't smile much before he met me, 
so they loved how much he flashed his big ole grin after we got together.

But over time, something shifted. We started talking more--about ourselves, about our dreams, about our flaws, our hopes, our fears. And what had started out as a critique partnership grew into a friendship. And then that friendship grew into love. We talked on FaceTime every night for 4-5 hours for months and months before we ever met one another in person. My dad says our relationship developed like old-fashioned courting. We didn't have the distractions of a modern romance, so all we could do was talk. And we did. We told each other everything. We even had this running joke where we'd reveal our faults and hashtag it #JustSosYaKnow.

Looking off into the great unknown of a future and feeling excited/thankful I have Deek to walk it with me! 

When we decided to give dating a try, we each came to the table with a list. Given our pasts, there were certain things we HAD to have in a relationship and certain things we REFUSED to have. We agreed that if the lists didn't match for some reason, we'd stay friends but not pursue a relationship. Guess what? Our lists matched perfectly. Like I'd been made for him, and he'd been made for me.


At that time, I didn't believe in the concept of soulmates, but I tell you what, I do now. There is no one else on this earth but Deek who could have unfrozen my heart and made me believe in love again. He always jokes that I never would have made it as the cat lady because men would be lining up to be with me, but I always say 1) that's not true 2) it doesn't matter because no one else ever had a chance. No one but Deek could have restored my faith in men, love, and relationships. 

I always gaze up on him this way. 
I always think couldn't adore him more if I tried, yet every day, I do somehow...

I'm so glad I took a chance. And I'm so glad that he took a chance. We were both hurt, bruised souls who had shunned the idea of love, but somehow, somehow, we found our way to one another. And friends, my life has been one amazing day followed by another. Deek is truly my soulmate in every way. We match up on every core value, and our wants, desires, needs, and dreams line up like they were made to go together. I honestly believed men like him only existed in stories, as the figment of someone's imagination. But I'm beyond thankful that he's dream come true (and then some).

Holding hands through life, now and always

Before, when I imagined my future, I dreaded the prospect of more years like the ones I'd been living. But now, when I imagine my future, it's so bright I need sunglasses. I wake up excited to spend another day with Deek, and I go to sleep wrapped in his arms, more content that I ever knew possible.

From our anniversary last year!

So, if you've been hurt by bad relationships, I encourage you to remain hopeful. Don't let the sins of others harden your heart against the possibility of love and happiness in the future. Learn from the past (so as not to repeat it) and charge ahead. Never stop believing that there is joy out there for you to claim!

Thank you for taking a chance with me, Deek. Thank you for being the incredible man you are, and thank you for loving me in the most epic way ever. I love and adore you, and I'm honored to be your wife.

Happy Anniversary, my love! Here's to a lifetime of more (and then some)! #Always

I'm not sure he could be more swoony!! 

Our Year In Review

Deek and I attended our first NBA game.

Celebrated Deek's birthday

Celebrated Christmas with the Portland tree lighting

Spent a lot of time laughing

Saw the new Star Wars and Star Trek movies because we're nerds in love!

Got cool bookish gifts for one another at Christmas

Kissed on New Year. Deek had never been kissed on New Year until he met me!

Celebrated book releases!

Did book signings

And comic cons, where we met new friends like Dango Nu Yen from The Walking Dead and Roanoke.

 Spent time at warm and cold beaches

Celebrated the anniversary for our second, Southern wedding!

We're weird in that we celebrate anniversaries with tattoos! LOL!

Said goodbye to the Pacific Northwest

Moved across the country...again.

Moved into a new place

Ate yummy Southern food

Went on crazy adventures

Got the courage to speak the truth about the past and help support those in similar situations.

Deek voted for the first time at an actual polling station (since the PNW does mail-in voting).

And enjoyed being together



  1. My Erin, your blog post is the sweetest thing I've ever read. I adore you beyond...well I don't know what moves past adoration but whatever that is, I'm a mile past it. Thank you for giving me a second chance at life. You saved me and have shown me love like I never knew existed. I'm so honored to be sharing this life together, the only thing more I ask for is more of the same. More time. More years together. More years with the love of my life.

    I cherish you and us. I love you, my Erin.

  2. Thank YOU for giving me a second chance at life and love! I didn't know people could be this happy, but I'm so glad we are. I wake up every day with a big ole ridiculous grin on my face, and it's all because of you!

    I too want more of the same. More laughter, more talks, more walks hand-in-hand, more adventure, more time. So much more time with my heart's greatest desire. One lifetime isn't enough, my love!!

    I love and adore you and us. Happy Anniversary, my Deek! <3