LOML: Acronym for love of my life. A soulmate. Pronounced “Lom-el” Is also referred to as OTLOML which stands for One True Love Of My Life. – Urban Dictionary

Derek Kyle Jansen (aka D) is the love of my life. He’s my partner in crime. The apple to my pie. The cheese to my burger. The fudge to my ice cream. The monkey to my wrench. He is one of my greatest gifts. My life wouldn’t be as much fun, memorable, and amusing as it is. He definitely added to my already amazing life, ultimately making it even greater. Cheesy but true.

A lot of times folks ask us how long we’ve know each other. Sometimes saying, they can tell when couples are ‘just right’. The answer to their question is pretty mind-boggling; we’ve known each other since we were 9 years old. (There is only one other friend I’ve known longer than Derek – Chris Post.) Yup, that’s right. We were in the same third grade class together. Immediately after we share that fact, folks go berserk. I wish I had photographed each thunderstruck face. It would make a cool collage.

Since third grade, D and I have been in and out of each other’s lives. We went to separate junior high schools. Then to the same high school. But I was a band geek and he was a theater junkie. It wasn’t until our senior year that we were back in the same class together – third period Chamber Singers with Miss Jump. (Did I mention that we can sing?) We spent a lot of time having fun that year. From spending wayyy too many hours in the theater room because of Pirates of Penzance or some choir show, to talking wayyy too much during ‘silent sustained reading’, to running around NYC like a bunch of newbies. Senior year was epic.

Despite those glorious days of high school, our romance didn’t begin until over 3 years ago. D randomly left me a “Happy Birthday!” comment on my Facebook wall, which led to us hanging out at the mall, watching Princess and the Frog, and talking for hours on the hood of his car in the parking lot. I now call that hang-out my best ‘unofficial’ first date. Seriously, he had me at Princess and the Frog. (I’m a big Disney fan.)

Three months after our ‘unofficial’ first date, I received an offer to come work in DC. Those months – March, April and May – were the longest months ever. D came to visit me once, and I went to CA during Memorial Day weekend to surprise everyone. But it was still tough. Any long-distance relationship is tough. I remember taking photos of everything!!! Then I’d message him about my day, sharing my photos of ducks, the White House, my iced green tea, the bus ride home, my dinner, etc. Basically anything and everything. I told him it was my way of taking him with me.

On his second visit, D brought one checked bag and never left. It was late June – only half a year together. I’m positive folks thought we were crazy. (Ahem, like my boss.) But it’s been good so far. Real good. Almost 3 years after he moved in, we’re still here – still watching Disney movies, still making pizzas, and still madly in love with one another. In the past 3.5 years we’ve done so much, like visiting New York City, spending a three-day weekend in Colonial Williamsburg, celebrating our 2 year anniversary at Walt Disney World, exploring San Francisco, bicycling to and from Mt. Vernon or Old Town Alexandria, and running our first full marathon. We’ve done so much that wherever I go and whatever I do reminds me of us.

And that my friends, is why D is the LOML. I can’t imagine my life without him. Not anymore, not ever.

‘Til the next time,

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