Ten Years Ago Today… | McGowan Images Blog


Ten Years Ago Today…


Ten years ago this morning, I was standing in my walk-in closet at my parents’ house, stressing over what to wear. It wasn’t really a “first date”… I mean, we’d had lunch a few times before. But it was the first time you were picking me up and taking me out to dinner & an activity. A PROPER date, if you will. And man, I was stumped on what to wear.

I remember feeling good when I finally picked a black t-shirt and my favorite jeans. After all, it was just the movies. We had talked about going to the carnival, but it was raining, so that probably wouldn’t happen.

Ten years ago this morning, I looked in the mirror and thought, “UGH, I hate dating. Here goes.”

Because I did hate it. I was a single mom, a broke college student, a newspaper reporter who kept weird hours. And you were so cute and so nice and I liked you SO MUCH. Given my track record, that was a surefire recipe for broken heart. But I went, because… well, have I mentioned I liked you SO MUCH?

(Those of you familiar with your McG lore have heard what happened on that date. Blah blah blah, we went to the carnival after all, I threw up on the Kamikaze, worst date ever. Let’s not dwell on it.)

I came home from that date, flopped dramatically down and sighed heavily. My mom said, “It didn’t go so well, huh?” And I replied, “Nope. He’s wonderful, but he’ll never call me again.”

It’s been ten years, handsome. 10 years since the first time you put your hand on the small of my back so I could walk ahead of you on the stairs. I remember it vividly, because it was just DIFFERENT. And in ten years, no touch has ever felt the way yours did.

I could say that in ten years, we’ve “laughed and cried”, but that pales in front of the breadth of our reality together. In ten years, we’ve built pillow forts, but also a family and a business. We’ve walked on dozens of beaches in multiple countries. We’ve stayed up all night for wonderful reasons and terrible reasons. We screamed. We threw things (well, me.). We left each other, and found each other again. We grew, and changed, and raised this family, and created this life for ourselves. We fought for this, and we’re WINNING.

I just can’t believe that it’s been a decade since I laid on my bedroom floor and thought, “He’s wonderful, but he’ll never call me again.” And now I get to turn around and look at you, so much more handsome than you were ten years ago even, and live every day with you next to me.

Thank you for calling me again. Thank you for coming back after you left. Thank you for ten years of good and bad… for the comfort of the amazing “high” we’re living right now, and the security to know you’ll still be there when it’s “low” again.

I love you with my whole all of me.


A million bajillion thanks to our friends Sara & Rocky, who once again have given me portraits I’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Thank you for helping us celebrate this milestone!!

  1. Ciiku says:

    Awww…… Sniff.
    This is precious!

  2. BreAnn says:

    It is wrong to make people cry this earlier in the morning. So sweet. As someone who is getting married soon – I find this so inspiring!

  3. Rachel says:

    This is so precious!! You two are a picture perfect couple. I pray that one I will find a love as true and strong as the one that you two have! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. Misty says:

    YOU TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So.freakin’.MAGICAL. Here’s to many more 10-year milestones in the McG love story (it’s one of my all-time faves). 🙂 <3

  5. marybeth says:

    Jay & I had our first date April 20, 2000. I remember pretty much every detail & still have the shirt I wore in a box in my attic!
    Love the pics!

  6. Megan Gray says:

    I love these photos, but I love the story even more. You two are an amazing couple, with an amazing family. Such wonderful role models not only for your children but for other families.

  7. Shelley says:

    Cyring! I’m sitting in my office ugly crying! You two are wonderful. I remember the first time Matt put his hand on the small of my back like that – you’re right, there was just something about it… 🙂

  8. Ambo says:

    Okay. Now I’m a weeping mess at work. I love you guys bunches and bunches and I am so blessed to call you friends/family. You guys have that real forever type love, that love that knows no limits. Even in those moments when you were screaming at each other or Chelsea was throwing things, or leaning on my shoulder for support—I KNEW you would be together always. You guys inspire me-to be a better friend, a better wife, a better mother (one day)and a better person. Happy I’ve been along for the ride. Happy 10 yr date Anniversary! Love you!

  9. Toi says:

    Thanks for sharing. I hope you will keep this post and re-live it every 10 years! : )

  10. Allison B says:

    IN LOVE with the photo of the two of you where you’re looking at the camera. So steamy and sensual!

  11. Mike H. says:

    Happy 10th dating anniversary! Love you both!

  12. ann says:

    Fabulous anniversary pictures. I never tire of the McG love story and the fact that you embrace and even celebrate the highs AND the lows. You two (and 4) are so awesome. Happy first date anniversary and many, many, many more. Must go wipe eyes now.

  13. Ashley O'Shay says:

    Happy 10 year anniversary! The photos are fabulous and capture the feelings you have for one another. This blog bought tears to my eyes!

  14. Courtney says:

    (Waterworks.) This is the sweetest. Chelsea – you are seriously stunning. I adore these.

  15. Sara Garza says:

    LOVE YOU GUYS!! And I love this. We couldn’t have been MORE honored to photograph you guys. And thank you so much for having us out for chili and that amazing cider…. 🙂 Can’t wait to see you guys again. Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!

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