Happy Valentine's Day to my girl Ayren

So, its now Valentine's Day! I have to say that I am lucky to have had a Valentine for 17 years straight. Its funny that while Ayren and I got married on October 23rd, 2004, I actually consider our 'official' anniversary February 14th, 2000. For everyone that has heard this story. You can just skip the rest and check out another post....I promise, I won't know! Anyway, so I went to an HBCU in Fayetteville, NC and Ayren went to NC State in Raleigh, NC. FSU is about 50 minutes away, but when I was younger, the ride seemed a lot less and I was making the trip often. We had starting talking on the phone and emailing each other....hey, I'm telling our age, but this was pre-cell phone days!...pretty much everyday. Ayren as a young college freshman always let me do most of the talking and I have to say, it made me feel like I knew everything! I would go on and on about things in Raleigh, the best movies, and what music was hot at the time. I asked her one day: 'hey, have you ever heard of Jagged Edge?' and I'm pretty sure Ayren knew all about them, but she shot me the 'yeah, I kinda know them....I don't have any of their CD's' I knew this was true because when I looked through her CD collection, the two CD's that got the most play were the Tamia CD and the Usher CD...they both were scratched beyond repair! So I told her that Jagged Edge was my favorite group and that they have a CD out but I didn't have any money to get it. Ayren didn't really say anything and that was that. I then 'invited' myself to come see her on Valentine's Day. My roommate at the time wanted to tag along so me and him drove up to Raleigh to see Ayren. Anytime I walked around NC State, it was like a different world from FSU to me. I went with her to a class and she had over 70 people in the class! Plus, her cafeteria had real restaurants in it like Chick-Fil-A and Taco Bell. While I was all amazed at this, Ayren didn't act fazed. Trust me I was like 'YOU GUYS GOT TACO BELL IN THIS JOINT?!?' You have to understand that at FSU....we had Shaw Food Services. That's not a knock, but having Lobster and Steak Tuesdays once a semester at FSU was a lot different than having the ability to get Taco Bell or Chick-Fil-A....EVERYDAY! Any way, Ayren treated me to Taco Bell with her school card and we sat down. We were almost finished eating and she was like....'Oh, I almost forgot to give you this'....I tore open the paper and low and behold...it was the Jagged Edge CD that I was raving about to her! I felt bad because I think all I got her was a very generic card. But I kept thanking her and thanking her. On the way back, my roommate was like 'So she got you Taco Bell AND a CD dawg?!?....so is that your girlfriend or what?' At that point, I kinda knew that I really liked her, but I couldn't tell if she liked me. Well, that day proved it. So that was the day I considered her to be my girlfriend. Romantic right? HA! I have to say that we never really said 'Hey, you're my boyfriend' or 'That's my girlfriend' we just kinda start hanging out almost every weekend and 17 years, 7 years in NYC, 6 years in the DMV, and 2 beautiful/awesome kids later.....we still together! HA! I would go into what makes my wife Ayren a living angel, but she has too many qualities for me to list. Just know that she willingly puts up with me....that should let you know everything! So, Happy Valentine's Day Ayren. I love you!

Remember to take care of yourselves

- John Cannady