The building I live in, the friends I’ve made, the roommates I’ve had, and this city we call home…its all led up to this:
What feels like yesterday at times, but also eons ago, I moved into this building that I have now lived in since 2005. I moved to Nashville in 2004, I was in my early twenties trying to find where my forever home would be, I knew from an early age that the small town in Indiana I grew up in wasn’t where I was meant to be. From high school I moved to Cincinnati, OH then with some friends to Florida, then followed my sister here to Nashville. My initial and uneducated opinion of Nashville at the time was that it was all cowboy boots and wrangler jeans and it wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but I was also a broke 23 year old, I traded my couch for a car and needed a roof over my head, so it had to be Nashville for awhile because I needed to find myself (something that seemed to be an endless endeavor almost my entire twenties). When I found my loft in the classifieds I had been living right outside Nashville with Jamie and her young family for a year, but working downtown. I was just 24 and this part of town where I would find my place was still affordable. It was in a part of town that was far less desirable at the time. I remember the day I came to look at this space, it was a dream come true (for me), a big open space, nowhere near cookie cutter and cute. A little rough around the edges, but just what I always wanted. Old hardwood floors I couldn’t mess up, walls to paint and hold the art I had collected and kept in my mother’s basement for years, huge warehouse windows, weird neighbors, lots of creative space and smack dab downtown among tall buildings. This was literally the space I had always envisioned myself in. My brother-in-law and sister were a little less excited about this. Billy knew the area and was quite concerned. Back then there were no high rise condos, the Gulch had zilch in it, walking after dark on the street was a terrible idea, and I could throw a rock and hit a drug deal or a strip club. Hell, within the first month I lived here I walked out to my car my car taped off in “crime scene tape” after someone was tasered to death, (I may have questioned my decision slightly after that happened), but none the less I was on cloud nine to be living in this loft. I lived with a girl that I didn’t know very well, but worked with, I needed a roommate, 8 months of that hell (whole other story) she moved out and I recruited another roommate…
Meet Manny. I didn’t know him well, he lived downstairs in another space in this old warehouse building we called home. What I did know was that he was a nice enough guy and a musician who was gone a lot. I asked him to move in, he would save a little on rent, add square footage to his living space and have a chick to manage the toilet paper roll. I was simply desperate to find a roommate so I didn’t have to move out of my dream space. He took a day to think about it and decided to make the move up the steps from 205 to 303. Little did we know that we would be roommates for over 5 years, throw some rad parties, become dear friends, adopt a dog, and that he would eventually introduce me to my future husband. Lucky for me. Having a male roommate was the best, they don’t care how you decorate, they don’t steal your shoes, your laundry doesn’t get mixed up, and they don’t borrow your mascara, I’d take flipping the toilet seat down any day over living with a girl in her twenties ever again. Somewhere in there Manny introduced me to Kelby. We don’t know when exactly we became friends, but we do know that there were many nights Kelby and Manny went out for a drink or ten and Kelby would crash at a our place, a place that would eventually be his home and that sofa he passed out on would eventually be the one he and his future wife would watch movies on. Life back then was just a party. I was a bartender, Kelby and Manny musicians. We all kept the lights on at The Red Door Saloon in Midtown. I always liked Kelby, I thought he was a cool dude, but I never thought to myself, “I wish I could catch that guy’s attention”. To hear Kelby put it, he thought,”oh there’s Manny’s hot roommate” but that was it, he will also tell you that he couldn’t date “26 year old Lindsey”, ha! No one could…I was perpetually single back then, unruly and slightly wild.
Fast forward a few more years, Manny was moving out, I was 30, life was a whirlwind, my best friend had cancer, Jamie and I had decided to start a business together, and Kelby was moving into the apartment next door. The business Jamie and I had started would afford me to finally not have a roommate in my loft as one half (or basically the whole thing) would become our photography studio. Kelby and I would become closer too. Kelby was a touring more and needed someone to water his plants and take care of his cat, so we started talking almost daily. We all ran in the same circles of friends over the years, so Kelby and I knew each other very well by this point. Soon I started receiving gifts from his travels and we just became closer and closer. Finally one night we went to see a friend’s show, afterwards we decided to have post show drink next door at his place. We had a beer or two and talked about how single we were, how hard dating was, and how we felt like we would be single forever, maybe deep down one or both of us knew what we were doing, but when I think back on it I feel like I was sincere when I told him, “You will meet someone. She will be great and everything you are looking for…”, and I didn’t say it thinking that person would be me or that I was telling my future husband to just hang in there. HA! That night he kissed me. I was a little caught off guard and immediately we laughed, I said, “I gotta go”, I grabbed my things and walked back to my place one door over. The next day after Jamie and I completed our shoot, Kelby stopped by, he walked in, smacked me on the knee, and with a wink told me, “last night was fun”, I assured him light heartedly that “it wouldn’t happen again”. A few days later he convinced me that we should have dinner, he would come to my place, cook us something and watch a movie. OH GOD A DATE...I was a nervous wreck. We were friends and neighbors, we were playing with fire.
For 8 months after that first date Kelby managed to keep his tooth brush at his place, but he spent his time off the road with me in 303. It was a very busy time for us both. His band was taking off and the photography business Jamie and I were living and breathing had grown some wings too. Jamie and I were ready to move the business out of this old loft and into a real studio, and I was ready to ask Kelby to move in. He came home from the road and I told him we needed to talk. I wanted to puke because this was a such a big thing. He wanted to puke because he thought I was breaking up with him by my tone when I told him we needed to “talk”. HA! I fed him spaghetti, still one of the 2 things I can actually cook, and I popped the question. He laughed and said “sure, makes sense to me, we’ve basically been living together anyways”. Whewwww, that went well, ok let’s do this. Shortly after that he rolled his stuff down the hall. Easiest move ever.
The next few years we went through all the trials and tribulations of the our businesses, however none of it impacting our relationship. We were busy, but happy and both in full support of the other with whatever dreams we were chasing. All the while traveling and spending as much time as would could with each other in our busy lives.
By this point I knew that if he were to ask me to marry him I would say yes, I may had mentioned it once after a 2nd glass of wine, but that was it. I’ve never been the girl desperate for a ring on my finger. I honestly thought we would buy a house before we would get married. Little did I know that in August of 2015 he had had a dream, and when he woke up, he knew he would ask me to marry him. To hear him put it, he knew that this was real and the easiest thing he had ever been a part of, he was ready. I had no idea he had a ring, it is a family heirloom that belonged to his great grandmother, his mother and now me. He asked my father for his blessing in a deer stand in November of 2015 (because we are, in all realness, country like that) and what a brave move on his part…my dad…guns…the solitude of the wilderness… true bravery. HA! We had a trip planned for Australia in March of 2016 and that would be where he would ask me to marry him. For seven months he kept this from me, for 4 months my stepmother and father had to keep it a secret, and for a 14 hour plane ride with that ring in his pocket, he had time to think about this, and I as clueless as ever.. (For the whole engagement story and video see my The Moment it Happened blog.) I said YES. And as luck would have it, Manny was there too, (there was a country music festival, Manny plays with Kip Moore, so basically Nashville was in Queensland, AUS.)
Now here we are, exactly one week away from tying the knot on April 6th 2017. Manny will be the one to officiate our marriage, after all we give him all the credit for introducing us and he is such an important friend to us both. Tonight the three of us will get together to go over our vows.
And as I sit and write this and reflect on how we got to where we are now it all seems full circle, like the universe had something to do with all of it. The things I have been able to do, the people I have met in this great city, the friendships I have made, this building I have called home for so long, its all connected somehow and it blows my mind when I really sit and think about how I got here. I get to officially call Kelby my husband soon. This relationship has quite literally been the easiest thing I’ve ever been a part of. I guess how you know is when you find someone you can be yourself with, who treats you with the utmost respect and you treat them the same, who loves you regardless of your weird quirks and even stranger ideas, who after years still opens your doors, who tells you goodnight every night and good morning every morning even when they are thousands of miles away, who you trust and they trust you, who you know you can depend on for help or support, who you never hesitate to share your feelings with, who you feel like you can tell anything to, who you never doubt for a second if they love you or you them…when no more questions are asked…that is how you know…this is how we know…we are ready to say “I do”.
With Love and Excitement,
P.S. On our wedding day we will be holding a small backyard ceremony with just our families, with the exception of 3 dear friends who will be “working” for us. Manny to officiate. Steph to photograph. Court for video. It’s good to have talented besties. Ha!
ON SATURDAY APRIL 8TH WE WILL HAVE A GET TOGETHER AT THE CENTENNIAL FOR ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO STOP BY FOR A BEER AND TO WISH US WELL…
We do have a honeyfund.com set up if anyone wishes to buy Kelby a Busch Light or donate for the school kids of Belize where will be taking our honeymoon. In researching for our trip we found that they suggest bringing art/school supplies for the kids. I loved this idea and we may have one suitcase full of supplies thanks to everyones generosity. Many friends asked us where we were registered for wedding gifts. Last minute we threw this hilarious list together. We honestly feel like we have everything we need to start our lives together. You can click here if you so wish to give, but just a blessing or well wish is most encouraged and appreciated.