Fifteen years ago today, at the literal crack of dawn, you and I became us. We became a family. We clasped our shaky hands together and took our first step out into the world. Together.

I can still remember the first time I saw you. I was supposed to be going out with someone else that night, but when my eyes met yours, something whispered, "Hello, old friend."

I knew in that fraction of a second what would be.

Yes, that skinny, naive, 21-year-old boy, in Doc Martens, dress shirt coming untucked (something that still manages to happen today), walked in the door and forever stole my heart. The heart that was probably his to begin with.

I wonder, though. Would you do it all over again, if you could? Would you have taken a chance on that girl with the bad perm and the waist-high jeans? Even if you knew that she'd be really mean when she was pregnant? Or that she'd have a rear end the size of Texas during that time?

What if you'd known that she likes to spend money? And most especially YOUR money? Would you have still stayed that first night until the wee hours, playing cards, and flirting across the table, knowing the fortune she'd someday spend at Target?

And what if someone had told you that she squeezes the toothpaste in the middle, and will not, under any circumstances, drink the last little bit from the milk carton? Even then, would you still take her? Her, and all her neuroses?

I know one thing, I'd do it all again, a million times over. I might do a few things differently though.

Like that first anniversary? I'd have been a little more creative, that's for sure. Even with only a dollar to my name, I'd have done better. [Remind me, Internets, to tell you that story sometime. It's a doozy.]

And I'd try harder to let you know just how much I appreciate you and all that you do for me. Because you? You are the best thing that ever happened to me. And I'd never want to let a day go by where you didn't know it.

You are my best friend.

You are the one I need to tell things to before they become real. You are the voice of reason to my irrational hysteria. You are the one I turn to for comfort. You are the one who tells me I'm beautiful, even when I don't believe it. You are the one I want to share every joke and every laugh with. You are the one who knows me better than anyone. And you are the one who constantly says that nothing is impossible.

You, my darling, are the ring in my bell.

Happy 15th anniversary, babe.