To You

Today, I’m celebrating 5-years of blessed matrimony with my dear, sweet, loving husband, Jay. 5-years, people – where does time go. I guess time has gone a lot of places – it’s gone into building our home, building our life, building this marriage. It’s been such a beautiful ride with this man. Not always an easy ride, but I’m beyond blessed to call him mine. There is no doubt in my heart that he will always be the only one for me, and I’m so thankful that our paths crossed in this journey of life. This is our first like, legit anniversary, so I wanted to take a quick second to tell our love story. Our love story, according to Mary πŸ˜€

Wedding Photos

Alright, sit down y’all, Jay and I go way back my friends, way back. I remember the day I met Jay. I remember him carrying in his saxophone case into our middle school band class (I know, right?). I remember his long plaid button up t-shirts (that were too big for him) and his Tommy Hilfiger shorts he used to wear. I remember his bowl cut, and his gelled hair. I remember announcing at the dinner table that I’d met myself one handsome chap (and by met, I mean like, was in the same room as him). I officially announced that it was a close tie between saxophone Jay and Oboe Joe. Saxophone Jay won out in the end.

God, I loved that kid from the first time I saw him (after I ruled out Oboe Joe, that is) and I just watched him, like a legit creeper for 3 solid years as we both went through the awkwardness that is middle school. Seriously, is there anything more awkward than middle school? Me thinks not. I would scornfully watch from the sidelines while he dabbled with other girls (snicker) and went on movie dates. There was the 8th grader that took him out once – when we were in 6th grade! A cradle robber if I ever saw one. Then there was his friend’s neighbor. She seemed like legit competition, so my 6th grade self took pretty careful notes on her. Finally we had – wait for it – the other Mary. Holy Jesus, I thought to myself, how could he possibly ask out the only other Mary in practically our generation – definitely the only other Mary in our school. That one just pissed me off. She was way to cool for him though, popular girl, Jay had a pen collection and was on the bowling teamΒ by this age … (we’re in 8th grade now). Jay went off to lick his wounds whileΒ I formulated a strategy. 3 years on the sideline was enough for this girl. This girl was ready to make her move.

Jay in Middle School

Swear to you, I really was never the least bit interested in anyone else throughout those middle school days. I totally, totally wrote Jay’s name all up and down my binders. Mary loves Jay is definitely scribbled on the downstairs closet in my parent’s computer room. Probably since been painted over. I don’t know, he had me at hello. Keep in mind, I’m pretty sure he hadn’t even said hello to me at this point. He was like Brad Pitt and I was like, his biggest fan. With pimples and greasy hair.

But by the end of 8th grade, I had my stuff together and I had a bit more confidence. So I befriended Jay and his friend Joe (confusing twist, another saxophone, not Oboe Joe – he moved, I think) and we became best buds. That summer between 8th and 9th grade we started to hang out, and by the 9th grade, we were all a legit possy. I really liked them both, and I loved hanging out with them.

Ok, y’all ready for this. No, that’s not a lion second from the left. That’s me and my lovely lady locks. πŸ˜‰


Flash forward – here is the original 8th grade band possy at our wedding πŸ™‚

Wedding Photo

We were all in marching band that first year, and if my heart didn’t pitter patter for Jay Sell before now, you better bet a week away getting to be social at band camp just made me that much more interested. It was full on obsessed by this point. I had to date this kid. I’m totally smitten. Jay – Jay’s totally oblivious to it all at this point. And another year goes by … we’re in highschool now and I’m in love with a boy that just thinks I’m a fun side kick. Oye, men. Thick sometimes I tell you.

But 9th grade – it was so much fun you guys, so much fun! I got to spend every day in band class next to this kid, I got to see him in the halls and have him acknowledge me (I was his friend now!), I got to hang out with him after school in Marching Band – I even had a few classes with him. What luck! I remember each day in band class, trying to pick a seat in the low brass section that was as close to his as possible. I played the baritone, it’s a mini tuba – he he he πŸ˜‰ He started playing the baritone saxiphone in 8th grade, so I was able to edge in a bit closer, sometimes sit next to him and share our music stand. That was a good day when I could share a music stand with him.


Friday night football games were the absolute best. We dressed up in awful wool mustard colored uniforms (with a plaid sash and buffalo hats) and then we went and cheered on the football team. I could usually sneak in next to Jay and Joe for this, too, and grab concessions with them at half time. Man – it was the best of times.

So, 9th grade is coming to a close, my future husband is still painfully oblivious that I’m in love with him, but he thinks I’m his homey, so I see that as a significant improvement. The band trip this year is Disney World – I know, shut the front door. To my 9th grade self (heck, to my 27 year old self) that’s a legit trip! And Jay is coming along for the ride. A week, on vacation, with the man of my dreams. SCORE. Since I was totally in love with this kid, I went out of my way to join in on his “group” going around Disney. Hanging with them, trying to blend in. (pretty sure I was the only girl). A few days in to the trip, with no recognition from Jay, things are starting to feel dire. I can forever thank our friend Brandon, who Jay was rooming with who kinda laid it out for him. Jay – if you haven’t noticed, I think Mary is in to you. Nah, really!?!


We got back from Florida, and waited a few more weeks, and decided to start dating come summer. Man alive, is that the planner in my coming out or what. I guess I wanted to make sure everything was signed sealed and delivered, since I’d been waiting on him for 4 years now … We started dating the beginning of that summer, and from that point on, there was no turning back in my mind. I knew what I wanted, and that was Jay Sell.

Band Trip

He broke my heart once, broke it off with me the summer between 11th and 12th grade. I wailed for days on end like I’d never see another tomorrow. Dad came upstairs and told me I really had to pipe it down, because ya know, the neighbors were starting to worry. Same as before though, by summer’s end, I had my strategy to get Jay back into my life. I swear, something deep down in that 16 year old self of me knew that I just wasn’t willing to let this guy go. I never have since that day, and I never will.

Wedding Picture

Being married is so different, in many ways, than I imagined it when I was that young little lassie chasing after Jay. Marriage is complicated, it’s hard sometimes. Sometimes you just really need that person to move their booty (fast) into another room so you don’t stab them with a fork. I did that once. Jay yelled at me.

But marriage is also the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had the privilege of being a part of. Each year that goes by, I know that I couldn’t be luckier to have such a solid, hard working, handsome, dedicated and considerate human being by my side. I love him so much. I’m so lucky to call him my husband, I’m so lucky to call him mine.

Happy 5th anniversary Jay Thomas Sell. I’ll always be your girl.



16 thoughts on “To You

  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story, it brought tears to my eyes. So when Jay finally realized for HOW LONG you were into him what did he say to that?? I mean that is dedication girl! πŸ™‚

  2. Oh my word – what a story! Seriously smiled dopily at my computer screen as I read it. You two were clearly meant to be, and it’s a damn good thing one of you knew it all along! Happy Anniversary πŸ™‚

  3. Mary, I can identify with the line in your sweet love story that you fell in love with Jay the first time that you saw him. I also fell in love with my husband the first time that I laid eyes on him. I was a second year nursing student and he was a sophermore in college and he was working a summer job at a Kroger store. I went through his line and he bagged my groceries and WOW that was it! We will be celebrating our 50th year of marriage on Oct. 3rd! Sandee

  4. OMGosh! I LOVE your story. I totally LOL’d at the fork comment though. Seriously, relatable. πŸ˜‰ Happy anniversary and here’s to many many years together!! πŸ˜€

    ps – I’m so glad you’re another love at first sight girl. I was 19 when I met my husband and I would have married him 2 seconds after saying hello. <3

  5. Happy anniversary Mary! I am thrilled to hear another love story with a pretty proactive female protagonist. πŸ™‚ I always like to say, I made all the moves in this relationship!

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