We fell in love last December.

This time last year, I was decorating the Christmas tree with my mom, telling her all about my new boyfriend–

my first boyfriend, nonetheless.

And this year, we decorated the tree together.

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From November to now, I noticed we have both been so reminiscent of this time last year. Towards the end of November, we anticipated November 23rd, the day we first kissed. On that day, we talked about how we both felt this time last year, and how neither of us expected anything out of that single kiss. I still talk about my outfit– a red flannel with a black tight dress and high black boots– and how that night was totally unexpected, and unplanned. It was so last minute, but it was the best last minute decision I ever made.

We talk about my best friend Erin, and how when I wanted to leave the bar and bring you with me, she came too– because I was afraid to be alone with you. We laugh about that all the time.

We left for Thanksgiving break the next day, and when I got home, I sent you a text, hoping you’d respond. You immediately apologized for not texting me back, and told me what had been making you so busy. From that moment on, I don’t think we’ve stopped texting. You and I talked about that last month, and how happy you were that I texted you.

We talked about Thanksgiving, and how I remember falling asleep on the couch of my aunts house because I had worked until 1am the previous night. You kept texting me. We texted for days on end and planned to hangout as soon as we returned to school from break. I couldn’t have been any more excited. I remember returning to school and seeing your Arizona Iced Tea can still sitting on my desk… gross.

When it was December, we began reminiscing about the first time we actually hung out alone. I told you I needed help with an essay, when you knew I was an English major– clearly I needed no help whatsoever. You told your roommates you were going to hangout with me, and they smirked. My friends were lighting candles and cleaning my room for me– my roommate even brushed my teeth over the garbage can with a water bottle. When you were finally on your way, everyone cleared out.

We put Gone Girl on and within minutes, you had fallen asleep and drooled all over my maroon H&M sweater. Oh, the memories. We still talk about this moment today.

We talk about when you asked me out. You said you wanted to wait to do it in front of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, because we had plans to go later in the week, but you just couldn’t wait. You told me you walked out of my building and clenched your fist in the air, just like Judd Nelson did at the end of The Breakfast Club.

When I first told my mom, I said:

“Mom, I think I have a boyfriend.”

When we went to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller center, I was afraid to hold your hand. I didn’t know if you wanted to. And my friend Victoria said, “RIKKI. HE’S YOUR BOYFRIEND. OF COURSE HE WANTS TO HOLD YOUR HAND!”

That month, we saw the tree, we went to the Union Square holiday market, we went to my job’s Christmas party.

That month, we fell madly in love.

Night after night for an almost an entire year, I watched you fall asleep and I kissed you in the morning. I watched you caress my face, and I watched your lips move as we spoke about your hands holding mine or your lips on my lips. I watched you get dressed in the mornings, and undressed before bed, over and over again.

And when I couldn’t be there physically, Skype had to do.

The days approaching our one year anniversary, we couldn’t keep our gifts from each other anymore.

Now, thanks to you, I am constantly reminded of the love you have for me when I look at my right hand– the ring reads “I love you,” three times around.

This year, we went to see the Christmas tree, just you and I, and with every step we took, we thought about the same steps we took last year– and how every single little step we took in a year, led us back here.

This year, we went to the holiday market, and instead of browsing around cautiously, we were our normal, crazy, judgmental selves. We talked about our first kissing photo in front of the trees in the middle of the market. Seeing your face light up every single time we talk about falling in love, makes me fall in love a little bit more.

This year, not only did I smile more than I have in my entire life, I also spent absurd amounts of money on train tickets, absurd amounts of money buying you things, and made you spent absurd amounts of money buying me iced coffees.

To be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

There’s so much I could say, so much I could reminisce on, and so much I could thank you for– so here’s just a few:

Thanks for turning my frowns into smiles, laughing at my jokes, making me laugh until I pee, being my sunshine on a rainy day, my shoulder to cry on, my dad’s best friend, my best friend, the love of my life, and most importantly, my constant in a world of change.

One year later…

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And I love being in love with you.

To one year, and many, many more.