Thursday, March 28, 2013

Our Story

Ages 7 & 8 - May 1997
Who would have thought that two crazy, mischievous seven year old kids would actually get married? Dustin and I grew up together, attending the same church, belonging to the same homeschool co-op's and our families were good friends. Due to this we ended up spending a lot of time together, were great friends and it didn't take too long before we were majorly crushing on one another. He remembers me as a little girl with curly hair wearing flowery dresses and I remember him as a little rascal who liked to tease. Everyone knew we liked each other, though the fact that we often chased each other around probably gave it away. He gave me a ring he bought on a field trip to confirm his affection and I gave him one I won at an arcade. I listed his name on every game of MASH (if you grew up in the '90s you know that meant you were serious) and he teased me endlessly. It was "true love" from the beginning.

Church Prom - April 2005
Then we became teenagers and I was too shy mature to do any more chasing and would do my best to act as though I had moved on. We each liked other people on and off while remaining good friends but somehow we always ended up back together. We "dated" at 15 for seven awkward (this being to our intense shyness and teasing from friends and family) months before he broke it off. A few months later he asked me to our church's prom, his excuse was as my friend he didn't want me to have to go with someone I didn't want to go with, I gladly accepted. We "dated" again at 17, this time ending on an unfortunate note but still remaining friends. Though now I was no longer sure I was interested in him in any way beyond friends or so I often stated to friends who asked me. Deep down inside though, I wondered if we'd ever have a real chance. I still really cared for him and he held a special place in my heart separate from anyone else. I was jealous of every girl he showed attention to and wanted to move on but couldn't. I remember, as silly as this sounds now, praying that God would take my feelings away. I'm so glad He didn't.
Josh Groban Concert - Fall 2007
It was at an ice skating show, sitting next to his sister that I found out he liked me again. My initial reaction was to feel annoyed but really I was ecstatic. I remember not being able to look him in the eye for the rest of the night as I tried to process what I had just learned. A few months before Dustin had invited me to go with him to a Josh Groban concert. He repeatedly emphasized that this was just as friends, though slightly disappointed I was okay with that, I wasn't sure I was up for dating a third time. We had a blast and really enjoyed the time together. I honestly believed his "just friends" statement especially as the months following the concert he did not treat me any different than he did before. Yet here I was finding out that this was not true. A week or so later he asked if I wanted to hang out some time. I wanted to say no to prove a point but the yes slipped out before I could stop it. Once again, we had a blast and really enjoyed being together. Hanging out once turned in to hanging out a few more times.
Our dating years - 2008
Then on December 15th, 2008, we had our first official date. After a night of touring Hershey's Christmas Candy Lane and driving through a housing development which was decorated with Christmas lights, Dustin pulled to the top of a hill overlooking the neighborhood. He had a single red rose which he stealthily pulled out and handed to me. It was there that he asked me to be his girlfriend. Of course I said yes. What followed was nine months of dating full of picnics, late night phone calls, handwritten letters and counting down the days until we could see each other again. This was the real chance I had wondered about and it didn't take long before we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
Engagement - Sept. 2008
It was almost our nine month anniversary (we were cheesy and did all the sappy dating stuff including celebrating "monthiversaries") when Dustin took me to a church gym. Inside on a raised platform was a tent, Norah Jones was singing, candles were burning and inside the tent was all the picnic food we typically got. He handed me a book, a scrapbook he created with pictures and memorabilia of our time together. When I got to the last page I read "One day the handsome prince asked the beautiful princess to marry him..." and turned to see him pull out an engagement ring. He asked me to marry him and without any hesitation whatsoever I said yes. Six months later on March 28th, 2009 we vowed to love one another for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
Our Wedding Day - March 28th, 2009
Today we celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. I still have moments of awe at realizing that the little boy I had the biggest crush on, the teenage boy I never thought I'd get over is now a man who is my husband and best friend. When I look back at our story I see God's goodness and grace. I truly believe He blessed our marriage before it began, He opened so many doors and provided so many necessary things that we needed to start our life together. And real love is a wonderful motivator, I married a man who was willing to take an entry level job position taking out trash and cleaning toilets just so he could marry me. We worked hard to see our dreams come true and by the grace of God they have.

These past four years have been beautiful, we've had our struggles and battles like everyone else, but through them God has brought us closer and we have grown all the more for it. I couldn't imagine spending my life with anyone else. Now going in to our fifth year of marriage we are starting a new chapter as our baby slowly grows preparing to meet us and take on the world. No one knows what the future holds but we have God on our side and each other and are ready to face it. We have already learned that the best stories are written by the great Creator and Author Himself.

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