After the disaster, Matt and I talked every week or so but not much. A few of my dear friends thought I should ask him out for Valentine’s but there was no way. Instead I made my two best friends play single for the night and come to the movies with me instead of going on dates with their boyfriends. It was one of those rare occasions where the three of us just got to be together without anyone else. On the way to the movies, I got a call that I had passed my Praxis II exam (the necessary exam to become a teacher) in both my content area and my management area – and in the classroom management area, I had scored in the 95th percentile. I was elated and walking on air.
When we got back to campus, I got invited to go an on campus worship service. I had always thought about going but never done it. So this time, I just jumped in and went. That night, Hubs was the speaker. I’ll be honest – 5 years later, I don’t remember what he talked about. What I do remember is that he talked about his faith and its context in his life in such a way that I had never heard from someone my own age. I knew that moment that this was going to be something big. And that maybe I had to be patient.
Well, not as patient as I thought because after the service, Hubs invited me to go bowling with some of his friends because it was free that night for students. I gladly accepted and went along. When we returned from bowling, Hubs was happy to lay low in my room while we both avoided all of the other people enjoying or not enjoying the holiday with their significant other. I seriously folded laundry while he sat there and we chatted.
This, by the way, still goes down as one of the Top 5 Best Days of My Life. Seriously.
After that night, we started chatting and texting, and of course, flirting. It took about a week of some pretty serious hint dropping, but he finally asked me to come over and hang out. I wanted pancakes and he wanted to sleep so our compromise was a movie. We watched Hot Rod, the most horrible movie ever. I remember that I had happened to have gotten my nails done that day because I had a gift certificate and wondering the whole time if he was going to think I was high maintenance. For having watched the worst movie, it was a great night with great talks, a little snuggle and a kiss.
In the morning, I texted him and told him how much fun I had had. He said the same thing and we made plans for that night : pancakes. It snowed that day so we also made snow angels and I explained to him that I don’t like to clean off my car and said that whoever was to date me would have to do it for me.
And then it was a whirlwind: he met my sister the next day, I met his mom and younger sibs the next weekend, he met my parents 2 weeks later and I met his dad, stepmom and grandparents the next day after that.
In the middle of all of this, we had spring break. And being the extremely awkward girl I am, I made him sit down and talk out where we were and what we were before we were apart. Again, I don’t remember the exact conversation, but I’m sure that I was ready for that “step” to being in a relationship and I’m pretty sure he was more hesitant which caused me to use the expression “Well, sometimes you just gotta jump in front of a bus and see what happens.” So we did. March 6 or 7, 2008. (The reason it’s 6 or 7 is because we had the conversation over the midnight hour and if it’s from the beginning of the conversation, 6; if it’s from the end, 7.)
In 2008, I was supposed to be out of the country 4 times : On a cruise for springbreak, Mexico to study Spanish, South Africa for a mission trip, and France to teach English. In 2008, Hubs was staying home for the first summer of college to work and to get ready for life after graduation. My spring break trip turned into driving to Florida. No problem. The mission trip didn’t really get off the ground. Check. I had already paid for Mexico and was really excited. And the day I found out I got accepted to the France program was the day I realized I loved Hubs and not in that “Brother in Christ” sort of way.
I’ll back up for a second to tell you that once I saw Hubs with his family, and having heard him talk at church, I knew he was different than anyone I had ever met. And I knew I loved him. But the day I knew we would be spending a half a year apart and his reaction to knowing this, that was it. I just knew. Trust me, I was a HOT mess that day – crying, up and down and all over the place. And he just held me and talked about how we would make our relationship work.
So the next morning I told him I loved him. And then I pretended like I didn’t say it – ya know, just in case. He told me he was trying to plan a way to say it with that one country song but that coming right out with it was also a pretty good idea.
I, by the way, didn’t go to France. I stayed in Ohio and graduated early and stayed in our college town, waiting for Hubs to graduate.
As graduation drew closer, we decided we would follow after my job since I was only trained to do one thing and Hubs’ degree was a little more flexible. So about 12 hours before Hubs left for South Africa for a mission trip, we decided to move across the state from our family so that we would only have each other to rely upon for our first years of real grown up life.
Missing something? A ring? Yea, I guess we’ll have to get to that tomorrow.