So... this is about a week late for Valentine's Day... I had this post all ready to go last week, and then I experienced some technical difficulties, and then I got sick. Better late than never, right? :)
My future husband and I met for the first time in the ninth grade. My mom says that she knew they were “in trouble” when I came home from school at the beginning of the year and reported, “There's this new boy in my FFA class... Everyone gets annoyed by him, but I don't mind him.” That boy and I became pretty good friends during our first year in high school. One of my funniest memories of that year is the time when my best friend and I spent part of one class helping him to write a “love note” to an older FFA classmate he was enamored with. I still laugh when I think about it. At that point, I never could have imagined the two of us being where we are at right now.
We didn't keep in contact with each other over the summer that I remember, but when school started the next year we found that we had several classes together - which gave us even more opportunity to get to know each other. It was a few months into the school year when I found out that he was planning to ask me out. He had a class with a couple of my good friends and when he began questioning them to find out what I thought about him, of course – being the faithful sort of friends - they told me all about it. It was during lunch when they told me, I think the date was December 9th, and I remember that I could not finish my food. I think I was pretty taken aback by the fact that any boy was interested in “going out” with me. My best friend had had a boyfriend for a little while at this point, and – being young teenagers in high school – it seemed that everything anyone was talking about was who was going out with whom, and I had (until now anyway) been feeling a little left out. I remember thinking that I had never thought of him as anything more than a friend, but maybe we were such close friends that it made sense. It took several days for him to work up the nerve to ask me. However, he did not have to work up the nerve to ask other kids their opinion over that time. (This should not surprise anyone who knows him!) I recall when I was sitting in biology class beside him and I heard a classmate ask, “Did you ask her yet?” He ignored the question, and I pretended I didn't hear even though I knew exactly what he was talking about. My parents had told me that I was allowed to date after the New Year, and I believe it was December 16th when he finally called me. I said yes, but we had to wait to make it “official”. He gave me a really huge, stinky blue candle in a jar for Christmas. He was 15, I was 16. Neither of us could drive, so he used to ride his bike three miles to come to my house. We would sit on the couch in the living room listening to cds and saying which songs we liked. If it got dark before he left, my dad would drive him home. In March we held hands for the first time on a youth group trip to New York City. It was the best. :) On our first real date, sometime after he got his driver's license, we went to a restaurant and when we walked up to the host and asked him for a table for two he said, “Oh, I thought you guys were a brother and sister, waiting for your parents.” We have never forgotten that, and have laughed over it many times.
Yes, I married my high school sweetheart, the only guy I ever dated. <3 We have been married for going on eight years now. Thankfully I can say that it just keeps on getting better! It did take us a few years to learn to live with each other, though I blame that largely on the fact that we are both firstborns – opinionated and stubborn (or should I say... persistent?). :) The events of this past year have brought us closer together than ever. That's not to say that everything is fairy-tale perfect all of the time (we are human, after all), but I know that he will be there for me no matter what – and that means an awful lot. I appreciate the way he works so hard to support our family, helps out around the house and with the kids, is willing to serve others and that he keeps God first. He is a complete extrovert – my total opposite – so he's always encouraging me to step outside of my comfort zone, which can be a good thing. He keeps my life interesting... Who else could have such a knack for picking out terrible movies, making up new words or putting things away anywhere but where he found them? I think I would be pretty bored without him around! I appreciate his gifts and talents and I am proud of the way he has chosen to use them to serve the Lord. He is still my best friend. He's my hero, and I feel so richly blessed to have him in my life.
Babe – I love you more now than I ever did before. Thanks for being such a great husband to me and an awesome father to our kids. Happy Valentine's Day!
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13: 13