Our engagement picture...don't we look like babies!Our journey to the alter did not follow the traditional path. Some might classify the way we met as purely coincidence. I, however, believe it was meant to be.
It was March 16, 2001. A day that I expected to be pretty uneventful.
Our church youth group had a roller skating party scheduled that day with our youth director, Bruce. And later that day, I was going to "watch" my sisters when our parents went out to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Well, when we arrived at the church, Bruce was chatting with a cute blond guy I had never seen before. I quickly learned that Mike and Bruce were fraternity brothers from GMI and Mike had driven down from Michigan for the weekend to show off his new company car.
Let's just say that I was immediately smitten (do people still use that term?) The more he talked, the more I liked him.
Before I knew it, the skating party was over and we went back to the parsonage...I'm not even sure what the purpose of that was, I just remember spending hours talking with Bruce and Mike about college (something I was getting ready to start myself in the fall.)
I'm not sure what possessed me, but when the youth group meeting was over, I invited them back to my house for dinner. A dinner that I was going to make myself (enchiladas, my favorite). Without parental supervision.
And. He. Accepted.
Dinner was excellent and the conversation was even better. We literally spent hours at the kitchen table talking. And then we heard the garage door open...
To hear Bruce tell it, Mike and I both got a panicked look on our face. I remember thinking that I hoped my parents didn't mind that I invited a complete stranger over to our house (even though it was purely innocent). Mike later told me that he just wanted to make it out of there alive ;o)
Well, my Daddy took an immediate liking to him. It probably had something to do with the fact that he was driving a GM car and he worked for the company. Plus, Mike offered to help him out with a problem he was having with getting his own GM car fixed.
As Mike was leaving, I vividly remember saying how unfair it was that such a cool guy lived so far away. "Why can't guys like that live in Ohio?" I was disheartened, but resigned to the fact that I would never see him again...
Until my Daddy suggested I invite Mike to be my prom date. What? I was shocked that he even suggested it, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do just that.
I called Bruce to see what he thought of the idea and he confessed that Mike was enamored (there's another one of those old fashioned words) with me too. So I took the leap. And the rest you can say is history.
Our first date (a few weeks before prom) was spent picking out his tux. Our second date was prom. And then we dated long distance for 2 years.
My first two years of college were spent counting down the days between our visits (usually ever 3-4 weeks). We stayed connected with phone calls and letters...I saved every one and my box of love letters is one of my most treasured possessions.
After a year of dating, he proposed on the beach in Myrtle Beach. A year later, we were married.
I was so happy that day, that after we exited the church as husband and wife, I screamed with excitement (not thinking that everyone in the church thought I must had fallen on my way out...oh well, it was my day and I was over the moon excited.)
I love you Michael. Today and Always.