Since today is our 7th anniversary, I thought I'd tell the story. Most of you have heard pieces of it so now you can put the whole thing together.
Background: I went to HS in Montana, Kev went to HS in Manteca, CA. Dating has a different meaning in each of these places. In MT, if someone asks you out on a date, it means that he wants to be your official "boyfriend". None of this Saved By the Bell dating stuff where a guy takes out a different girl every weekend. No, once a guy asks to take you out, it means that he's decided you're the one he wants to see exclusively at that time. Apparently, this is not the case in CA. If a guy asks you out it's because he wants to take you out once, maybe twice if he asks again, but no committment beyond the excursion in question. Having said all this, our relationship began with a huge miscommunication that worked out wonderfully for us . . . but I'll get to all that in a minute.
I'm one year older than Kevin . . . well, 359 days older . . . so I was already at Simpson College one year before he got there. The weekend following the first week of school is always Worship Team retreat . . . all the teams went up to the Need Campground just outside of Redding and spent Fri nite, Sat and most of Sun practicing music and getting to know each other as a team. The first nite at supper we had to go around the room . . . okay so there's 5 or 6 teams, each of 10-12 members, lots of people . . . and introduce ourselves and tell what we did on the team, etc. We didn't end up on the same team because I decided to join late in the summer and most of the teams were already formed by then. I remember Kev standing up and talking, and thinking to myself that he was a cutie. When we were done for the evening, my roommate Charity and I decided to stick around and hang out with the people who didn't want to go straight to bed. Kev and his roommate/teammate Matt stayed also, so I got all brave and went to talk to them, dragging Charity with me. After the obligatory small talk, Charity got really flirty and giggly and it seemed that both guys were responding to her, much to my annoyance, so I kinda drifted to another group and let her have them. I figured if Kevin had been interested in talking to me he would have ignored her more. Later on, he told me that he was Super Annoyed with her too but being such a considerate guy he couldn't think of any way to get rid of her and didn't really want to leave poor Matt stuck, either.
After that first night I don't remember seeing much of him the rest of the weekend. He says he kept an eye on me the whole time, but I really didn't notice. We all went back to school Sun nite and ended up in the cafeteria for supper. Kevin and Matt called Charity and me over to eat with them . . . remember, it's the first week of school and you kinda hang out with your roommates alot until you get settled into your cliques, etc. . . . so we went and sat with them. Kevin was much more attentive to me this time so I was starting to think there might be something there. Throughout the next week, we planned to eat meals together and hang out after classes, etc. We even had one class together so we got to sit together for a whole hour!
The next weekend, Kev was heading home to get some stuff he'd left, and he told me he needed to have a serious talk with someone back home. He said he had a girlfriend who was a senior in HS but things weren't that great between them and he was realizing that he didn't want any ties back home. The word "Rebound" was echoing thru my head but I worked really hard to ignore it. He left after classes on Fri and was planning to be back in time for WT practice on Sun nite. Needless to say, my weekend sucked waiting for him to come back.
When he walked in to WT practice, I couldn't believe how happy I was to see him. I mean, come on, we'd known each other only 2 weeks and I missed him?! Whatever. I had only a minute before we had to break into teams for practice so I asked him how "The Talk" went. He said it wasn't pretty and she'd been mad but it was done. And then he asked if I wanted to go to Denny's to talk after practice so he could vent all the details. I said yes, just happy to get to hang out with him sans girlfriend. We agreed to meet outside my dorm at 10pm or so. I ran back to my room after practice to get dolled up without looking like it and I told my roommates I was "going out with that Kevin guy to let him tell me how he broke up with his girlfriend." Stacy wasn't convinced that's why I went but Charity believed me.
Very long story a little bit shorter, we spent all of about 5 minutes talking about the breakup and the rest of the time talking about ourselves and just hanging out. I think I slipped back into my dorm at about 1:55am just before the dorms locked at 2, giving him just enough time to run back to his.
The next week we kept up all the eating together and hanging out, and on Fri nite he asked if I wanted to go see Armageddon with him. Of course I said yes. During the previews he leaned over and said he was really enjoying getting to know me and hanging out and was hoping to continue. I said something stupid like, "I'd like that, too" and reached over to hold his hand. Here's the miscommunication. In my mind, because of my experiences, he was asking me to be his girlfriend and wanted to see me exclusively. I was totally fine with this and thrilled to have an official boyfriend to brag about. I found out much later that he had just meant it how he said it, that he wanted to get to know me and hang out more. As time went on, he decided there wasn't anyone else he wanted to date and there wasn't anyone else that I was interested in either so it worked out. We spent our third date in the ER getting his dislocated shoulder reset, went to the Christmas banquet together, all the normal christian college dating stuff.
Two days after he proposed. This place actually isn't there anymore. In 2002, the area was burned to a crisp when Redding was plagued with wildfire. Now it's just a barren drop-off into the river with a not-so-grand view.
This all happened between Sept of '98 and June of '99. On July 1, 1999, he drove me out to the overlook off of Hilltop and proposed. The pullout overlooks the Sac river and downtown Redding with all its lights and reflection in the water, which I love. Apparently he was planning to get out of the car and get down on one knee and do it properly but as we pulled in he noticed a group of homeless people having quite the party under the lone tree at the edge of the overlook so he decided rather than risk life and limb, and a potential mugging for the ring, we should just stay in the car. I have no recollection of what he said in his proposal mostly because I was acutely aware that there was a fabulous piece of jewelry on his person and I REALLY wanted to have it. But I don't feel bad because he says he can't really remember what he said either. The bottom line was that I said yes and he produced the ring . . . the very first one I had ever looked at in all our wanderings in the Redding mall while we looked for something to occupy our time. We drove back to campus . . . we both lived on campus during the summer and worked for the college . . . and woke up everyone we could find to tell them the good news. Two days later we came back to the spot and took this photo. My parents were in town at the time so he had asked my dad for my hand, and they wanted to see the spot where he had asked me . . . you know, all that sappy stuff that I'm glad we did so I could scrapbook it later.
Thirteen months later we were married, July 22, 2000, and it's been fabulous ever since. Of course we have our fights and our disagreements . . . I drive him crazy and he returns the favor . . . but we've truly been blessed these last 7 years and can't wait to see what God has in store for us for the future. I love you, Kev!
Today, 7 years and 1 and 3/4 kids later! And still in love. . .