He would occasionally come up to KC when I came home for the weekends....
I chose to stay in Joplin and live on campus and take summer classes instead of going home for the summer. Because of him. You know you're smitten when you choose to take a full load of summer classes just to stay nearby.
The second half of the summer I went on vacation with his family to Utah - - -
And then it was time to say goodbye. He chose to serve a 2 year mission with our church. He was being sent to the Philippines. He didn't ask me to "wait" for him - I didn't say I would.
I wrote him every week. It was a great experience to get to know him through letters even more. I told myself that I knew he would grow as a person as he dedicated 2 years of his life to service and the gospel. And so I wanted to strive to become a better person myself. To be more - for him.
I hung out with his parents on the couple of days each year that he called home (looking back, super nice of them to let me talk on and on when I'm sure it was an outrageous phone bill).
I like to say "I waited, just not in a closet". I dated some when he was gone. I told the guys up front that I was just dating, not looking for anything serious. For me, I had found my serious.
So 2 years passed and he got back - I was in the airport. It was awkward. We went on a date that week or so - - that was awkward too - I knew he wasn't going to come back and drop on one knee, but still, he mentioned maybe going away to school and I thought maybe I was delusional in "knowing" we were meant to be. I found out years later that he thought I was in a serious relationship with another guy (this was news to me!).
Things slowly became less weird and we got back into the groove of dating again. I don't have any pictures of greeting him at the airport (I guess I didn't want to be a stalkerish-maybe-girlfriend), but in my college scrapbook he all of a sudden starts showing up in pictures again...(he's in white, I'm in gray - ice skating). This was in the fall.:
We dated all fall. I graduated college (yep, early, in 3 1/2 years - due to the massive class load I took every semester and the summer courses I took that first summer).
He proposed in February -- I think everyone saw it coming a mile away - my friends were taking bets on what specific day he'd pop the question. He didn't know it was obvious to all of us. He asked me to marry him while on a picnic at The Falls - - later we took our engagement pictures at the same spot:
We were married in the St. Louis Temple on May 18, 2001 - -
Fast forward 11 years, and here we are today. I still think we're meant to be. I like to tell him that his whole family had to move to Kansas just so he and I could meet. (They moved from Idaho to Kansas when he was in Jr. High and have since moved back.)
He still gives me butterflies when he looks at me - makes me feel amazing about myself and who I am. Makes me want to do my best at everything. Supports me in everything - yep, even blogging :) . Puts up with all the crazy requests for projects I need him to do. Goes in with me when I think we should try crazy races....
He gives me the love, support, and confidence I need. I can't imagine a better husband. Not to mention that he's an amazing dad to our 4 kiddos. I marvel all the time - "how did I get so lucky?!?!"
I love that I get to spend forever with him!!!