I didn't know if anyone would really be interested in this story, but one person was, so I'll continue :)
I left off at just having told Kevin my feelings for him. Talk about nerve - I was risking losing his friendship over the certain weirdness that would ensue if he did not feel the same as I did. I risked other friendships, as we shared many friends and what happens when one friends is weird with another? But now I believe God gave me strength, because for once I took a risk. After he said "ditto" and we just looked at each other and then hugged goodnight, I laid awake wondering, "ditto" to what?! Ditto that he liked having me as a friend, ditto that he didn't want to lose our friendship? Or ditto that he had feelings for me other than friendship? I didn't know - all I knew was I was confused beyond belief, a little relieved, a lot scared, and that the ball was in his court.
The next day I had a friend from college come visit, I told her everything, and she didn't know what the hold up was. She saw the flirting - Kevin was still over my house as well and we made like nothing had happened but there was this THING hanging over our heads. During these couple days Kevin and I did something we had never done before and we have never done since.
Wait for it....
Wait for it....
We went jogging together. That's how in love I was. Jogging. Fast. It's amazing I didn't pass out. I wanted him to think I could keep up with a jock like him. I also pretended - not too much because I didn't want to lie - that I liked some sports.
When you're in love you don't think straight.
Anyway, I was convinced that we really did act like more than friends but he wasn't making any moves. And I wasn't making any more.
So a few days pass and I had to work a night shift at GA and he didn't. I got home late and - remember this? - I checked to see who was on IM. Kevin was, and we IM'd....now I know he was waiting for me, knowing I'd check when I got home :)
So on IM, after much small talk about absolutely nothing, Kevin asked me to start dating. I said I thought he'd never ask, and that is how we began. I printed out the pages and pages of that IM conversation, because that is when he first said he was in love with me, that he wanted to marry me, that he had "eyes" for me for a very long time. I remember sitting there staring at the computer screen, wondering if it was really real, and if a dream like that could really come true for me.
In my eyes, he was perfect. He loved God, loved family, loved to have fun and laugh, respected women, was a gentleman. He was generous, educated, soft-hearted but strong. And he was so handsome :) And this boy, this man, was saying he wanted to marry me and take care of me for the rest of our lives. I couldn't believe it.
Our first date was to Carabbas, and although it felt kind of different, it felt very natural too. We had a great time, and then came back to my house where we had our first kiss. I'll leave it at that, this is a family-friendly blog after all :)
I was so happy, so fulfilled. We dated for the next year, and got engaged the summer before our senior year. I was 20 going on 21...young. Now I know that. At the time, we didn't care that we both didn't have jobs lined up...we knew we'd have an amazing life and we wanted to start asap. So when we married in August of 2001, we had been dating for 2 years. Now that I am a mom, I'd hope my daughters date a bit - or a lot depending on their age - more than that, and wait until they're older to marry. We had an apartment in Haddonfield that cost us $615 a month - it was tiny but charming. And so started our life as newlyweds, with all of its joy and "learning about each other" that was stressful and alarming.
We might've had a few fights where I locked myself in the bathroom and I may or may not have run out of the apartment in my nightie wanting to drive home to my mom. He followed me.
And that's the thing. Kevin has always followed me. He has led me, he has walked beside me, and he's followed me. I love him more now than I did then -- even though I know more now. I know about the temper, the non-stop-sports on the radio AND tv, the forgetfulness. I also know though, that no matter what happens in life, he will support me, and comfort me, and remind me about what really matters. He has made me more mad than any human being EVER, but nobody else has made me laugh harder or feel more loved.
When I married, I knew there would be mornings I'd look at the face next to me, and think Really?! Forever? For the rest of my LIFE?! But I knew if I made a choice to still be married, to still ACT like I loved him, I would. And that's what's happened. I've never doubted my love for him - he's my family. He's the dad to my kids, and a great dad. But we have had some rough days...and nights.
But for more-than-the-most part of it, I have been very happily married to my best friend, and I am so grateful. I pray my girls will meet and marry someone like their dad, someone who makes them laugh so hard they pee a little. Someone who is kind, gentle, strong. Someone who wants all their dreams to come true. Someone who loves the Lord and wants to raise their family in the church.
And most importantly, someone who never moves them away from me.