On February 28, 2005, my Andrew and I had our first official date. After a month of flirting and hanging out in group settings together, he had finally asked me to come to a basketball game with him, and I happily (perhaps even too-excitedly) agreed. I was so nervous that day. It had been months since I'd been on a real date. Andrew showed up at the door holding a pink rose. As usual, he was so confident and calm and collected, that I was put right at ease. And off we went to eat at Il Vicino (where I stupidly ordered a salad that had anchovies on it because I was too nervous to read the menu). GROSS. And then we went to watch the Shockers play some hoops. Awkward moment of the night came when Andrew had to tell me that he had actually invited two other guys to the game long before he realized this would be a date... so we shared a bit of our first date... but it gave me a good dose of the reality that is my now-husband and it really didn't matter at all in the end. He put his arm around me during the game. When he took me home that night, we prayed night prayer together. And we talked and talked and talked about our pasts and our futures and all the things you're probably not supposed to talk about on a first date. He introduced me to Proverbs 31: The Ideal Wife. I promised him I would read it. I didn't know then that it would become one of the readings at our wedding.
That was the beginning, and it was a whirlwind romance from that day forward. Our second date a few days later was a movie night at Andrew's apartment. He wanted me to see the Notebook which he had seen but I had not. When I arrived he handed me a rosary and said "I thought we could pray first." So we prayed together. After the movie, he turned on some music, and danced with me in his living room. I remember hearing "When You Say Nothing at All" and "I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore." I left that night in a dreamy daze. The boy had still not kissed me, which I actually thought was super awesome, and I was quickly falling head over heels for him.
Days passed, and we became basically inseparable. I can't remember whether our first kiss came first or Andrew said "I love you" first, but some time in the beginning three weeks both of those things blew me away completely. Even though I knew that early in the relationship that I loved him too, I was totally not prepared to say it yet. So I waited a little longer (but not too much.)
We only had one memorable fight during our courtship. I got angry because Andrew would tell me he was going to call, and then he wouldn't. Looking back, it seems really ridiculous that I was so mad about it considering we saw each other almost every day. But for me, it was a trust thing... and when someone told me they were going to do something, I expected them to do it. I was also projecting on Andrew some of the remnants of a previous college relationship where my trust had been completely violated. It took months for me to realize that he wasn't going to lie to me like that guy had. I think we almost broke up that night, but thanks be to God, we did not.
I remember a moment in late spring when Andrew insisted that we go to my parent's house. He was ready to meet them. I was so nervous, but he was not at all. They hit it off right away. I showed Andrew the church where my mom, grandma and great grandma had all gotten married. And he told me that we would get married there too. At one point during that weekend, we were sitting alone in my folk's basement and Andrew put his hand on my belly. We both closed our eyes and saw our future before us. The marriage, the babies, the life filled with love. So many people thought we were crazy and moving too quickly. But there was something supernatural about the way we clicked. For us, there was no doubt that God has put us together. By June we had met each other's families and were well on our way to engagement.
On July 3 (four months after our first date), Mr. Andrew put a ring on my finger. It was a no-frills, unplanned, perfect proposal. We sat on a couch at my house after a night on the town with friends. Neither of my roommates were home. Andrew looked at me seriously and asked, "Do you think I'm conventional?" My answer (with a strange look on my face) was, "Um... no!!" He got up... walked to the other couch (where I was apparently supposed to be sitting), and pulled the ring out from under it. He came back over to me, got on one knee, and proposed. We both cried.
...to be continued...