a love story

Stephen and I met in swing dance class at Oregon State University on October 1st. It was the first week of school in Fall Term, 2009. It was a Thursday.

I was sitting on the bleachers with the rest of the class waiting for the instructor's direction when I saw him walk in from the corner of my eye. He was tall. He was blonde. And I was bound and determined to make him my dance partner. As soon as Mr. Green told us to get up and get a partner, I jumped off the bleachers, turned around, pointed right at Stephen, and said, "wanna dance?!"

We only got to dance for a few minutes before we had to switch partners, but I continued to flirt with him from across the room. (Secretly laughing at the guy I was dancing with, googly eyes, smiles…the whole nine yards.) I was determined to talk to him again before we all left, so I made sure I was walking out of the gym the same time he and his friend were. Turns out they were both heading home and their home was across the street from mine. What a convenient coincidence.  

We parted ways and I walked into the Kappa house. Not a minute later my phone was to my ear and my mom was on the other line. "Mom! Today I met the boy I'm going to marry!She laughed. And, admittedly, I did a little, too. But I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that he was going to be mine

I knew little about him. He was extremely tall and extremely good looking. He was a Delta Chi. He was from Fairbanks, Alaska. He wanted to be a doctor. And I was convinced he was a Democrat, due to his "Eskimo" shirt with a peace sign, his skinny jeans, and patterned TOMS. I was almost right.

I knew he was going to be mine because he already was. Crazy, right? It was like he was made for me. I knew it. I could feel it. It was about a year later I learned that this wasn't just my first encounter with Stephen, it was also my first encounter with God. (I like to think that God gave me Stephen, and Stephen gave me God.)

Stephen, the gentleman that he is, walked me home from class every day for the rest of the year. It took him nine days to ask for my phone number (Nervously and awkwardly on the front steps of Kappas as he dropped me off). And it took him eleven days to kiss me. Which is my favorite part of the story...

It was the first time we'd hung out outside of dance class. It was October 11th, a Sunday. There was a big sorority/fraternity celebration that day and we'd spent the whole day together.  It was getting late and Stephen started mentioning how he should get home. About every ten minutes or so he'd say he needed to leave, but then we'd just keep talking. (About everything! I was so twitterpated!) We finally made it out of the Kappa living room and onto the front porch, where he continued to say he needed to leave, but wouldn't actually leave. I was getting cold, and truthfully, a little impatient. I could tell he wanted to kiss me. And, yes, I wanted him to kiss me! So I gave him an ultimatum. I said, "You can either kiss me goodnight like I know you want to, or you can turn around and walk home like you've said you were going to do for the last hour." Needless to say, his face turned every shade of red. But he kissed me goodnight!

And then we fell in love...

Stephen proposed on the Oregon Coast on October 15, 2010, a year after we’d been dating. 
(To see more engagement photos, click here.)

We were married on July 11, 2011. In a barn...

Before we were engaged, Stephen and I had spent most of Spring Term taking hikes on the weekends. One of them led us to a beautiful park in the woods with a gorgeous barn. There were trails all around the park leading you through beautiful greens, past creeks and gazebos. I joked, testing the ‘marriage waters’ a bit, about how I’d love to get married there. It was stunning! And Stephen, a little to my surprise, went along with it! He started describing where the tables would go, where the aisle would be… He even picked me a bouquet of ferns (yes, ferns) and made me pretend to walk down the aisle. Dorky? Yes. Romantic? Yes! When we got engaged the following fall, there was no question as to where the wedding would be. Or when...

My parents met on July 11th, 7/11, at a Seven Eleven convenient store. It was exactly 7 months and 11 days later that they got married. My older sister was born at 7:11 pm and weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces, as did her husband! AND! Stephen weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces when he was born, too! I, on the other hand, had no 7/11 of my own. Until it became our wedding day. It was a Monday. And it was perfect.
(To see more wedding photos, click here.)

One month after our wedding, we moved to Alaska so Stephen could start his first year of medical school. Since, we have lived in Washington and Idaho, adding two new members to our clan. We are now living in California where Stephen is working as a second year resident. We are more in love than ever, living as a family of four, working around a crazy hospital schedule, with more moves and changes and excitement planned for our future! 

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