Today is our 5-year anniversary. What an amazing and blessed 5 years is has been. We have been through so many trials and tribulations but our love and passion for each other has never changed. I can truly say, I am a better person for knowing, loving and marrying Drew. He has made me more confident, outspoken, smarter and stronger and I can’t imagine my life without him.
As I was thinking about the past 5 years, I started thinking about how we met. Every time I tell someone about how we met, they are amazed at our love story. I don’t think I have posted this on here before, so I thought what a great way to share with you our story…. (I will warn you, this might be the longest blog post you have ever read!!) :o)
In May of 2002 I was at my cousins graduation party with all of my extended family. I have 2 cousins that are close in age to Lauren and I and they live in Michigan. I had visited Michigan earlier that year and just LOVED it. Couldn’t stop thinking about it. While we were at the graduation party, I got to talking to them about it and they said “Why don’t you just move there and be closer to us!?!?” I sat there for a second and thought – why not! I had nothing tying me down here in Iowa, and the thought of a new adventure and move to another state excited me. Plus I would closer to my cousins and like I said, I loved Michigan.
So I started making plans. I quit my 2nd job at a bookstore to start waiting tables (at the Olive Garden) again because I knew it was good fast cash. I was planning to try and save $5000 so I could move in the fall of 2002.
Let me back up for a minute. Up until I made this decision to move I was struggling with a few things. I had turned my life back over to God in 2000 and thought that once I did that, God would just throw the person I was going to marry into my lap. I became a little obsessed with it. All I could think/talk about was my future husband and praying and knowing that sure he was coming my way at any minute.
Well once I decided to move, I told myself there would be no dating and to not even think about men. I was going to move and eventually I might find someone in Michigan. But it wasn’t my focus. Well don’t you know as that old saying goes…once you stop looking love comes looking for you. During the summer of 2002, I was asked out on more dates than I had even been asked out in my life. I thought it was comical but pretty much said no to everyone and focused on saving and moving.
While I was working at the Olive Garden I met this crazy and funny girl named Sarah. She and I got along fairly well and she was drawn to me because I was active in my church and didn’t keep my faith and love for God hidden. She had grown up in a Christian home, but had made some decisions that lead her away and we talked every time we worked about God and our faith and how I had come back to God and my life story etc. I think she thought it was pretty cool that someone our age could have a great love like that for Jesus. She shared with me that she had a 4 year old daughter and was no longer with the dad and that made it hard on her little girl. I told her I would pray about the situation and that I would love to meet her little girl some day.
One day in August she came to work a little upset and asked me to have my Sunday School class pray for her daughter’s dad. He had Bells Palsy and the left side of his face was paralyzed. She said his name was Drew and she was concerned for him and so was her daughter. I told her of course I would have them pray for him, but I would personally be praying for him as well.
Fast forward to September. I was doing great. I had money saved and I was planning a trip with my step-mom to Michigan to start looking at apartments so I could finalize everything for my move. One night on my way to work at the OG, I got in a car accident. No biggie, no one was hurt and my car was salvageable. But….exactly one week later I was pulling out of my parking space at my full time job and backed into a co-worker with my rental car. Um, yeah….2 car accidents in one week doesn’t look so good to your insurance company. My agent called me and said that my rates were going to go up, but if I moved to Michigan my rates would be through the roof – triple what I was already paying at least! Ugh! I didn’t know what to do, so I cancelled my plans and decided I would just stay in Iowa for a little longer and then figure things out in a year or so. It was a huge let down let me tell you.
So…in November Sarah and I were talking one night and she said to me and we were talking about men and what I was looking for in someone. I told her I wanted a man who was faithful, fun and a Christian. She said “I think you would really hit it off with my daughter’s dad” I think I looked at her like she was crazy. I mean who wants to set someone up with their ex-boyfriend? I told her I would think about it. Well she kept asking for my number so she could give it to him. She told me that he was a great guy, a Christian and one of the most loyal men she has ever known. They were both young when they had their daughter and things just didn’t work out, but he was a good guy and she wanted to see him with a good girl. So I gave in and gave her my number to give him. Her mom had talked to Drew about me and told him that he should give me a call. He didn’t know what to think either. Again – why would you want your ex-girlfriend to set you up with one of her friends?
A week later as I was leaving my boss’ 25 anniversary lunch, I get a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. I didn’t answer it, but thought maybe it was him. Well that number called back again a minute later and I decided to answer it. It WAS Drew! We chatted for a little bit – while I am driving the company van with all of my feisty co-workers who had plenty of comments for us – and we decided we would talk later that night.
We talked that night for hours and again the next couple of nights. Drew’s Bells Palsy was still evident on his face and he was a little nervous about meeting me and me seeing that. I assured him that I wasn’t some superficial chick and that it wouldn’t bother me at all. So we made a date for Sunday night. I was SOOO nervous. I don’t know why, I had been on dates before but Drew just seemed different. Even when I would talk about him people thought there was something special there.
When Drew picked me up he brought flowers – seriously the first time anyone has ever brought me flowers for a date. Conversation flowed easily and throughout dinner we got to know each other. I had learned a lot about myself in the past couple of years and I knew what I wanted in life and what I wanted in a man. And I basically laid it out on the table that night. Then I said “if you don’t like that, then that is fine, but this is what I know I need and want for my life – basically you can take it or leave it…”. He told me later that he couldn’t believe he had met such a “real” girl and that by the end of dinner he was smitten. :o) After dinner we randomly went to an arcade and played games and then just drove around talking more and more. After our date I went over to my friends Shawn and Mariah’s told them that I think I have met the male version of myself. I was smitten too. Later he told me that after he dropped me off he told himself “I think I love this girl!”
Our first date was the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so that Wednesday night I had my brother spend the night with me and help me make get some stuff ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Drew called that night to see if he could stop by - I guess he missed me :o) I was a little nervous about my brother Morgan meeting him. Morgan was very protective of me and not a fan of the men I dated or even thought about dating. I mean I was just say someone’s name and he would say “I hate that name, he isn’t the guy for you” Keep in mind he was only 11 at the time. :o) So I wasn’t sure what he would think of Drew. Drew was a chef at The Machine Shed at the time and offered to bring over some pie for us and wanted to know what Morgan’s favorite was. Nice way to “sweeten” him up! So he came over and chatted it up with Mo for a while. When he was ready to leave I went walked him downstairs to say good-bye. When I got back upstairs Morgan said “well that’s him” I said “that’s who?” He said “the man you are going to marry – I just know it!” Then he told everyone all about him at Thanksgiving dinner the next day. It was just so cute.
I called Drew that weekend and left a message to say Happy Birthday (his b-day is Nov. 30th). He called me and left a message, I called him back and left a message and it went on like this for a few days. Then I heard nothing from him for 2 weeks. And I didn’t see Sarah. To be honest, at one point I thought that maybe they were back together. I didn’t know what to think.
Fast forward 2 weeks and he called. He had been working the baking shift at The Machine Shed and was getting home as I would get to work, sleep through the day, get up and do it all over again. The only time he would have been able to call me was early early in the morning or late at night. He didn’t want to disturb me – though I wouldn’t have minded! I laugh about it now because I was convinced he didn’t like me and wanted nothing to do with me. He laughs because he said for those 2 weeks all he did was talk the other bakers ear off about me and how much he liked me! Once he was fully donw working that shift, he called me. That was the middle of December and we were pretty much inseparable after that. I just couldn’t believe that this tall, handsome wonderful Christian man was for real AND wanted to be with me. He is so amazing and our dating relationship was amazing. I could write for days about our love and our life. But I will leave it at just the story of how we met and fell in love for now. I think throughout the next year as we come upon different anniversaries of things that have happened to us, I will blog about them. We have such a great (I think) love story and such a strong love for each other. I can’t believe that we met the way we did and our love turned into what it is. I just think it is so cool that I was praying for my future husband before I had even met him. God is so good and awesome like that! In the end I tell Mary that she is the one who brought us together. Drew and Sarah were still in each others lives because of her and her mom was able to hand pick her step-mom. How cool is that?!
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