It all started when my friend Reece called me from California. She just moved there and she told me that she had met the man that I was going to marry. I told her that I am not coming to California to meet some dumb guy... yes, those were my exact words. (Later I I found out that he saw a picture of Reece and I together and he told her that he was going to marry me!)
A few months later, my friend (and coincidentally Mr. M) moved to Hawaii. She called me and asked me if I would consider coming there for awhile. She was expecting her first child and wanted a friend. Hmmm, move to Hawaii...ahhh, yeah!
We met the day after I got there, late December 1993. We went to pick my friend's husband up for lunch and Mr. M and his friend came walking out of the building. She called him over to say hello. We shook hands and said nice to meet you and all that. He was pretty cute! I was like...so that's the one huh? She was certain!
A few days later at the New Year's Eve party we went to on base, he danced with everyone there but me. He said later he didn't purposely not pay attention to me...yeah right Mr. Hard to get!
So the next day a bunch of the guys came over to my friends house and we were playing cards and such, just hanging out. That's when he and I both started flirting terribly with each other. He started coming over almost every day after that to see me. We would hang out with my friends or go for long walks and sit at the park on the swings and just talk. He really wanted to know me.
Our first actual date was Magical!! It was Jan. 15th, 1994. He took me to Chi-Chi's, which was my favorite restaurant. He had a rose waiting at the table for me, we had a wonderful time! On the way home we were listening to the radio and 'I love the way you love me' by John Michael Montgomery came on. I was like..."oh I love this song!!!" He asked if I minded if we stopped at the NEX (a Navy store) real quick, I said it was fine. I waited in the car and he came out with the John Michael Montgomery CD with that song on it. He opened it up and put it in and we listened to it again. Of course later this became 'our song'.
For Valentine's Day that year, he bought 4 tickets (2 for us and 2 for my friends, how nice is that?!) to a dinner cruise in Waikiki. This should have been the most romantic date ever! Candle light, 7 course meal, dancing, a dinner show, the waves going up and down...yeah, I spent almost the entire night in the bathroom...I didn't get to eat anything! You'd think he would have run after that huh?! Nope, he just kept telling me it was ok to all my sorry's. I never knew I would get so sea sick!
We were practically inseparable after that! In March, my friend went into the hospital to have her baby, then it was time for me to go home. Our time together was bittersweet. I felt like we were saying goodbye forever, I didn't see how this could ever work...long distance relationships don't work! He knew that I was the one. I pretty much cried the entire flight home. I even fell asleep at the airport in Chicago on my 2nd layover and missed my flight! My Mom and friend had to pick up my luggage in Milwaukee and then come pick me up in Chicago. I still haven't lived that one down!
The first time he called me, I was really surprised. Then we started spending hours on the phone...computers weren't that rampant back then! We spent a lot of money on those phone bills! We would talk for hours just like we used to when we would walk around housing in Hawaii. In May of 94, he came to visit me in Wisconsin as well as his parents and siblings from NY. He was planning a proposal! His first idea didn't work cause it involved me being pulled over by the police and that day, I got into a terrible car accident. Then his next idea didn't work out either for various reasons. His family went back to NY and still no proposal...I didn't know all the details of why he hadn't proposed yet...I thought he changed his mind! Finally, he proposed when we were miniature golfing with some friends, it was really cute!
So he went back to Hawaii and I started planning our wedding! We were married in Wisconsin that October (1994). He came in from Hawaii and his family came in from NY and we had other family and friends from all over the place! After we were married I moved to Hawaii with him where we lived for 2 years. Some honeymoon huh?!
So 17 years, 4 kids and 8 duty stations later...we are still splendidly in love! Not that it's always been perfect. After all, you can't have a perfect marriage with two imperfect people! But we still love each other. I still get butterflies when he calls to tell me he's on his way home from work and I still miss him like crazy when he is away from us.
Today when I was looking for a wedding picture, I came across my wedding vows. When I read them, it's so great to know that I love him even more today then I did that wonderful day. I decided to share them with you. Before that though, here's a crazy picture! He's supposed to be helping me onto the bus but by the look on his face...you'd think he was kidnapping me! Too funny!
Here are my wedding vows!
When we first met, I certainly wasn't looking for love, but your friendship intrigued me. You took the time to get to know me, and on one occasion I read you a poem, I'd like to read that again now.
"I promise you my love...without any limits. To accept the things you believe in and to always try to understand you. To be near you whenever you need my presence. To trust in your love for me and pray that it grows stronger every day. To watch our love grow together through the years. I promise to soothe your mind and body. To plan with you, dream with you, to do my best to show you how much I love you. For you have become my world, my heart, my life, and my future for ever. "
I told you that one day I would feel that way about someone and then, I would marry that person. Little did I know that I was looking into that very person's baby-browns. Every day since then I have felt our love & friendship growing. People say when you fall in love it seems your whole world turns upside down. When we fell in love...my life turned right side up again. With each passing day, a piece of our puzzle falls into place. Every time we find something in common, every time our differences compliment each other, a puzzle piece is put gently into place to bring us together in God's great plan for our destiny. Now, today, the final piece of our puzzle is being placed.
I take you to be my husband, and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to you and honest with you; I will respect you as you have always shown me the greatest respect; I will trust you, help, and care for you. I will share every part of my life with you. I will forgive you as we have been forgiven. And I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God: through the best and worst of what is to come as long as we both shall live. I love you!