Sunday, May 18, 2008

LOVE is a verb

Today My Man and I celebrated our ELEVENTH wedding anniversary. I am lucky to call my husband my best friend and my soul mate. There is no one I'd rather be with than him and I can confidently say that he feels the same way about me.

We met just over 13 years ago at our little college in an Indiana cornfield. We were both Communication Studies majors (what can you do with that degree?) and had many of the same classes together. We had different groups of friends, but our paths crossed enough that I would call us acquaintances. We were heading into the home stretch of our senior year, looking graduation in the face and he called me one Friday night in January and said, "I'm going to a movie, do you want to come?" Hmmmm... what was I to infer from this question? Was this a date? Was there a group of people going? If I didn't go, was he still going to the movie? I accepted and the 25 minute ride to the theater was spent getting past our surface knowledge of each other. Kenyon immediately asked probing and personal questions about my family and spiritual journey. Looking back, one might have thought a job interview was in process (the high ranking job of his wife was not to be filled by any lesser woman!), but we had easy and interesting conversation. After scaring the crap out of me at the dollar theater seeing "Seven" (sidenote: scary movie.. first date... couldn't hold hands or grab an arm... how awkward is that???), we went out for 50 cent ice cream and he was a complete gentleman and paid for the entire date!

And then he didn't call me for two whole weeks.

I thought it was just a casual night out. I thought since were seniors, he wasn't looking for a serious relationship or any relationship at all. I thought he just wanted company to go see a movie. I pretty much didn't think any more about it.

But after two weeks of casual encounters at classes on campus, he called again and asked me to go to dinner in Indianapolis. I accepted, thinking that even if nothing became of it, I enjoyed my time with him and hey, no one has ever known me to turn down a dinner out! Halfway into the hour-long drive, he tells me we are having dinner with two of his best friends from home who go to a neighboring college. No big deal, he's just known them since he was five and they know his family and have met every girl he's ever dated. No sweat.

When I got the thumbs up from them, I actually got follow up phone calls and actions that I would consider dating interest. Fast forward a couple of MONTHS and I was politely asked for a kiss... yummy.

I remember the day our relationship went public. We were weeks away from graduation and I was standing with several friends in the lobby of our communications building among A LOT of other peers and here comes Kenyon through the crowd with one red rose - for me. Man has guts... check. Man knows romance... check. My cheeks were red, but my heart was won. Needless to say, I think from that point on we spent every possible moment with each other before graduation.

We took our diplomas and went our separate ways. We had only been dating for about 5 months (I'm including the two weeks he didn't call me), so I went back to a job in the Chicago area where my family lived and his first job was in Buffalo, NY. I'm sorry, did I hear that distance makes the heart grow fonder, or the phone bills grow bigger (days before cell phones and email), or the plane tickets more frequent? Yes. Yes to all of the above.

Fast forward nine months and I was surprised with a gorgeous princess cut diamond surrounded with sapphires, set in platinum. Surprised is a bit of an understatement - I thought he was kidding and told him to "shut up" (until he whipped out the BLING). I hugged him and cried a little bit - translation - yes!!!

Funny side note, while I was on the plane coming to Buffalo, Kenyon called my mom and dad (separately, they're divorced) for their blessing. My mom was gracious and asked at the end if Kenyon had called my dad yet. When he told her that Bob was next on his list, she said, "good luck." Uh-oh. My poor dad didn't see it coming. He thought Kenyon was calling to check on my flight. When the real purpose of the call came out, my dad told Kenyon that he thought I was too young, that we hadn't known each other very long, that I probably didn't know what I really wanted out of life, he wasn't sure I'd say yes, "but you can ask."

Can you imagine how he was sweating through his proposal? He actually turned off the phones at his apartment when I arrived so my dad couldn't call me and talk me out of it!!

We had a short engagement and we had a beautiful wedding exactly one year after we graduated from college. Since then, we have lived in six dwellings (two apartments, four houses), three different states two different time zones. We've had six different dogs (not all at once), one cat, four awesome boys and a partridge in a pear tree. Here are a few snapshots.
Below is a picture from our honeymoon in Naples, Florida.
Here we are in our very first apartment in Buffalo, New York. We'd been married a couple of months... we look experienced, don't we???

Here we are 11 years later. We got away Friday night to Stein Erikson Lodge for a five star meal and sleep romance. Thanks to our friends Albert and Jessalyn for staying overnight with our rowdy crew!


Mountain Mama said...

Awww! What a cute couple. What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing your dating and engagement story. He is quite the "romancer"! (not to mention a commander - hee) Congrats on 11 great years. And more to come!

heresthediehl said...

Congratulations on 11 years. And thanks for telling your dating/engagement/wedding story. I love reading these on other blogs, and will have to be thinking of what to include in ours!

Natalie said...

Happy Anniversary!

Jennifer said...

Congrats! Thanks for sharing your story~
Just imagine all you'll have to share in ANOTHER 11 years!

dogfather said...

i still think you are too young but oh well. you two do make beautifl babies together. glad he wasn't scared away by your old man.

Amanda Greene said...

So cute...what a great idea. I might have to copy :) You forgot to tell the part when you told me that Kenyon "was geeky" :) HAAA!!! I think you look better now than back in the day.Such a handsome couple...maybe love does it to you. Age is a beautiful thing!!! Love you.

Carrie said...

Laurie, I feel honored to have known you through all parts of your story, I can add some fun details but I won't. Happy Anniversary!!! You do look amazing now and so does Kenyon.

Kristin said...

AH Laurie,
Some of that story I didn't know. Thanks for sharing it and for giving us a glimpse into the past. Memories! Happy Anniversary - I remember that day and you were a beautiful bride. You two look so young. (I'm sure we all did!) You look even better 11 years later! Here's to another 11....

Melissa (aka Kitty) said...

Congratulations. What a great story.
I think it's so great that our friend Nicole (heresthediehl) has met you thru blogging. I was shocked when she said she met you thru a blog.!!! How ironic!!!

Go Fisch said...

A dollar movie and 50 cent ice cream. Obviously, you didn't marry Kenyon for money! =) Congrats. Love yall, Kate
P.S. That is some SERIOUS wedding hair.

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