It was a Friday in May 2004. I had taken the day off from work, but needed to drop off my laptop to our Help Desk for some much-needed medical attention (ugh--I vaguely recall my PC days... life is SO much nicer with my MacBook!). So I stopped by the office on my way out of town. I was traveling to Orlando to meet up with a college friend of mine for a "girl's weekend" at Disney. I dropped off the laptop and was heading through the common area to the exit doors, when, lo and behold, I saw such a gorgeous site!
Could it be? Is that really him?
I double-check his nifty ID badge just to be sure it's really him. And it is!!!
I can't remember which one of us started the convo as we were heading towards each other. But here's a gist of the dialog that transpired:
"Hi, hubs!" I exclaimed, trying hard to hide my eagerness and excitement to see him again.
"Hey, there! That isn't work-appropriate attire, now is it?" he asked. He was referring to the fact that I was sporting blue jeans, a tank top and flip flops.
"Ah, probably not-so-much. I'm off today and am heading out of town, but I needed to stop by the Help Desk first. What in the world are you doing here??"
"I just transfered here from St. Louis," was his response.
I just know my jaw dropped. I just know it did.
"Really?" I said, again, trying to mask my exuberance as best as possible. "That's great! How long have you been down here?"
"A little over a month now. I'm working in the such-and-such department..."
"That's wonderful! I'm really glad you've transferred here!" I responded. My heart was just leaping for joy in my chest as I headed for my weekend vacation.
Over the next year and a half or so, hubs and I casually became friends--usually by my stopping by his desk to drop off my latest and greatest baked goods (the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right?). We hung out with mutual friends a few times, played on a volleyball team together and kept up with each other (usually to exchange empty Tupperware containers needing replenishment).
One day I was talking with some of hubs' friends at work and mentioned that I really needed some help with the landscaping at the house I had had purchased several months ago. It looked awful and I am quick to admit I do not have a green thumb (or finger, or toe, etc...). Hubs' friends actually said that he (hubs) was really great at landscaping so I should enlist his help.
It took a little bit of coercing, but I was able to convince hubs to meet me at my house one Saturday morning just to give me some advice on how to improve my (lack of) landscaping and curb appeal.
That Saturday, although I typically sleep until "double-digits" (i.e. at least 10:00 AM), I was up and at 'em early, showered and dressed up as cute as possible well in advance of hubs' visit.
He gave me some great ideas for the landscaping. He even offered to come back the following Saturday to help me implement some of the ideas. I appreciated the offer, but politely declined.
WHAT? YOU THINK I'M SERIOUS?!
Ha! Ha! Whatever!! Like I would turn down an offer like that! I'd have to be smokin' something or just plain stupid!
So, I accepted the offer and he came over the following Saturday. And the next one. And the one after that. We had even gone out for a casual bite to eat one of those Saturdays after the yard work was done. Then came the big leap: I asked him to come with me (and several of my friends and family) to Carowinds, a nearby theme park. WOW did that ever take some convincing! But he finally gave in and agreed to go.
We had a lot of fun during the morning at the park. We rode lots of rides and did a lot of walking. It started to get a bit cloudy so we headed out to the car to eat the picnic lunch we had brought (theme park food is SO expensive!). Well, my friends, it was after we had eaten lunch that we were listening to the radio softly play along with the rhythm of the rain gently falling. It happened. Yes, our very first kiss! He leaned in his 90% and I went the other 10% (do I have any "Hitch" fans out there??). It was the sweetest kiss EVER, and it finally confirmed my hope that he was in fact feeling more for me than just friendship.
We enjoyed the rest of the day at the park as a new couple. He was (and still is) SUCH a gentleman, doing all kinds of those chivalrous things that your momma told you your future husband ought to do. I was just smitten.
After getting to know hubs for over a year, I already knew that he possessed several of the characteristics I was looking for in the man I'd spend the rest of my life with. I was overjoyed when we officially started our relationship and could begin the process of getting to know the "real" stuff that friends don't always discuss. I got to know who he was, what his passions and beliefs were, what he wanted for his future, and so much more. I fell deeper in love with each word he spoke.
So I guess this part might sound a bit surprising: We "officially" dated for all of 11 weeks before he popped the question. That's right! More on that story soon... Stay tuned!