Friday, August 3, 2012

The finale, Our {love} story, part 6!

I can't believe this has been a 6 part series, but like I said, everything took awhile to lead up to the actual date. If you missed any of the first 5 stories, here they are! {part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5}.

So yesterday I left of with Alex considering asking me out early.

When I got wind of this, I was so excited! I thought for sure that my long wait was over and I was finally going to be able to be with the guy that I had been waiting for. I had another meeting with my mentor (which we usually did about once a month or every other week, depending on what was going on) and she informed me all about what was going on.
By the way, I know that this was a little unconventional, having mentors help us with our decisions and all. We just felt that they were older and wiser and could give us a good outside perspective. Alex and I were completely caught up in our emotions, and had we been left to our own devices we could have made a lot of rash decisions. We chose to go to them for their guidance, not because we were forced to, just because we thought they would know a smart decision better than we would. This was extremely helpful for us, and Jason and Cassandra were a perfect match for us and our life style.
 So there I was, extremely excited because I thought maybe Alex and I would start dating an extra two months early. When I talked to Cassandra, I found out that Alex had been talking with Jason (the director of the school and Cassandra's husband) to help him decide if he should just forget about our 9 month commitment and just ask me out early. Cassandra told me that Alex had gone to Jason and was in complete agony from waiting so long. His feelings had grown ten fold since we had made our initial decision. He told Jason that this was the real deal, he wanted to date me because he knew that he wanted to marry me.

When Cassandra told me all this I was completely floored. I knew how I felt about him, but I had no idea that he felt the same way! I was so shocked, and again, this was just a confirmation for me. I was supposed to be with this man. This was the guy I was going to marry. People tried to reason with me, "You haven't even dated yet, you don't know if this is going to work out, how can you know that you are going to marry him? You guys don't even talk about your feelings!" I can't explain how I knew, I just did. I felt complete confirmation in my heart and in my spirit.

You can call me crazy all you want, but the truth is that I did end up marrying this guy.

After Alex told Jason how strongly he was feeling for me, they left that meeting without any decisions being made one way or the other. They both decided that they would pray about it and meet again to see what they felt was the right thing to do. Then Cassandra told me that Alex had gone back to meet with Jason early with a decision of his own.

All on his own, Alex decided that he was going to keep our commitment. As much as he wanted to date now he decided that he wanted to wait. Although, instead of our first date being on January 1st, he changed it to December 31st, so he could take me out on New Year's Eve.

When Cassandra told me all this, I had a wide range of emotions. I was a bit disappointed for sure. Because I was tired of waiting. I just wanted to be with him. But at the same time, I completely respected the decision he had made. I felt like this was the very first time a guy had shown me complete and utter respect and made a real mature decision to put me first.

I know this all sounds a little crazy, why would I care so much when I had never really dated this guy? The truth is I don't really know why I felt so strongly. I guess you can only really understand if you are in the situation.

You know the feeling that you have when you first start seeing someone? You don't really know if they are interested because you haven't had the talk but you know that you are definitely interested in them. You wait patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for them to make a move, to pursue you, to show that you are the one that they want to be with. That is what it was like. Only that didn't last a few weeks, or even a few months. That lasted an entire year and a half. There was constant suspense and mystery. And had it been any other guy I probably would have lost interest, but it was Alex.

We have a connection that I have never had with anyone else. Even in the very beginning he made me laugh hysterically. I've had boyfriends that I could be silly with and have fun and make stupid jokes, but not until I felt secure in a relationship with them. With Alex, we were silly together immediately. We were always doing stupid things, like trying to do ice skating lifts in the middle of our church hallway, or pretend to be boxing. I'm pretty sure every person around us was tired of our incessant flirting, if you can call it flirting. When school started the next year we were closer than ever. We really had become best friends. And we were so weird. We would make animal noises at each other from across the room. We would talk for hours and hours whenever we could steal some time together. No matter how often, or how little we spent time together, the connection we had made was deep and long lasting.

He truly had become my best friend.

That following Halloween Alex and I ended up working a shift together at my store with one of my other co-workers/friends. We all decided to dress up together. We tried to figure out a good costume for three people and came up with some crazy idea of dressing up as "Stop, drop, and roll" like the saying, but we took the words literally.

I know that Alex's costume probably doesn't make much sense to the outside world, but he was dressed as a giant tip drop bag. Which at Starbucks was what we "dropped" our tips in at the end of the night to put them in the safe. If you have ever worked at Starbucks, I'm sure you will catch the reference. Also, I was a "roll", as in a dinner roll!

Anyways, we just had a ton of fun together. Whether it was just the two of us or we were with a crowd of people, we were always drawn to each other and we were always being crazy and having a good time.

Many people tell me that we were already dating. Which depending on your definition of dating, I suppose you can choose to see it that way. We did like each other, and by our actions it was pretty obvious, but we still hadn't talked about it. In every way I wanted him to be my "boyfriend" but I knew I had to wait for him to make the first move.

As time went on we started to do some of the more obvious and normal things that people do before they date. For instance, Alex texted me later one night after I had gone out dancing with some friends and told me how beautiful I looked. I remember other times where I would be at work, checking my phone every few minutes to see if I had received any text messages from him because we would be having long texting conversations, that sometimes hinted at our feelings for each other.

It was amazing.

Then December rolled around. I was so full of emotions that I'm surprised I didn't burst into tears every five minutes. I was absolutely giddy! I only had a month left to go.

Then one day there were rumors of a huge snow storm that was coming. We never really know if we should believe that there is actually going to be a snow storm. Because, we pretty much only get them like once every 4 years, but the weather forecasters probably predict about 5 a year. So we never know what to believe.

Anyways, on this one particular day, while there was absolutely no snow on the ground but tons of rumors that we were supposed to have a foot of snow on the ground by the end of the day, Alex started to "get worried" about me driving myself to work. He told me that he wanted to take me to work that day, just incase anything happened. I thought he was pretty crazy, since there literally was not even a hint that snow was coming, but I let him take me anyways. How could I pass up an opportunity to spend more time with him? Sure enough, I ended up having to close down our store early because there was a decent foot of snow on the ground! Which honestly never happens here. The worst part is that no one knows how to drive in the snow here in Oregon, because it snows so little.

So there I was, stuck at work, waiting for Alex to come rescue me. He came with some other girls that lived in the apartment next to him, that were also going to Life School. All of our houses were on top of huge hills and none of us could get home, so we all ended up staying the night in Alex's parent's house. There was about five of us there. It was pretty fun, his mom brought out lots of baby pictures of Alex, and I found out that he was probably the chubbiest baby that I have ever seen! We drank hot chocolate, ate freshly baked bread, and we all had a fun time.

Over that next week the snow stayed on the ground, which again is abnormal for these parts of Oregon. Alex and I used this as an excuse to stay together as much as possible. I ended up staying several nights in the apartment next door to his with some of my friends. When I had to work, Alex would take me, and when we both had the day off we would spend the whole day together, which was something that we had never allowed ourselves to do before. One day we spent the entire day at his apartment watching old Tom Cruise movies and hanging out.

There were no moves being made during that time, we just hung out.

It wasn't until a few days later, on December 20th, that all of our feelings and time that we had spent together caught up with us. Him and his friends planned an all day Star Wars marathon, that I was invited to (I have told you guys before, that we are nerds). Everything went down hill from there.

While we were watching the first movie, Alex was sitting on the floor, while I sat on the couch next to him. He moved closer and closer so his arm ended up touching my leg... so scandalous! (Side note: we pretty much never touched before, not even to give each other hugs or anything.) Eventually his hand made it's way closer and closer to my foot, and soon enough he was rubbing my foot with his hand, and then eventually, he was just holding my foot. Cheesy, I know.

It was all over from there.

While this marathon was going on, it had started to snow again and it was really starting to pile up. Halfway through we went from Alex's parents house (where we were having the marathon) to another person's parents house. 

We drove over to that house, not saying a word to each other. We didn't talk about what had happened, though we both were wondering what it had meant. We weren't supposed to start dating for another 11 days! What did all this foot holding mean? Should we start dating sooner? Neither of us knew.

As soon as we sat down on the couch at the other house, we were holding hands. It was like a magnet. I'm pretty sure we both sat there for a few minutes with our eyes open wide staring at the TV. Millions and millions of questions running through our heads.

After another 1 and a half movie we decided that we should probably talk. So we went on a walk. By this time the snow had piled up again, and it was raining... freezing rain. We don't always get snow in these parts, but we do get lots of ice. And this year was no exception. On top of the nearing foot of snow that was on the ground, we got a nice thick layer of ice. And this is what we had chosen to go for a walk in.

I could draw out this story much longer, but I will just say that on that walk, covered in ice, we decided to start officially dating. After a year and a half of liking each other, we were finally able to be together. We walked for nearly an hour, and by the time we were done, our jackets were sheets of ice and Alex's beard had icicles hanging down it. It was fun, and even romantic.

Ever since that day we have been inseparable. 

We still talk for hours. We are still unbelievably silly together. We still make animal noises and goggly eyes at each other from across the room. We are still crazy about each other. And as much as I thought that my feelings for him couldn't get any stronger, they have only grown a million times over since that first "date" of ours.

On New Year's Eve Alex planned a very special date for us. I was sent on a little scavenger hunt where I ended up in a park where he met me and took me to a little green room where dinner and a movie waited for me. And for the first time he told me that he loved me.

Six months after we started dating, we got engaged, and about 4 and a half months after that we were married. 

People thought it happened really fast, but the truth was, we already knew we were going to marry each other long before we ever started dating. If we were already certain that was the direction of our relationship, why wait?

Like I've said in a previous post, I don't regret marrying him as quickly as I did. My only wish is that people could have been more accepting of it, and realized that a lot happened between the time we met and the day we got married. We were ready to be fully committed to each other.

Ultimately, marriage is not about being perfect for each other, it is about being fully committed to each other. It is about working out your differences at any cost, because you value your marriage far more than you value being right or getting your own way.

If you actually stuck it out and read all of this story, thanks for reading! I know it was long, but it is our story.

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