I'll never forget the day I first heard about you. I was still attending college, minding my own business and somewhat seriously dating another boy. Out of the blue, I get a phone call from my older sister, who, at the time, was living in the Twin Cities with her husband and interviewing for a new job.
A few minutes into the conversation, Jen exclaimed, "Amanda, I met the man you're going to marry!"
"What?!" The comment completely caught me off guard. This man she was referring to was someone she had met that morning through an interviewing process at a small web company, and this man just happened to be YOU. After a 20 minute conversation, Jen determined you were not only a wonderful Christian man but someone worthy of marrying her little sister! Wow, you must've made a GREAT first impression. :) Nonetheless, I blew off the comment and thought nothing more about it or you. Fast forward about 3 months...
Jen got the job at the small web company and I was...well...going through a mid-life crisis at age 19. After much prayer and consideration, I made the very difficult and emotional decision to leave school and move to the Twin Cities. I needed to regain control over myself and most importantly, seek God's will for my life. I had every intention of going back to school the following fall, but God had a different plan (as He always does).
My sister and brother-in-law graciously opened their home to me and agreed to let me live with them until I found a job and got back on my feet (this took about 5 months). Jen immediately wanted to introduce us (and even oh-so-subtly placed my senior picture on her computer so you would notice it --- which we found out later that you did, in fact, notice it and even oh-so-subtly asked Jen about it). Considering I just went through a bad break up and had sworn off guys for a while, I wanted nothing to do with set-ups or blind dates. I wasn't opposed to the idea of meeting you, though, as long as there was no pressure involved. Needless to say, I was new to town and lonely as heck. I wanted to meet people my own age and start making friends! Jen decided I needed to casually stop by the office so she could casually introduce us. Which I did, a couple days later.
Meeting you for the first time was something I'll never forget. We said all of 5 sentences to each other, shook hands (and yes, I noticed you had hairy arms), and I walked away knowing you were special. I never would've imagined that you felt the same way, but apparently, you did. A day later, my sister received an email from you that would set in motion the future of our lives.
The email said something like this:
Would it be awkward if I asked your sister to the company event this Saturday? I figured since she just moved to town this may be a good way for her to meet some people. I also thought if you and Ryan were going, we could have a lot fun. Just let me know if you think I should ask her or if it'd be better if you ask her.
Jen, of course, felt that YOU needed to ask me so I didn't think she put you up to it. So you did, in a not-so-smooth, but very memorable fashion:
"Hey Amanda, I have this extra ticket for the company event this Saturday and I don't really want a good ticket to go to waste. Do you wanna come with me?"
Of course, I did.
We spent the next two weeks together before deciding to make it "official." 11 months later we were engaged and 5 1/2 months later, married. Jen's prediction came true: You were the man I was going to marry. We've been married almost 7 years now, the best 7 years of my life. We have 3 beautiful daughters and such a promising future ahead of us. Thank you for being such a wonderful husband, father and friend. I love you!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Here's a stroll down memory lane...
Our very first date, the company event, at The Carousel in St. Paul (March 2000)
Our first camping trip with Jen & Ryan. We are pictured here (with my sister, Jen) on the ferry to our destination - a very remote island in the middle of nowhere - Believe me, it sounds way more exotic than it was! (May 2000)
Our Engagement Picture (March 2001)
Our Wedding (July 28th, 2001)
Our Honeymoon (July 2001)
Done with the "honeymoon"stage and on to the next stage of life...7 1/2 months pregnant with our first child, Ella (September 2003)