Friday, February 22, 2008

HILMM - Part 6 to The End

Wow! I didn't realize how long it was going to take to tell mine and Darby's story. I'm getting kind of bored with it, so I'm going to condense the rest of our story into a timeline. Even condensed, it's still pretty long, so you might want to get comfy.

July 25, 2001 - Darby and I officially become "boyfriend and girlfriend"

November 5, 2001 - We have our first kiss after watching Shrek at my house. (Yes, almost four months after we started dating; Darby was a little shy).

January 31, 2002 - We say "I love you" for the first time. I actually say it first.

February, 2002 - We start talking seriously about getting married in a few years. What were we thinking?! We were 16!

2002-August 2003 - We spend countless hours together - eating Frostys (Frosties?) at Wendy's, going to the fountain park downtown, watching movies and playing games at each others' houses, talking at Starbucks, riding bikes on the dam, jogging together after church, wandering around Wal-Mart because we had nowhere else to go.

August 2003 - I leave for my first year at ACU. Being apart is hard. I go to Waco a lot, and Darby comes to Abilene. We see each other about every other weekend. At first, these weekends are wonderful, but we begin to fight increasingly frequently.

December 8, 2003 - We break up. Even though I kind of saw it coming, I am crushed. My friends and family are very supportive, though, and I have a good Christmas in spite of the situation.

January 1, 2004 - We get back together after spending time together at the church New Year's Eve party. I like this line from Seinfeld. "The first break-up never takes. It's like shaking a vending machine. You have to hit it again and again." (my paraphrase)

Spring and Summer 2004 - Darby and I are kind of in a holding pattern. Our relationship has improved enough for us to hold on but not enough for us to be really happy. Not that there weren't good times, though. Darby sent me tons of sweet cards and e-mails letting me know how much he loved and missed me. I went back to Waco for his senior prom, and we had a great time.

August 18th or so, 2004 - After an emotional summer in Waco, we break up again, this time for good (or so I thought). It is a less emotionally wrenching experience than the first break-up because we both realize how toxic our relationship has become. We agree to remain friends, and Darby assures me that he's still happy with his decision to start ACU. We leave separately the next day.

September 15th or so, 2004 - Darby and I meet on the benches outside Moody Coliseum "just to talk." We confess that we still love each other, and we both admit the mistakes we made before. We begin to get together secretly because we're embarrassed to let people know that we're back together again. We spend way less time together than we did before, though. Both of us are cautious; we know that this is our last chance to make it work.

Thanksgiving, 2004 - Everyone knows that we're officially back together. Actually, most people figured it out long before that. We weren't too sneaky.

2005-2006 - We rebuild our relationship, and it's way better than high school. We spend even more hours together walking around campus, playing Scrabble at Starbucks, hanging out with the Westgate college group, doing homework together, cooking for each other, watching Flip That House marathons (oh, the good ol' days when we had cable).

June 11, 2006 - Darby proposes while we're walking in Nelson park.

July 7, 2007 - We get married. Finally! It was quite a six years, but definitely worth the wait. Because we had already been through so much together, the transition into marriage was pretty smooth. Of course, we have our fights, but it seems that we got most of the kinks worked out in high school and college. And we definitely didn't go into marriage with the illusion that the other person was perfect :) Looking back, Darby and I sometimes can't believe that we actually made it. We were both so immature when our relationship began; when we got back together the second time, it was basically starting a new relationship because we had changed so much. I think we are lucky to have already spent such a big portion of our lives together. There were things we might not have had to go through had we been more mature when we met. But, I don't think we would have grown into the people we've become without each other. Each of us definitely tempers the extreme qualities in the other. I can't wait to watch the rest of our story unfold; it will definitely have twists and turns, but we know that we'll face them together.

Monday, February 18, 2008

HILMM - Part 5: The Longest Two Weeks of My Life

After our hand-holding episode, I wasn't quite sure what to do. Darby and I hadn't really talked about any future plans. When he left Daniel's house, I said bye hurriedly, wanting to avoid any potential awkwardness in front of our friends. A couple of days later, I decided to call him to see if he wanted to go play putt-putt with a bunch of people from church. I left a message at his house but didn't hear back from him that night. I was kind of disappointed, but I figured he was already out with friends. (This was before everybody had cell phones...ah, the good old days).

I didn't hear from him the next day either, which I thought was kind of weird. Then, he wasn't at church on Sunday. I started asking around and found out that he had left for camp...for two weeks. I was so upset. He had told me that he was going to camp on Friday, but for some reason I thought he meant the next Friday. I was kicking myself for not telling him goodbye or at least solidifying things a little. I felt sure that he was going to fall in love with a girl at camp and forget all about me. (I was pretty dramatic back then...perhaps I still am). I expressed my concerns to his friend Cody, who made me feel a little better. He said, "When Darby likes someone, he's in it for the long haul." Still, I worried and worried, counting down the days until he came back.

The day he got back, he called me. The first thing he said was, "So, Cody told me you were afraid I wouldn't like you when I got back." I admitted that I had been worried. He said, "Don't worry. The whole time I just prayed and prayed that you would still like me." He had even written me a song at camp. We talked for a long time, and I felt good knowing that we had made the leap to actually talking about how we felt about each other.

When I look back, I laugh at how worried I was. I mean, it was only two weeks, but it sure felt like a lifetime to me at the time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

HILMM - Part 4: The Fireworks

Well, after our rock show encounter, several weeks passed with no real progress. Darby and I talked at church, but he wasn't making a move. Pretty much everyone in the youth group knew about our situation at this point. So on the 4th of July, a bunch of my friends were going to watch fireworks at Baylor. One of my friends, Kristene, decided that if Darby and I weren't going to move forward, she would push us forward. She asked Darby if he wanted to come with us and told him that I liked him. A little embarrassing, yes, but I guess it did the trick. He rode with me to Baylor because he had just gotten his license two days earlier and didn't feel comfortable driving downtown. (I had had my license a whopping two weeks!) He did bring his CD collection along for the ride and made me listen to quite an eclectic mix, including a bagpipe CD. I thought his unique taste in music made him seem cool and interesting. (Darby brought this up to me a few weeks ago and said he's embarrassed by how nerdy he was back then.)

While we watched the fireworks, I tried to keep my hand available for holding, but Darby didn't seem to get the hint. Afterwards, we went over to our friend Daniel's house. The guys were shooting off their own fireworks, and I was scared. I acted a little more scared than I really was, though. My strategy worked because Darby put his arm around me to comfort me and later while we were sitting on the sidewalk watching the fireworks, he held my hand! Finally! After about a month of dancing around the issue, we seemed to have finally both acknowledged our feelings for each other. I was so happy; I could not stop smiling the whole way home and all the next day at work.

But two days later, my happiness turned to tears.

To Be Continued...

Monday, February 11, 2008

HILMM - Part 3: Chicks Dig Guitarists

So after our less-than-stellar first date, I decided that it wasn't going to work out between me and Darby. I told my mom that I just wasn't interested in him in that way. I figured that he probably felt the same way, since I knew he had sensed the awkwardness on our date. We still talked at church, though, and things seemed to go back to "normal."
Darby and his friend Cody and another guy Keith had a band called Serna. Darby was the lead singer and guitarist. My group of girlfriends and I decided to go to their show at Trinity Lutheran Church on June 14. I stood in the front and watched him sing, and I had to admit, I still thought he was pretty cute. What girl can resist a lead singer? After Serna played, Darby and I sat on the pull-out bleachers and talked and talked. I can't remember what we talked about, but I do remember that at one point our knees accidentally touched, and I felt absolutely giddy. It was so easy to talk to him when we weren't in a "date" setting, and he made me laugh a lot. I started reconsidering my decision to remain just friends. But I didn't feel like I could ask him on another date or anything. Plus, I was embarrassed that I had changed my mind in just 12 days. Was I being fickle? I decided to just wait it out and see what happened. I could tell he still liked me, so I was hoping he'd take a chance and ask me out again.
Did it happen? Tune in next time to find out...

Darby playing with Serna. What's not to love?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

HILMM - Part 2: The First Date

Okay, fast forward almost four years. It's the summer of 2001, before my junior year of high school. Darby and I have been friends for the past four years, but not really close friends. We talk at church and get along, but we don't ever spend time together outside of church activities. Recently, though, I've been surprised to find that I might actually like Darby as "more than friends." My heart beats a little faster when he's around, and I look forward to seeing him at church. I'm still hung up on the age thing, though. Even though he's only two weeks younger than me, I don't like the idea of dating someone in a lower grade.

I can tell that Darby kind of likes me, too. He singles me out a lot at church, and we have a great time talking to each other. One afternoon, he, Cody, and I are up at the church working on camp t-shirt designs. Darby mentions that he wants to see the movie A Knight's Tale. Knowing where this is heading, I say that I want to see it, too. He asks if I want to go the next Saturday, and I agree. I'm still not totally sure if this is a date, though. Maybe he's invited other people, too. Or maybe we're just going as friends. I'm not even sure I want it to be a date, since I haven't decided how I feel about him.

On Saturday, June 2, he comes to pick me up. (Well, technically his parents come to pick me up; neither of us has our licenses yet). They drop us off at the theater, where he pays for my ticket. At this point, I realize it is a date. After the movie, his parents pick us up and we all go eat at McAlister's Deli. Talk about awkward! Our first date was a double-date with his parents! They dropped me off at my house, and I thought, "Well, that was a bust." Things just felt forced between us. I figured we'd go back to our friendly relationship at church, and nothing more. Not exactly an instant love connection.
So how did we end up together? Tune in next time to find out. :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Blog Fast

I've given up reading blogs for Lent. I don't say that to brag. In fact, I think it's kind of pathetic that blog reading is a big enough part of my life for it to be a true sacrifice to give it up. It started out okay when I was just reading my friends' blogs. But then I started reading about friends of friends of friends. My list of blogs I follow almost daily is a mile long. It's definitely time for a break. And I'm going to try to spend some of the time I would spend reading praying for the people instead. I just wanted to let you know, so those of you who have blogs know why I'm not commenting on yours.

I will still be updating my own blog, because the time I spend doing that is minuscule compared to the time spent reading others' blogs. Maybe next year I'll give up my own, as well. So if you want me to know something about your life, call or e-mail me. And I'll look forward to catching up in 6 weeks! :)

Monday, February 04, 2008

How I Landed My Man - Part 1: Let's Start at the Very Beginning

In honor of Valentine's Day, specifically my first Valentine's Day as a married person, I thought I would go back and recount how Darby and I met, fell in love, and got married. We dated for six years, so it's a pretty long story. I'll divide it up, so you don't get too bored. Here goes...

Honestly, I don't remember the very first time I met Darby. His family moved to our church when I was in 7th grade and he was in 6th grade. I'm sure I was introduced to him one day at church. The first memory I have of him, though, is when we both went with the youth group to South Texas Youth Conference in San Antonio. It was a couple of months after he had joined our church. I thought he was pretty cute and funny, but I didn't have a "crush" on him. I thought he was "too young" for me. That one grade really makes a difference :) Strangely, my sister actually had a HUGE crush on him. (Don't worry...that ended long before Darby and I got together).

I don't think we really talked all that much that weekend, but I remember him acting crazy with his friend Cody (in the picture below). He seemed like he would make a good friend. I definitely could not have guessed then that in 10 years, I'd be married to this cute new guy.

Chase, Darby, Cody, and Hannah (my sister) - April 2008

More to come...

Friday, February 01, 2008

1,2,3's of my life

I saw this on one of the many blogs I read and thought it was cute.

1. bedroom in our apartment
2. wonderful younger siblings
3. months until Darby graduates...woo-hoo!
4. possible cities we could be living in come August
5. years I have lived in Abilene
6. weeks until Spring Break!
7. months of marital bliss (on Feb. 7)
8. miles I can ride on a bike in 30 minutes (a stationary bike, that is!)
9. minutes I snooze every morning
10. years I have known Darby

Also, I just have to brag on my husband a little bit. He just got his acceptance letter to Georgia Tech, the 7th ranked engineering school in the country! Woo-hoo! That's not our first-choice school because I wouldn't be able to attend an on-site program there. But it's still really good news. And if our other schools don't work out, we'd both be perfectly content to move to Atlanta. It's exciting to know that we at least have one option.