Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Smoothie King

So, as I mentioned yesterday, Mark and I are celebrating eight years of marriage today.  It literally seems like yesterday that we said "I do".  With our anniversary on the brain, I spent some time remembering back to how Mark and I got our start.  I just love reminiscing about our "younger days".  I put that in quotations, but if I'm real with myself, we really were a lot younger! 

Mark and I both had just gotten out of some long term, serious relationships.  I had just broken off an engagement and was in no way, shape, or form interested in jumping into another relationship any time soon.  Luckily, I had learned a lot about myself during the break-up and with God's grace, became a much stronger person.  I had decided to take a break from dating for awhile and enjoy being single.  It was my senior year at Union College and even though I was looking at graduating without having found a husband, I felt at peace.  I knew God was leading me and He would take care of the details.  

Mark had just moved from Andrews University to Union College at the start of his junior year to be closer to his long time girlfriend.  They had dated in high school, and on and off again in college had decided that they wanted to be closer together and really make a go of it.  Engagement was definitely on the horizon.  A few weeks after arriving at Union, Mark realized that things weren't right and he ended up breaking up with his girlfriend.  Realizing he missed the life he had made for himself at Andrews, he decided he would finish up the semester at Union and then head back there.

Luckily, we weren't the ones in control, God was.  With the help of some scheming friends, we got set up and the rest is history.  I say that, but I will continue to be the longwinded blogger you've come to know, and tell you more.  As soon as we started dating, we both seemed to know that the other was the one.  We loved spending time together and hated being apart.  Dating Mark was the most fun I had ever had.  He was (and still is) such a gentlemen and knew just how to make me feel special.  We were head over heels.  After just a few months of dating Mark, I knew that I wanted to be with him forever.  Sadly, I was graduating and he still had a year to go.  After graduation, I got a job teaching in my hometown and Mark worked on finishing up his Senior year.  

A little blurry, but this was our first date to a banquet.  

We talked constantly and saw each other every chance we got.  There were many times when Mark would make the eight hour drive just to see me for a few hours and would turn right around and drive back to make it back in time for a class.  I couldn't wait to be married to Mark, when we would never have to leave each other again. We talked about engagement, but I had no clue when it would happen.  

Loved it when he came to visit me. 

That Friday in September, so many years ago, our school had gone to the local roller-skating rink for their annual Skate Day.  My class loved skating and were having a blast.  I had talked to Mark the night before and he seemed completely normal.  I had no indication that he wasn't in Lincoln, Nebraska, but unbeknownst to me, was at my brother and sister-in-law's house!  He was in my very city and I had no clue.   

So, back to the skating...It was time for the skating games to begin and for some reason the people that worked at the skating rink asked me if I would hold the stick for the limbo.  I found the request a little odd since they had quite a few employees, but never one to ruffle feathers, I obliged their request.  I headed out onto the floor and held that stick like my life depended on it.  I don't know how they did it (probably because I was concentrating so hard on holding that stick), but my whole class was able to sneak out of the rink without my knowledge during this time (scary, huh?!).  I guess I wasn't worried because all of the parents and teachers were there.  Anyway, Mark had spent hours making letters that spelled out, "Steph, Will You Marry Me" and had my class come skating in with them.  At first, I didn't understand what was going on.  I was completely and utterly surprised, but when Mark came skating onto the floor holding the "?" sign and a beautiful ring, my mind put it all together.  He got down on his knee and said some of the sweetest things ever and then proceeded to ask me to be his wife and I couldn't say yes fast enough.  We were so couldn't have wiped the smiles off of our faces if you tried. 

One of our engagement photos.

We got married in May and it was the best decision I've ever made.  Has it always been rainbows and unicorns?  Nope.  We've had our share of problems, but with the Lord's help we've weathered the storms and have come to love each other more and more with every one.

I know that some people think that marriage is boring and that it gets monotonous--everything becoming too familiar.  To be honest, that's my favorite part of marriage.  I love knowing how much creamer Mark likes in his coffee and how he prefers his socks folded.  I like that he can read my mind without me saying a thing and that he knows I'm troubled about something when I bite my lower lip.  I love sleeping with just our feet touching, knowing that is our way of saying, "I'm here if you need me."  I mean there are times when we change things up and surprise each other.  Like, I was totally blown away last night when Mark chose Fritos instead of tortilla chips for his haystack.  Yeah, we know how to keep it interesting:)  I love our 8 year, broken-in love story that gets new chapters every year.  

I couldn't have chosen a wiser, more loving, compassionate and generous man to share my life with and I'm forever grateful that God sent him into my life so many years ago.  I feel so blessed to have chosen a man that enjoys being our family's spiritual leader and is the best daddy for our two little ladies.  Can this man get any better, you ask?  Well, get this...he makes a pretty amazing smoothie, too.  I'm one lucky lady and I won't ever forget it.  Happy Anniversary, Mark!  To many, many more! 


Kalieope Gets a Kit-en said...

This is such a sweet story! I'm proud to be one of the skating sixth graders. :) Happy Anniversary!

Ryan D said...

I'm pretty sure I was the "Y" during the whole event!