The Beginning

August 13, 2011

This was the day that I met Craig at Sliders for dinner. Our first official date.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about him at first. He is quite intelligent and I was a little intimidated. I remember thinking that he was the first man I’d met that truly gave me a run for my money. And not only was he smart but he was handsome and funny and a great cook and most importantly a Christian.

I remember thinking this was too good to be true. I was nervous that Saturday evening, and as usual, I arrived much too early. I put our names in for a table and patiently waited outside for him to arrive. I texted him to let him know I was there and he could meet me out front and I was wearing a black dress.

I remember watching a jeep drive by and wondering if that was him… and hoping it was. Craig and I had talked about the cars we drove and the guy driving the jeep that passed was handsome. Turns out, that guy was Craig and when he walked up to me the butterflies were going crazy in my stomach.

We chatted for a minute and I mentioned that it shouldn’t be much longer for the table and right at that moment the girl walked up and informed us that the table was ready. Since it was August we opted to sit inside although we really love the outdoor patio at Sliders. We had a booth and sat across from one another and both ordered Yuengling.

We were talking so much that our waitress had to post-pone taking our order three separate times because we weren’t ready! Finally we ordered and could continue conversing. I remember the topics being varied but the discussion coming  along quite naturally. We talked about the debt ceiling (which was currently all over the news) and we talked about living in Florida and loving seafood and how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.

I remember the dinner seeming to last forever and yet wasn’t long enough. When finished, we decided to walk over to The Lemon Bar for a drink and to continue the conversation. We found seats (which is rare on a Saturday evening) and we continued to discuss all matters of things with such ease that I wondered if this guy was for real. Was all of this really happening? Could I really have found someone this special?

We didn’t stay that long and I remember there being an awkward period where he started walking one direction and I was walking another and I seriously wondered if he was even going to walk me to my car. He did. We hugged. I got in my vehicle and he walked to his. I sat there for a moment taking it all in.

One year ago today we went on our first date and haven’t looked back. The next date was a little awkward because it was a Thursday night and I was especially exhausted from work and he mistook my accidental yawning for boredom and cut the date short but the next weekend we went out again and I redeemed myself and he kissed me. It was all over at that point. I knew. I just knew.

We haven’t looked back. We continue to move forward and genuinely love spending time together. We can’t wait to see what each new day brings. We laugh. We poke fun. We enjoy each other immensely. In 88 days we will have our wedding with our close friends and family by our side. I know that God gave us to each other. I cannot imagine anyone else that I would want to be with. Craig is my perfect match.

Today we are going to Sliders again to recreate that first date. To celebrate our relationship and the love we have for one another. Each new day I find something that reminds me of how much I love him. From our mutual love of Snickers Ice Cream Bars to our commitment to making Jesus the focus of our relationship… we have made the promise to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.