Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Love Story

They say the third time's the charm.

For hubs and I, this was definitely the case.

FIRST

We met the summer before my Senior year in High School.  He was getting ready to enter his last year of college.  I was in Phoenix, in the scorching heat of July, just one in a group of hundreds (thousands?) of teens.  We converged there with our youth groups from all over the US and Canada for a week long camp of sorts.  Several colleges and Universities had their representatives there, ready to recruit.  Hubs was one of those recruiters - paid to talk about the school, sing with a swoon-worthy voice, look good and, well let's face it, flirt with potential female students.

I fell for it.  Hook.  Line.  Sinker.

He doesn't even remember meeting me.  (hmmph)

The boy band.  Remember, this was like, 1995.  Hubs is the cutie in red plaid.

Fast forward two years.

SECOND

The summer after my Freshman year in College (HIS college).  I was now travelling as one of those recruiters.  My group and I were spending the weekend in Dallas, performing at a local church.  The speaker that morning was this young guy, who had just returned from a year long mission in Bulgaria.  With long scraggly hair and a goatee,  he looked quite a bit like Jesus.  Following the service we all went out to lunch together.  He sat near me and flirted with the other girl in my group.  I didn't give him a second look and spent the lunch wondering if a guy I had met at camp a week earlier was going to call.

Clearly, things weren't going well.

Jesus - hubs in Paris.  Now that I look at it, he's kinda sexy with long hair...

THIRD

6 months later, I was in the middle of my Sophomore year, fresh off a breakup (with camp guy) and my school was in full Homecoming swing.  Quite unlike me, I headed out to the basketball game alone, just desperate to get out of my dorm. Sitting in the stands alone, I started chatting with a couple sitting in front of me who had returned for Homecoming.  They were on staff at the church I had been at in Dallas 6 months earlier.  Sitting next to them was a guy who was vaguely familiar and yet not.  We started talking.  We put two and two together.

I couldn't believe it.  This clean cut, yummy smelling, gorgeous guy with puppy dog brown eyes and amazing lips was the scraggly headed Jesus dude.

He cleaned up good.

We were inseparable for the rest of the week.  I took extra care getting ready for classes (no more rolling out of bed in my pj's for my 8am class), timing my walks across campus so I'd "accidentally" bump into him.  I'm pretty sure he hung around campus a bit more than he would have, lingering in the music building where many of my classes were and one time even showing up in the cafeteria right at my lunch time.

We went on our first official date that week - to a band concert on campus and a coffee shop afterwards - where we proceeded to sit and talk for an hour past closing time.  Oops.  Things were quickly falling into place.  It seemed perfect.

hubs and I taking a train ride through the Bulgarian countryside

It wasn't all a clear course though.  A major hurdle stood in our way.  The year following his graduation from college he spent a year in volunteer missions in the country of Bulgaria.  He loved it so much he returned home for 6 months to raise money to go back.  Enter me.  At the time we met, went on our first date, shared our first kiss, he was a mere weeks from returning to Bulgaria - 5888 miles away from me.

What to do?  We had only "known" each other for a week.  A long distance relationship was a pretty big commitment to make based on only a week of interaction.  Especially given the year (1997).  This was pre-Facebook, pre-Instant Messaging, pre-Texting, pre-Skyping, pre-EVERYTHING except email and phone calls.

Pretending to not be sad as hubs prepared to board a plane back to Bulgaria for a year.

And yet, we KNEW.  It was right.  It just was.  Crazy, yes.  But totally right.  So we jumped in.  And for the next 2 years we forged a relationship via a constant stream of emails, planned phone calls (we were 8 hours apart and paid about $0.42 per minute) and brief visits (twice with him returning home over Christmas and once with me visiting him in Bulgaria).

And in December of 1999 we were separated no longer.  All the months of speaking only once a week for 20 minutes at a time, all the hours spent on the computer typing letters and one-sided conversations, all the lonely nights wishing my boyfriend were with me, it was all worth it.

Hubs and I on our honeymoon.  Separated no longer.

It may have taken us a bit to get the timing right, but the third time was definitely the charm.



This post is linked up with A Sorta Fairytale's You And Your Valentine Party!  



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10 comments:

  1. I never knew you did all you dating long distance!!! You two are such a great couple! Happy Valentines Day!!!

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  2. Oh, boy, I bet those guys are thrilled to have that picture on here. :-)

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  3. Ah, I loved this!

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  4. Ummm....you don't have an old Heartsong picture from that year, right?? :-)

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  5. Oh yay! I love reading love stories... Really, really do. And is it completely weird that I knew as soon as I came to your blog, that Jhen designed it? HA! Can't wait to read more about you and your adorable little fam!

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  6. Aww, loved this story. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  7. Such a cute story!! We had a similar story with traveling posing a problem just as we started to date. But I just took him with me!! Isn't it funny how it all fits together? I NEVER want to return to the time of wondering where my future spouse is or who he is. Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you two enjoy it :)

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  8. What a wonderful story! The two of you look so cute together. Hope you have a happy Valentine's Day celebration.

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  9. What a great story! Love seeing all the photos. Very very cute. Glad you guys found your 3rd time

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  10. This is great! I love hearing people's love stories!! What does your husband do now?

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