We met in the fall.
Actually, we met in September in Louisiana so I guess you can't really call that the fall.
BUT- we fell in love in the fall.
We met at our College/Career Sunday School teacher's house. A friend of mine from high school had met Justin at the gym on post (Army base) and had invited him to come hang out with us during a pick-up game of basketball. He did.He remembers what I was wearing that night.
I remember getting there late because I got off work late and walking in and seeing this gorgeous guy and determining right then and there that we were going to be friends. At LEAST friends. We didn't get to talk that night except to basically introduce ourselves, and then we didn't see each other again for about a month because he could really only come to church on Wednesdays because he was a Chaplain's Assistant and often had to be at chapel on post on Sundays, and I taught a 3 year old Mission Friend's class on Wednesday nights so I couldn't go to our Single's group. I was quite frustrated over this because I had not forgotten about him and was keeping up with him through the others in our group.
Finally after about a month of not being in the same place at the same time we ended up at a friend's house (Jaimi - the same girl that invited him that first night) for a bonfire/game night. I was already smitten and my brain was working overtime trying to figure out how we could hang out again (yes, I was very good at letting God take care of the details...can't you tell?! sarcasm..lots of sarcasm.).
On Wednesday night of that same week I rode to church with my parents and when church was over they LEFT ME THERE because they forgot that I rode with them. Ahem.So I walked over to the Single's Building (which is always across the parking lot no matter what church you go to) to bum a ride from someone.
**Let me interject here that I was dressed in full Arab woman attire from head to toe because in my 3 year old class we were learning about Iraq for that month and I always dressed up for my kids.**
I walked in and said someone needed to take me home since my parents were negligent (I thanked them for that later btw) and Justin immediately volunteered. It turns out that he was moving 45 seconds from my parents house and needed to take a load of stuff by his new place anyway. His little Volvo was full of stuff and he cleared out a seat for me in the front and then made Nathan (another soldier that rode with him from post and still had to get back there) ride on top of everything in the back seat.:) When we got to my parent's house we discovered that we had both been at Passion's OneDay earlier that year and we were pretty much forever connected after that. :)
I dreamed about him that night. That was Wednesday.
Thursday morning I woke up determined to see him (again with the patience). My parent's were going to be at an away ballgame with my brother that night, so I decided to cook dinner and invite my soldier friends over to share it with me. I set the table up all fancy and called everyone and then got Justin's number so I could call him. He just happened to be at his new place moving stuff in and said yes he'd come almost before I even finished inviting him. It was me and the four guys that night and after dinner everyone scattered about the house and property to do their own thing except for Justin...who cleared the table and WASHED THE DISHES. Swoon.
That was Thursday.
Friday was Halloween (by this time it really was fall) and our Single's Group was serving refreshments at our church's Fall Festival that night (don't get me started on church's and their Fall Festivals). I spent ALL DAY coming up with a costume and I decided to be Lara Croft:Tomb Raider. Yes. I did. After the festival some people came back to my parent's house to watch a movie (Silence of the Lambs) and of course Justin was one of them. I remember when it was time for everyone to leave that I wanted to hug him but I also didn't want to scare him off (I could go out of my way to manipulate circumstances but didn't want to scare him with a hug??? Gees I was silly.) so I didn't. I knew I was see him the next day.
That was Friday. Halloween (just one more reason for me to love that oh-so-controversial day).
Saturday our church was having a HUGE Block Party in the Wal-Mart parking lot and our band (Single's again) was playing for it. Justin came to hang out and after wards I offered to help him move the rest of his stuff from the barracks to his trailer. Some of the other guys came too and when we got to the trailer I started cleaning it (because wow did it need it) and that's when the guys started picking on us. That night we went bowling and this time it was Justin's turn to manipulate the circumstances and he made it where it was just me and him driving out to the bowling alley (which was quite a task seeing as two of the other guys didn't have vehicles of their own). On the way there we talked about our faith and I remember being relieved that he didn't use all of the cliche terms that people use when it's not real and they just want to impress you(been there, soooooo over that). He was for real.
We bowled and shared a drink and then Justin showed off his pool skills (ask him - he'll tell you he was showing off for me). :)
He took me home he and Momma go to talking about golf (he played his whole life) and she invited him to lunch after church the next day. I love you forever for that Momma. ;)
That was Saturday.
Sunday he was able to come to church and after wards he came over for Gumbo. I remember wanting to not let any of the guys know that he was coming because they would want to come over too and I just wanted to be with him. They actually did find out and showed up later that afternoon when we were out in the lake canoeing and they were yelling at us from the shore asking if we were engaged yet and yada yada yada thinking they were oh so very funny. While we were out there we started talking about movies and Justin asked me if I had ever seen Romeo and Juliet (yes) and what I thought about people that just met and then basically ran off and got married (totally for it). I can't remember exactly what I said because at the time I didn't really read anything into what he was asking but a year or so later he brought that canoe trip up and asked if I remembered him asking me that (of course) and he said it was because he already wanted to marry me.
After church that night (gees louise we spent a lot of time at the church!) we went back to my parent's house and went and sat out on the dock. Basically we made it official that we were gonna be together and head towards marriage (after all of 3 days). It was time for him to go home and as we were walking back up to the house he grabbed my hand.
It was in that same place where he grabbed my hand 5 months later that he proposed. Four months after that we were married in our church on a very hot August evening.
That was 6 years ago. It has been an amazing 6 years and I wouldn't trade ANY of it - not even our time of separation because of the Army. He is my best friend (gag if you want, but it's true) and knows me better than anyone else. I love him because he loves the Lord and looks to him for everything and leads our family well. I love him because when he goes to the store to get things and doesn't know exactly what brand to get, he makes the decision by seeing which one has the coolest glass bottle because he knows that I will appreciate it and save it and use it to decorate with later (he gets it!). :) I love him because he is the best daddy and pours everything he has into his relationship with Silas.
I love you Justin. Thank you for loving me and putting up with all of my quirks. ;)