Week #2 Task - And I'm only two days late! :)
"June 14 – Post Pictures from your dating days (or tell us all about it!). Think about one thing you used to do or have as a couple that you have lost in the shuffle of life. How can you regain it?"
"Purpose this week to do something that reminds your husband of the youthful wife you once were - maybe it's wearing something you know he loves on you (remember we dressed to please back in those dating days!), go somewhere you both used to enjoy going together - alone!, look at photos together of the "good ol' days", watch a favorite movie, or just simply sit together talking, listening, dreaming, holding hands, rubbing his back, and simply paying attention to the amazing husband of your youth! Treasure him this week!"
Boy, is it easy to forget romance and relationship once kids arrive. Oh, my goodness, it's amazing how fast all that stuff goes out the window. Even though I swore it never would. Round-the-clock insane busyness, constant exhaustion, the never-ending needs of babies and small children - I completely understand how marital romance is lost once little ones arrive. Before I got married I read all those Christian marriage books and swore that I would always be the perfect, romantic wife who met her husband's every need and never forgot the romance. And now? Hmm... well, I do my best to be dressed when my husband gets home and to be reasonably cheerful, but - romance? Our last "official" date night was... hmm..... well, it was so long ago that I can't remember it! Oh yes, I think it was about a year ago. The one before that was multiple years prior.
The lesson? Keeping a marriage healthy after kids is HARD! That is why I need this challenge!
So, our dating story:
I actually saw my husband about six months before I met him. He was playing Judas in a Passion Play at our town's local megachurch, and for some reason I went to see the show. (The show, by the way, was an awesome show - it was The Masterpiece by Keith Ward, with music to die for that I still listen to around Easter. You can see a picture of my DH as Judas if you click here and scroll down to "Judas Remembers". The pictures on the site are of the first run of the show (DH was in it three times) at the church where I saw it.). He did a great job!
Six months later, a friend of mine, Becky, invited me to her annual Halloween/Harvest party. I went, even though I was desperately behind in my organic chemistry work, and I also had a new liturgy to learn to play in the morning at my church where I was the organist. I dressed like a farmer - the only thing I could throw together last minute without going shopping! I showed up on time, and, as Becky hangs with the theatrical crowd, I was therefore the only one there for the first 30 minutes! So we got to hang out in the bounce house and chat for a while, and had a lovely time catching up. Becky and I had been friendly acquaintances in high school, but our friendship really blossomed after graduation, when we were each attending different colleges. (There's a reason for that, but that's a whole different story! Suffice it to say that it was the most interesting love quadrangle you've ever seen. No, make that a love quint-angle.).
Anyhow, after that, the second guest arrived, and lo and behold, it was "Judas"! Becky said "I'd like you to meet my friend Joe," and so we were introduced. Our conversation that night was very basic and brief, but I did go home rather smitten, as, I found out later, did he. And I don't even believe in love at first sight! :)
Our acquaintance continued to unfold over the next month. The next time I saw him was when we both showed up (unknowingly) at Becky's choir concert. The three of us spent the evening after the concert talking together at a Denny's (a horrible, filthy, disgusting Denny's - please don't ever go there!) and having a wonderful time despite the revolting ambiance and the deplorable service. After that, we both had an excuse to see the other, through our mutual friend Becky, and so we got to know each other. Becky eventually acted as our go-between, and Joe asked me out officially the week before Thanksgiving.
We dated for a year and a half before getting engaged, and then were engaged for one year before getting married. So many fun memories!
Our courtship was not, however, always a bed of roses. My mom disapproved of me marrying "young," and of my marrying a man who had not graduated from college and whose income was not stellar. There were plenty of fights and lots of tension in the house. As a matter of fact, one of the worst fights I ever had with my mom was the night Joe and I got engaged, because she found out (through a slip-up) that I was considering going to culinary school instead of getting my Master's Degree, which had been my original plan though I had little interest in it. As a result of that, we never ended up telling my parents that we had gotten engaged. What a weekend - that would make for a story in itself.
Additionally, I was in the process of discovering my Christian faith, and Joe was a bit back-slidden in his faith at the time - which created its own set of complications. Our debates and conversation, though, were a great growing exercise for my faith, as was the clash between his ultra-Pentecostal and my Lutheran upbringings.
Anyhow, we got married at a lovely little Lutheran church - not my own church, which was too small (and ugly!) to get married in, and then went on a 10-day camping honeymoon up the coast of California - Joe's first encounter with camping! We had a great time. Shortly thereafter, we moved one state away to our new home in Arizona, and have been here ever since. Marriage, like all post-high-school experiences, has been an intense growing experience and an ever-present source of surprises and challenges. What a time it has been!
Okay, that was fun! Now I have to think of something "dating-days"-ish to do - I think I'll get out our wedding photo book to look through with hubbie. That should be fun!
Second week's challenge - CHECK!