FEEL GOOD FRIDAY | The Story of Us
I'm SUPER excited that you're reading this!! Feel good Friday is another new blog feature I'm going to be working on incorporating to my page because with all of the ick going on in the world these days, we all need something to smile about, right? So, I figured I would start this feature off with a story that has been requested by me many times -- How my husband and I met and fell in love!
So, before we even really "knew" each other, we knew each other. We had met very, very briefly at community college in my hometown of Decatur, where we attended a group together, even traveled in the same car together, etc. Fast forward one year and our paths crossed again at college -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale, to be exact. I did not handle moving to Carbondale very well. I missed my family terribly and felt so very alone, even though one of my best friends was down at college with me. I would go to class and come right back to the dorms and be alone. I was so anti social and nervous to meet new people. Finally my roommate "Cy" convinced me to go hang out with a friend of hers who lived a couple floors down from us in our dorm building. I wasn't feeling well anyway and didn't really feel up to it, but nonetheless I mustered up the desire to slink down and meet her friend, "J." We sat in his dorm room and just chatted - nothing serious. I noticed that "J"'s roommate was gone, and asked about him. He cracked a joke about how he is a pimp and out with his ladies, and I got a really good laugh out of it. Obviously not the best first impression, but truthfully when I started off to college I was in a long term (really strained) relationship, going on three and a half years. I wasn't interested in anyone else, I was simply just being inquisitive.
As lucky would have it, the roommate (enter my future husband, Craig) came in and introduced himself. My very first thought, which I said out loud unfortunately, was "damn you're hot". I was just taken back! He didn't hear me (I don't think... I don't know that I've ever asked, actually!) but asked me to move out of his desk chair which is where I was sitting. I started up a conversation about his instant messaging services (he was using MSN which I didn't really know what it was) and I asked him if he used AIM (yep, aging myself). He did, so I got his username and added him as a friend. He was super cute, after all, and I needed to make friends. It would come to be that over the next several weeks, Craig would reach out to me to go out with him and his friends, to go to the mall, etc. I turned him down every time but he never stopped trying. Finally one day he asked me if I would go to church with him. I was kind of surprised, because I had said when I got to school that I wanted to make friends with people who attended church because I was so involved in my church when I lived back at home. I didn't feel like I could say no, so I agreed. I'm so glad I did! We started to hang out more, and eventually I introduced him to my friend Janet, who really took to him also. The next few months were kind of fuzzy -- I remember hanging out a lot and finding myself becoming very emotionally involved in his friendship. It didn't help matters any that my relationship with my then boyfriend was strained and had been for some time. I had learned during this time that prior to starting fall semester, Craig had broken up with HIS long term girlfriend from home, so we had similar issues going on and he could understand my feelings. Around October, Craig and I decided to head home... he was going to try to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, and I was going to try to work on my relationship. This trip also happened to be the first time Craig met my family, since he is the one who drove me home. It was also the first time he met my boyfriend... needless to say, the meeting did not go well with my boyfriend. My family, however, loved him, which made me really happy because he had become one of my closest friends. We headed back after the long weekend, he was still single and my relationship was still a mess. Around Thanksgiving, my relationship ended very abruptly which really upset me. I'm not one to quit anything, and my boyfriend was comfortable to me. I had been with him since February of my freshman year of high school. I didn't mention anything to Craig at first and instead waited until around finals time in December. He swooped in when I needed him most and comforted me. Little did I know that finals week would be when Craig and I started our new relationship.
During finals week, we spent a lot of time relaxing with our friends, watching movies and just enjoying each other. Craig and I would sit by each other, snuggling up. Finally around Wednesday night/Thursday morning during finals week, I was almost done with finals... I had one more Thursday night at 8pm. Craig, our other friend Craig and myself were talking and we really wanted doughnuts. Krispy Kreme, to be exact. So, at 1am, we hopped in the car and drove to St. Louis for some Krispy Kremes. We made it there around 3:30am, got our doughnuts and headed back to Carbondale. I fell asleep in the car a few times but overall made it. I remember when we got back to town around 6am, Craig walked me back to my dorm room and said, "you're my Ambre" (yes, said just that way). I laughed and said something goofy, and he laughed too. We had held hands a bit in the car on the way to and from STL, and had our arms around each other walking back to the dorm. I was truthfully hoping for a kiss but I didn't want to rush anything. I no sooner got in my PJs and hit my pillow I was out. I think I slept until around 11am, and around that time Craig came to see me. I was watching Friends on my small TV and just trying not to sleep all day. He came and cuddled with me and was just kind of sat in silence. I remember asking, "so what are we doing - what are we?" and Craig looked at me and said, "I don't know, what do you want it to be?" I said something in the realm of, "I would like to think we are an item". He agreed. And that was how we became official! We told some of Craig's friends later that night after my final when we went to a house party, and they were so excited for us. On Christmas break, we went on our very first official date to a local restaurant to my hometown and came back to my house where we proceeded to watch the movie Chicago with my sister... which I couldn't tell you anything about the movie because I'm pretty sure we were too focused on each other throughout the whole movie. Ha!
The coming months would be a roller coaster. I was still dealing with my ex, who had convinced himself that I had been unfaithful to him and proceeded to make sure I knew how he felt. I was also having a hard time just letting go and moving forward. Seems absolutely crazy, because I had an amazing new relationship to focus on... but my issue was in the fact that I had been with my ex for so long, regardless how unhappy I was (and I know he was too), so why was I just not letting it go? Craig stuck by me through the entire process. Our first summer together was spent apart, because he worked in Carbondale at a summer camp and I came home. It was the final "nail in the coffin" for my ex, as we saw each other for the last time that summer. Also that summer, my Papa Skip passed away. It was August, and school was about to get back rolling again, and there was a lot going on. I just wanted Craig, but I couldn't get a hold of him. Where he was at on the campground did not have any kind of cellular service. In a fret, I called our pastor to see if she could help me get in touch with him and she was successful! He called me late the same night my papa passed away, I would say around 10:30pm. We talked for a few minutes but he needed to get to bed. It was nice just to hear his voice, honestly. I would say around 3am, I got a phone call to come outside... and it was Craig. I was so confused. I went and sure enough, he was at my front door waiting for me. He drove through the night to be with me. I was absolutely blown away, and for me... that was the moment I knew without a doubt that he was the one I was going to marry.
After getting back to school and having some health issues, I found out that I would have to have surgery to remove a cyst on my tailbone over the Christmas break, which really sucked, especially when I found out Craig wouldn't be around to comfort me. He was going to visit his parents in South Dakota instead but would be home a few days after Christmas. He ended up coming home on December 26 and surprising me. It is honestly a big joke in our whole relationship story, because I was so doped up on medication from surgery that I hardly really knew what was going on. Come to find out, Craig had a plan to propose to me... and he did, and of COURSE I said yes!
We spent the next year and a half going to school and planning a wedding and were married on June 23, 2007 by the same pastor that I called on the night my papa passed away. It was a whirlwind start to our relationship and the whirlwind hasn't slowed down since! I hope you've enjoyed our little story... at least my version. ;) I'm sure Craig's would be a little different because, well, you'd have to know us. :)