I have posted the story of how we met before here:
These last ten years have changed my life in so many ways.
I learned to trust.
I learned to let go.
I learned to hang on.
I learned to accept love, both divine and earthly.
I learned to wait.
I learned to be.
This picture is the first of us together. It was taken on our trip to San Francisco.
I remember this trip vividly, firstly because no man has ever said to me:
"I want to take you to a place that means a lot to me."
And then moments later booked the trip and paid for it.
I was used to having to provide for myself. If I wanted something; a new bike, a car, an apartment, some new shoes, I had to save up for it and buy it myself. A vacation or trip was out of the question. There just wasn't that kind of money in my wallet.
I felt cheap. I felt unworthy of such an extravagant trip.
Rob was such a gentlemen and so generous. I felt spoiled, for the first time in my life.
It was very difficult, almost like not being able to take compliments.
I didn't know how to except generosity.
The other reason I remember this trip, is for what we didn't do. Usually when a couple goes "away" together it means the relationship is moving to a physical level.
From the moment I met Rob, I felt very protective of that part of me. I had used sex as away to feel wanted, important, loved. When it was over I felt even more empty. With Rob there was something different. He never tried to woo me. He never tried to kiss me or gave me any kind of sign that he was attracted to me. I thought there was something wrong with me at one point! He was content just talking, getting to know me or just holding my hand.
I was afraid that if I went with him, the bubble would pop. I wouldn't be who he thought I was, who I wanted to be for him.
That trip had nothing to do with sex. Nothing.
It was him showing me a part of himself and me coming out of myself and a trust building between us.
I moved into Rob's place just three weeks after we had met. It was just after we had gotten engaged.
Most girls have a pretty tale to tell about their proposal. Mine was plain. Simple.
We had been together everyday for nearly three weeks. I kept thinking: What is wrong with this guy? Everything feels so right, so there has to be something wrong!
Rob is easy. He is easy to talk to, easy to be around, easy to get along with.
I am not easy to get along with, I am stubborn and I can be selfish, I share my opinion.
I decided to test him.
I have had two long-term boyfriends and neither of them wanted to go near a jewelry store.
So while we were out bumming around one Saturday I said "Let's go in here."
Easy Rob said "Sure." and held my hand tighter.
Hmmm, there was no sweat out breaks, no hyperventilating.
In fact he led me to the engagement rings. I didn't want to be obvious, I also didn't want my arm yanked off from panic.
I browsed, never really having an opinion. (I know, I KNOW, but I wasn't going to go gaga over something that wasn't even in the cards.)
He chose one, I said it was nice. I saw another one and said "What about that one?"
He nodded and asked to see it. He asked for diamonds.
He asked what shape I liked.
I kept it very non-committal.
There on my finger was this gorgeous ring and this massive, sparkly diamond. I thought I would faint. I had never in my wildest dreams thought I'd actually HAVE something like that. That big, that fancy, that over the top out of my price-range dream of a ring. Or the amazing guy asking if I liked it!
It was fun to play dress-up. Indeed.
We left the store and headed over to the Gap. I remember it was the Gap because he had said he needed jeans. While we were in the store I got a call from my girlfriend. She asked what I was doing and I told her how we were just at the jewelry store. It felt weird telling her. After I got off the phone Rob pulled me aside and said "You really liked that ring huh?"
I just laughed and said sure who wouldn't.
He led me out of the store, I mentioned he hadn't gotten his jeans,
he said "I'm buying something else instead."
My mind was like Mmmkay, we're going to get jeans somewhere else.
But my heart was straining to keep from over reacting.
He led me back to the jewelry store and went straight for the gal that had been helping us.
"How much do I need to put down for that ring?"
I think I about passed out. He saw the look on my face and said
"I thought you liked that ring? Do you want to look some more?"
I couldn't speak. WHAT?! WAIT! HUH?
You don't just buy a ring like that if your not serious.
He was staring into my eyes, questioning.
"Sara? We've talked about it..."
Uh yeah we did, but it was talking, you know how people talk and people say things to provoke stuff, or sound braver then they are, or say things because they are afraid of losing someone.
Sure we talked about marriage, and being married and having children and and and...
I just hadn't ever been so sure of something so quickly, I mean I had done some pretty dumb things all because I was in a hurry.
Yet, here was this guy looking at me in a jewelry store and he was saying this is it, I don't need to think about it, or wait, I'm ready.
All I could do was nod. I was speechless.
Once we got in the car, he took my hands and said "Are you mad?"
"Why would I be mad?"
"Well, because I didn't propose, you know, surprise you?"
"Oh, I couldn't be more surprised."
"Well, it's going to take me some time to pay for it, but I promise you, I will surprise you when I get it."
I just nodded.
I think maybe a week had gone by and I had this nagging feeling about the ring. Time had sunk in that he wanted to marry me and he had a ring and because I had agreed to it we were on course to get married.
I went back to the jeweler, I wanted to see the ring again; I needed to really see it.
I realized it wasn't me. The ring was perfect, it was the diamond. It was too big. I didn't need that weight, he didn't need that debt all because he loved me so much that he wanted to give me something MORE then I needed. I asked for another diamond, smaller, half the size. Still too big for me, but not for him. The jeweler reminded me he picked the diamond that HE wanted to give me. I knew what it meant to him to give me that other diamond, the big one. It was my dreams, but I hadn't believed they'd come true, so I kept them small. He wanted them to be bigger, because he knew he could make them come true.
That night when he got home from work he told me he had gotten a call saying I changed the ring.
I told him I wasn't comfortable with the diamond, and he reminded me that I had always said I wanted it big. I laughed and said "Every girl says that! But nobody can afford them!"
He told me he wanted me to move in. He had roommates at the time and I asked about them.
He told me he had already talked to each of them the week before. I reminded him that we had only just bought the ring...
He laughed and said "Sara, I was already looking at rings. You just made it easier to choose."
I had no idea this man was already planning our future. I was still coming to terms with the fact that I liked spending so much time with him and how could he be so nice, generous, loving.
Our first Christmas together, was wonderful. I love this picture. It reminds me of when I came to the realization that I wanted this man to be with me forever. One of his roommates and Rob had planned a trip to the virgin islands before we had met. In December, Rob left for a week. ( you can see who is pale and who is tan!) I was home alone and left to take care of the hot tub. I didn't know you had to keep the water level up. It got low and froze and cracked the tub. This man came home to a broken hot tub and he wasn't angry at all. In fact he was apologetic to me for causing me so much stress and worry.
Shortly after my depression hit. I had struggle with it for years and never knew exactly what it was.
*I will save that for another post.
I never could have gone through it without him.
I could never have imagined how these last 10 years were going to turn out.
Or how blessed he has made my life.
Our faith is stronger together.
Our lives richer.
We have two beautiful children together.
And there is even a new ring.
And that too is another tale.
Dedicated to the best~est friend a girl could ever have,
The tenderest lover a woman could hope for,
the gentlest father to have babies with,
The generous man to share a life with
and the biggest fan to ever support this dreamers dreams!