Well, I’m back from Chicago (although the suburb of Schaumburg is where we spent the majority of our time…close enough), and it was heavenly.

I mean, Chi-town itself was pretty great—my third favorite city ever, I think (behind Paris, France and Sydney, Australia).

But it had been such a very long time since my husband and I had spent anything longer than maybe 4 hours together without any distractions, any sticky little fingers pawing at our legs, or any projects to hash out that I found myself reveling, not in the location, but in the presence of the man whom God hand-picked to be my husband (a fact that I don’t doubt for a moment since, although Shaun is not perfect, he is absolutely perfect for me).

We held hands like a couple of schmoopy teenagers.

We sneaked kisses on the train.

We sat on the same side of the booth at every restaurant we went to (the better to continue the hand-holding, even if though it considerably increased the chances of major neck-cricks).

And we even insisted on wedging ourselves into the same little section of the revolving glass doors that seemed to be everywhere we went—while holding hands, of course—which made Shaun take small, shuffling steps and me constantly bump into his back and both of us giggle (don’t tell him I said that).

There is not (and has never been) a single other person on the planet with whom I simply enjoy being more.

It doesn’t matter what we do.

It doesn’t matter why we do it.

If he’s there, I’m happy.

He gets me…100%.

He sees me at my worst (and best, whenever that happens to be).

And he loves me.

Unconditionally. Irrevocably.

And I feel the same way (though it’s so much more than a feeling).

And so, in honor of the last 7 years of “wedded bliss” (our wedding date was June 2nd, 2005, and it really has been pretty stinkin’ great), I thought I’d share a little about the origin of our love story this week.

Speaking of the beginning, Move-it Monday is actually a fairly fitting theme to start out, considering that our first remembered encounter happened on a volleyball court.

It wasn’t love at first sight.

Heck, it wasn’t even flirt at first sight.

I was 20-years-old.

My hair was pulled back in a long, curly ponytail, with an extra side of frizz and sweat.

I remember that I was wearing an ultra-flattering, boxy, primary green Tatum Eagles (the mascot of the high school where I was teaching at the time) t-shirt.

I was the Twenty-Somethings (our church’s college/young adult group) social event coordinator, which is a fancy way of saying that I put together our various outings and get-togethers, but I wasn’t in charge of Friday night volleyball, which had a core of regulars and as well as a regular flux of newbies and sometimers.

It wasn’t my turf.

So, even though I remember that there was a new guy named Shaun there that night, I’m not sure we even spoke.

I was too busy trying to get my unpredictable overhead serve under control.

Pretty romantic stuff, huh?

Oh, but wait.

It gets better.

Much better.

Especially when you fast-forward three months to the New Year’s Eve party at my parents’ house where Shaun—whom I still didn’t know very well—managed to plant a hand squarely on my hindquarters, all in the name of taking me prisoner in a game of Capture the Flag (that’s what he claims, anyway).

That’s also the night that I trounced him in multiple games of ping-pong, the first time I noticed what an incredible smile he has, and the event that started The Great Email Flirtation of 2004.

But since we’re past most of the exercise-themed parts of our story for now, the rest will have to wait for tomorrow.

Stay tuned…


  1. Hmmm…. had me recalling my own first meeting with Brawn. I think you should host a love story link party.


  2. Hmmm…this sounds strangely familiar to Eric and I. The first time I remember hearing about him was at a Twenty-somethings glow in the dark ultimate frisbee night there at the local soccer place. I just remember hearing people cheering for ‘Beadle-juice’ a few times (and on a side note, I also remember snatches of a conversation involving you talking about some of your upcoming wedding details). Fast forward a couple months and Eric and I actually met playing indoor soccer (on opposing teams from church), got to hang out again that night at another 20-somethings event which pretty much began our flirt fest 🙂 Here we are now happily, lovingly, awesomely married 6 years this July!

  3. My husband of 22 years and I dated for 5 years before we got married. Much of that time we lived 4 hours apart and only saw each other every fortnight, It was before email was big and we wrote letters and cards… which I still have. I was studying and he was working and we knew we would get married when I finished my library studies… I was 23 and Paul was 29 when we finally lived in the same city. Life has thrown us a few curve balls but I believe it has made our relationship stronger. He knows me so well,,, to well sometimes.
    celina brown

  4. Awesome story. 🙂 Thank you for sharing it with us all. I’ve been married to my hubby for 10 1/2 years now, and there are times when we have a reminice aboutfirst dates etc. It’s like it gives us a fresh view of why we got together (besides that we were great friends before we started dating!). I’m really looking forward to the rest of your story. And a HUGE congratulations on your wedding anniversary. It is a milestone. It is special. And it does take work. But it is all worth it! 🙂

  5. Part 2! Part 2! Where is part 2? 😉
    Thanks for sharing- it’s great to find other married couples who are as in love as my and my hubs are!
    xo Becca

  6. I live in Chicago so I know why you are in love with it (and Shaun). Can’t wait to hear the rest of your love story! 🙂


  7. That’s mean, lol. Although, I guess I should have seen the “part 1” and known. So far, ya’lls story, and you’re writing style are making me have that wonderful “awwww” feeling,… I’m looking forward to part 2.

  8. What a sweet love story. I like the way you write, too! 🙂 My parents made it a point to get away for their anniversary each year. They’ve done this for as long as I can remember (and will be married 34 years this year). My brother and his wife took on this tradition as well. Though children are a blessing, I think it’s nice when couples can get away by themselves on occasion.

  9. There must be something about sweaty girls that guys can’t resist. The first time my husband ever laid eyes on me I was fresh off a bigfoot hunt (seriously) in mid-September in the backwoods of southwest Arkansas, and piled into a janky car with no AC and too many people. He was managing a pizza joint so we traded a 6-pack of beer for a pizza, and although he claims to have been infatuated with me ever since, I honestly don’t even remember seeing him. :/

I love hearing from you guys!