I have been wanting to do this post for years, even before I began blogging I had wanted to write down "our story." I just love it and every time I tell it I get chills. I thought our 10 year mark was a good time for it.
I even got Ryan to contribute a few sections. His are in BOLD.
So, here it is, the story of "us." Get comfortable because it is a long one.
Our "happily ever after" began in 1999.....
It actually began in early 1999, before we even met....
(Marie, Cara, Beth, Becky, Sarah, Liz-I still love all you girls). Seriously, I love those girls to death still and would have lived with any of them again, but as life sometimes goes, they all either (a) graduated; (b) transferred colleges; (c) got married; (d) got a job that included room and board, but did not allow for roommates-meaning me-and THEN proceeded to (c); OR (e) did study abroad and THEN did one (or both in this case) of (b) and (c).
I was left alone to fend for myself.
As my potential roommates started falling away one at a time, it began to start feeling like a conspiracy!
Anyway, since I was pretty much roommate less I had to decide where I wanted to live all on my own-which is pretty tough actually, you never know what you are going to end up with (case in point, our crazy roommate that THANKFULLY got married over Thanksgiving break, she was the reason Becky and Sarah lived across the hall from me instead of in the room next door-I forgive you girls though, it all worked out, I got Beth and Marie out of the deal and still saw you all the time.)
Now, for any of you who were at BYU during this time you may remember the "great housing shortage." It was incredibly difficult to find BYU approved housing for several reasons, none of which make any difference in my story. So, I started trying to find a place to live at the end of my winter semester with no luck. Nothing felt right, it was frustrating.
Have any of you ever had that happen to you???? I can't remember any other time in my life where I felt the feeling of nothing being right quite like I did at this point in time.
***As a side note, I'm a planner. I don't do well just winging it. I can deviate from a plan with the best of them, but honestly, at this point I was close to panic attacks.
All summer I had tried to figure something out, but just kept feeling like I should be patient. Patience is NOT one of my virtues, but for some reason I actually listened and waited it out.
I ended up driving to Utah with no place to live.
I started my job with no place to live.
I crashed on Beth's floor for a few nights ("illegally" I might add-thankfully no one told on us and she didn't get fired) trying to figure out what I should do as I had no. place.to. live.
***As another side note, I think everyone has something specific in their life that really, truly matters in determining where their life takes them. In my life I think it's where I live. I put more prayer and thought into where I live than most anything else. Almost everything really big in my life has come as a direct result of where I was living at the time. This is an example of that.
So, to continue.....at my first day of work I spend the majority of the time on the phone calling all the different apartment complexes and houses that had advertised openings.
They were all full
apparently most students are a bit more on the ball about finding housing than I
Except one complex
So I went to check it out
It was okay
The apartments weren't that bad
it just DIDN'T FEEL RIGHT.
I was beyond annoyed at this point. And frustrated. Probably close to tears, too.
I had called earlier in the day but was told they were full and had a wait list of 68. I thought about that but then realized there was no harm in going in anyway and just double checking.
I walked into the office and asked the lady at the front desk if they had any openings. She told me no, but, the girl standing next to me was filling out paperwork to sell her contract so if I wanted to buy that one she would bypass the wait list and just let me have it.
I immediately, without even thinking, asked, "Who do I make the check out to?"
I just KNEW it was right, just like that.
The girl selling her contract asked me when I needed to move it, she hadn't even begun to pack her belongings. I told her that I could crash at Beth's for a few more days probably. The lady behind the desk was listening and told me that if I wanted she could swap my contract for another one up for sale, but that would put me in a different building (and also a different ward-Ryan's). But I would be able to move in right away. It worked for me, I didn't care one way or the other, so I moved in the next day.
The new girls I ended up living with (Amy, Amanda and Elise) had all lived together in my new apartment the previous year, so they knew many of the people in our building. Including the bishopric, which was how Amy ended up suggesting me as a Family Home Evening group leader (aka mom). The other leader (aka dad) was Clarke. Clarke and Ryan lived across the hall from each other and also had the accounting undergrad core classes together. They got to know each other REALLY well throughout the year. Because Clarke knew both of us we ended up meeting through him during the "All-Sports Pass" frenzy that ignites all wards at the beginning of each school year.
At BYU students have the opportunity to buy what is called an All -Sports Pass. Basically, at that time you paid like $50, and the student is able to get into all sports events for that school year. Most of the sports you just show up at the game and you get into the GA student section without needing a physical ticket. The only sport that students get a physical ticket for is football. The passes are sold in seat order so if you wanted to be able to sit by someone you knew you had to buy your pass at the same time. So at the beginning of each year it was customary for groups to get together and buy the tickets at the same time so you sat by friends, or at least a group you knew, and not all by yourself.
Since my roommates had lived there the year before and knew many of the students in our complex/ward, they went around the building to get a group together the night before the tickets went on sale.
I had a ton of homework already and since I didn't know anyone anyway I passed on the excursion-which is beyond abnormal for me because I have always been up for meeting new people and NEVER passed on an opportunity to avoid homework, so I was home hanging out in my pajamas, reading glasses and philosophy textbooks while the girls went out recruiting.
Clarke and Ryan were out doing the same thing and since Clarke and I knew each other they decided to stop by and invite us to join their group.
The group my roommates has begun to put together had decided on a different time than Ryan and Clarke's group, so in an effort to combine the two groups I put on a hoodie and went with the boys to find Amanda, Elise and Amy.
The next morning as we were all in line and unbeknownst to me Ryan strategically maneuvered his way in line to get his tickets right after I did, to make sure he sat next to me at the games (I guess it was love at first sight for him).
I wouldn't say love at first sight, but Amanda definitely made a great first impression. As Clarke and I went door to door to corral people for football tickets, we stumbled upon Amanda's apartment. I knocked and this cute southern blond girl opened the door and said she loved football. Well, maybe it WAS love at first sight.
As our group had waited in line for a few hours we were able to get to know each other a little bit. During the next week, between getting the tickets and the start of football season, I went to see my friend Beth and she asked about the new people I had met at Liberty Square. In passing I told her about this "cute guy I met" but didn't think he was interested in me, just super friendly. Ryan came off to me as the Mr. Popularity he was-here was a guy who was on the HS football team (I was in the band), on the prom court (I was NOT), and dated someone new every weekend (I didn't)...I'm starting to sound like a Taylor Swift song, so I'll stop here. I didn't see that we had much in common, other than our mutual love of football, so I didn't think that much about him after that.
A week later (Thursday) was the first game. I sat with him and 5 other guys the entire game.
I kinda love football
And I'm kinda quite passionate about BYU football
And I kinda like to watch the game and yell at the players (demurely, of course)
I can honestly say football brought Ryan and I together.
Other than my roommies, the only other people I knew in our section were Clarke and Ryan. No offense to the girls, but it was more fun watching the game with the guys than just chatting with the girls. What wasn't so fun? Watching my buddy give Amanda a backrub while asking about this new girl that I met. I managed to point out that Amanda was the girl I was into, and he was nice enough to stop the backrub, after another 5 minutes or so.
The next night was the campus wide Fall Fling (which is so fun...it is a huge party the campus puts on each year, of course I was there!)
(back when I was super social and knew a ton of people. Now I know no one it seems), hopping from dance to dance around campus, and watching "Freaky Friday" at the end of the night (I kinda dig that movie-the original, NOT the Lindsay Lohan version, plus my feet hurt and I was tired). On the walk home, while Ryan was chatting with someone else, my friend Becky(who so thoughtfully chose this weekend to come back to the Y and visit) kept trying to convince me that Ryan was crushing on me. I kept saying, "no, he's just super friendly." I'm kinda clueless a lot of the time. If you don't tell me you like me I'm going to assume we are just friends. I was never able to tell when a guy liked me without a heads up. She said, "Amanda, a guys does NOT watch 'Freaky Friday' and NOT meet back up with his friends if he doesn't like the girl he's with." Becky, you were right.....we've been together pretty much every day since.
For some reason, I haven't been able to shake her.
I had gone into the school year wanting to just focus on my job and school, not really planning on dating much. Once we started dating I figured at some point we would break up, that's what people do. All that changed when we invited himself home with me for Thanksgiving....but that is a story for another blog post.
The night after the Fall Fling he found a way to invite my "roommates" and me to the movies with him and a few friends. My roommates had other plans so I thought, what the heck, it had to be better than sitting home on a Saturday night by myself. So I went with him and 2 other guys.
On Sunday he came over with Clarke while we planned our FHE for the next night. Monday he convinced his FHE group to go with ours to the corn maze (he also somehow got himself invited to my apartment to watch "Gidget Goes Hawaiian," my all time favorite movie. And just for the record, at that point I started getting a clue that he did indeed like me. NO guy watches that movie without an ulterior motive--even I'm not that clueless.)
And it goes on and on.....
Q: Why August 5th as a wedding date when we got engaged in March?
While we were dating there were 2 movies we watched at least 25 times each, The Wedding Singer and 10 Things I Hate About You. Seriously, at one point we could both recite the lines from each. Ryan jokes that I started dating him just so I could steal his DVDs and watch them whenever I wanted. They are still 2 of my favorite movies.
Q: Why did you title your post "Forever yours, faithfully?"
A: We listened to that song about a million times while dating. I have this super annoying habit of putting songs I love on repeat. It's obnoxious, and he put up with it until we got married. Now he won't let me do it while he's around :( I also had it engraved into his ring.
Q: Where did we honeymoon?
A: Hawaii. It was actually really sweet, Ryan wouldn't tell me where we were going, just that I should pack beachwear. I never imagined I'd get to go to Hawaii for a week. It was so much fun. He kept it a secret for months, until 2 days before our wedding when he accidentally slipped and told me. Which actually turned out to be a good thing because his grandma asked me about Hawaii the night before the wedding, not realizing I wasn't supposed to know where we were going, so I was eternally grateful for Ryan's slip up.
In Hawaii we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor and on a dinner cruise.
We also met up with an Ainge family friend for a day of sailing. It was hands down my favorite part of Hawaii. He even took us out for a sunset sail after dinner. It was amazing.
At the end of the trip we were so sunburned and tired we treated ourselves to a day of air conditioning and saw a movie (The Replacements, which I still love to this day) and had ice cream at Ghirdelli's afterwards. It was nice to get out of the sun.
I'm so grateful for Ryan, I love being married to him. We have so much fun together...I can't wait for the next 10 years! Happy Anniversary!