May 21, 2014

{Love} Week: Our Dating Life

Well, it is finally here!
This weekend, Sunday, May 25th, will be our first year anniversary!
After everything Joshua and I went through this year, I just can't help but be thankful that we have a great life set up in Seward (way to go, hubs!) and how each decision we made has blessed us tremendously. Praise Jesus!
And I can't help but think that all these blessings started when Joshua chose me to be his wife, his partner, his best friend for life.
How lucky am I to be Joshua's wife?! 
Disclaimer: If you haven't guessed yet, this week will be sappy. You have been warned.

Since the first year anniversary is a big event, as it should be, I decided to celebrate it a little early.
I thought I would start with our dating life, move to our engagement, then hit up our wedding - because, I may be biased, but it was the most magical and most beautiful wedding, that was filled with so much emotion and love, that I've ever witnessed.

So to start {Love} Week: J&E's Dating Life.

Joshua and I first met our freshman year at McKendree University. In all honesty, I do not really have any memories of Joshua this year - well, good memories anyways. I do know, looking back, we had four classes together. The only class I remember Joshua in was our political science class. The only reason why I remember him was because I thought he was really annoying.
(Trust me, this does not give me pleasure saying that I thought my future husband was annoying.)
I was, what Joshua says, a "serious" student. And I think what he means by serious is that I actually paid attention and took notes and asked appropriate questions. Joshua on the other hand, was the complete opposite. Literally, my memories of him at this time was that he talked a lot and not about the topic at hand. He was the student who always tried to get the teacher off topic so the teacher didn't assign homework.
(We've already started praying that our future children will get my study habits.)
And I remember that he was always sitting behind me. It never failed. He was always behind me. "That boy that talked a lot and off topic always sat behind me - whyy??" were my first thoughts of Josh.
So this is where Joshua's story comes in.
Joshua claims to have seen me the very first day of class, walking out of my dorm hall. He lived in the dorm hall next to mine.
He walked up to me and asked where I was going - turns out we were going to the same class.
He then turned to his buddy Vince, who actually came to our wedding because he was there from the very beginning, and said, "That girl will be my wife someday." 
(I have no recollection of the conversation at all.)
Turns out, Joshua was only "annoying" to get my attention!
So for Joshua, it was "love at first sight".  As for me, can we say "love at the second go-around"?

Fast forward to our second semester of our Sophomore year.

Joshua and I ended up having roommates that hung out basically all year. Why? We all lived in the same apartment complex and actually were next door neighbors. I had no idea. The entire year, until March, I didn't know who I was living by. 
Joshua would tell me stories later on about how him and his buddies would be hanging out, and they would dare him to go knock on our door and ask for me or how Joshua would get the courage to and as he was about to knock on "Emily Williams'" door, he would chicken out.
This went on the entire year.
But like I said, our paths didn't cross until that March.
(and by that I mean I didn't notice Joshua for who he was until that time)
One night, I decided to go out with my friend, Jordan, who was hanging out with Josh's roommate, to finally see who she was hanging out with all year without me.
That was my first time really hanging out with Joshua and getting to know him. We were inseparable the entire night. That was the night I fell for him. I told ya it was "love at the second go-around".
I am so thankful how Joshua and I started dating. The beginning of our relationship, we only hung out in groups. I don't know if it was because we were both really shy or what, but this gave us both a chance to get to know one another in a social setting and kept the pressure off. We had a blast that semester. 

Some of our first pictures together:

We always laugh about the first time we went somewhere together, just us two. It was the very last day we were both at McKendree before summer. Well, actually Joshua was already in summer - he just waited until the last day possible to move out to spend more time with me, because I still had one more final to take. He asked if I wanted to go get something to eat. We went to Subway. We didn't even eat it there - we brought our sandwiches back to my apartment where Jordan was still packing. So those 10 minutes we were actually alone was a big step for us. I always say this was our first date - Joshua gets very offensive about that one...
(Apparently, it wasn't up to his caliber of how a man should date a woman - taking her to Subway to order a sandwich and all... so we he doesn't count it) 

So we left for summer, but that was not the end for us. When we left for summer, I knew we had to either choose to stay together or end it. We lived 2 hours away from each other. Actually more, since Joshua is from up north, but since we met, he decided to go live with Dad which was 2 hours from my house.
(He was already making sacrifices for us not living up north with his mama!)
Plus, it was nice because a lot of our first dates that summer was meeting up at his grandparent's house in Mt. Vernon - an hour away from each of us.
This is where Joshua claims our first few dates took place.
The very first time we actually hung out "alone" was at his grandparents' house. We shot guns and rode    four-wheelers. 
And our second date was camping at Rend Lake.
(Who takes a girl shooting and camping on their first few "real" dates?! This should have been my first clue that we would actually move up to Alaska!)

But during this time, we still were not "official". Why? I made Joshua promise he would meet my family and friends first. We had hung out at school, had hung out at his grandparents, but Joshua had not come to Mt. Carmel yet. 
Joshua came the last weekend of May in 2011. The very first day he came, he met all of my family - mom, dads, grandma, aunts, siblings. everyone.
He was such a sport about it too. If there is something you should know about Joshua is that he is a talker. So there were no awkward silences and he definitely kept up his side of the conversation. My mom's first time meeting Josh, she was watering flowers in her garden, and Josh kept following her around talking her ear off. He may or may not have been a little nervous.
So that night, May 29th, 2011, Joshua officially asked me to be his girlfriend. One of the easiest questions I've ever answered.

One of our early pictures together and one of my all time favorites of us.

Looking back on our dating life, we had so much fun together. Joshua is the funniest man I've ever met so there was a lot of laughter that year of dating. It only took us a few months to realize just how serious we were for each other. We handled our relationship with care and with the seriousness that one day we would become husband and wife. It only took us until July 3rd to tell each other "I love you". We handled multiple distances away from each other - from Mt. Carmel to Coulterville, even from Coulterville to Scotland, where I went on a trip to that late July. Our relationship was precious from the first moments and I hold the beginning of us near and dear to my heart.

Some of our special times:

^^ My first time visiting his family up north - Chicago trip!// Our first 4th of July.. it's been a tradition to wear matching shirts - guess I'll have to invest in some this year as well!^^

^^ First time meeting his dad's side of the family. Told ya he cracks me up!// Our first Halloween together - we've missed one year out of the three - that won't ever happen again. "Who's that Spartan in my teepee?? ^^

^^ Went to Busch Stadium when the Cardinal's won the 2011 World Series - even got in the stadium during the awards ceremony// One of our many St. Louis dates - ice skating downtown STL ^^

^^ Christmas tradition of building a gingerbread house. It didn't last long before Joshua demolished it// Christmas time date night - going to see The Grinch at the Peabody in St. Louis ^^

^^ Japanese date night// Date night dancing - Use to love the techno music!^^

^^ Took time from finals Jr. year for a fishing date (of course)// Last picture as a dating couple. The next weekend we were engaged! ^^

Joshua was the best boyfriend in the world - and still is!
For other {Love} Week posts about us, check them out on our He + She page.

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