“God gave me you for the ups and downs,
God gave me you for the days of doubt.” – Blake Shelton
Tomorrow is my 2 year wedding anniversary. That’s right, I have been married for 2 years at the age of 25! Marriage has been a lot more fun than I imagined. I wasn’t entirely sure how marriage would be (I mean, I was never married before. Just in case you were wondering). I was never one of those people who was scared of marriage or thought it meant that “my life was over”. I’ve always liked being in relationships when I was younger. I was good at it. I liked having someone to spoil and spoil me. Now, I’m really talking about my primary to high school years. I didn’t date around in college, because I was one of the lucky few who met the love of their life within my first month of college. I technically met Dakota my very first week of college. I remembered him as the guy named Dakota who said he was from South Dakota (remember? weirdo!) We spent the next month never seeing each other and during that time I went on “2 dates”. I call them dates because 1 was a lunch date (does that even count?) and 1 was a date to a fraternity party. Both did not go so well and the remainder of my 1st semester was me drooling over this Dakota guy after this one random night out by the lake.
You see, I worked a lot of closing shifts at the on-campus gym (The Colvin), which meant I worked 9-midnight shifts. I had to work this shift on Fridays since I was a newbie and all. My roommate was a night owl! She always stayed up late, so that by the time I got back from work she was usually always up doing something. This one particular Friday night in September, my roommate came to pick me up from work with one of the guys in our dorm. She had packed my pillow, blanket, and a bag to go camping for a night out by the lake. I was really nervous to go, because this was college. I was scared there’d be drinking or “hooking up” and I was not equipped to handle either of those “college things” yet. Haha! I went any way (my roommate was very persistent and she is a very big reason why Dakota & I met). When I showed up, one of my nightmares of being pretty shy came true. My roommate ran off to go flirt with this guy she really liked at the time. While, I’m standing by a fire surrounded by people hanging from trees (they were “hammocking”, I didn’t know what that was at the time). There were a lot of guys from our dorm that all knew each other, but that I was still getting to know. There were a few girls there as well, that I did not know at all. I was alone. I was already nervous. And I just felt super awkward.
All of the sudden, I hear someone calling my name. I look over to one of the low-hanging hammocks and notice a guy wearing one of those winter hats that has the fake fur and goes around your ears. I looked closer and realized that it was “that Dakota guy” whom I have thought was insanely hot since I met him (sorry Mom, had to! haha). He was calling me over to ask if I wanted to sit by him in his hammock. Me! I have never been the girl who walks into a room full of people and gets asked by (my opinion) the hottest guy there to sit next to him. So, I told myself – “This is college. Do it. You’re just going to sit next to a really cute guy and probably be super awkward and scare him off but at least you did it.” So I did. I sat by Dakota and we shared small talk. I’m pretty sure that’s when he talked about what “hammocking” was, because I had never seen people hanging from trees like that before. Unfortunately, some idiot at this camping party put in a really scary movie to watch and I hate scary movies. So, I ended up telling my roommate to drive me back to the dorms and I left.
After that, we became friends and we exchanged phone numbers through my roommate. I found every reason to go talk to him or stand by him at OSU football games. Our romance sparked over Thanksgiving break. When he let me borrow his iPod to listen to some cool music he wanted to show me (I know, we’re cute) and I made a card for his “Thanksgiving-Birthday” before we left for the break. There was a lot of chatting over the phone. The night before break we actually stayed up all night together just talking! Neither of us wanted to go to sleep, because we literally enjoyed being around each other that much!!
After Thanksgiving break, we hung out a lot more. Went to Life Church every Sunday night. He would walk me to class or pick me up. I’d see him working out at the Colvin where he’d visit me during my 9-midnight shift at work. I made him start watching all the Harry Potter movies with me up until Christmas break. We talked on the phone or video chatted a lot during the break. He called me on New Years Eve and after that I could not wait to go back to college!! When we returned, we found out we were in the same class for Geology (worst class ever except for Dakota). We were 2 of the only ones that wanted to go to every OSU basketball game. We shared our first kiss on the kiss cam at one of the basketball games. Of course, this was the one game that my brother was in town for and saw the whole thing (Sorry Bro!) We didn’t even talk about this kiss for like a week.
Dakota planned this amazing night where he took me to the lake and we laid and talked. We talked a lot! I could tell he was nervous and was assuming this was one big ploy to ask me to be his girlfriend. We saw a shooting star together and everything.
He didn’t kiss me.
He didn’t ask me to be his girlfriend.
He didn’t even hold my hand.
Needless to say, it was very confusing going back to my dorm room that night. So, I called my mom the next day for advice. My mom and I have always been best friends. We’ve always been close and I’ve always trusted what she had to say. But I never really went to her (like I should have) for boy advice growing up. I thought I knew best. For this particular case, I needed someone’s help. Were Dakota & I just friends and I’ve been making up our “budding romance” in my head? Did he just decide he didn’t actually like me? Was he just nervous? You know, the normal “spiral-into-a-dark-whole” thinking that all girls do about boys. So, I called my mom and told her what happened and asked what to do. All I wanted to know was if he liked me. I wanted to do it the mature way, the “college way”. This is the advice my mom gave me:
“Make an excuse RIGHT NOW to go down and see him. Bring something for him. Like a drink or a cookie! Yes, a cookie! Then, march down there with your cookie and tell him how you feel. You don’t have to wait around to hear it from him. Go tell him yourself!”
So I did. I grabbed a frosted sugar cookie (my roommate and I were always buying sweets) and I marched down to Dakota’s room holding this single cookie. I blabbered on a lot (I’m sure), but I said it. I told Dakota that I liked him as more than a friend and that he could take that however he wanted to. Here is how Dakota replied:
“Man, you beat me to the punch. I wanted to be the one to tell you first.”
Duh! I wanted you to tell me first too, but you laid with me on a dock by a lake for 5 hours and talked about the different constellations rather than telling me you have feelings for me! 🙂 Love you babe.
So, that night we went out on a date to Which Wich. Romantic, I know! But we had a Freshman meal plan to use! When Dakota walked me back to my dorm room, sandwich in hand – he stopped and said this:
“So, I have 2 questions for you. 1) Do you want to date me? and 2) Can I kiss you?”
I blacked out after the 2nd question, but I said yes somehow and then….
Just one of those first peck kisses, but still it was the best! Here’s the funny story and why I’m telling you about this awesome moment. I still was so in shock and in disbelief that Dakota liked me that I got caught up in my own head. I was confused if when he asked me to “date” if that meant exclusive, boyfriend-girlfriend or if that meant what I thought “college dating” was, which is that we can date other people. I’m a mess!
So, I did something really embarrassing… I texted Dakota the next day and asked him if he meant that I was his girlfriend (Face Palm). He was giving blood at the time and had apparently had a hunch that I didn’t know he meant “boyfriend-girlfriends” either. So, he laughed and texted me back that, “Yes, he meant it that he wanted me to be his girlfriend. If that’s what I still wanted.” Ha ha! I just had to finally share this story, because it is so ridiculous and hilarious.
You watch movies about romances beginning and they seem so easy and normal. Girl likes the guy. Guy is unsure. Girl is unsure. Guy kisses girl. They are together. But ours was a slow-moving. It was like a 7 month process and ended with me being confused and having to ask if I was really his girlfriend! Romantic right?
I’ve learned a lot since then. Dating the same person for over 3 years and then being married to them for 2 have a lot of things in common. But also many differences. For instance, we are still the same people we fell in love with. We still have the same humor with one another. We can watch any movie together. We love OSU! We still let the other one know how proud we are of them. We hold each other up when we’re feeling down. We fight. We say things we don’t mean. We always apologize. We still surprise each other. We are followers of Christ. We love new adventures. We love doing life together.
The changes are that we are adults now. I don’t have to feel guilty when Dakota takes me out on a date, because we really didn’t have the money to go out a lot during college. Our fights get a little more serious. Finances are a common conversation. We work 8-9 hours, Monday to Friday. We don’t have breaks in the day in between classes to grab lunch or hang out. We don’t go out on Thursday nights drinking the night away with our friends. We really watch what we say to each other and how we say it. We tell each other what we think and feel a whole lot more. We get to wake up next to each other and fall asleep in each other’s arms. We are taking care of our baby, our puppy baby. We have new responsibilities as full-time workers. As dog parents. As home-renters.
As husband and wife.
Like I say all the time, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. I wouldn’t change a thing about these past 6 years with Dakota. I can’t believe we will be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this next year. I love my husband. I love being married young. I love my life.
Happy Anniversary Dakota!