Nick and I are not ones to follow the usual tradition of having a date on Valentine's Day. Why do it? It is just another day. Tonight, however, we broke down and went out for a nice dinner-without kids. I must stress the "without kids" part.
We went to a fancy place downtown (thanks to a gift card), but it really could have been a fast food place and it would have been perfect, simply because we were kid free!
This has me thinking back to dates we have had in the past. Here are a few of my favorites...
First date: We went out for pizza after church with a couple of friends. This was considered a date because it was the first time we were out as "more than friends." The beauty of this story is that Nick tried to be a gentleman and dish out my pizza. He then proceeded to drop the slice on my khaki pants. After apologizing over and over, he tried again (amidst my pleas for him to stop) and, yes, the second piece also fell on my lap.
While he was thinking, "This girl will never go out with me again," we walked to his car. I climbed into the front seat and felt my pants rip. Anyone who knows Nick's car from college can remember the wire that stuck up out of the front passenger seat. I must have forgotten about it while focusing on my pizza sauce stain and officially ruined those pants forever.
For some reason I kept on dating him and the stories got better.
The One Month Anniversary: We went to Jamaica on a mission trip within the first month of dating. The last night of our trip, we were treated to a candlelight dinner near the ocean, with a man walking around serenading couples with a broken guitar. I looked at Nick and said, "This is a great one month anniversary. What are we doing next month?"
I cannot leave out the night of our two-year anniversary: He came over for dinner (when I made the only meal I knew how to make at the time-spaghetti). He gave me a beautiful necklace which I was very happy about, but secretly disappointed that it was not a gem for my finger. He went back to college while I went to lead the youth group at the church I worked for.
After work, I went home and when I entered my house, I heard music coming from upstairs. It was the song that I knew I eventually wanted to walk down the aisle to. I went up to my room and there was Nick, standing in my bedroom, with candles lit and the music playing. He got down on one knee, said all sorts of things that I swore I would never forget, and proposed.
Apparently, he went straight back to my parents house while I was at youth group. He asked their permission and then they sat around and watched Jeopardy, waiting for me to come home. They all hid in another room waiting for my answer, which of course was "yes" :)
I still think my favorite date was the night we found out we were expecting Abby. I had just taken a pregnancy test and we were in shock at the result. We went out to eat at a restaurant near our apartment and just stared at each other with big, goofy grins on our faces. We had absolutely no idea what we were getting outselves into, but we were excited to find out.
Thank you, Nick, for eleven years of dates and simply time spent together.