Today is Valentines Day and also happens to be the 24th anniversary of my first date with Rob (my husband – for those who don’t know us.) Awwww….I know, how sweet! Our story of how we got to the “dating point” was fun…grab a cup of coffee….it’s time for another “story time with Carol Ann.”
In May 1982, I returned with my parents from living in Bolivia where my parents served as missionaries. I walked into the youth group meeting at my parent’s home sending church, scared to death and really feeling like a fish out of water. Rob claims that after first seeing me walk in that day, he told his buddies, “Now that’s the girl I’m going to marry someday!” At that time I was 15 and Rob was 16.
Several months later, at another youth group event, Rob asked me to go with him to the SNAC (Sunday Night After Church) Putt Putt Golfing. We had a blast. I began to think, “Hmmm, I could really like this guy.” We started getting to know each other and I could tell he might be a bit interested too. We didn’t start dating though, because I was informed by someone that Rob was dating someone else. I didn’t want to cause any problems with anyone, being the new kid and all…but come to find out months later he really wasn’t dating her…she just was hoping and needed to get me out of the picture. They ended up dating for 4 months or so. (I know…so high schoolish – but what can you expect, we were in high school!!!)
Early in 1983 we went on a Winter Retreat with our youth group. Though Rob was dating “her” and not me, we had managed to grow in our friendship and really enjoyed hanging out together. Well – Rob decided I needed to go snow tubing with him and his buddies…they were building ramps and having a good old time. My brother’s had taught me to never back down from a new challenge and I totally was up for trying to tube and go over the ramp that they built. One problem – I’d never tubed before and though it should be obvious (hey there wasn’t snow tubing in Bolivia!) I didn’t hold on to the tube, just landed on it on my stomach and proceeded down the hill. I hit the ramp, laughing hysterically and promptly did a face plant and skidded to a stop on an icy patch, my inner tube had managed to escape since I forgot the whole holding on part! I sat up and knew there had been some nasty damage to the side of my face – and I was right. The first layer of skin on my cheek was gone….ew! All was well though, later that evening, Rob said, “Don’t worry, you’re still beautiful to me!” Hmmmmm…..later that retreat he “broke up” with “her”. He told her he needed to get his life together spiritually and didn’t want distractions from connecting with God.
Well, just a week or so later, it was Valentines Day and he asked me out. (I guess I was good for him spiritually?) We went bowling – how much romantic can you get? We had so much fun and we’ve been dating ever since! We were married almost 2 years later, June 14th, 1985.
So, on this Valentines Day, I say to my sweetheart, “Robert Steve, I love you, and I’m so happy to have journeyed with you for 24 years! Here’s to many, many more!” I still get “heart flutters” when I see Rob across the room and he can make me laugh and knows me better than anyone else. I know it’s a mushy thing to put this all out for you all to see, but hey, 24 years is an accomplishment I’m proud of and to still be in love with the boy you met in high school? That doesn’t happen too much anymore! Rob, you’ll always be my Valentine!