Graduation Day, June 1999
Ethan and I both graduated from Marquette Senior High School 10 years ago this month. I know, we're getting old, but I really don't mind...it's exciting. Even though we're a mere six hours south, we aren't going to be able to make it to the reunion in July. :( We both think it would be super fun, but Ethan will be right at the end of a VERY busy summer term, and we're going up to MQT a few weeks after, AND the cost of gas is getting up there again, so we made the decision not to go. (We would have had to drive up Friday morning of the reunion, hang out Saturday, and drive super early Sunday morning for Ethan to be home in time for a group project meeting ....NOT fun with two little kiddies.) We do keep in touch or get together with our close friends from high school often-ish. And now with facebook, we pretty much know what everyone else is up to that we might be curious about. Plus, there's always the 20 year! :) So...
Junior Year. 1998. *I have many other photos of us from high school, but didn't want to take the time to scan them. Some are pretty sweet, some are pretty amusing.*
One of our friends, Becky, was curious about "our story." You know, how we ended up together since we do have some history from High School. I thought I'd set the record straight...because I am just positive you are all dying to know the details of our dating story. Ha! (Please pick up on the sarcasm here.) *I don't think you quite know what you're in for, but this is long and detailed, even by my standards. Feel free to skim or skip, of course. I do think that someday our kids will be interested in this story, so I didn't want to leave anything out, since this blog is also our FAMILY JOURNAL. (I'm saving it onto CD. :) Well, you've been warned.*
I moved to Marquette the summer before my sophomore year, so that is technically when Ethan and I first met. However, he was dating a nice girl, and I started dating one of his good friends at the time within a month or so. Most of sophomore year we were dating these other people, and then we both just happened to "break up" around the same time. *Oh my goodness, all this high school dating stuff is just so amusing now...but it was so serious then.* So, shortly after that time, summertime-ish before junior year maybe, Ethan and I became good friends. And eventually, very good friends. We really had tons of fun together, loved talking with each other, and we were close, even when we dated other people. We always felt very comfortable around eachother; we had chemistry and we just clicked. We hung out all the time Junior and Senior year. About half of senior year we "officially dated" each other, and went to a formal dance or two. *Seriously I am laughing to myself right now because teenage relationships are just.....funny.* We were way better friends than we were boyfriend/girlfriend. We didn't always make the best decisions together - ahem, understatement - like skipping school all the time senior year (this was before MSHS enforced their attendance policies), among other things. But we were good kids, were active in our church (we talked religion/shared testimonies and beliefs often), got good grades, and we were involved in various school clubs/sports/organizations. We had some mutual friends and some of our "own circle" of friends, which was nice. We have so many good memories from that time - Like hiking and swimming during the summer, a couple formal dances, randomly breaking out into "Our Song," Little Presque Isle, double dates with friends, having movie nights together, Sugar Loaf Mountain, studying together :), Taco Bell runs, cliff jumping, a surprise birthday party Eth planned for me senior year, kickin' it with our mutual friends, :) cruising in the econoline van - HA, a sweet Valentine's date I planned senior year, church activities, and the list could go on and on.
After we graduated, Ethan went with his family to New Zealand for a year and I did a year at NMU. We kept in touch a bit during this time - on the phone a few times, and Eth even wrote me letters, which is not something that comes naturally for him. The summer after, Ethan was getting ready for a two year mission to Australia and I went to Idaho for a summer term at BYU-Idaho. We did get to hang out a bit at the end of summer, right before Ethan's mission, because I was in Marquette to see my brother, Andrew, who had just returned home from his two year mission to Mexico. I remember the last time I saw Ethan before he left for Australia. We were in my parents backyard at Andrew's open house. I had this realization that it could very well be the last time I ever saw Ethan, and it made me so sad. (Little did I know. :) Yeah, I had dated other good, fun guys by this time, and Ethan and I were just friends. But it was Ethan - we'd been such close friends for years. I was pretty sure that everything would be different for both of us in two years time (it was different, but in only positive ways). BUT, we said our goodbyes and didn't see each other for almost 4 years.
Ethan spent two years in Australia, and then attended BYU when he got home. I went back to BYU-Idaho, lived in Utah for a semester, spent a summer in Indiana living with old friends and working at Purdue University, had two marriage proposals (did you guys know I was such a heart breaker? :) and then went on a mission to Los Angeles. *I was joking about the heart breaker comment. It was just coincidence. But seriously, I often think how thankful I am that I ended up with Ethan over any other guy I've dated.* So during this three year period Ethan and I sent each other maybe a letter or two each. Even though we'd been close friends, I thought it'd be good for both of us to limit contact and focus on our separate, current adventures. Then, I got home from my mission in July of 2003. Ethan was out in Utah, but he called me within the first week, you know, just to say hi. :) Ethan and my brother Andrew were still really good friends, and we had some other mutual friends, so we didn't really loose track of each other even though we weren't keeping in touch.
I moved to Indiana for the fall semester to stay with my Uncle and Aunt. I wanted to spend time with my younger brother, Alex, and earn money before going back to school. Ethan called a few times a week and we talked for hours. Seriously, hours. I really looked forward to his phone calls. We e-mailed all the time. I have to give my Uncle Harry credit for accurately predicting in October-ish 2003, that Ethan and I would eventually get married. When I insisted repeatedly that Ethan and I had tried the dating thing already, and were just really good friends, he insisted: "Angela, no boy calls that often unless he's interested in being more than really good friends." Such a wise observation, Harry. :) So, Ethan and I were both going to be in Marquette for Christmas and we hadn't seen each other in years, but we had been in touch constantly over the last few months. I seriously never thought we would end up dating...not to mention getting married. We were just really good friends. I mean, we even told each other about dates we went on with other people. (Ethan told me later that I was the one other girls he dated were compared against. I was just that fun to hang out with. *Another bit o' sarcasm* But it was a mutual sentiment. Sweet.
So, when we saw each other in Marquette, it was........awkward! We'd talked for hours and hours over the last few months, but it was weird in person. We went cross country skiing together, had a movie night with KC chaperoning :), attempted to go ice skating without ice skates, had some game nights with friends, but we were pretty quiet around each other at first. So then I brought up the fact that it felt weird, and things lightened up. Nothing helps a situation like stating the obvious. hehe. We also brought up the fact that so many people had told us that we should start dating again. I told Ethan I didn't think I could ever date him again (but deep down I think I probably wanted to...I mean, best friends make the best husbands, right? Maybe I was just being cautious...playing it cool. hehe). Ethan told me he didn't think we could stay such good friends if we were dating other people; it'd be too hard. So, we held out for about one week, and then decided we should give dating a try, you know, just see how it goes.
Rexburg, Idaho. January 2004.
We were out west by this point, the beginning of January; Ethan in Provo at BYU, and I in Rexburg at BYU-Idaho. It was a 3 and a half hour drive that one of us made every weekend (except two) all semester. So again, during this time we talked on the phone and e-mailed a lot. And usually spent Thursday to Sunday doing fun, date-y stuff in Rexburg or Provo. We also tried to go to the temple every weekend, but probably only got there half the time. After dating for about 5 whole weeks (I know, it's not long), we thought we might want to get married. We decided to pray and fast about it...since it is a pretty big decision :)...and everything was happening so quickly. It felt so right immediately, but we wanted to be absolutely sure we weren't just getting caught up in the excitement of it all. We were in Provo the weekend of Valentine's Day. We went to the temple. After church on Sunday, February 15th (NOT on Valentine's Day) we were talking about marriage, our impressions, answers to prayers, and feelings for one another. We came to the important conclusion that we were meant for each other. The time was right. It was a very exciting afternoon for us there on BYU's campus. It was so quick, but we'd known each other for years, and we had no doubts. It's funny, but once we were officially engaged, all of the sudden we felt too young to be getting married, 22 and 23, and that's something that two of our grandmothers told us. :)
So, that weekend is when we knew we were getting married, but the next weekend was a more traditional proposal. I didn't think Ethan was going to be able to come up and visit the following weekend, but he surprised me. When I answered the door, he was standing there, red rose in hand, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. He even looked nervous, and he says he was, which I now think is funny since we already knew we were getting married. It's a good memory though, and a great weekend he planned for us. Oh, and about six of my ten roommates were looking on from the window, clapping and cheering when he popped the question. When I of course said yes, Ethan pulled out the ring box - which was so sweet, because I didn't even know that he had bought the ring already. Ahhh. (He chose the perfect ring for me...all by himself. :)
The next two and a half months were busy, but fun. Telling our parents was...interesting. Unfortunately, it took three of the four of them by surprise. Ethan says he never really filled his parents in on his dating life (although they were, and are close, and he kept them informed on all of his other life happenings). Our relationship was no different. I think they had just found out the week before that we were dating, and then Ethan called a week later to say we were engaged and were getting married at the end of the semester. Whew, that's got to be crazy. I had told my mom everything, and had kept her informed minute by minute. :) She was very excited when we told her - screamed, laughed, screamed some more. I assumed that my mom was filling in my dad along the way, but maybe not. Ethan was so nervous to call my dad to tell him we were getting married. (We decided not to do the whole "ask permission" thing, because we'd already decided, but my dad - Father of the Bride - was the first informed, and Ethan called him to give the news.) My dad said something along the lines of, "Well...Sure." It was a very short conversation. This is all a bit amusing to us now that we are so much closer to our in-laws. :)
A couple of our engagement pictures shown above. I know that many personality traits and characteristics don't change in people, so in many ways we were the same people we were in high school. But in many other, more significant ways, Ethan and I had changed a lot since high school by the time we got back together. We had numerous, individual life experiences - living in different places, meeting different people, learning different things - that helped shape who we had become back in 2004. These experiences made us that much more perfect for each other. One of the biggies was that we both served a mission for our church. The mission helped strengthen our faith, but also taught us so much about people, the world, compassion, service, different cultures, and so much more. Religion was a huge part of who we were in high school too, but a mission helped to solidify us. I think it's fun that we knew each other in high school, and have a history there. But I love even more that we didn't keep in touch for years, went our separate ways, had other relationships, lived in other places, grew as individuals, and met back up. I personally think it's a pretty sweet story, but I am biased since it's my story.
And this is our wedding day, which is described in great detail in a previous journal entry. We were happy. We were excited. We were very much looking forward to living in the same place...not having to drive 3 1/2 hours to see each other on long weekend trips. Once we decided to start dating again (January 6-ish 2004), it didn't take long to get to this point above (April 30, 2004). We just new it was right. I am so blessed to have my best friend as my husband. Ethan is such a great friend, husband, and father. I love him.
So to tie this back in with what we've been up to for the last 10 years since we graduated in 1999: from our wedding in 2004 to now, 2009, we've bought and sold our first home, had two babies, both finished our bachelors degree, Ethan's one year into his DPT program, and we've had lots of fun, and a few hard moments, along the way. I wouldn't change any of it. It's fun for me to reflect and look back on our story. I would have never guessed that we would end up together, but I am so glad we did.