In Oct 2013 we celebrated our five year anniversary. As we were driving back from Dallas this past Saturday from a work training, we spent most of the car ride trying to remember some of the details of our dating life. They are so fuzzy. We couldn’t even agree on when we had our first kiss. Goodness, we’ve only been married five years and we already can’t remember so many things that I hope to remember when we’re eighty. With that in mind, I decided I better get some of this down on paper because God knows what we will remember at our ten year anniversary. This is the story of how we met:
It was the summer of 2004. For the three years before that me and two of my best friends from high school had gone on a summer mission trip to a little Catholic school — St. Peter Indian Mission School. Our home parish would load up some vans full of our youth group and drive us over to Arizona, just outside of Phoenix. There we would put on Vacation Bible School for K-8. But in 2004, our church decided to add a high school retreat for the high schoolers that lived on the reservation we served. Me and C and S were the only ones in college so they asked us to put it together and see if we could get some college guys to come along. My friend, S, who went to UT (Austin), called up Kraft and asked him if he knew of any guys in the Catholic fraternity that might be interested. Two guys signed up immediately but instead of put effort into looking for anyone else Kraft thought, hmm, free trip to AZ, why not? and he signed up, too.
Fast forward to the day before we left for St. Peter’s. Kraft and his two friends drove in to S’s house and me and C went to go meet them. Kraft tells me at the time they had no idea they were going to see anyone except S. They were not expecting to meet any new girls yet; they just thought they were going to crash at S’s house until the morning when they had to leave. We could totally tell. When C and I walked into S’s kitchen, the looks on the guys’ faces was so classic deer in the headlights. Later Kraft told me he was so embarrassed. He said that if he knew he was going to meet some girls he would have not worn what he was wearing. But we quickly all hit it off and were cracking up over some Subway sandwiches.
We all got along so so well. I remember just laughing and laughing that whole week. I didn’t feel any feelings of romance toward Brandon but I liked him right away. I loved how much he loved his faith and he was funny. Oh yeah, and I thought he was such an endearingly dorky guy. All three of the guys would sit around and argue about liturgical things.
The retreat we ran that week went great but it was exhausting. All the kids stayed with us overnight all week so we never got a break and they never, ever slept. For the whole week.
Of course the kids being high schoolers, they were very interested in our love lives and decided to take it upon themselves to play matchmaker. They paired up my other two friends with the other two guys and then they paired up Brandon and I. At this point, I still didn’t have feelings for Kraft in that way but (he told me later) he was so excited that they paired us up. The kids spent the rest of the week pretending that we were married to each other.
At some point during the week I realized that Kraft liked me. He would just always find a reason to be around me (not that any of us could get very far from one another), but he would always end up sitting next to me at lunch or during Mass or on a bus ride. I didn’t like him like that but I also wasn’t weirded out by it. I was so comfortable around him and could say anything to him. It was nice to make such a good friend so quickly.
By the end of the week, other than being exhausted, the six of us all really loved each other — not in the romantic sense but a true sense of camaraderie, of being family. We flew back to Houston and I’m pretty sure that Brandon made a deal with the person who was sitting next to me to move it so he could sit next to me. We talked and laughed the whole trip home and right as the plane started its descent, he finally worked up the courage to ask me….
for my AOL instant messenger screename and email address. Omigoodness, he was/is such a dork! He couldn’t even ask for my number but it was so so cute. To this day I want to make and sell shirts that say: “Hey baby, what’s your email? Let’s IM sometime.”