One of my wonderful blog friends, Jenilee, is now hosting a great blog party each Wednesday.
Called "Wednesday's Walk," it's a great opportunity to share a memory that you call yours alone.
Anything at all.
I have decided to start out with our love story. In pictures.
Kevin and Melanie [circa 2004]::
He was my first.
First true love.
We started dating 3 months into our freshmen year at Spring Arbor University.
After we shared our first kiss my floor mates lovingly plastered my door with the announcement.
I came back squealing of joy that evening.
And they couldn't help but share in my excitement.
(See all the lovely red lips??)
Us. At a college ice skating event.
Skating for Tuques January 2005.
We held hands.
He pulled me around as I grasped his sweatshirt.
We've always laughed together.
This is us hanging out in my dorm room sophomore year, 2005.
The summer of 2006 I spent my time traveling in a 15 passenger van.
With 6 guys and one of my best girl friends, Brooke.
We comprised SAU's Wellspring.
A team of students commissioned to regional Christian camps to serve and lead students in worship.
Meanwhile, Kevin was on Long Island.
At the State University of New York working on a summer chemistry research program.
We really really missed each other those 11 weeks.
They were long. And hard.
Midway through the summer, my team traveled to Canada.
And my best friend, Britt, and her family came to visit me for the day.
I cried when I saw her.
It was a moment of normalcy and comfort.
And in her arms was this enormous bouquet of my special mix of flowers.
Especially sent from Kevin.
White Alstromeria and Red Roses.
I toted that bouquet around with me for the next four weeks.
The gift of my love got me through the summer.
Close to the end of that summer of Wellspring, Kevin and his family came to hear one of our concerts.
I was beaming if you can't tell.
Brittney loves taking pictures.
And for two years we were her most popular subjects.
Canadian Thanksgiving 2006.
Our third year spending the holiday with Britt's family.
We took time for a great photo shoot in her backyard.
That I love him.
I am a Buckeye through and through.
Kevin, on the other hand, bleeds maze and blue.
For his birthday in 2006 I secretly bought us a pair of tickets to a University of Michigan football game.
He loves me too.
and he called me his Little Buckeye.
January 2007 we spent three weeks traveling through Jamaica with 14 other SAU students and 2 team leaders.
All a part of our required Cross Cultural program.
It was fan-friggin-tastic (as my dear husband would say).
Here we are visiting a hospital in Kingston with the breathtaking Blue Mountains in the background.
Those weeks were transformational on every level.
Years after many of our classmates predicted our engagement, the day came.
August 21st, 2007.
The Perfect Proposal.
Melanie had spent the evening at Kevin's house and around 10:30pm he was driving her back to Somerset Beach Camp (where she lived and worked for the summer). He started reminiscing about his childhood years spent there, and they both agreed that it was a blessing to have shared a summer of camp counseling alongside one another. As they were pulling into the drive, Melanie suggested they go for a walk on the trails around the lake since neither of them had done so in 2 years. They made their way out to “The Point” (a narrow jut of land in the middle of
), and Kevin's arms were immediately wrapped around her. As they were standing there in the cool fog, hearing the water lapping against the shore, and lovingly gazing into one another's eyes, they realized what a perfect night it was. Mission Lake
For nearly a half hour Kevin went on and on about how much he was blessed by Mel. He told her how he had always had confidence in their relationship and that God had granted him complete peace about their future together. After a few more precious moments Kevin said, "But there's one more thing left to do." With that, he got down on one knee and said, "Melanie Marie, will you marry me?" Melanie responded quickly with a gleeful "Of course!"
He placed the ring on her finger, but since it was dark she didn't bother looking at it right away. When she finally asked to see it, he shone the flashlight on it and tears rushed to both of their eyes. The white gold that wrapped around the central diamonds and the eight smaller gems flanking it on either side was exactly what Melanie would have asked for if she could have come up with the image of that perfect symbol of everlasting commitment. For the remainder of their time together, they laughed, shared their dreams, and embraced the moment and one another. It was absolutely perfect!
October 2007, my handsome husband to be was elected to SAU's Homecoming Court.
I was so proud.
He even honored my request that we attend the dance.
Seeing as how he was a little required to do so, it was an easier request to have granted.
But this was still a big deal for him.
NOT an "organized dance" guy at. all.
But I think even he would tell you we had a fantastic time dancing the night away.
Engagement photo session with the lovely Karina.
Britt came along to help with cosmetics.
And we managed to get pulled over for a speeding ticket in the city park.
Going 25 in a 20mph zone.
May 24, 2008.
The perfect ceremony at my home church.
With all the friends and family from every stage of my life.
Officiated by our spiritual and relational mentor, Dr. Brewer.
Prayer of blessing given by my Daddy.
The perfect piano accompaniment by my beloved piano and voice teacher, Brenda.
All of it was sacred. intimate. meaningful.
I wouldn't change a thing.
Photos on the shores of Lake Erie.
We honeymooned at Hocking Hills State Park.
In an amazing little cabin in the woods.
Cricket's Cove it was called.
It was perfect.
I can't wait to go back some day.
For our one year anniversary in 2009, we camped out at Ludington State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Long thermal underwear.
A deflated air mattress.
A six hour powerful thunderstorm.
A tour of downtown and a car show.
It was all crazy.
But it was just what we needed.
What memories will be made this year?
And in the next five?
I can't wait to find out.
But meantime, I'm going to look for God's hand in each moment, every occurrence.
Knowing he has a great plan for our lives.