Completing Him Challenge: Week 1

I'm really excited about the Completing Him Challenge that's happening over at the Women Living Well Blog. If you haven't already checked it out, you should head on over and see what's what.

This is week one of the 8-week challenge, and this week the blogger assignment is to share some photos and stories of when we were dating. For those of you who are not bloggers, the focus this week is to do something that will remind your husband of the youthful woman he fell in love with on day one. Whether that's wearing something you know he's always loved, or going out on a date (alone!) doing something you enjoyed back in the beginning, or maybe just sitting on the couch, holding hands and talking about how you first wooed each other, go ahead and take your marriage to throwback land and remember your first days and months together.

I have to be honest, I have no idea how to fulfill that part of the challenge. Luckily the week still has 5 more days. :)

As for the other assignment for bloggers, I did pull out a few pictures. And if you promise not to laugh too hard, or judge too harshly, I'll tell you a little story of a boy and a girl and a hardware store.

I don't have any pictures of when Sean and I first met, but I can most certainly paint one for you. It was my first day at The Home Depot (I was going to be working in the paint department). I had just wrapped up the sitting and drooling part of orientation, and the HR guy was walking the new hires through the store. He huddled us all together in an aisle and this young kid walks up and says "hey, are they mine?" The HR guy says "some of them", they laugh a little and we move on.

That young kid was Sean. He was all of 22.

Over the next several weeks, we'd chat here and there and I remember distinctly one day he complimented me on my hair as I was throwing cardboard into the compactor. It caught me by surprise because he seemed genuinely nice, not gropey or stalker-ish or weird. Just nice.

Some weeks later, I got involved in Team Depot and started volunteering for community service projects with the store. It was one of the things I absolutely loved about working there. Turns out, he was the Team Depot Captain. And on my first outing, we spent the entire playground building day, shoveling mulch together and getting to know one another with about 500 other community and Home Depot volunteers.

I was smitten.

Fast forward a few months and we started hanging out, outside of work. Eventually we went on a few real dates. Our first date was actually him helping me install a closet organizer at my apartment. We ordered a 5-cheese pizza and I tried to convince the pizza shop guy to give us a 6th cheese. We watched SNL. Good times. I'm pretty sure he still has the scrap of cardboard I gave him with my phone number on it.

Another one of our firsts was country line dancing:

yee haw

We'd hang out a lot at his parents' house and talk into the wee hours of the morning. And we worked together, so there was quite a bit of face time.

Despite all these happy faces, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that because of major faith differences (as in, I was a believer and he was not--I know, I know, I'll tell the whole story another time), we had a crazy rocky start. We broke up probably 6 times in the first few months because I had such a tough time reconciling our differences.

Spoiler alert: Eventually they got reconciled, and we've been on the same page now for 6 years. More on that another time.

Anyhoo, once our faith drama resolved, we had a strong, vibrant and fun relationship for about 18 months. We'd watch movies, go to the driving range, laugh a lot, go on day trips all over the place, volunteer together, go to church and church events, hang out with family and friends. It was a really fun time.

on a trip to visit his brother, who was stationed in nevada with the air force

one of our trips up to niagara falls. recognize those blue ponchos?

We did a lot of laughing, a lot of dreaming, a lot of sharing, a lot of praying. In that respect, things haven't really changed much for us. I thank God for that.

In July 2005, Sean got baptized in the same lake where I and so many of those I loved dearly, had also been baptized. Five days later, he proposed (boy is THAT a funny story!). And four months later, we were married in our church in front of about 150 of our friends and family.

I got to marry my best friend.

But that's all for another time.

So that's my dating story. I could go into a million little details about our adventures, but I've sure you'll get more than your fair share of our story in the coming weeks. Thanks for taking this journey with me. I'd love to hear your dating stories!

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