Tuesday, March 9, 2010

{ Stud...found! }

There totally aren't enough photos of this hottie on my blog.

Earlier this week he put up curtains in our bedroom. Or are they called drapes? I'm not sure. Either way: YAY!!! We now have something more than bare blinds which I feel sure the neighbors can occasionally see through. This man blesses me so much. He even borrowed a studfinder from his dad to make sure he screwed the brackets into studs. In the above photo, he is demonstrating that, when he holds the studfinder over his chest, all sorts of beeps and excitement happen. The studfinder gets very excited that it has found a very studly stud.

Lemme tell you a funny story: A few years ago, my brother Joe gave me a studfinder for Christmas. Yes, a purple studfinder. With batteries. His comment: "It looks like you need some help!" We all laughed so hard, my Dad harder than anyone else. I never used the studfinder {it actually appears I gave it away or lost it, which is why we had to borrow one}, but perhaps it gave off studfinding vibes. I met Mike less than ten months later. He is definitely a stud. And I found him.

I'm thinking about renaming March "The Month of Love." Spring is my favorite season: the smell of new grass; gentle whispering showers; the blossoming newness of cherry trees and apple buds, tulips and daffodils and crocuses. March in particular is dear to my heart. It's the month Mike and I started dating {2008}, and the month we got engaged {2009}.

We had been flirting for months when he sneakily got my parents' phone number by having my roommate Lizett ask for it {under the ruse that if anything happened to me, she wanted to be able to get ahold of my family}. I totally fell for it, never guessing she'd give it to Mike, who would call my Dad {whom he had never met} and ask permission to date me. After Bible study a couple weeks later, Mike asked if he could stop by Liz's and my apartment on the way home; he said there were some things we needed to talk about. I had that sinking feeling in my gut: "Oh no...he's going to say we need to stop talking on the phone so frequently...he's going to stop texting...he's going to totally break it off with me!!" I was very hesitant and somber on the drive back to my place. I was pretty sure this was not going to be a happy conversation.

Walking across the parking lot to the apartment, Mike pulled a long-stemmed red rose from behind his back and asked if I would go on a date with him.


There is a very unflattering photograph of me, taken about one minute after this shock, which my dad asked Mike to take, since he couldn't be there to see my face. I shall not post it online. I look vaguely like a hypnotized cow.

Three days later, March 29, Mike took me on The Most Epic First Date Ever. I am still blown away by how much thoughtfulness and attention to detail he exhibited in planning this amazing, amazing day. He took note of so many little things I'd mentioned in passing since we met, and worked them into the day. Let me show you:

It was a stunningly clear, sunshiny morning. I love going places on ferries, and sometimes refer to sunny days as "perfect for a ferry ride." Our first destination was a ferry dock. We took the ferry across to a rustic little town and had coffee at a quaint little waterfront crepe-and-coffee shop. Mike loves to dance, and we danced on the ferry dock, on the ferry, on the sidewalk. Back on the mainland a few hours later, Mike drove us to Costco, where we walked up and down the aisles, hand in hand. This was too sweet: As a teenager, my dream date was to walk through Costco holding hands with my sweetheart. Apparently that's a rural-Idaho-homeschool-girl thing, because years later I told Chelle about my secret 16-year-old-dream-date, and she gasped, "That was my dream date, too!" So here I was, almost 25, and experiencing my teenage idea of bliss walking through Costco holding hands. We danced down a few aisles, too.

{I look at this photo and my first thought is: "We look so young!" Mike is one of those men who will age exceptionally well; he makes me glad that I'm still occasionally mistaken for a high school student. We were young...I was not quite 25, he was 21. Yes, I'm a cradle-robber. It's the best way to be! Oh yes, and my hair is all over the place because we were on the ferry. Ferry-hair is an unavoidable side-effect of ferry journeys.}

Next we went to my house, where Mike instructed me to dress up. He changed into a suit. Our destination, unbeknownst to me till we arrived, was the Columbia Tower Club at the top of the Columbia Tower {Seattle's tallest skyscraper}. Only those with memberships are allowed into the club, and you can only obtain a membership if a current member extends you an invitation. As an entrepreneur with many business connections, Mike had a membership...and up we went, dancing in the elevator for 76 stories. In the club, surrounded by rich mahogany, we sat at a little table in glowing candlelight and drank wine. Below us, out the windows, was a glorious tangle of freeways ribboned with headlights, soft dusky twilight over islands and water, twinkling city lights, and fog creeping in from the Sound. It was magical.

This was not, however, Mike's final destination for us. Oh no! When Mike decides to woo a lady, he woos her. We danced back down the elevators and made our way through twilight fog to a classy restaurant on the waterfront of Mike’s hometown—his favorite town in the world. We ate a delicious dinner looking out over the marina, watching ferries glide over silken waters in the starlight. After dinner we walked out to the end of the pier and danced.

{I told you it was Epic!}

I think I am even more overwhelmed now than I was then by the tenderness, care, and detail that Mike invested in that day. He pulled out all the stops. He showed me, in every way he possibly could have, how much I meant to him. Even though it was our first date. Even though we'd first met less than six months earlier. He was a 21-year-old Casanova, in only the positive senses of the word! And I—the homeschool graduate, the absolute nerd in college who had no life and a GPA to prove it, the happy workaholic, the girl who at 25 had been on only a handful of dates {including the Blind Date from Purgatory and a breakup that involved being told the Pope was "my type”}—I was left speechless. Overwhelmed by the undeserved grace of God, shown me by this man.

I had no idea that exactly 365 days later, Mike would take the term "Epic Date" to a completely different level.


  1. Oh that was fun, thank you! Your Mike reminds me of mine, somehow. I think it must be the cute-but-nerdy factor? Or am I reading your man wrong? Mine's definitely a nerd. A friend referred to me as a "nerd-lover" the other day. And while I was struck a little speechless (in an amused way), once I thought about it, I could not refute it. Plus, my guy also looks like he's nineteen, and probably will until he's pushing 50.

    Plus, I miss having ferry hair. And hugging you!

  2. oh nikki...i loved reading this...loved it! and had to laugh...a lot...my mike likes to hold studfinders up and do the beeping thing too...and he's right...a stud has been found. and...oh my...walking through costco is still one of my mike and my favorite dates...seriously...which i suppose puts me on par with homeschooled idahoans...maybe idaho and indiana have lots in common...idaho has potatoes though...and here in indiana its all about the corn. :) and the cradle-robbing...definitely good stuff...cradle-robbing and marrying fabulous studs named mike...we sure are smart girls!

  3. oh Nikki
    this is just So AMAZING!!
    That is the most romantic first date I have ever heard of.. maybe I need to email this through to Morgan! ;)
    yes, craddle robbing is SO the way to go - they are going to be cuter for longer lol :)

    oh and the stud thing had me laughing too - It reminds me of a cartoon Morgan and I had about a stud in the hall and not the wall and he used to like saying it while standing in any hallway :)

    Also so glad to have met you and spend some fun time with you on our weekend away :)

  4. Oh shoot, I have to jump on the stud-finding Mike bandwagon too. But, I'll get kicked off the cradle robbing one. ;) Loved loved loved reading about your truly epic 1st date. How could you possibly say "no" after that??? lol
    But part, without a doubt though is the quote at the end, "the pope is your type."
    I seriously snorted. :)

  5. Loved this whole post so, so much Nikki! Can't wait to meet your stud in person someday... maybe next time in the area visiting my sister-in-law? Miss you!