Today marks the 1 year date of meeting my husband. Wait a minute... For the first time!?!? Yep! you got it. Met. As in, "Hey my name is Ben, what's your name?" "Oh, hi Ben. I'm Renee. Nice to meet you." "Wow you're nice. Wanna get married?" Okay okay, so it wasn't quite that fast, but close. (It's okay, most people think we're nuts. Some try to mask their opinion with a smile and a compliment like "Oh, that's so sweet that you knew so soon." But most say, "WHAT!? You're crazy." Side note- i mean, how do you respond to that? End side note). Anyway, all that aside, the day and the following weeks are very vivid memories.
The Chicago Center is an off-campus study program that facilitates internships and student teaching in the city of Chicago for students from all over the country. Their students live in apartments throughout Hyde Park, a south side neighborhood, and take classes through the Center. Ben and I both studied at the Chicago Center last fall, and today marks the 1 year anniversary of move-in day. We met waiting to check-in for orientation. I thought Ben was cute, but I didn't expect this Nebraska man to win my heart, become my best friend, and my husband in the upcoming year. That same night we were required to go to the Latin American Music festival in Grant Park. We sat near each other on the bus (Ben says I purposely sat near him.... i'm not so sure about that... wink wink) and ended up walking around the festival aimlessly. Let's be honest, we didn't care about the festival. Reminiscing, Ben says he really wanted to salsa dance but was too nervous to ask me [not that either of us know how to salsa anyway].
Over the course of the next couple weeks, we spent lots of time together. Orientation activities all day and in our free time, walks, coffee, and hanging out with new friends. Oh, and a few husker football games. Ben was eagar to meet my parents since he knew my family was close-knit (something our families share in common). My dad tells the story like this:
Well, we knew you thought this guy was pretty great already, but we weren't sure how serious it could be since you'd only known him for 2 weeks. When you two walked in the door, he was polite, shook our hands and the Lord told me, "This is the one." I said, "really? him?" "Yep. Him." "Okay. Your call."
Ben and I laugh at that story but eventually, we all came to what my dad knew within 30 seconds of meeting Ben.
I could share many details of our story (after all, a LOT happened in about 3-4 months, which is about how long it took us to decide to get married.) But, I'll end it for now. Perhaps I'll share more in the following blogs.
Though we are still learning about each other daily, Ben has become my best friend and the man I'm madly in love with. So, here's to 1 year of knowing each other, babe, and a life time of years to come! Love you always