Oh hey friends. It’s been an interesting summer—to say the least.
As this summer progressed and Drew and I knew we were headed towards getting married, I intentionally decided to work very little this summer and savor the last of my Indiana days with my family. I’m so glad I made that choice, because meeting, getting engaged, planning a wedding and a move in less than 5 months is admittedly fast.
I have been wanting to share our story here in more detail and it’s taken a few weeks for me to write it out, but here it is: the answer to the question….
How did you two meet?
Drew had several people ‘recommend’ me over the past few years, including one of his aunts, a mutual friend of ours, and a brother. Since our extended families have known each other for decades, and our mothers grew up knowing each other, it’s an odd set of circumstances that I knew of Drew and he knew of me but our families didn’t meet until this year.
But (and I don’t blame him for this!), he’s a make-up-his-own-mind kind of guy. And funny enough, we both had fairly strong preconceived ideas about the other before actually ever meeting.
On my side, I had always felt inwardly conflicted when it came to my blog and guys meeting me. In one sense, it could be a way for a guy to get to know more about you and what you’re passionate about, but the ‘online’ side of me is only one facet of who I am. I also love music, and interior design, and cooking, and hospitality, and the arts, and theology and so many other things. I often wondered if it poorly impacted my ability to have a fair exchange of information with someone interested in me or if a guy of the caliber that I desired would want a girl who had a fairly prominent online presence. Over the course of the past couple years, I’ve had many conversations about this with my parents and friends. And they have all offered me the same advice—that “God’s will won’t be thwarted by your blog.” Even as late as this spring, a recently-married friend with a popular blog encouraged me to trust God with this portion of my life and it was tremendously encouraging to me. I began to embrace anew the talents and desires I have that are expressed in through what I do.
Early this year, I began to know a new sense of joy and peace that I had not known in a long time.
In the meantime, totally unbeknownst to me, Drew was watching. Last summer, I was surprised to get a Facebook friend request from Drew’s dad. Little did I know, Drew was the one who had actually taken multiple guesses at his parents’ Facebook password to send me a friend request on that account. Later in October, while I was on a social media fast, I logged in to check with a mastermind group I had started that fall and saw he had sent me a friend request. After some internal debating about appearances, I accepted the request, but didn’t think all that much of it afterwards. Whatever.
Time went on, and fall and winter and some of spring passed.
One Saturday, I was sitting at church in a training meeting and decided to check my email. I have two email accounts, one for personal/promotional emails and the other that is strictly business and I’m very careful not to sign the business email up for any promotional emails. When I saw there was an order confirmation from Barnes and Noble for something, a flurry of texts went off to my parents asking if anyone had used my business credit card. I knew this would be highly odd of them to do, so I honestly thought my credit card had been hacked. After bracing myself to deal with this fiasco, I opened the order confirmation to see if I could find out anything else and found out that it was actually a gift…and there was a gift message.
The message was highly cryptic and it went with a book I had never heard of. After the book came in a mail a few days later, I read it over the course of three days. I even tried posting about it on social media, thinking maybe one of my girlfriends had sent it to me. But no one said anything and my curiosity was just about to explode. (To quote my Dad, he said it sent me into a “tailspin.”)
After a week of going after it really hard, I realized that whoever had sent it to me had done a most thorough job of covering their tracks and they would reveal themselves only when they were ready.
A bit later in the spring, our families were invited to a get-together with mutual friends. I wasn’t going to go. My spring had been relatively drama-free (besides the book) and I was enjoying it that way. But when my cousin cancelled his plans at our house for that day, my Mom insisted that our entire family go.
The day we met, I had NO idea that he had anything to do with the book or that he had been evaluating me from afar. None. Zero. After we met, Drew seemed casual and very relaxed–in spite of a random comment that struck me as slightly odd–about me having a ‘fan club’ and people talking to him about me for the last two years. I had no idea if that was a good thing or a bad thing or if he was making fun of me. Beyond some small interactions, we didn’t have much of a chance to talk. As I watched the way he interacted with others, though, I was impressed, especially with the way he paid attention to others and was kind and fun at the same time.
Mom invited Drew over for dinner before our family walked out the door for the night. Subtle, Mom. But he didn’t say goodbye to me, so I really had no idea.
Both of my parents had enjoyed a long conversation with Drew and talked about him on the way home. As we drove away I prayed that the Lord would work in a way that would be best—whether that meant any kind of conversation with Drew in the future or not. And I left it there and resolved to continue my drama-free spring.
Little did I know, we’d soon be having a lot more conversations than I could even guess.
The next morning, he messaged my parents saying he’d love to take them up on the dinner offer and when my computer accidentally signed into my parents account the next morning (I promise it was actually an accident…I had recently sorted out a spam issue on my parent’s account), I almost had a heart attack.
That afternoon, Drew messaged me on Facebook. I got the first message while we were at church and pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get us out the door. Then, that night, after a bit of chatting about books, Drew revealed to me that he had been the one who had sent me that book several weeks before. Let’s just say I suddenly had a clearer picture of how serious his intentions were.
Two days after that, he talked to my Dad on the phone and asked me to go on a date to Chicago with him. That Saturday, he drove the 4 hours down to our family’s house for dinner, and we talked for hours afterwards.
Much as we both liked each other, we spent those first few weeks evaluating each other. I laugh now when I read our texts from the first few weeks because I sounded so skeptical. Mostly I just wanted to be sure that we both knew what we were getting into. But the more we talked the more I liked him and the more we saw the threads of God working in our lives to bring us together.
Very shortly, we had a pretty good idea that marriage was on the table. There was no ‘just friends’ stage, and as we talked more and more, we could see that life together might be a pretty good thing. I know this isn’t everyone’s style, but for us—two Type-A people with our ducks somewhat in a row, and nothing hindering the prospect of marriage in the near future—it was really how both of us would have preferred it anyway. Drew had just completed his PMP certification and my design business was going well and I was wrapping up piano teaching for the spring, and we were both able to take advantage of the fact that there were no major distractions from getting to know each other and potentially planning for the future.
The Allis is special to us. Earlier this year, I posted a picture of the inside on my Instagram because I thought it was beautiful but I had never managed to get there when we went to Chicago. Unbeknownst to me, Drew drove all the way down from Northern Michigan to check it out. A few days after we had met we were chatting about Chicago and coffee shops and places we liked to go, and he mentioned that he loved The Allis. I responded with something like “that’s so neat–I’ve always wanted to go there…” and then a few minutes later as we had almost moved on to something else I asked him where he had heard of The Allis, and he said “when you posted about it.” Woah! And then he asked if I would go on a date with him there. Obviously, I agreed.
A few weeks later we made it there for our first Chicago date and it was extra fun going with this super cute, thoughtful guy who totally went the extra mile. #smitten
We were already deep into wedding planning and house remodeling, so when Drew said he wanted to go tile shopping in Chicago, I had major suspicion that it wasn’t just going to be about tile shopping–especially when he said he wanted us to have breakfast at The Allis. But we were also planning to walk around downtown and go the 3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware, so I wasn’t 100% sure.
After a lovely early breakfast, he suggested we go sit on the same couch we sat on when we first visited. I had a feeling something was coming but when or how was still a mystery. Our lattes came and he suggested a take a picture of them. Sure enough, I looked up from my phone, and there he was on one knee, asking the question and slipping the ring on my finger almost at the same time. It all happened in about 5 seconds and I managed to choke out a ‘yes’ as I gave him a hug. He teasingly asked me if I was going to look at the ring because it happened so fast. Oh yeah, the ring. On my finger was the most beautiful oval diamond ring I had ever seen. Even though I had told him I wanted him to pick it out by himself, he had insisted I give him a least a basic idea of what I wanted. So I gave him three things–yellow gold, oval stone, halo setting. It’s a stunning ring and I can’t believe it’s mine every time I look at it!
This has been the craziest year of my life but I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING! God has taken years of hoping and praying and wondering and given me such a tenderhearted yet passionate guy and I’m so thankful. I’m hoping to share a few more details, but some might have to wait until after the wedding. Stay tuned!