We had created a wedding website, but I eventually chose not to publish it. But, we had already filled out a few of the fields including our point of views from when we met, when we knew each other was the one, and the engagement. We are keeping somewhat of a diary of our first year of marriage. On our honeymoon, we found this book where you recorded short snippets of everyday for 5 years – so you could reflect on what you were doing on that day each year.
Knowing we’re way too busy to document everyday, we are choosing to document thoughts a week at a time. And since we’re officially officially married – aka Joel turned in our wedding license today, I’m going to share what would have been on these pages had we documented each of these events leading up to us actually getting married (to the best of our memory… it’s been 7 years since we first started dating)!
How We Met:
Kaitlin’s POV: I met Joel when I was in diapers. He and my brother were best friends growing up, and I tagged along to most of their playdates (little sisters, am I right?). Little did I know that one time I snuck him in the back of my mom’s green van after school (his parents didn’t know for 30 more minutes when he was missing and hiding in our backyard) that the rebel only child would one day become my husband. One random day, he and Kyler had to jump start my Mustang after I left the lights on to get to a basketball game. I stole his sunglasses for a cheerleading routine, we jammed to some 2000s music on the way home, and then suddenly Joel wasn’t Kyler’s best friend. He was mine. I’m so lucky to call him mine, and I’m so grateful to have been able to experience watching the boy that was my brother’s best friend turn into the teenager that would drive my parents absolutely crazy into the man that God selected for just for me. We still laugh recalling some of the things we did at 3, 6, 10 and X years old. From first bikes to first cars to first car wrecks (and almost wrecks), he’s been in a lot of my memories. To have 23 years of stories to recall at the beginning of our marriage is priceless.
Joel’s POV: Kaitlin’s brother was my best friend growing up… but Kaitlin was always in the background in my memories. She ran around in big t-shirts and no pants, laughed at Kyler when my mom had to put mayonnaise in his hair to get rid of lice, and always got the “special” lunch because she didn’t like sandwiches. She was the annoying little sister in every sitcom ever. In high school I beat her in foursquare at church (and she’ll dispute it until the day she dies) and Kyler left her, so I gave her a ride home. Kyler started dating her best friend, so she had a lot more time to talk to me. We’d be texting into the early hours of the morning. Every time I gave her a reason to leave, she gave me reasons why she would stay. Instead of her being the background of my memories, she moved to the foreground.
When We Knew:
Kaitlin’s POV: Joel was a strange one. I’d loved him far before I knew what that even meant. He had always been family. I knew he’d always be in my life, but I didn’t know that I was going to marry him until my sophomore year of college. I’d introduced him to my extended family at that point, and he was embraced just like family – for better or worse. He would come and sit with my grandfather while I would visit my Mimi when she was sick. One day, my grandfather came back to help with her medicine. Joel left the room for her privacy. Once we were done taking care of her, she looked at my grandfather and said she’d found a good one. We all laughed and he walked back to the living room. Joel peeked in for a minute then went to talk with my grandfather. When he left the room, Mimi asked if it was serious. I of course said it was. She replied “in sickness and in health, but I like him.” She’d mentioned over the years she was praying for my future husband, and she met him (and approved)!
Joel’s POV: We were in her dorm room her freshman year. At that point, we’d been dating on and off for nearly three years. She had fallen asleep (as she does any time a movie turns on for more than 5 minutes). I knew I was going to marry her, and I told her in her sleep. She talks in her sleep and sometimes responds to questions, but she didn’t respond that time.
Kaitlin’s POV: We were in Birmingham. Joel woke up really early – like 3 a.m. early – even though he’d worked late that night. I had friends scheduled to come to town the next weekend, and the apartment was a wreck. We had plans for brunch then to go fly kites, but needed to run to Walmart for groceries. He told me the shirt I was wearing was not attractive and suggested I change (how rude!). After Walmart, I was hungry and too stubborn to wait until Five Bar opened, so we went to Taco Casa instead. When we got back to the apartment, Joel was stalling big time. I didn’t understand. I wanted to fly kites then come back home. He was putting kites off as long as possible. I would have suspected something was up – I already knew he had the ring – but mom was texting me about taxes, and I knew he wouldn’t propose without my parents being there. He managed to convince me to get popsicles (in February) and to roam around until we finally headed to Railroad Park to fly kites. Then we got there and a million people were at the park – no room to fly kites – AND the wind wasn’t blowing at all. We walked around but there was no way I was running around like a fool trying to get a kite to fly when there was no wind. Joel tried and tried to convince me otherwise – but that didn’t work. So we went back to the car to get rid of the kites, which is when I finally started suspecting something was up. He took forever putting the kites in the car. Turns out, he had the ring tied to the tail of one of the kites! We turned the corner and there our parents were… sneaking around trying to hide. He showed me the bottom of the ring tied to the kite and said something – I was still trying to put the pieces together… Mom was doing my taxes?!? He walked me up to the top of a bridge where he finally proposed. One knee… beautiful ring… planned photography… and the perfect speech. And I wasn’t wearing that ugly shirt!
Joels POV: CHAOS. First I had to ask her dad. Problem was, she was always there. I slipped him away, acting like something was wrong with her car to get Ray by himself. So he (engineeringly) explained, he was running back into the house, and I had to ask before he got away. I say something to the effect of “So I bought this ring, and I’m going to ask Kaitlin to marry me… if you are ok with that.” His response was “OK.” Then I asked if he could take pictures the day of (he was more excited about that part), but he couldn’t figure out if Kaitlin had the camera or where it was. Then the day of the proposal was just as much chaos as the days leading up to it. I had to come up with some excuse to dress fancy, otherwise she would have showed up in leggings and a sweatshirt and probably would’ve said no if there was a camera there. We were going to go to brunch but Kaitlin was hungry and when Kaitlin is hungry… we eat now. So we went to the glorious Taco Casa. So now I had several hours to kill because I had planned for both our parents to be there to take pictures and celebrate. So we went to Steel City Pops, and I ate it really really slow – trying to procrastinate as much as possible. Kaitlin is quite efficient with her time and had to be getting suspicious at this point. I had told her to change shirts (she would’ve hated the other one in pictures). I had engineered the ring to be on the tail of a kite but when we got to the park there was no wind. Kaitlin suggested we just walk around and spend a day at the park, with no kites… On the way back to the car, I spotted our parents and had to hide them from view. When trying to get the ring off the kite, it took a lot longer. Kaitlin kept asking what I was doing, and I couldn’t hold it together much longer. So I flashed her the ring and said “if you play it cool, we’ll get through this.” We walked around for a minute, stopping at a couple different spots in the park. Then, I grabbed her right hand, said some sweet stuff, (then she corrected the hand) and I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. I slipped the ring the correct finger!