Ten years ago today I was hauling a TON of decor and dishes, a 10 foot Christmas tree and my wedding dress downtown McKinney to set up for our wedding. Yes, we were those people who did it ourselves, and I think that the time we spent with family and friends prepping and rehearsing for our wedding that morning was one of the best parts of the day.
It was unseasonably warm - like 70 degrees and sunny - and after we got everything set up and ready I remember Dave and I ran a couple of errands on the square and then went back to our house and made sandwiches for lunch just like any other day :) hahaha
That evening we gathered with a small group of our friends and family and promised each other that we'd be there forever, for always, and no matter what.
“When I look in his eyes, I don’t see perfection. I don’t see a love story that would necessarily be something people would watch on a big screen and dream about. I see someone who will fight for me and protect me and love me in spite of all the ways I am still a wreck. I see home. Wherever he is. That’s my home.”
― Melanie Shankle,
― Melanie Shankle,
And just for fun, I thought I'd share our "love story" again today. I shared it back in February, but it's a good one :)
Dave and I met in the Fall of 1999... he was a Junior and I was a Sophomore in High School. We were in band together, but didn't interact a whole lot because he was the captain of Drumline and I played trombone. If you're not from Texas that may seem strange... but our high school band was 250+ people, so within band everyone kind of had their own groups. One of my friends, Erin, was on drumline and she invited me to dinner one night with them. I gladly tagged along (there was a guy in my grade who was on drumline that I would NOT have been upset about sitting next to at the restaurant - hahaha), and ended up sitting next to Dave. We instantly hit it off, shared mozzarella sticks and have been pretty much inseparable ever since.
We did all of those "high school dating relationship things"... like Dave would come over on Saturday mornings to help my dad to yardwork so we could hang out...
... and he even rode with my parents (and JUST my parents) several hours in the car after only a month or so of dating to watch me perform with the Metropolitan Winds at a concert out of town. (yes... not only did I play trombone... I played it pretty well. I was the youngest member of the Metropolitan Winds, a group of professional musicians and music teachers who perform a concert series several times a year. I played with them for their Broadway series and had so much fun!)
At The Meyerson after a Metropolitan Winds performance
When we think back on high school, lots of our memories revolve around band. We played at COUNTLESS football games, contests and concerts. We marched, played for school musicals and I played bass trombone for our school's jazz band as well.
This was us at Dave's Senior Night game in 2000.
When we weren't doing band stuff, we were involved in youth group and had the chance to do lots of trips together.
Mexico Mission Trip in 1999
We also attended our share of school dances together. :) At least six that we could remember.
And let's not forget about that one time that we were performing at a band competition in Corpus Christi (and we all got to stay in beach condos... so fun!) and Dave (with the help of his friends) made a giant heart out of sea weed and spelled out PROM? :) hahaha Nothing says Prom like seaweed!!!
Dave graduated in 2001 and started working on his associate's degree at a local community college and I graduated in 2002. I went to the University of Texas at Dallas and Dave transferred there after his associate's degree in 2003.
We both ended up with Business Administration degrees (funny since he started off in Criminal Justice adn I started off with med school intentions).
We were a little bit atypical in that we were both VERY focused on life after college. Dave worked full time all the way through college and I worked almost full time. We're not "party people", but are more "hang out with our friends" people and so we spent lots and lots of time at Dave's apartment doing just that.
I think a "defining moment" in our relationship was a trip to Brazil in 2004. We both raised the money to go on an almost two week trip to the Amazon where we lived on a boat and served local people who had no medical or dental care.
We were totally unplugged and really got to see each other in our element...
I did VBS and crafts with the kids who had traveled (by canoe... some several days) to where we were with their families to receive medical and dental care.
I entertained, sung, dance, held babies and blew more bubbles than I care to remember.
and Dave did what Dave does best.... whatever needs to be done :) Seriously, I've said it before... Dave is the hardest working most selfless person I know and he definitely isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He helped with construction, played soccer with the older kids, and held people's heads in his lap as they had their teeth extracted. Seriously. He's in the red shirt heading back from the jungle area to get logs.
He even got INTO THE AMAZON RIVER when our boat got stuck on the return trip to help pull it out. EEEK!
We were dirty and hungry and tired and I think it was then that we both knew we were in it for the long haul.
Which brings me to our engagement story.
I worked with a FABULOUS woman named Kay at a store on the square while I was in high school and college. She was three times my age, but we were soul sisters :) She was like another mom to me and I adored her! Kay was on the board of a local historical society and she and I spent lots of time volunteering at a local historical village named Chestnut Square. She and I helped host dinner parties, we cleaned the historic houses and ran the little general store.
We hosted a historical Halloween Party...
and even planned and hosted a Murder Mystery Dinner for charity. BEFORE you see the picture, I feel like you should know that Kay told me not to worry about an outfit - that she would find some pieces for me to wear to be a "cigarette girl" (I'm not sure I even knew what that was). I showed up and was MORTIFIED! hahaha
Can you see me attempting to hide between Heather, the flapper and Kay as Carmen Miranda???
I have ALWAYS been super modest (like... I was wearing a one piece athletic speedo bathing suit to the pool in high school when all my girlfriends were in two pieces. hahaha) and this night about did me in. I would have done anything for Kay though... which is important in the next part of my story...
In April of 2004, Kay called me and said that she was working on promotional materials for Chestnut Square and she wanted me to pose for pictures in their rose garden for their new wedding brochure. Again, not my thing, but Kay asked and so I obliged. She told me she had a guy lined up and I sighed and started stressing about having my picture taken for print materials. :)
She called me about 2 days before the photo shoot and told me that the guy she had lined up couldn't make it and asked if I thought Dave would mind doing it since she already had the photographer lined up and the weather was supposed to be pretty. My suspicions should have been peaked when Dave happily agreed, but I went with it because again, Dave will do whatever is needed... even if that means being photographed for a wedding brochure.
Kay told me to wear my white prom dress from a few years back and asked Dave to wear a suit. We got to Chestnut Square and the photographer took pics of us on the porch of the chapel, inside the chapel and then last, moved us to the rose garden.
Photographer: "Hey, Dave. Why don't you pick a rose and have Andrea smell it?"
Me: "ummmm.... okay." #awkward #whyamiwearinglipstick
Photographer: "Okay, Dave. Now get down on one knee and hand her the flower"
Photographer: "The only thing that would make this better would be if Dave had a ring"
Dave: "Oh wait, I have a ring!"
Me: "What the what?!?!?!"
Insert lots of sweet words from Dave and lots of tears from me.
Me: "You jerk! You told me that we weren't getting engaged for a while since you just spent all your money on a new car." #liarliarpantsonfire #butthatsadiamond #soillforgiveyou
This was pre-crazy nail color Andrea :)
The entire thing had been an elaborate set up orchestrated by Dave because he KNEW I'd want pictures of everything :) #hesakeeper
We were married 7 months later!
So, that's our story! Or at least the condensed version :) I love that Dave and I have so much "history". That we have memories of being stupid high schoolers wrapping houses together, performing at Cowboys stadium for a playoff game together and eating biscuits and gravy at 2 a.m. at What-A-Burger together. Dave is THE MOST caring person I know and I'm glad that I snagged him, even if I was 15. ;)