For years I’ve wanted to take the time to write out our love story. The time always escaped me, and the idea of getting it all on paper seemed a little daunting sometimes. Now it feels like the perfect time. Valentine’s Day is upon us, I have this new blog that I'm excited about, and kids who are old enough to share our love story with. This year we’re planning on sharing our story with them. We’re going to have Blueberry Muffins and talk about Thailand and watch Bee Movie with them… because they belong in this story too.
Ryan and I have been together for 8-1/2 years now, we have added three babies to our tribe, and have walked through so much together. Life is hectic and seems to be accelerated at an unbelievable pace. It’s so important for us to slow down sometimes and look back on where all this started. Before there were babies and businesses and things were a lot simpler.
You guys, I’m so excited to share our love story with you.
I was in my early 20’s. I was finishing up college and living in Seattle, and had just started going to this new church that I loved. I got involved super quick and it didn’t take me too long to notice the hot, single pastor. The bachelor of the church. I was instantly interested, but totally convinced that he had no idea who I was.
I was so eager to get involved that I signed up for a missions trip to Thailand. I was so excited – we had weeks and weeks of meetings where we learned the culture and the language and got to know the team members better. On one of our last meetings, a potluck (because is it really a church if you don’t have potlucks?), Ryan walks in. I thought, how sweet! The pastor is coming to see us off and wish us a good trip!
It was my night to bring snacks, so I brought a batch of blueberry muffins. I walked up to him with my muffins. (I’ve always been a go-getter.)
“What do you have there?”, he asks.
“Muffins! Do you want some?”
“No thanks, maybe later.”
So I walk away, disappointed. The meeting begins, and he spends the rest of the night outside on the phone and leaves the meeting early. Didn’t give me (or anyone else, for that matter!) the time of day. I left that night thinking, “Well that was stupid.” But I go home and tell my roommate that I have a crush on the pastor!
Subject: “Muffin Madness”
March 17, 2008, 12:50 pm
“Yo Kendra! I forgot to tell you when I saw you at church yesterday that I snuck one of your hot-out-of-the-oven-mini-muffins as I ran out the door on Thursday and they were SUPER delish! Thanks for making those and sorry if I came off rude while on the phone outside. Hope you have a great week! See ya Thursday! - Ryan"
I LOSE MY ISH.
I forwarded it to my friends.
Subject: “He Loves Me.”
Ryan had been overseeing a massive construction project for the church. It was a super stressful and long season and it was just about to wrap up. (He literally had to break up a fistfight between his contractors the night of the Thailand meeting - which explains his behavior!) The head pastor decided he wanted to go on this trip and invited Ryan to go too. Tired from a brutal few months, Ryan was ready to do anything that wasn’t construction-related. They signed up for the trip, literally days before we were going to take off.
Ryan met up with the trip leader to get caught up on all the meetings he missed. They discuss culture and language and plans for the trip, and name a few of the people that will be going on the trip. He mentions my name, and Ryan thought, “that rings a bell”. So he goes home and looks me up in the church databases, finds my email and sends me “Muffin Madness”.
(I thought he had no idea who I was before all this. Come to find out, he had noticed me at church but couldn’t tell me apart from this other girl who was a greeter at the church. This girl was married and he thought it was a lost cause. His database searching cleared up his confusion and “Muffin Madness” was a go!)
Thus began a “You’ve Got Mail-esque” season of emailing back and forth five or six times a day. He asked me about myself, the music I listened to, the things I like to do. We talked about our days and our families, and got each other excited for the Thailand trip. Just friendly things. We didn’t even have each other’s phone numbers. It was so fun, and I was smitten.
So we’re getting ready to go on the trip and Ryan makes a plan: we’ll both make playlists for the plane ride and switch iPods during the flight. The day of the trip comes up, we get on the plane and exchange iPods. We get to our seats.
Ryan turns on my hot pink iPod nano (I loved the idea of him traveling with a hot pink iPod) and pulls up my playlist: “Blueberry Muffins”.
I turn on his iPod and find his playlist: “Blueberry Muffins”.
Those playlists became the soundtrack of our Thailand trip and the next two weeks were a blur. Our days at the orphanage were so busy. We were so caught up in our own activities that we barely saw each other (I naturally gravitated to the teenage girls and he loved spending time with the elementary kids). We would sneak in time together in the evenings but we were in missions trip mode. I was so serious about that trip that I was not going to let anything distract me. But that didn’t last too long!
For the second half of our trip, we took off to a gorgeous island called Krabi. We switched to full-blown vacation mode. Some people on the trip only stayed for a few days but I convinced my girlfriends to stay a few days longer with me (I knew Ryan would be staying a while longer to explore Thailand).
We went on our first date there. He came to my little bungalow and picked me up, and took me out to this awful dinner. I had cheap red wine (should have known not to order wine in Thailand!), and the food was nothing to brag about, but that night was absolute magic. From that point on we spent every second together. We would take long walks along the beaches, sneak into hotel pools, stay up all night talking. We were absolutely enamored with one another. We rode elephants together, explored the island, ate lots of amazing Thai food. I even bought my wedding shoes there. (When you know, you know!)
Soon enough my extra few days were over and I had to fly back home. He had planned on staying a while for diving and exploring Thailand, but after three days he just wanted to be home. Apparently Thailand wasn’t the same without me!
Things sped up fast once Ryan was back in Seattle. Two weeks later he told me he loved me. We were watching Bee Movie (yes, the cartoon).
He asked me out to dinner one night, but I was supposed to babysit. Apparently he called the parents and told them he was going to propose and that they couldn’t go out that night. He ended up having to find them a replacement!
He picks me up and tells me that we will go to dinner soon but first he wants to show me this amazing thing. (Something about a house on stilts.) We walk out to this lakefront property in Medina, and I see this bistro table on the water, fully set up with dinner: Thai food of course. He told me that this wasn’t just a date, it was the date, and he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him.
Of course I said yes. I already had the shoes!
He whisked me away to a surprise engagement party that night with all of our friends, and he had already planned one for the next week down in Longview, WA with the rest of my friends and family. I was surrounded by my closest friends and family and the love of my life and I couldn’t imagine myself happier. It was my own (Thai-style) fairy tale.
Time from first kiss to engagement: six weeks.
Time from engagement to wedding day: three and a half months.
Time from our first date to our wedding day: one day short of five months.
(And I wasn’t pregnant!)
So there you have it: our love story! I look back and it's almost surreal how it all happened. I wouldn't have it any other way! Happy Valentine's Day, from Ryan and me! To celebrate I'm offering 20% off EVERYTHING in my shop with the code "BLUEBERRYMUFFINS" until the end of the week! Check out our Valentine's Day pillows here!