Michael: We are both introverts and naturally shy, but the first time Katie remembers meeting me she was impressed when I walked up to her while she was at work and introduced myself out of the blue - something I rarely ever do! I had been stalking her on facebook because I had been assigned to be her tutor, and evidently was feeling confident in my tutoring abilities that day. From that point on, we would see each other various places around our college campus and chat. In one of our first conversations, I remember talking about how we were both single and weren’t really interested in dating anyone. Who knew that in a couple months’ time, we’d be dating each other!
One evening shortly before we started dating, I was on my way to a student-led worship session, and invited Katie to join me when I happened to walk by her. She had to decline, as she was on her way to work. I wouldn’t find out until months later, but that was the night she started to see me in a whole different light.
Katie: It’s true, and as silly as it sounds, I still smile when I think about that night. I had been hanging out with a good friend in the dorms. She had just gotten out of a relationship, so naturally we were ranting about how awful guys can be. We both were commenting on how difficult it is to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t share your beliefs, so we made a pact with each other to only date guys who share our Christian faith. As I left her dorm room to head for work that night, I proclaimed, rather jokingly, that I would take the next guy who invited me to a church service more seriously. Lo and behold, as I was walking to work, Michael came out of his dorm building and crossed paths with me. Since I knew he was the awkward one, I waved and said hello, and I swear you not, the first thing he said was, “Hey Katie, do you want to go to Refiner’s Fire with me?” Refiner’s Fire is a small worship service held every week on our campus, and it is apparently close enough to being a church service that I felt like I’d been smacked upside the head. I felt like those people do in the V8 commercials when they get smacked on the forehead and someone says “you shoulda had a V8” while the person who just got hit is left wondering what just happened. That was me standing there! Up until that moment I had not considered Michael as anything more than a friend, but once he’d asked me to Refiner’s Fire, my view of him changed completely.
Michael: We started spending more and more time with each other, and right at the end of the spring semester, we called it official. We both had summer jobs close to campus, so we were able to spend our free time together without the complications of school and homework (science majors, anyone?) Once the school year started back up, we spent what time we could with each other - although with both of us having multiple campus jobs as well as multiple labs each week, our free time became fairly limited. We only ever had one class together - Bible in Current Perspective - and although we took turns writing notes to each other the entire class, we both got solid A’s!
Katie: I hope Dr. Malas never sees this.…
Michael: We grew closer together through many differing experiences, and it was through our normal, everyday lives that I truly began to realize that we were meant to be together. I found that I could be myself - my quirky, socially awkward, goofball self - around Katie, and she put up with me all the same. What’s more, she even seemed to enjoy it! :)
Katie: He makes me laugh - it’s that simple. It’s hard not to like someone you enjoy spending time with. Has anyone seen/read “The Fault in Our Stars”? Because if I had to describe how I fell for Michael, it would be best described by a quote from that movie: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” When Michael asked me to Refiner’s Fire, I think I slowly started to love him even though I didn’t know it at the time. And then we started dating and by the time I realized it, I was falling hard and fast. My aunt who’s a PhD in cognitive psychology would say that’s just the hindsight bias, but I seriously think it’s true! Here we are a couple years later, and with a classic awkward-Michael proposal, that was also romantic in my eyes, we began planning a wedding!
Michael: I should have practiced taking the ring box out of my sock....
Katie: This is my favourite photo of Michael and I - a quick “selfie” break from studying. It’s grainy and poor quality because it was taken on my phone, but it’s my favourite nonetheless. I personally think it gives a lot of insight into our relationship and our personalities, and beyond that, it reminds me of the ways Michael demonstrates his love for me. Here’s why: Michael is allergic to cats! I on the other hand love cats (and animals in general)! My aunt, whom I live with, and I each have our own pets and we foster kittens for the local animal shelter as well. Michael is allergic to them all but he hardly ever complains. What’s even funnier is that all the animals he’s allergic to seem to love him! This photo captures a moment where a past foster kitten named Oreo was looking to Michael for some love and attention. I thought it was a perfect moment to snap a quick selfie of us all on the couch together but Michael decided otherwise - he looked over at me and gave me a huge sarcastic eye roll! To me this photo shows how Michael demonstrates his love for me because it represents the sacrifices Michael makes for me, including the suffering he has to go through everyday because I love animals. When I see this photo, it reminds me of the sacrifices he makes through love and encourages me to be aware of the sacrifices and compromises I need to make for our relationship as well.
Michael: I was a math major in school, but Katie is much better at sudoku.
Katie: He says that, but I totally disagree!
Michael: Neither of us like any kind coffee. I think Katie might have been the only other person I knew on our small campus who didn’t like coffee - every typical college student drinks it. The fact that neither of us do made it very hard to have coffee dates when we were getting to know each other!
Katie: We both have always been very organized individuals, keeping our schedules updated on a Google calendar and keeping electronic lists of everything. After dating for a while we started to share our Google calendars to keep in touch during our busy days. Now that we’re planning a wedding we have a shared Google file with all our plans in it, including our budget, guestlist, pictures of ideas, and a shared task list. We both think it’s a great way to stay in communication with each other, and it can be a nice way to drop a cute love note for the other to find!
Michael: I would like to point out that I introduced Katie to her second love, Google Calendar.