Six years have passed since our first date. (SIX!) The past six years of my life have been full of joy, love, and surprises. And I'm thankful that since 2 October 2009, I've been spending each year with this cutie-pie with the baby face:
I think it was September 29. The night D$ asked me on a date (over the phone, since we lived 4 hours apart), I went home to my beautiful friends Annie and Mary, and the following few hours played out like a fashion show. Living with your two best girls = endless fashion advice and 2 extra closets of clothes that aren't your own. The date wasn't until the end of the week, but I needed a good outfit ASAP. In the end, I wore bell-bottom blue jeans (cute at the time), grey converse, and a purple sweater. (I'm glad I remember this outfit, because I forgot to take a picture that evening!)
So in the late afternoon on October 2 I met D in a special location. I remember it was a mild evening, but the beautiful north Louisiana landscape was drenched in warm sunlight. I remember seeing D... he had on a checkered button up shirt (purple and tan on white), denim, and some nice looking boots. Although I didn't know it at the time, he had asked me to meet him at the place his grandfather liked to visit during his life... there's a bench there now in memorial to his grandfather. I didn't even notice the bench, though, because I was too distracted by the (figurative) butterflies.
We hopped in his old red truck and made our way to... Piccadilly.
That's right, Piccadilly. The cafeteria. You see, while we were in Haiti, our entire team dreamt of food. It seemed to be the topic of many conversations... sushi, pancakes, hot wings and milk, Dinty Moore, and Piccadilly. I remember telling Daniel that when my sister and I were young, that's where my mom would take us for special occasions. We LOVED Piccadilly*. The cubes of blue jello at the start of the line... the fried fish... the ROLLS... endless sweet tea. It was like heaven on earth for little girls (and older couples). But what I remember most about our childhood Piccadilly outings, which I told Daniel while we were in Haiti, were the Andes mints. When
we Mom would pay at the end of our meal, there was always a small box of Andes mints for 5¢ each. Mom would buy each of us one mint but make us wait until we got home to eat them. We would eat the mints on the front porch, and then roll up the wrappers into little balls and see who could throw them the farthest. They always ended up landing in the monkey grass... and I seem to recall Meghan digging her wrapper-ball out for a re-throw a couple of times. Fond K Street memories. :)
*not a sponsored statement
Piccadilly with Daniel was seriously hilarious. We were notably the youngest people eating there at 6pm on a Friday. Nonetheless, the food was good and the company was even better. When we paid, D bought two Andes mints and tucked them away... I figured he was saving them for later.
Another thing I didn't realize at the time: Daniel was basically "winging" our date. I've heard him say he thought about taking me to a movie but then didn't look up times? (Not sure if I have this information totally correct.) So he just picked me up, took me to eat, and was, from that point on, flying by the seat of his pants. He (casually, as though planned) suggested that we go for coffee at Books-a-Million and then walk around the park by the river. I thought that sounded great! Pumpkin Spice Latte and fall weather walks are among some of my favorites. However, once we made it to the park we saw a large group of people making their way into this local museum/garden called The Biedenharn. We walked closer to see what was happening, and the greeter invited us inside. It turned out that the museum was offering free dance lessons that very evening (waltz and west coast swing) for 3 hours under the stars... and, naturally, we arrived right on time.
We were pretty excited and spent the whole night dancing; the weather was amazing, the instructor was easy to follow, and my dance partner was (obviously) dreamy. My cheeks hurt from smiling by the end of those three hours, but I didn't want the night to end. Unbeknownst to either of us that evening, only 2 years and 2 weeks later on October 15, 2011, Daniel would propose to me in that very garden.
When we left we walked a bit and chatted about bits and bobs. When we made it back to where my car was parked, D took out the two Andes mints. We sat on the curb, ate the mints, balled up the wrappers, and threw them as far as we could. We said goodbye and I made my way home... pretty sure I called Annie and Mary ASAP to fill them in on every single detail. Also pretty sure I was too giddy to sleep that night. That first date... it was orchestrated by God. And it was perfect.
Delighted that our first date turned into many more and brought us to where we are now. Undeserving of this great love. Thankful for all God's provisions since October 2, 2009.
Hubsby, I'll always dance with you.