Tuesday, September 04, 2007

They Way We Wanted To Be

So after I laid down the thrilling idea of Brad & Karen: The Dating Years, I realized that our dating years weren't all that exciting because we lived in pow-dunk Ellensburg and there wasn't a lot going on. Since we weren't into the bar scene, that left out about 92% of the Burg's social possibilities, and neither of us were raised on a farm so out went cow-tipping, but we did have fun ALL THE TIME.



We started dating in early Spring, and we spent a lot of time "hanging out." In June, Brad went back home to Boise and I went back to Seattle, and that summer we each made a trip to the other's hometowns to get the skinny on each other's families. I made the first trip to Boise in July, and we floated the river, hung out with his siblings, ate at Cafe Ole, and had a blast. Later that month, he came to Seattle and we went downtown, met more of my friends and had even more fun. In August, we met in Ellensburg and went to the Gorge to the Sting Concert and afterwards, Brad told me he loved me for the first time. (Aaaahhhhhh...)





It was a magical summer and since we were apart for most of it, we really got to know each other through cards and letters which was THE BEST THING EVER. We didn't have a lot of the awkwardness of dating in real life and we skipped a lot of the garbage that happens when you're trying to impress someone because we had the chance to say what we felt through letters and on the phone and I loved that time of our relationship.

As the summer came to a close, we were both a little anxious because Brad was transferring to WSU that Fall (still trying to hook me with the whole pre-med thing) which meant the next year would be spent apart. But we were used to it so we persevered.



Although I had been to church with Brad a few times in the spring, I was still unsure and I spent much of that summer and fall learning all that I could. I knew the obvious question would be "did you convert for Brad?" and while some may think that, I can honestly say that my decision was about me and making the best life for myself. The things I wanted, a strong marriage, a secure family, a happy life, I had wanted for as long as I could remember and joining the church seemed like a great way to get them. I had never met so many people firmly grounded in the principles of service to others, kindness, charity and love and I wanted that for myself. I know I still could have achieved it in other ways, but this felt "right."
And the perks?
Seriously.
Not feeling well? Someone will bring you dinner.
Need to put your sprinklers in? 12 men with shovels show up.

Want to learn everything from canning and sewing to doing backflips off a diving board and wake boarding?

Done.

I joined the church in late October and we dated throughout the next year earning serious frequent flier miles on the highway between Pullman and Ellensburg. He came home every weekend to see me (can you say whipped?) and in April, on my birthday, he proposed on bended knee in the snow. He had taken me to one of his favorite places up near Cle Elum and we hiked in the snow until we came to a bridge. In the middle of that bridge, saying the most beautiful things I had ever heard, he asked me to be his wife.




We were married in September and spent two glorious weeks (thanks to my parents) in Florida before starting our final year at Central where we both gradutated with BA's in Education.
Yep, you read that right. BA's not MD's.
(Check back tomorrow for Brad & Karen: Marriage & Family AKA When Crazy Showed Up & Stayed Awhile)

19 comments:

Sarah said...

Karen, I'm loving this, it's like reading a Nicholas Sparks book or something. I can't get enough of couple's "How we met" stories. Ahhhh, that's just my inner romantic.

Melissa said...

This is so fun to read! I am really enjoying reading your story. It's always interesting to hear how people meet and end up together!

Tharker said...

I'm a little ferklempt(sp?) reading about Brad on bended knee. Again, I've never heard this part of your story? How is that possible, by the way??? You and Brad are so perfect for each other.

I can't wait to hear about crazy coming to stay with the Johnsons!

Heather said...

Are you talking about the birth of Hannah tomorrow??

tarantula411 said...

Such a lovely courtship. I can't wait to read tomorrow's post because the title is hilarious.

Puerto Rican Princess said...

Good one Heather....

Sienna keeps asking to go to "Been-yee's house..." We'll have to get them together soon.

shoeaddict said...

Beautiful!

Kelly said...

How sweet is that? It's no surprise to me that you two were able to have a lot of fun in the 'Berg. Funny people=fun times!
(although cow tipping would have been pretty darn funny)

Congrats on ten years! You guys are perfect for eachother.

PS---LOVE the slideshow of your kids. You and I both know how much fun a pile of dirt can be when you're a kid!

Khatch said...

This is so fun to read. I can't wait for When Crazy Showed Up and Stayed Awhile! Congratulations on ten years!

krisnkrew said...

This is so fun to read about your courtship! I love it! You are a great writer and I love all the descriptions that you have! So good!

krisnkrew said...

I love your new template by the way. So cute. How did you make it by yourself?? Did you have to choose your own paper and etc? I've been looking online for some new templates, but I've been struggling trying to find ones. I hear you can make them, but I just don't know how! Can you help me??

Puerto Rican Princess said...

I downloaded the paper into my photobucket account and then pasted the HTML into the Blogger code. Shabbytulips has a basic template that you can use and she tells you exactly where to plug in the different codes. I'm still not great at getting the header how I want it, but this part was easy.

That probably didn't help at all. Call me!

Lindsay said...

It is so fun to hear about how you met, your courtship, and etc. You really do have such a sweet story!

krisnkrew said...

No, I think that info. did help. I kept looking at Shabby Tulips, and didn't realize that she put the instructions on there! Duh??? Anyway, thanks for your help! If I get stuck I will call you! Thank you!!

Nan said...

You are so clever. Im loving these posts, and finding out more about you.
Mitch and I did the writing letters thing for a month too. I agree it is a great way to go!

Brooklet said...

Love it! I have this thing about precipitation that I just think is soooo romantic- so for Brad to propose in the snow--perfect!

Mitchellaus Copernicus said...

I thought it was hilarious when you and Brad spoke in our ward that you said you didn't want to move to the Tri-Cities. I laughed and thought, after living in the Windy City Ellensburg, Tri-Cities has to be a walk in the park.

Puerto Rican Princess said...

You'd think that'd be true, Mitch, but the Burg is WAY prettier than the desert that is Tri-Cities. And you're closer to fun stuff to do, like the mountains, the city, etc.

But Pasco is home now and I do really love it. I wouldn't want to raise my kids anywhere else!

Marilyn said...

I am a day late, but wanted to comment that you are a great writer, captivating. I agree with Sarah, it is like reading a novel. Have you ever thought of that? You should write one.