Christian picked me up from the airport wearing a new shirt (red, plaid) and holding a bunch of flowers. He had borrowed his father's (much nicer) car to drive me back to Provo and help me get moved in. In the car, he had a cooler with some bubbly (sparkling grape juice) and fancy goblets to celebrate my homecoming. I remember thinking a lot about what it would be like to see him again, after our friendship had advanced so much without being face to face--but it wasn't awkward.
We drove down to Provo, checked into my apartment, and then headed down to Salem for a group date at his parent's house.
The plan was to play volleyball in the backyard and then have bbq (Christian hasn't changed much through the years...its always a bbq). The only problem is that Christian was doing the cooking, and I wasn't sure if I should help him or stay with the party. So I stayed with the party. When it was time to eat, I had no idea where he was! So, I just picked a seat around the large picnic tables. The other couples sort of filled in around me. The problem was that I was the only single, and the couples left another single seat across the table from me, not next to me. To this day Christian gives me a hard time about not sitting next to him on our first date, but it was NOT MY FAULT! Probably the best part of the evening was helping clean up afterwards, because we actually were together.
After that, we hung out a lot. My roommate called him my boyfriend, but it took me a while to warm up to the title.
(Because this post needs some pictures)
We had a quesadilla picnic at the park, rode tandem bicycles down the Provo River Trail (with a staged picnic half-way down),
went fake trick-or-treating, did a murder mystery dinner, hosted dinner for Christian's younger siblings, rode canoes on Salem Pond again...I asked Christian to list a few other fun dates we had, but he said that's a dangerous question (because, while he remembers a lot of dates from his younger years, but doesn't always remember who they were with. The first two dates he listed weren't with me:).
Sometime between all these fun dates, school, and work schedules, we started having a conversation that went something like this:
Christian: So, what do you think about December 21? That's my parent's anniversary...
Me: We've been dating for like a week.
Christian: So, I ought to schedule the temple soon...
Me: We've been dating for two weeks.
Christian: I went ring shopping.
Me: Is it pretty?
While I was fairly sure I'd eventually marry this guy, it took me a while (we're talking, like, three whole weeks!) to decide I was ready. Thankfully, he was willing to wait (did I mention we only dated 3 weeks?)...