03 April 2011

The Man of the Hour

Warning: This post is very long!

I was 10 years old when I met my husband. My sister, mom and I went to our first homeschooling function. I remember being in a room in the upstairs of the building, looking around shy and nervous, wondering if any of these kids would ever be my friends. Turns out, I gained three of the greatest girlfriends I could have ever imagined and a husband years later!
That day I honestly don't remember seeing any boys. My husband does remember seeing me though. He tells me that he thought I was so pretty and that I must be cool (poor guy, fooled him!) because I had one of those backpack purses that all the girls had, but mine was such a pretty fabric. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what backpack purse he's talking about.

After becoming comfortable with this new way of schooling and making friends, I eventually became interested in boys, just like most girls. My eyes were set on this awkward little boy with dark hair, the deepest eyes, biggest eyelashes and cutest smile I had ever seen. I told a girlfriend that lived across the street from me, "I'm going to marry that boy some day". She laughed and I remember telling her, "You laugh now; I'll be laughing on our wedding day." When that wedding day with that boy rolled around, I looked at the same friend and said, "Told ya!" She and I laughed in amazement. Why were we both so shocked?! Well, when I was 10 and I made such a nonsenscicle statement, he and I were NOT friends.

Classy & Beautiful
with our 2nd, Baby Blue

My sister and I grew up with his two younger sisters as our best friends (let's call them "Classy & Beautiful" and "The Exceptional Parent"). We danced together, had many sleepovers, pranked their brothers, played dress-up and Anne of Green Gables, loved watching the animated movie "Anastasia", drank iced tea (weird to mention, I know; but they'll know....) We had a blast! ....And I always had my heart set on their second brother....we should name him something. Hmmm....how about "the one watching the hockey game, all the while I'm hoping it's over soon!". No, that won't do. Guess I'll come back to giving him a name.
My sister, Ruby Red, and
"The Exceptional Parent"

 All throughout our teen years he continued to think of me as the annoying friend of his little sisters. He didn't need girls, he thought. He even told his one close friend, "If I ever show interest in [me], please just throw me down a flight of stairs". How rude! Haha!

As is typical of teenage girls, if a boy isn't paying you any attention you tend to have crushes on the boys that do, and so that's what my teens were like. I liked different guys here and there, but I always wanted it to be him. I started praying to the Blessed Mother night after night, begging her and her Dearest Son to just turn his stubborn little head my way. It was way more pathetic and dramatic than that in my prayers; kind of like my world was ending. Oy!

He left for US Marine Corps Basic Training the summer I was 16. Before then we had been "IMing" and mostly bickering about who was smarter and better online..and I have every one of those IM's. That summer I was determined to get him to notice me. I made some pretty stupid decisions to do so.  :::sigh:::  I also wrote him letters that were absurd since I really had no idea what to say to him, but he still has those letters; and I have begged him to never bring them out!

D, Me and MM

I saw him at an ice skating function that January. My other best friend (let's call her Missionary Mom-MM) skated over to give him a welcome home hug. Was she crazy?! You didn't just go up so such a hottie and hug him, I thought. And then he asked me for a hug!  Da Da Da!!!  I. WAS. IN. LOVE.

That spring we talked cordially for the first time ever and he began paying me notice. At my mom's prompting (can I just tell you how cool she is?!), I called him on his birthday. We started speaking often and that summer he asked me to a dance. I was so freakin' nervous I think I almost puked in the front seat on the way there....with all the sisters in the back seat....  I was shaking as we danced. I couldn't believe I was right there with him.

My parents, Us, My sister and
our exchange student who
came for our wedding!

The next day, and you'll really get a kick out of this, I saw him at another homeschool function and handed him a thank you note for the previous night. What a dork, right?!  LOLOL (I am laughing so hard right now I'm teary-eyed. What an idiot!) Our exchange student went up to him and asked him if he liked me. He told her that we were just friends. I could have died, but he called me later to explain, as I was crying, that he did in fact like me, but wanted to tell me himself. We decided to take things slow and see where they led. The next night he came over to hang out. (I am so grateful for my mom being such a talker or it would've been weird.) My parents eventually hurded the two of us outside so we could be alone. We sat on my back porch, awkward and mostly talking about our annoying barn cats that were climbing all over us. That same summer we went to the fair together where he told me that we was going to spoil me and treat me like a princess. Ok by me! And he still does!

October 6, 2005
We had a few rough patches as I left to go away for college. We broke up twice and I really wish we hadn't let friends influence us and put drama into an already difficult-to-maintain long-distance relationship. But through prayer and working together we always worked things out. He was deployed to Iraq for 10 months- the 10 longest and hardest months ever! I got in a car accident 3 days after he left, then I left to study abroad, I was depressed, miserable and gained weight. That summer was so hard but MM was there almost every day and encouraged me to keep pushing through. As the fall rolled around, I went back to school and started working out like crazy. He was due to come home October 6th. (And yes, I lost all 10 miserable pounds that I had gained.) When Oct 6th came, I drove home from school, was up way too early, changed my outfit 3 times (after trying outfits on for weeks before), drove my sister crazy, made my parents get to the drill center 3 hours too early (we were the very 1st ones there- I'm surprised they didn't all kill me!), and then I waited...and waited... His family arrived and my one sister-in-law brought me fudge to help me handle the anticipation. I still remember the feeling of relief, joy, and love that was out-pouring as I jumped into his arms and he swung me around. It was magical!

Before I went back to school, we visited our "special place" right on Lake Erie where we had carved our names on a tree before he left. We spent the whole day together and spoke seriously about the future. That spring semester he joined me at school and it was so strange to see each other every day, for the 1st time ever in our relationship. To my surprise, it was easy to go right back to being "us", although we were told by many that we would go through a rough patch.

Engagement Photo,
courtesy TimWill Photography

On April 15th, 2006, Holy Saturday, we were home for Easter and he asked me to go for a walk. I thought he was crazy. In our family we bless baskets that day and go to confession, as well as prepare for Swieconka (our Polish Easter traditions). I figured my mom would never go for it and besides, I didn't really want to- I was kind of cranky. I remember my mom marching up to my room urging me to just go, and so I did. We walked along in a beautiful park until we came to a bridge lined with lilies, my favorite flowers, and a dozen roses. My response to seeing the beautiful bridge, "Oh how nice, they decorated for Easter!" Wow was I slow! When he got down on one knee I was shocked, and of course said yes after tears and a beautiful speech he gave, of which I have no recall. (As a sidenote, I always wanted to be proposed to on a bridge. We had out 1st kiss after watching the "bridge scene" in the 2nd Anne of Green Gables movie.) We set a wedding day for September 8th of the following year, Our Lady's birthday.
Wedding day

Now, almost 4 years later, with our third baby on the way, I never knew that I could be more in love, that someone could be even more amazing, funny, sincere, caring, fiery, calm and selfless. He truly is incredible. I have many friends who tell me how lucky I am, that their husbands' don't even come close to mine. I feel so sad for girls who have settled. We are best friends and when the girls go to sleep at night, it's fun to see how young and flirty we still are. Life is full of ups and downs, that's for sure. I'm not saying that it's always easy or perfect, but we work together and respect each other. That makes a big difference.

I am so lucky to have a man who looks to St Joseph as an example and that we both try to live as the best Catholics we can. We strive to bring the faith into many moments in our family. I am just blessed. That's really all I can say!
The Four of Us and the little one on the way!

Thanks for reading! Sorry it was so detailed, but I've always wanted to write our story down somewhere.


  1. We're all blessed! Praise God for His loving direction in your lives--and ours!

  2. I laughed out loud at the backpack part and the thank you note! Way too funny! :)

  3. I love this post amanda. thank you for being so honest. great post.

  4. Thanks for writing Amanda! I always LOVE reading your posts!!! We should have a phone date and chat sometime!

  5. sooo beautiful! I cried! I love you two so much! Miss you all like crazy!

  6. Love it!!! That same year that you met our future family, I met you, too (those crazy 9 months my family spent almost homeless, living in a church rectory in Bemus...) The 90-min drive to Buffalo for SOC functions was the best part of my week. :) That was the real turning point in my friendship with the, um, eldest brother of that wonderful family you and I would end up joining. :) At the time, though, I could hardly have guessed that I was rekindling a friendship that would one day blossom into a truly blessed romance... I certainly had NO idea that the kid whose mom helped draw the picture on our SOC t-shirts would one day become my sister... one of the best sisters a woman could ask for!!!! :)

    (And I totally forgot about the fudge!! :) I remember why I made it, though... having just been through that myself, I thought you could really use some chocolate. ;) And I remember you emailing about the outfits, LOL!!!!! You were too cute!!!!!)