There is a certain nostalgia for me when the seasons change. When spring pops green and flowery, I think back to when my husband I were first dating and then five years later, newly engaged.
Here's the timeline of our relationship...
1996 - Sometime during the school year
Cosmo was at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, as a fifth year senior while my two best friends, April and Nikki, were enjoying their freshman year. I was at Texas A&M University in College Station and whenever I made the trip home to Fredericksburg, I'd take the long way so I could swing by to see them.
They had been telling me all about this guy named Cosmo they were in a Bible study with and the name was intriguing. Finally, I made it to one of their Bible studies and met the fabled Cosmo.
Honestly? I was not impressed...! :P
He had long hair - down to his shoulders - and being a good little conservative girl from a small German town, I didn't like guys with long hair. He had a necklace with his name on it and I just thought that was weird. So, in the 60 seconds during which we were introduced and shook hands, those were the only two pieces of information I walked away with.
Move forward about a year to a weekend retreat held by the same Bible study group. My friend invited me to come and even though Cosmo had since graduated, he had been invited, as well. He arrived with much excitement as many folks in the group hadn't seen him in awhile. He made the rounds, giving hugs, but stopped when he got to me.
Now, mind you, he had gotten a haircut and looked quite handsome...I'm just sayin'.
He said, "I'm not supposed to hug girls I don't know well," smiled, shrugged, and proceeded to the next person.
If this statement seems odd, believe me it was odd to me, as well! I found out later that his best friend had just been advising him to be more cautious with his hug-giving because he had given some girls the wrong impression. Cosmo gives big, heartfelt hugs and apparently they had been mis-interpreted. He was try to be respectful, but I just felt slighted.
As the weekend progressed, our small group had lots of time for interacting, so by the end of it, he and I had talked quite a bit. When it was time to leave, I sweetly asked, "Do you know me well enough to give me a hug now?" He laughed and hugged me good-bye, but that was just the beginning.
1997 - March 23
Nikki had transferred from Southwestern to Baylor in Waco, TX and I had transferred from A&M to Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. Nikki's birthday was the 23rd and she was hosting a big party at her house in Waco. I was going to drive up with April and a few other friends from Georgetown and Cosmo was going to join us.
While the party was happening in the common lawn area at the front of her house, Nikki was going to grill shish kabobs on the small grill on her back porch. Cosmo insisted that she go enjoy her party and he would stay in the back with the grill until they were done. I insisted that I could stay with him and keep him company. I know, we're both terribly thoughtful people...
We talked while we grilled and then joined the party in the front. We were hanging out listening to the live music and Cosmo offered to rub my feet.
Now, a little background is important here... I NEVER let ANYONE touch my feet. It just freaks me out - not quite because it tickles but more because, well, it just freaks me out. I think it comes from my mom messing with my toes when I was a kid coupled with a nightmare I once had about an alligator eating my toes off... So, NEVER.
But when Cosmo offered, I accepted and it was wonderful. After maybe a half hour or so, April and Nikki invite me to come into the bathroom with them. I agree and the minute we walk in the door, one of them demands, "What is going on?!"
"What do you mean?" I ask, casually.
"Uh, Cosmo was touching your feet," they are both staring me down - I mean, these girls have known me practically my whole life.
"So? So you NEVER let ANYONE touch your feet, that's what!"
I think I had some lame excuse and sheepish shrug, but I also think in my heart I knew something was up.
Today we both count that as the beginning of our relationship and still celebrate it as a kind of anniversary.
Cosmo and I spent a LOT of time together. On my 21st birthday in 1998, I believe God told me he was the guy I was going to marry, but we were waiting on God's timing. I graduated from college in 1999 and went to work for him at the small business he started and ran from his mom's spare room and shed.
As the years ticked by, we were both asking the Lord if and when we should get married, but that's a story in and of itself...
2002 - March 23
It was our five-year anniversary and Cosmo had planned a day-long date for us. It was seriously awesome. He created a scavenger hunt with clues that took us to many of our favorite places from the past five years of our relationship. From the field we played frisbee on across the street from my house in San Marcos to our favorite Chinese food restaurant on the Drag in Austin to the basketball court where we played every Monday night to Auditorium Shores in Austin where we had one of the most significant conversations of our relationship and more.
We ended the day at our church, which we had helped build. I had always told Cosmo I wanted to be the first couple married in that church and given the fact that we were a small congregation with no other young dating couples, our odds were pretty good! So, our date ended with Cosmo driving me there blindfolded. He then told me the story of how God told him to marry me, and then proposed.
2002 - September 28
Six months and five days later, we were married. There is so much more after this date, but for the purposes of this post, suffice to say, happily ever after...