Marrying Dave is the best thing that has happened to me! He is the sweetest, most loving man I've ever known. Our relationship is so fulfilling in every way, which is why I wasn't afraid to jump into it head-first.
We met in 2009 through a mutual friend, Ryan. Dave and I lost touch for 2 years for various reasons, mostly because he was in a long-term relationship. Want to know something weird? The night I met him, he was head-over-heels for his girlfriend and needed help picking out a promise ring for her... so I helped him out! How strange, haha! Anyway, we didn't speak again until fall of 2011, when I moved in with Ryan. Dave had just returned from a deployment and was in the process of ending his relationship with his girlfriend. Since there isn't much to do in Jacksonville, Dave would drive up to Raleigh to visit Ryan every other weekend or so. We met, talked about life, and became friends. By the end of October, we were texting each other daily and making plans for our weekends together.
Dave returned to Raleigh for a weekend celebration for Halloween and my birthday - it was a blast!! The first night he was in Raleigh, he took me out to dinner at The Gourmet Factory on Western Blvd. He was texting me through the week to see where I wanted to go and how I wanted to dress. I told him I love any reason to get dressed up, so even if we hit up a sports bar, I'll probably wear something pretty. When I suggested The Gourmet Factory, I mentioned that you can color on the tables... he was sold! We had a 3-hour date that was never void of any conversation. Dave even played the little piano that sits in the corner of the restaurant! He is so much fun :) [Shameless plug:] If you're in the Raleigh area, make sure you visit The Gourmet Factory! It is a true gem. The food is phenomenal, the atmosphere is lots of fun, and the waitstaff is beyond words.
The Halloween costume party on the following night was simply amazing :) A bunch of our friends dressed in Nintendo character costumes, which was hilarious to say the least. I am so glad to have such silly friends in my life! Dave was sneaking kisses throughout the night, and made sure to hold my hand as we walked up and down Hillsborough St. I guess you can say this point in time is when we started an "official" relationship ... although we were dating exclusively before then.
Anyway, that's how we met and started dating! We took a trip to Williamsburg, VA together when he was at a legal course in Norfolk. We spent Christmas with each other's families. We spent every weekend together that we could fit in. It was definitely busy, what with all the traveling, but it was a lovely time in my life.
The first day I came to see the house that he bought was in Dec 2011. We had a short, sweet weekend together in the same place I now call home. When I returned to Raleigh, we spoke to each other again, and Dave asked me to move in with him. I was astonished! I didn't know he felt so strongly about me... apparently he had conversations with his dad about how he knew I was "the one." His dad, having met and married his mom in the course of a few months, told Dave, "When you know, you know." Anyway, we made plans to have me moved in after my lease ran out in May 2012.
Long story short, Dave was being looked at for deployment. He didn't want to leave without marrying me, so we did it! On January 23, we marched down to the magistrate's office, exchanged vows, and signed some papers that said we were legally married. We were intending to call it an engagement until he came back from deployment and we could have a wedding... Well, we found out the very next day that he wasn't going to deploy. So, we just started telling our families and closest friends. In the military, getting married quickly isn't anything new; it's just another Tuesday to these folks. To our civilian family and friends, we had to explain a bit more, and for the most part, people were very excited for us!
The day we got married, at the courthouse, Jan 23.
I was able to get out of my lease when a friend said she needed an apartment closer to campus for 3 months. That meant I was able to get her to sublease my room from March until May... Isn't it great how life works out, sometimes? :) I moved out of my house and ended my jobs in Raleigh, came out here with Dave, and here we are. We chose a different order of events than most folks do, but who cares? We are happy. I can't wait to see what else is in store for us!