That's the picture that got me "hooked" on Steve.
This was his profile picture on email@example.com which was later bought by match.com. I don't remember how long I was on the site before coming across his profile, but he was on my "hot list" of guys that I could have something in common with.
Steve's headline on his profile said something like, "Ladies, are you looking for your prince?" I sent him a wink (which is like a poke on FB) and a message that said, "I'm looking for my prince!" In my message I told him that he had cheeks like mine and I liked his profile.
I do know that the thing that stood out the most about Steve was that he was Catholic, and at the time I just wanted someone my age to hang with and go to church with.
He wrote back and said that he had just added me to his list to watch and I was on his "hot list" as well! LOL. We emailed through the site and then exchanged email addresses. We also shared AIM screen names and IMed each other.
We emailed for about three weeks before he called me on the phone. I will never forget where I was when he called me. I was pulling into the carwash on Washtenaw Ave (in Ypsilanti, MI) and had just pulled to the menu to check everything out. He called and I instantly had butterflies in my stomach. We only talked briefly, mainly because I was about to go through the carwash, but he was in the car on the way to a Rodney Carrington comedy show. We agreed to talk the following day.
Steve had told me that he was going to Toledo for work and wanted to know if I would be interested in meeting for dinner on his way home. I don't remember what I had going on, but I wasn't able to meet. So instead, we decided that we'd meet up for church and then have dinner together at his apartment after. We picked Saturday, March 6th as our first date.
Before I go into details about our first date, let me just say that we emailed A LOT during the three weeks prior to our date. We talked about EVERYTHING and shared our views on deep issues. We talked about our divorces and we talked about our families and friends. I felt like I knew him so much before even meeting. In all honesty, I loved him before I met him in person. Unless he had been lying about something, I knew he was the guy I was meant to marry, and I was praying that he was all that he had said he was.
On the way to his apartment for our date, I got lost. I missed the turn to get to his place, and I remember freaking out a bit and calling him (frantically) and he was so calm and cool. When I parked in the parking lot, and got out, he was walking toward my car. He was wearing his yellow AE coat and he was SO CUTE.
I just remember feeling so much anticipation and excitement when I first saw him. I think he showed me his apartment and then we had to leave for mass. I remember him opening the car door for me and I was smitten. He truly was a gentleman. In the car, I remember the song "Nineteen Seventy-Something" was on the radio.
We got to church and as we were walking in, Steve said hello to his priest and my phone rang. Of course it did! It was my mom. I silenced my phone and was so embarrassed. During mass, Steve held my hand and I couldn't believe he was real. He was too good to be true.
After mass, we stopped by Farmer Jack's (an old Detroit grocery chain) and we picked up some steaks for dinner, some potatoes, and some asparagus. When we got up to the register to pay, he had left his wallet at home, and was so mortified. I laughed and said it wasn't a problem and paid for the food, but he was seriously mortified. It's funny now, because I know how he is, and he prides himself on being together. To have to have me pay for our food, it was a lot for him. LOL
We went back to his place and made dinner together, and then had a great time talking while enjoying dinner. When we were done, we sat on his couch and talked. He showed me his starter wedding video. Mainly, because I wanted to see his friends that he had told me so much about. It was awesome to sit and talk and laugh and before I knew it, it was 10pm.
At the time, every date I had been on had ended right around the 10pm mark. So when we got to 10 and it wasn't weird or awkward, I made a comment about not wanting to go home yet. He said he wasn't going to kick me out. :-)
We stayed up until after midnight talking and laughing. His friend Roger was in town for a funeral and was staying at Steve's for the weekend. He (Roger) knew we had a date, but thought we'd be done with our date by midnight. So imagine his surprise when he came back to Steve's and we were still on our date!
Roger was upset about the funeral, and so he and Steve started doing shots. I said I'd drink, but I wasn't driving. Steve offered to let me stay at his place. So we all started talking, laughing, and drinking.
Steve and Roger (drunk) on our first date
I ended up staying the night and slept on top of Steve's bed (not under any covers). He slept next to me and held my hand. SWOON.
In the morning, we made breakfast and hung out. We watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding at 2pm and then when it finished, I said that I needed to go home. I had spent 24 hours with him and didn't want to leave.
He walked me to my car, and kissed me on the cheek. I was over the moon. When I was just about home, he called me and said he had a great night and wanted to know when he could see me again. I was in grad school every Tuesday night (out by where he lived) and so I told him I'd be in his neck of the woods on Tuesday. We agreed to meet up after I got out of class.
We saw each other a lot from that point on. On March 19th, 2004 we were going to an overnight St. Patty's Day party at his friend Mitch's house and before he and I left my apartment to leave for the party, he said, "You deserve to hear this in such a better place (I was standing on my stairs), but I love you."
At the St. Patty's Day party-- hours after telling each other that we loved on another :-)
We dated from March of 2004 until September of 2005. While camping with my friend Aimee and her husband Matt, he proposed.
We were in the tent and he was about to leave to take a shower and so he said bye. I said, "You're not going to even kiss me?" So he popped back in and gave me a kiss. Then he knealed down on one knee, and said, "Will you hand me my wallet?" I had no clue what the heck he needed his wallet for, but I handed it to him. There was a tissue inside his wallet and my brain didn't register why he had a snot-rag in his wallet.
He unwrapped the tissue and said, "Will you marry me?" and it was the most beautiful ring I'd ever seen. I kept saying, "Oh my God!!" and out at the campfire, Aimee (who had no idea that Steve was proposing) said, "Don't act like you've never seen it..." (being dirty). I then thought she knew that he was proposing and had seen the ring (she had not). Anyway, I said yes and it was awesome!!
We got married on July 8, 2006 in the Bahamas. We planned a destination wedding and honeymoon because we had both been married before and felt like the marriage was what mattered, not the wedding. We wanted to be barefoot, and married on the beach. And so we were!!
We were in Michigan from 2004-2007 and did some really fun things together. We enjoyed going to sporting events (Lions and Tigers), the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade, concerts, and we liked traveling together.
In June of 2007, we moved to North Carolina for a job for Steve. He was excited to work for Burt's Bees and I was eager to move out of Michigan and teach in another state. I taught fourth grade at a year-round school and loved it. Steve loved working for Burt's Bees.
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in NC and I was teaching (so weird to be teaching and not on summer vacation)! We had been trying to get pregnant for a year and had no luck. We had multiple failed attempts and spent each month more and more heart-broken.
However, we enjoyed our time in NC and met some great friends and traveled and were only 12 hours from MI and Indiana. We were able to go "home" two and sometimes three times a year and had family come stay with us two and sometimes three times a year. It was great.
In December of 2009 we decided to start the process of adoption with CAS (Christian Adoption Services) in NC. You can read about the process and our adoption of Gus here.
In December of 2011 we moved from NC to Georgia! We've been here for just over a year and have loved it so much. It's the greatest place that I've ever lived (I just wish family lived here). In July of 2012, we were matched with B, Hugh's birth mom. You can read about his story here.