When I saw Annabelle's call for Catholic love stories, I got all misty eyed thinking about how, not only do I have a love story with my husband, but yes, a Catholic love story! I love romance movies, but Hollywood is so unrealistic. Our Catholic love stories are the stuff life is made of, and as I read the beautiful contributions on her site, I got really excited about sharing mine. Many of my regular readers already know our story, but I do have quite a few new readers, and I do love the idea of writing it out as a love story all in one place, rather than the tidbits that are scattered throughout my blog right now.
I moved to Raleigh almost three and a half years ago. I had just finished getting my masters in social work and moved on a well planned whim. Well planned meaning that I plan everything within an inch of my life, and whim meaning that I had no real reason to move to Raleigh and no job waiting for me, but I just felt like it was where I should be. I couldn't explain it very well to people, but beginning in the fall of my last year of grad school, I got the inkling to move to Raleigh and it only got stronger. I know family and friends thought I was a bit rash and taking a big risk, and I was! But it just felt right, so I decided to go with it. I visited a few times during my last year in school. I brought my mom to visit in December and we looked at some apartments. While driving around looking for an apartment building, we saw the Cathedral downtown and decided to peak in. As soon as I walked in I told my mom I wanted to get married there someday! I went back to Raleigh again to interview a few months later, and I ended up signing a lease over spring break that would take effect at the end of May, so it was a done deal. I was moving to Raleigh! I moved on May 28th (thanks mom and dad, for moving me on your anniversary!) and settled into my apartment in a city where I knew no one. For about a month, I just hung out and got to know my new city on a budget, since I was living off of savings. I took a part time job in mid July in a school uniform store just so I could quit using my savings. A week later, I got a job offer, accepted it, and I'm still there three years later!
Our first picture together, January 2010
After many dead end dates, I began to lose hope again. This was all over a span of just a few months, but I was frustrated and ready to call the online dating quits. Then one day in November, someone messaged me with the cutest little pick up line. My profile picture was me eating ice cream (I had to be up front about my sweets addiction!) and he wrote "Hi. I thought I'd message you since enjoying ice cream has to be one of my favorite traits in people :P". I liked that he wasn't (like many guys) trying to be really cool or macho, so I immediately wrote him back. We emailed back and forth for about 3 weeks before we met. I really wanted to feel him out! And actually, I had to cancel our first meeting because my cat got sick and I had to take her to the vet on the only day they offer evening hours, Tuesday. (I much later found out that Steven thought I was blowing him off ...your cat got sick? really? and your vet is open at night? yeah, right!.... but googled to see if there was a vet with night hours and saw there was one. Because of his doubt in me, I have kept the receipt from that vet trip ever since so I can wave it in his face every so often!) So we rescheduled for the next week and got together at..... Coldstone! So appropriate! We had a good time, and continued seeing each other. The first time he came to my apartment, he brought a toy for my cat. I knew he was a keeper.
They are both smitten.
Minutes after we became engaged!
One of our engagement photos
After our engagement, Steven started thinking about joining the church. Last fall, he joined RCIA and asked me to be his sponsor. I'm pretty sure that's right up there with him asking for my hand in marriage! We attended RCIA together from fall through spring, and it was such a growing experience for our faith and our relationship. We gave up our old ways of life and accepted the challenge of living the teachings of the church... together! We grew in love with God and even more in love with each other. This past Easter morning at the 7:30 Mass, he was welcomed into full communion with the Catholic church.... a week early and all by himself since our honeymoon was beginning the next weekend! Six days after joining the church, we entered the sacrament of marriage together. I'm not sure that week of our life will ever be topped. Seeing my fiance become Catholic and then marrying my Catholic husband..... swoon!
A brand new Catholic!
Our wedding day! April 14, 2012
In case you were wondering, yes, that IS the Cathedral that I said I wanted to get married in!
So there you have it- our Catholic love story!