Back to where it all began…

I am sitting in a Cragun’s sweet suite and listening to 2 of my kids snore. My other kid is happily speeding through the latest book she picked up at school.

17 years ago, I was a new staff, working in a session on worldviews. I introduced myself as one who had no marketable skills and thus, was serving on staff at Bemidji State. There was a certain freshman from NDSU who heard this self-deprecation and was immediately critical.

12 years ago, I knelt on the floor of one of these same rooms, a tortured 26 year old, praying that God would keep me from a longing for a certain young, new staff worker. I was wrecked. It had been 18 months of wondering. I hated falling for a co-worker but couldn’t resist. He was on my same team and if he didn’t indicate any interest towards me I was seriously going to have to quit my job and jump into seminary … or something else just as drastic.

10 years ago, Brian and I spent the weekend here with a few hundred students, serving in the same small group. We were totally distracted. We had just started dating 3 weeks prior. I remember finishing up my final session that Sunday morning and Brian had my scarf in his hands, and he kept smelling it.

I let my students go assuming it was time for the closing worship session. My supervisor and conference director saw us and asked what was going on. I had the schedule wrong and let out almost an hour early…

Little did I know Brian was planning to propose the next day. We had a skiing trip planned in Bemidji and it was the first time we were going to have a long date (we had only gone on 2 dates so far).

Little did I know he had prepped a meal with his dad earlier in the weekend, ready to go in the back seat of his car. He had a ring. He had accomplices, I mean helpers, to have roses and the meal ready once we arrived back at my house after we skied.

Little did I know we would get engaged on that third date, married 4.5 months later and head to Russia 5 weeks after we got married.

Little did I know how much we would fight, argue and suffer through that first year of marriage. It was awful. We worked too much. We almost killed our chapter. Brian’s grandfather died. We were too used to doing life alone that we forgot we wanted to do life together.

Little did I know we would have 2 kids without planning either one. That Brian would be working here at Cragun’s when I would go into labor with kid #1. That he’d have to wake up our supervisor and her kids and race back to Bemidji only to find my labor had stopped. (It started right back up again and Calista was born at 10pm Feb 3).

Little did I know that right after we had Elam I started to think we should move to Duluth. That when we put our house on the market as a “test, looking for a sign” it would sell in less than a week!

Little did I know that we would plan, plan and plan for 2.5 years for our third kid. Little did I know that I would step back from my job, one that I did here in this place for over 10 years, and loved doing it, in order to be present when these little noses would snore.

Little did I know how much this guy would still drive me batty (just today we had a doozy of an argument while heading out of town to said conference) but I did have some idea that I wanted to be driven nuts only by him.

Brian: you are such a leader. You want to make every follow you only because you know you follow the Best Leader. You want to influence the world with the Good News and Truth. You want to be the best daddy and stepped into our room only for 5 minutes to hug and kiss your kids good night (and grab a piece of pizza and an apple).

You want to fix problems for everyone. Phones, computers, shelving units, furnaces, tree houses, our floors, my battery life in my phone…

I’m so glad you chose NDSU. That you chose to get involved with InterVarsity. That you gave up the big bucks and computer job security for staff life. That we have a crazy life with our kids right now.

I’m so glad you chose me.

Happy Engagement Anniversary!

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