Courtney: Even though I immediately noticed William, I saw him talking to the girl who had originally invited me, and I did not want to swoop in and steal him away. I continued to notice this tall, handsome man each week, but I didn't think he would be interested (or available) and was later very surprised to find out he had been watching me!
After a few weeks of sweet, short conversations and a run-in or two at church, he told me he was spending Thanksgiving at his best friend's house and made it sound like he would be nearby my home. (Note: He was, in fact, forty-minutes from my house ... not exactly close!) I was having fun inviting anyone and everyone to our house for Thanksgiving break that year, so I thought, "Why not extend another invitation?" The invite was strictly platonic, despite what Will may tell you. Before he arrived, my mom asked me what I knew about him, and I responded as honestly as I could, "Not a whole lot."
Well, he did show up! What I thought would be a 30-minute snack break turned into a full family dinner. Five hours later, he had not only charmed me, but also my mom, dad, and brothers, who were equally impressed with his faith, ambition, and adventurous spirit. (Funny, but I really had no idea just how adventurous he was at the time!) We haven't stopped talking since that day he waved goodbye from my driveway.
After New Years, we spent a few days in Tahoe together. It was my first time skiing on something other than a bunny slope, and I truthfully thought I was going to die when Will suggested that, rather than take the gondola, we ski all the way down Squaw Valley. The sun was setting fast, and my tired legs and the icy run made for a slow return to the village. We were the second-to-last skiers off of the mountain (the last guy came down on a gurney!). Not wanting to disappoint him, I smiled through it all, but I was terrified on the inside!
On our way home, I tried to find out if we were dating, to which William accused me of "DTR-ing" (defining the relationship). I maintain that I was simply clarifying our friendship before I left to study abroad. Will had already asked me how many children I wanted and where I would like to honeymoon, so it was only natural I ask about our relationship. He said we weren't dating, but he would not pursue anyone until I returned home.
A few days later, he asked if I wanted to meet in Paris at the end of my study abroad, which was wonderfully romantic for two people who were not dating. I left in mid-January with the hope of seeing him at the end of May, and we spoke, emailed, and wrote letters to each other everyday, usually twice a day. After learning so much about him, I quickly knew he was the man I had been praying for since I was 12 years old. It wasn't long before I saw him in Paris. Paris was only the first of our many adventures, and I am so thankful for the wonderful people and activities William has introduced me to over the last year. I can't wait for our next big adventure, though every week seems to be an adventure with him!
William: I was a teacher. She was a student. Hahahaha, just kidding.
I first caught a glimpse of Courtney at a weekly Wednesday night Bible study I attended. I was immediately struck by her soft blonde hair, bright big eyes, and her pearly white teeth set in her permanent cheerful smile. After seeing her a few times at Bible study, I strategically positioned myself to bump into her and quickly struck up a conversation. I was delighted to find out she attended the same church I went to in San Francisco. The following Sunday, I kept an eye out for her and through some quick thinking and aggressive maneuvering, managed to sit beside her. After the service, I deliberately hung around and we talked until her friends had to give her a ride back to Berkeley. We continued to talk more and more each time we saw each other. Soon I was sharing my plans to spend Thanksgiving with friends at a cabin in Oroville, and Courtney mentioned her house was on the way. After looking up the route, her house was 45-minutes out of the way but that did not deter me and I quickly rerouted my drive to include “a driving break” at her house. What I thought was going to be a 20-min bathroom break turned into a 5-hour family dinner. Fortunately, they were all very friendly and she was a great cook, and I left happy with a full heart and stomach!
After returning home, I quickly realized I needed to stay in touch with this girl. Waking up to rain the next morning, I texted her asking if she had an umbrella for the rain. If not, I had one that she could borrow. She volunteered to meet me at Strada, the coffee shop across from campus. Before I walked over to meet her, and desperately wanting to make a lasting impression, I wore my friend’s extra flashy Christmas sweater and brought 3 umbrellas with me. I wasn’t sure if she thought I was silly or eccentric for showing up in an obnoxious Christmas sweater with 3 umbrellas, but it must have worked because we stayed in touch and started talking daily. Spending Christmas and New Years Eve apart, we spent a few days in Tahoe together after New Years and went skiing together for the first time. This ended up being a true test of our relationship on what must’ve been the coldest and iciest day of the year.
Mid-January, Courtney left to study abroad in Italy and we stayed in touch texting, Facetiming, and writing daily emails. Being 6,000 miles apart, we had a lot of phone conversations and talked about EVERYTHING. The more I found out about Courtney, the more I knew she was the girl I had searched for my whole life, and we had already agreed to meet in Paris at the end of the semester. We spent a week in Paris and returned to a whirlwind summer of hiking, rafting, concerts, camping, and road trips together. As Christmas time approached, I couldn’t wait any longer and after purchasing the ring, got down on one knee with Lake Tahoe in the background and asked her to spend the rest of our lives together. When she said “Yes” it was the happiest moment in my life.
Here are a few snapshots of our most recent adventures.
We have enjoyed camping, biking, triathlon training, skiing, flying, playing tennis, rafting, and spending a LOT of time in the car together. However, we can't wait for our biggest adventure yet: marriage!