Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How We Met

I guess our story starts the first time I ever heard about who Matt was. When I was 15, two of my friends went to a summer camp called Ignite, where they became friends with Matt and a few of Matt's friends. The "High River boys" as they later were labelled (so comical). Being 15-year-olds who told each other absolutely every detail of our lives, (I'm talking relaying word for word conversations) I heard about Matt extensively.

I didn't form much of an opinion of him, not having met him in person (though I did know what he looked like via Facebook), but I do remember thinking based on what I heard that we seemed similar and that I agreed with his opinions on various 15-year-old things.

We met for the first time when we were 17, at the same friends' grad. I was feeling really sick and left early, so all that amounted to was a quick introduction. It is so strange to think back on those first few polite words we exchanged. 

We saw each other again at a weekend long Catholic Conference called the Family Life Conference where everyone camps out and has a great time. My friend Danielle and I actually hung out with his cousin more, and nothing much happened. This location plays an important role later, though, so watch out for it. 

That fall Matt moved to Edmonton to go to U of A, and I was going to Grant MacEwan (another university in Edmonton). There was one evening where a small group of us went out to a bar near the university to "watch the hockey game" (I interpret this to mean visiting and drinking with the hockey game on in the background). I remember that there were a few times that Matt zoned out of the conversation and would be intently watching the game, and I remember wondering if it was because he was bored with the conversation. I know now that it was definitely because he was interested in the hockey game. Something foreign to me ;) 

My friend Brielle and I had recently watched a youtube video where a guy tried to prove that girls and guys could not be friends without at least one of them feeling something for the other person at one point in time. We brought it up and Matt disagreed, explaining that we were an example of two people he would only every see as friends (!!!). We also talked about how when two people have a good friendship and one party starts to develop feelings for the other person, it usually just ruins the friendship. Matt and I then proceeded to promise that we would never do this to each other, and would always see each other as only friends, never ruining the friendship. We even shook on it. So ironic. Guess our word means nothing!

There was another night when a big group of us were all out at a country bar in Edmonton called Cook County Saloon. An intoxicated man approached my friend Danielle and I, and Matt came to our rescue. The man asked which one of us was Matt's girlfriend and Matt responded "both," starting the joke that Matt was our boyfriend. The ironic moments were too many to count.

Later that year, Matt and I were both dating different people. I, still really wanting to be friends with Matt, suggested the four of us go on a double date. We went out for supper and then out to the bar and I had a really great time. My friend Maria joined us at the bar and we snapped a picture with Matt that would be kind of cute if I didn't look completely crazy.

(Keeping this photo small to downplay
how crazy I look)
Christmas 2012 I decided to write Christmas letters to a bunch of my friends. I forgot to mail Matt's letter, so when I saw it lying around stamp and all that spring I just threw it in the mailbox, and he messaged me on facebook thanking me for the Christmas card. We were both single at this point, and began talking a bit on facebook, completely still just as friends. The town he lived in had flooded and we talked a bit about that, and he asked me if I would be at Family Life Conference that year. I responded that I would be. I can still remember sitting in my parents' computer room with the light shining in, typing those casual messages. They were nothing to me then, but are so significant looking back because they were right before our friendship turned to more.

I was in a place in my life where I was not looking to be in a relationship. I was completely obsessed with traveling, having gone on a two month trip to Peru the previous winter and already having booked my trip to Colombia for the following winter. I had decided that the only thing that would entice me out of the freedom of singlehood (the freedom to travel, specifically) was if I met an absolutely amazing guy who I could see myself marrying. I also really hoped that if I found someone, that they would be Catholic, because I really wanted us to be on the same page with and share our faith. I know that Matt was in a similar place, not hoping to get into a relationship in the near future.

I do remember feeling a little nervous/excited to see him at Family Life Conference that year, but didn't even acknowledge that feeling because we were only friends. I chalked it up to it being because we had talked on Facebook a little, and sometimes when you talk to someone through social media you feel nervous to see them in person? Maybe. 

One evening our whole group of friends was sitting around the campfire. For some reason at one point Matt and I were throwing marshmallows at each other, and then Matt came over to sit by me, which made me feel really happy. We got into our own little world talking, and when he said he was going to check out the other fire (where his cousin was), I said I'd join him and we walked off to that campfire. That night I (sneakily) started a competition of who could stay up the longest, and said that the winner got to ask the loser three questions, which could be absolutely anything, and they had to answer (also pretty sneaky of me). I remember bumping into my brother Joseph and telling him about our competition and having him look at us like we were crazy. Joseph! That was your future brother-in-law!

I of course won the competition, and of course planned out some very deep questions. I'm surprised Matt wasn't scared off by this point. We invited Matt and his cousin to a birthday camping trip for my friend and me a few weeks later, where Matt and I went on a long walk and I asked him my well thought out questions. We started this question trading thing, all part of some fabricated competition, and had lots of deep talks. I remember the morning after we had our long talk Matt was so quiet, and I was wondering if he maybe didn't like me, because if that was the case I should probably start working on not liking him so much.

We both went to another Catholic camping event over another weekend that was called One Rock, where Matt and I stayed up talking until something like 4 in the morning, parting ways and finding our friends' tents afterward. I still hadn't admitted to anyone that I liked Matt, and still didn't really know if he liked me. I remember my friend bugging me about liking him that weekend and denying it. At one point during the weekend I was sitting on the hill waiting for a talk to start (of course aware Matt was behind me with his friends) and Matt came and sat beside me, teasing me about my running shoes that were actually hiking runners that I had bought to hike the Inca Trail earlier that winter. Specifically he said "Going on a hike later today?" I really have never been fashionably inclined... I never wore those shoes for anything but hiking ever again though ;). 

The last camping trip of the summer was one where Matt's group of friends invited my friend Maria and me. We all drove aimlessly in the dark because the campsite they booked didn't work out, and somehow happened upon a really awesome campsite with a river, huge trees, and nobody to complain about our noise level. It was during this weekend that there were only a few people left awake at the end of the night, sitting around the campfire. Suddenly Matt got up abruptly and said, "I'm going for a walk." I looked at him confused, wondering why he would want to go on a walk alone, not catching on to his "hint" that I should join him. Eventually he did something that caused me to catch on, and we went for a walk. Matt seemed very nervous, which I find extremely endearing and I love this memory. In short, he said that he liked me, and we talked about that. The problem was that I was going to Colombia that January for four months, so I didn't think I should date anyone because it wouldn't be fair to the person back home and probably would change my trip as well. I also had extensive long term travel plans that dating didn't really fit into. However, I obviously really liked Matt. In the end, though, I told him we probably shouldn't date because I was going away for four months, which he completely accepted. I really appreciated the way that he wasn't pushy and wanted me to date him only if I wanted to, not because he had convinced me to.

Well of course doubts began to creep in after I said we shouldn't date. The fact that he was so understanding and didn't pressure me made me want to date him even more, he was so respectful of me and my decisions! He was so kind about the entire thing. Also, his cousin Connor talked him up, telling me what a good guy he is. I remember thinking, what am I passing up? It's true that Matt is such an amazing guy. 

So after a lot of deliberation (and lot of talking it out with my friends), I decided I wanted to date him even though I would be going to Colombia in four months. I asked him if he wanted to go for coffee, and we talked and had a really good time. Then at the end I finally got up the courage to say awkwardly, "I changed my mind about not wanting to date because of going to Colombia." He was probably very confused. He walked me out to my car, and of course I had locked my keys in the car. So we waited in the parking lot for my mom to come into Edmonton to bring me the spare keys - and that was her first time meeting Matt. My family had already heard about him of course. There was a six hour phone conversation they wouldn't let me hear the end of, my sister thought he looked like he was 30, my Dad found out he was the reason I was always smiling at my cell phone and would randomly say "Matt" and laugh at how I couldn't not smile. Actually, Dad had already stated, "You're going to marry this guy! Look how much you smile when he gets brought up!"

So at my friend Olivia's wedding (Olivia and Brielle were the ones who originally introduced me to Matt, it's all intertwined...) that September, while Matt and I were dancing, Matt asked me if I would be his girlfriend. I started jumping up and down and was ecstatic. He also somehow managed to get my Dad's blessing (just kidding, of course Dad was happy for us). We went to a Greek restaurant on Whyte Ave for our first date. A year later we were engaged, 10 months after that we were married, and 10 months after that we had little Rosie!

(Continued in Part 2 of our story!)

One of our first dates at the corn maze.
Halloween that fall where we went as Archie and Betty.
The best day.
You might also like...


  1. Replies
    1. Aw thanks Mom! It was actually so fun writing it, thinking back on everything!

  2. Love this story! I laughed so many times and had to read parts to Tharin. (and show him some pictures, haha.) It's so crazy how your story happened, and I'm so glad it did!

    1. You were such a big part of it, it's crazy you you were friends with Matt before I knew him!

    2. You were such a big part of it, it's crazy you you were friends with Matt before I knew him!

  3. Also, you have such a good memory due the little details and conversations!