I'm going to do my best to remember as much as possible about one of the biggest, most important, and special days in my life. Tomorrow is my 8 year anniversary to my husband, Mike. There was a lot that I experienced up until the BIG DAY and I thought it might be fun to try and reminisce about what all lead up to that moment when I said, "I do." Many of the things I post here are for the people I care about to reflect on and try to remember right along with me. Also, someday I will lose my memory of some of the best years of my life due to old age and simple forgetfulness (and I might just end up remembering them so incorrectly that I end up telling someone else's story instead of my own). So, here is how it all began...
Mike and I had been together for 5 years. We'd had a strong, fun, loving, and intense relationship with its normal ups and downs, just like everyone else. However, there was something just a little different about us. We couldn't (and probably won't ever be able to) put our finger on it, but you would've noticed it when you knew us. We were just a different kind of couple.
In our 4th year together, it was time to sell our beloved Lynnwood home. The one we met in. The one the motorcycle was parked in the dining room leaking oil. The one the dogs decided to turn into their kennel. The one where we had a ghost that would give us the creeps from time to time. The one where Mike took a sledge hammer to the wall one fine morning to begin THE project. The one that we worked endless hours tearing things apart, rebuilding them, and eating Safeway's China Express or Wendy's...EVERYDAY. The one that was our first home together and where many memories were made and kept.
Once we sold the Lynnwood house to a friend, we found the house that was meant for us in little Arlington. At the time we were purchasing our house, the conversation came up that we should probably consider getting married. I couldn't buy a house with my "boyfriend" and think that my family would think that was cool. There's a bit of a traditional side to my family, and it is one that I've always valued and respected. I'd been living "in sin" for quite a while and thought, "this is a big step for me and I really want to marry this man." We talked about it and how I thought it was only fair that if we were to buy the house, I should have the same last name as him. I wanted to get married.
For as long as I can remember, Mike didn't want to get married. It wasn't something he ever wanted to go through again (the failing marriage part, that is). But I just didn't see myself ever being with anyone but Mike or ever WANTING to be with anyone else. I had done my shopping and found my perfect match. No refunds and no returns. I could live with that choice...forever. So, when we had finally moved into our home and were settled, it was just Mike and I lounging on our couch watching TV alone, when I brought up, "So, now that we have the house...are we going to make the next step? Are we going to get married, or what?" His response? "Sure. When do you think we should?" "Summer. I'd like an outdoor wedding" "Ooo, I like summer, but it can't be in June." "Agreed. How about August? We're pretty much guaranteed awesome weather anytime in August." "Cool. Let's look at the calendar. How about the 17th or the 24th?" "Those sound good to me." "Well it's settled! Looks like you get your wish, Kathy. We're getting married in August!"
This was such a funny conversation and so nonchalant. No big deal. But then I realized, I'd been patient, understanding, loving, and tenatious enough to get all that I wanted. The Moody name. The name of the man I love. How cool is that? We'd been together for so long, the conversation was like we were planning a little dinner party with some friends. Not the case. It ended up to be a bit bigger than that, but that's to follow. The conversation took place in October. We were already calling our parents to let them know. I remember Rita was at our house over by the pool table we had just put together when Mike told her. She was very happy. When I called to tell my parents, it was a different story. It wasn't that my parents weren't happy for us, it's just that they didn't believe me. My dad is VERY traditional. He's of the era of giving a girl his pin to show the world they were going "steady". What does that even mean??? Whatever. In any case, my dad's comment every time the topic came up, "You're not engaged until I see a ring on that finger. It's all talk as far as I'm concerned." Well, for Pete's sake! I finally got this man to agree that we were going to live "Happily Ever After" and NOW I had to get him to buy me a ring right after we bought a whole house?!! This could be a while before my family believed we were planning a wedding.
Christmas was coming right around the corner. Even thought I didn't have a ring, I was still planning my wedding. At the time, I was working at The Escrow Group in Everett. It was fun because I worked with ALL girls and they were so helpful and playful with ideas for me and my day. Also, one of the gals I worked with had the same kind of timeline with her boyfriend. They, too, had been talking about marriage and were looking at the same time as us, so it was fun bouncing ideas off of Lori. Every Christmas Eve, my extended family had a party where we ALL got together for gift exchanges, great food, and lots of company. Well, we had a roommate at the time, Eric George, who was going to be spending his Christmas with his family so he decided to give us our gifts on the 23rd before he headed out to be with his family. My gift was in a very large box. I began to unwrap it (all the while feeling a bit guilty because I hadn't got him anything). The box had various pieces of random paper, lint from the pool table, and a bag of old oranges. And at the bottom...a very pretty wrapped box. This was NOT from Eric. There was a small box at the bottom of the very large, very poorly wrapped heap of garbage. The small box was wrapped in thick red paper with flowers on it. Butterflies in my stomach. Tears in my eyes. I opened it and found the ring that I had imagined and always told Mike I had wanted. I love clusters of diamonds and white gold. It looked like a bunch of grapes (only they were diamonds). Mike gave me my engagement ring the day before our extended family Christmas party so I could brag away. :)
Now, my dad was thrilled. So thrilled, he made an amazing announcement and beautiful toast. He was all smiles and so happy for us. And now the planning was to begin...