A Story of Two Best Friends

So, where were we?  Oh yes, it was official.  We were…what is that juvenile term for a dating relationship again?…oh yeah, a thing.

Three weeks into our ‘official’ relationship, we still hadn’t locked lips.  Fine by me and in fact, I loved that we hadn’t kissed before we knew we really wanted to put effort into the relationship and make ourselves a couple.  Not that I think there’s anything wrong with kissing someone you are on the road to an official relationship with!  In fact, first came the kiss, then came the relationship title in all of my previous four (five?…can’t remember) real relationships.  But, I loved how this one was different.  I think a kiss, as simple as it is, is a sacred thing.  I don’t advise throwing them out to anyone because, well, germs.  Ha!  No, I’m kidding…about the germs.  A kiss is a sign of affection for someone you care for and to give that little piece of yourself to someone you don’t really care about might not seem like such a bad thing but hearts are fickle and hearts can get hurt by the little as much as the big.  Anyway, Anthony was so respectful of me, guarding my heart and his and so it wasn’t until three weeks into our little puppy love fest that he laid one on me.  Let me tell you how it went down…on.  First, I’m sure you’re probably aware but waiting for the person you have a big crush on to kiss you is one of the worst waits.  SuspenseFUL!  I’m not the most forward type so I sure wasn’t going to be the one to make the first move.  So, one night we went out to dinner.  It was full of good food and great convo per the usual with us and Anthony told me once or twice that he had something for me when we got back to campus.  Fun!  A surprise!  Dinner ended and we drove back and pulled into a parking spot next to my dorm.  Anthony turned the car off and said again, “I have something for you.”  Only he wasn’t moving to get out of the parked car.  He just turned the slightest bit toward me and it got a little quiet and then…








A car pulled up next to us and he got all awkward for a second and quickly said, “Ok, let’s go.”  After that I knew what he was up to and I knew it involved our lips…or at least that what I thought.  I could tell he was a little nervous after we got out of the car and of course, now I was giddy and nervous and didn’t know which way was up.  We headed towards the dorm entrance and right before we went in, he said “Let’s go for a walk.”  Ok.  Nothing out of the ordinary except my intuition that he had kissing intentions.  Except that it was; this walk was totally out of the ordinary.  Usually we just strolled around, not a care in the world, just the two of us and the easy flow of words between us.  This walk it seemed like he was on a mission.  He’d lead me somewhere, look around, then go in a totally different direction.  It’s so funny to think back on.  Ten minutes later we were down by our student center and he was doing some scouting about when all of a sudden, he grabbed me by the shoulders, turned me towards him and…

















…to be continued.

Kidding!  Only kidding!  I clearly have a twisted idea of fun brought on by a lack of sleep (sick kids).

So, he turned me towards him and told me to close my eyes and, while my heart beat straight out of my chest, he planted one on me.  And it was…….so awkward!!!  He didn’t kiss me on my lips guys.  He kissed me on my teeth!  I knew this was coming and I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling and then it happened and I just didn’t know what to do and couldn’t control myself and…awkward.  But wait, it gets better.  After the kiss, I opened my eyes and hanging over my head, held by Anthony, was a little mistletoe.  I melted.  I saved that little mistletoe and then it got lost somewhere in one of my moves but I will cherish the memory of that (attempted) kiss forever.    

[Spring 2005]

That first kiss was right before Christmas break (2004) and the spring after was my last spring at Franciscan before I graduated with my Bachelors’ degree and moved home to Nebraska.  Anthony drove home with me and all of my stuff right after graduation and stayed for about a week and then we didn’t see each other all summer until a week before he flew to Austria to spend the semester abroad.  I flew to him in New York and we savored that week we had, knowing that the next year would be tough.  First four months an ocean apart (and back then technology was not that of 2015 – I bought two calling cards and we talked maybe an hour a week) and then another spring; he back in Ohio at college; me working at home.  We saw each other a couple of times that spring – once he flew out and surprised me and then spring break we traveled to Utah together – and then as things got more serious, I decided to move back out to Ohio where my sister and best friend were still in college as well.  I moved in with my two ‘sisters’ and was 1000 miles closer to my love.  Finally.  No more long distance.  Only short distance.  Awesome.

 sheena 085
[A Valentine’s Day surprise]

One, two, skip a few memories lest I bore you but here are a few stats:
Number of months we dated before we were married:  36 (exactly…we got married on our three-year anniversary)
Number of months we dated before getting engaged:  24.5
Number of times we broke up while dating:  1 (for a week)
Number of months we enjoyed a short-distance relationship:  22 (but the number goes down to 10 if we don’t include our engagement period)
Number of months we braved long distance:  14 (these were solely during our dating phase)
When I knew he was “the one”:  4 months in

So the Christmas season was rolling in in 2006 and I was set to go home to spend it with my family for a week and Anthony was leaving to go to his so one night we had one last parting dinner (he made it cause he was and still is the chef in this relationship) the night before we each jetted off.  After dinner, Anthony left because he had to go valet park for a Christmas party and so I got back to packing.  Twenty minutes after he left, he called me and asked me if I wanted to “go to adoration with me quick?  It’s down in the chapel.”  Ugh, it was dark and the cold rain outside didn’t sound fun to run through (a five minute run), plus my unfinished packing was a tad overwhelming.  *Sigh*  “Sure.  I’ll be right down.”  So, dazzling everyone (no one though, really) with my fake Uggs, over-sized sweatpants, and long-sleeved work tee, I scampered down the slippery sidewalk down to the chapel and just who was right there at the entrance, dressed TO THE NINES, opening the door for me and ushering me in?  Who else but Anthony?  Perfectly logical, right?  Right. 
Me:  “Why are you dressed up?”
Him:  “Because I have to valet park, remember?  I have to dress up.”
Me:  “Oh, right.”
Duh.  Not that I was expecting anything because I wasn’t.  I was totally oblivious to what was about to happen. 

We walked through the front lobby of the chapel, opened the doors to the chapel and…no adoration.  No people, no priest, no Jesus, no nothing.  “What?  I thought you said there was adoration tonight?”  “Shhh…”, he said as he led me up the aisle in the very empty chapel.  And then I saw them.  Roses and candles lining the aisle.  Still either slightly oblivious (or just dumb) or in utter disbelief that maybe a little ‘ole ring was hiding somewhere, I started to say “Where are we go…””SHHH…(and with a huge grin on his face and in the most loving way) Don’t ruin this for me.”  Ho-ly smokes!  I think I stopped breathing and I might’ve blacked out for two seconds because all of a sudden all I remember is being in front of the altar with the man that I loved down on his knee, telling me all these wonderful things and then asking me if I would spend the rest of my life with him.  Oh, and he was holding out a beautiful ring.  And the flood gates opened (and I totally didn’t think I’d be one to cry at my own proposal).  All I could do between near-hyperventilation and tears was pull him up to me and hold him close.  There were no words…no literally.  There weren’t.  I forgot to say “yes”.  After holding me for a few minutes poor Anthony looked into my eyes and said “Soooo, is that a yes?”  Ummm, obviously.  Like can’t you read into female emotional train-wreck feelings crying just-breathe over here?  Men.  Ha!  Kidding, but really.  He just had to make sure.  :)

Best Christmas present ever.  After we (okay, I) calmed down a tad, Mr. Prepared over here pulled a Kodak out of his pocket and made sure we got a picture of the awkward soon-to-be bride:
    sheena 131
[Who cares that I look like a drowned, tear-stained rat, he liked it and he put a ring on it, right?]

And the happy couple:
sheena 134 

We went back up to my apartment afterwards and called our family, most of whom, after being informed by the man himself earlier in the day, were waiting on pin and needles for the call.  After being on the phone for a good hour, we settled in and just talked.  Talked about us.  Talked about when we knew.  Talked about when the wedding might be.  Talked about how he called my grandpa (my dad’s dad) the night before to ask him if he could “ask Sheena to marry him tomorrow” and my grandpa thought he literally meant he wanted to marry me tomorrow; have the wedding tomorrow.  My grandpa got a little flustered because they were 1000 miles away and it was quick and of course he and my grandma wanted to be at their first grandchild’s wedding and “well, I don’t know…”.  After my grandpa voiced his concern, a nervous Anthony caught on to the big miscommunication and got the okay for the proposal the next day.  :) 

We spent the next year preparing for marriage – Pre-Cana (marriage prep classes), Natural Family Planning classes, and planning a wedding that was to take place a thousand miles away.  I was working full-time at a bank and Anthony was going to school full-time and working part-time.  In the meantime, my sister and best friend both graduated and moved away for work so I moved out of our shared apartment and into a house Anthony and I bought three months before we got married.  I brought my family’s dog back with me after a visit home to protect me from murderers and robbers (in our relatively safe neighborhood) during those three and only months I’ve ever lived alone in my life.  And finally, that day we had looked so forward to and planned so much for came.

Annnnnd that’s where I leave you today.  I hear some chit-chat going on a couple rooms over where once two little girls were napping so I’ll just go ahead and leave these beans on the floor and spill more later.  :)   

[Impromptu engagement photo taken by a friend at Dan and Lauren’s wedding.]

Stay tuned.  There are only two more chapters in this saga and I promise I won’t drag it out too much.  ;)


  1. You make me smile! I bet you are a hoot IRL!

    1. Ha! Anthony thinks so. ;) Happy I can get a smile or two outta ya!

  2. I love this! Loved part one & two, keep 'em coming! :)

  3. Loving this! I can't wait for parts three and four.

    Our Little Miracles

  4. Love it! P.S. Joe was in Austria in fall 05 as well... and then I remembered that we actually have photos of them together. Too funny!

  5. I love hearing more about your story!!