There is a saying at BYU-Idaho (formerly Ricks College, which is what I prefer to think of it as)
that goes "ring by spring." I did not got to college with this as my goal. I promise. I actually went to college with a boyfriend. A pretty dedicated one at that. And so the last thing that I was looking for was marriage.
My first semester was spent with blinders on. I went to class, I hung out with my roommates, but when it came to members of the opposite sex, I was out of the game. I was focused on one man in my life and that was enough for me. And then the inevitable happened: He went on a mission.
Yep. That's right. I "Dear Johned" a missionary. Ironically enough, for someone named John.
We actually met near the beginning of the first semester. His apartment and my apartment hung out on a regular basis. I can't remember the first time I met him, actually. And neither can he so I don't feel too bad. It was either when we all went to play ultimate Frisbee or when we all went to see X-men at the $3 theatre. Because Rexburg doesn't have a dollar theatre. Seriously. I thought he was nice, just like all the rest of the boys in his apartment, but as I said before, I wasn't looking.
Until January. I came back from Christmas break a different person. I was ready to be more adventurous and meet new people. I wanted to be silly and stupid like college freshmen are supposed to be. And then about a week into the semester we decided to go visit Somerset 111. And I happened to sit next to John on the couch. And we talked the entire time. And I went home with a little crush. Apparently the feeling was mutual because the next day, who just happened to stop by our apartment to visit? And the day after that? And the day after that?
I think you get the picture.
Things went pretty fast from there. He asked me to Sweethearts (which is a story in and of itself) and then drove me home to Utah because he happened to be going. About 3 weeks into our relationship he told me he loved me. I was not expecting that. Understandably. It had been 3 weeks! And I didn't say it back, which I think made him a little upset. But I smoothed things over a few days later when I did say it back, and meant it.
Shortly after that drama, we got into a philosophical discussion about loving someone and being in love with them. And this discussion led to discussion of marriage. And that discussion led to some fervent praying on both our parts. And to both our surprise we were engaged exactly one month after our first kiss.
Now, before you get disgusted by how fast we took things or how irresponsible we were I just want you to know that we were in that boat with you. Neither one of us wanted to get married. I was waiting (unofficially) for a missionary and he had only been off of his mission for 6 months or so. In our initial marriage discussions we seriously considered waiting a full year to get married so that both of us could save up some money and could get a little bit ahead in our schooling. That plan went out the window after some down-to-earth talks with our roommates. And so it happened that we were married 6 months, almost to the day, of our first kiss.
And you know what? Despite the fact that we had a whirlwind courtship, despite the fact that I was 18 when we got married (18 yrs., 11 mo., and 6 days to be exact), we are still happily married. We have 4 beautiful children who we both adore, and more importantly, we still adore each other. In 1 week it will be our 8th anniversary of our engagement and since that moment, I have not once regretted loving this man and agreeing to eternity with him.