It was 11 years ago on Halloween night. I went to party at a friend's house. It was an 80's theme. So I puffed up my hair and rolled up my jeans. In the prior weeks I had started to hear about these two brothers that were really cute and apparently everyone knew but me! I never gave it much thought, although one of my friends had expressed interest in the younger brother. So I arrived at the party in a great, playful mood. No expectations for the night except to have a good time with my friends.
I'm still not clear on all the details, but the Bonnell Brothers had been invited to the party and at the last minute decided to attend since they had nothing else to do. When they walked in, there was definitely some excitement in the air. So I HAD to see what all the fuss was about. Are these two guys REALLY that interesting?
I believe God put a spirit of playfulness in me that night because I'm not usually that outgoing. But I wanted to meet these brothers that I had heard so much about. So I walked up to them and introduced myself. I remember talking to Mike (Randy's older brother) for a while first. Randy seemed a bit more reserved. Plus he's two years younger than me, so I didn't give him much attention right away. They were genuinely nice guys and I could see why everyone liked them so much. I ended up talking with Randy for a while before it was time to leave. Again, didn't give any of it much thought as we left.
I left the party with my good friend Mark, who apparently had known Randy for a long time. As we left he told me that Randy stopped him and asked for my phone number. I laughed in surprise and said I would have to think about whether or not I would go out with him. Well, he called that Wednesday and by then my friend had talked me in to giving it a chance. We went on our first date that next Friday. He took me out to dinner and to an AWFUL horror movie. We still laugh about that part. I was completely unimpressed! Randy was this small town farm boy who drove a big loud pickup. But there was just something about him that drew me in!
I will say that at some point while we were dating I clearly heard God's voice telling me that I would marry this man and have children with him. I certainly can't argue with that! So six months after our first date we were engaged and exactly one year after our first date we were married. Ten years and four beautiful kids later here we are! Oh- and as a side note- Randy's brother met his wife that night at the same party. Crazy right?!
I am thankful each and every day for Randy. He is a man of integrity. He is a hard worker. He is an amazing and loving father. He is my best friend. He continues to grow in maturity and faith. He continues to challenge me and encourage me.
So this weekend we will leave our kids and head up to the mountains to a "luxury" suite where we hope to do nothing but rest and enjoy some quiet together. I am hopeful and excited about the next ten years. What a ride this life is!