Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our Beginning

This is the long awaited story of how Loren and I met!

It all started when I became friends with his older sister Amelia back in my home ward in Vicksburg, MS. We were Girls Camp counselors together then hung around dinky Vicksburg making food and little crafts. It was fun and all along she kept telling me that I should meet her brother who was coming home from his mission in FIJI. I wasn't too sure about it because she had set me up once before and that kid was awkward... NOT a reflection on her of course but still, that experience made me a bit weary :)

I ended up leaving her sweltering in the heat of a Southern summer to go back to school at BYU. We still kept in touch and she told me that she was visiting St. George, UT soon to see her brother come home. She said that I should come down to see her and added that I had meet her brother ;) I wasn't so sure about meeting her brother (because, really, how often does that sort of thing actually work out?) but I was excited to see her and visit St. George in the summer.

So on August 6th I drove down after my classes and arrived in the early evening, just in time for dinner. I was greeted by Amelia and her husband Jon and met her mom and one sister. After a few minutes everyone gathered around the kitchen table while I ended up bumping into Loren in the hall. Being a little surprised and scrambling for words, I threw my hand out for a shake and said "Hi, I'm Samantha! What's your name?" He snickered (thinking "you know my name") and replied "Loren." I felt pretty dumb for not thinking of something remotely better to say so I focused on what was on my plate and the family members around me. I noticed he kept looking my way during dinner but I shrugged it off thinking I was making that up in my head. It was fun talking to the family and listening to his slight but oh so cute British accent :)

Anyways, that weekend we did a lot of fun things...

We went to a concert of women singing patriotic songs in the town's tabernacle
Our first picture together--at a park outside the concert. He was in the process of making a funny face

After tubing down the Virgin River

Jumping pictures outside the St. George temple

Notice the hand-holding :) That was actually the second occasion. The first was tubing down the river because my tube was floating away and he caught me by the hand...and didn't let go! ;)

His Homecoming: Isn't he so cute in his sulu (Fijian skirt)?

He actually paid quite a bit of attention to me at his homecoming. He kept talking to me and glancing over and saying bye when people left...oh well :) I noticed he shook this girl's hand that he knew in high school and I wondered if he would do the same to me. When I left I gave everyone in the family a hug and thanked them for my stay, I asked if he preferred a handshake. He opted for the hug :)

The next day he added me on Facebook, after asking me earlier if I had "the Facebook"--I thought that was so adorable! We communicated through messages (because he didn't have a phone yet) and he asked me on a date for next Thursday. That surprised me because he lived 4 hours away but he was coming up to help his dad with their family's condo. That day, August 12th, was the last day of my Summer term finals so that was a good day for 2 reasons (and soon to be 3)! I ran home, butterflies in my tummy, and got ready. We ate Pupusas (like a meat and cheese pancake) at the El Salvadorian restaurant in town then had a pie shake at Sammy's. All the while I kept thinking how attractive he was and how much fun we had talking and laughing. The date ended after 3 1/2 hours--I'm sure his dad was wondering when the heck he was coming back to help him.

The date was seriously my best first date because we were able to talk and talk without any awkward pauses or long silences switching to other conversation topics. A week and a half later I went to San Diego for my freshman roommate Amy's wedding. When returning, we drove back up through St. George and called Loren to have dinner together.

We got to see each other again--yay!

Less than a week after that, he had a mission reunion in Salt Lake. He wasn't sure if he was coming up but after joking with me that I could come to the reunion as his "pretend girlfriend" and I accepted, he made his way up :)

Our day tour of Salt Lake City, UT

We went to the reunion and everyone was shocked that he had a girlfriend. He had only been home for a month while these other guys who had been around for a lot longer were showin' up stag. All the older missionary couples were telling me what a wonderful guy he is and what a great missionary he was, etc. I felt a teeny bit guilty for not actually being his girlfriend...but it's not because I didn't want to be! ;)

He stayed over til Sunday where we went to my new ward's very first church meeting of the semester. This boy had the nerve to hold my hand in front of everybody, almost as if he was marking me as his territory. My first thought was "Well, I guess I'm not going to date anybody here... Oh well, who cares?" I tried to supress my grin that was growing ear to ear but I'm sure he caught a glimpse of it. We had a wonderful afternoon eating chili, introducing him to Psych and talking up a storm. I felt bad that I kept him in town til 9pm, whoops. I guess we had a lot to say. Not only that, he kissed me! ^_^ By then it was too late, I was over the moon for this boy!

The rest is history. Over the months we tried to visit each other as often as we could, trying to work around school and work schedules. We were able to see each other only once or twice a month but we talked for hours at a time every night (I think our record was over 4 consecutive hours). I honestly think Heavenly Father had a part in all of this. Considering the long 261 mile (who's counting?) distance between us, we were able to see each other 4 times in one month of meeting each other. If we weren't able to do that, I don't know if we'd really be together right now... Ok here's a few pictures from those few and far between visits...

General Conference Weekend

LS heart
& SB

I'm glad we worked out, otherwise this poor tree suffered for nothing

Surprise visit! Detour from Mindy's wedding in Arizona returning home

Snow Man building with his sisters 2 days after New Years

The story now is that he lives up in Provo, just a few short blocks away from my apartment--MUCH better than 4 hours! We get see each other every day--cook food, study side by side, occasionally watch an episode of the hilarious Shawn Spencer in Psych, and now plan our wedding :)

Proposal story coming soon!