For those of you who don't know, Greg and I met at his brother's and my sister's wedding. Well, while they were dating, the four of us had gone bowling together. I guess that's really where we FIRST met. (Sterling Lanes will always hold a special place in my heart.) We flirted (or I did, at least) at the bowling alley, but I was 16 and he was 25.
The next time we saw each other was at the wedding weekend. I remember setting up the fellowship hall at the church for the reception the day before, and seeing him walk in. He was wearing an orange Abercrombie & Fitch shirt, with a leather jacket over top that had spikes coming out of the shoulders. My first thought was, "that's quite the combination!"
He pretty much teased me the whole evening. He stood up as the best man and I was the maid of honor, so we walked down together. He told me he was going to keep his eyes closed so he didn't have to look at me. Quite the charmer, huh?
The next day, we just kept flirting with each other. I remember coming out of the bathroom, all dolled up for the wedding, and he looked and me and said, "You look beautiful." He was the first man (aside from my father) to ever tell me that. I basically got weak in the knees. And boy, did he look handsome in his dress blues! Here's the very first picture ever taken of us. Doesn't he look thrilled to be standing next to me?
We flirted the whole evening. I kept asking him throughout the night how old he was...I knew he was the oldest of all the siblings, but I didn't know his age. He kept giving me sarcastic answers.
Since there was no dancing for the reception at the church, we all went to a nice restaurant afterwards that had a dance floor. During a slow song, Gregory grabbed me by the hand and pulled me to the dance floor. I never had such butterflies in my stomach as I did at that moment! We talked as we danced, and he said he never thought he'd get married. He said he would be the grumpy old man who sat on his porch and yelled at kids to get off his lawn. I remember thinking that I hoped he'd find someone, since even with the little that I knew of him, he seemed like such a wonderful man.
We continued to talk throughout the evening, but I knew that he was only visiting from North Carolina, where he was stationed in the Marine Corps. I decided to give him my number "in case he ever wanted to talk." He gave me his too, though I knew I'd never have the guts to call him.
Two days later, he returned to North Carolina. And four days later, I got a phone call from him. I couldn't answer it when it rang, so he just left a message. I was so nervous to talk to him on the phone that I intentionally called back when I knew he was at work, haha. Eventually though, we did get a hold of each other. Our first phone conversation was over 3 hours long, and was only cut short because we both had to work. We talked every single day from that point on. If I wasn't in school, or we weren't working or sleeping, we were probably on the phone.
Then one day, about a month later, a guy at school asked me out on a date, and my response was, "I don't know." Greg and I hadn't talked about what our intentions were, but I didn't like the idea of going on a date with someone else. I came home from school and told Greg what had happened. He said he couldn't tell me not to, yet it seemed like it bothered him. The next day at school, I told the guy "no" and then told Gregory that I did. It was then that we had the conversation about where we were headed. We decided to make it "official" (even though Gregory laughs at me when I use that phrase.)
That day we had that conversation was May 4, 2004. We dated long distance for a year and a half, and for 6 months of that, he was deployed to the Middle East. Because we only saw each other for 6 long weekend trips before our wedding, we don't have very many pictures of us dating. Here's a few I managed to collect though. Please forgive the quality of some of them since it's a picture of a picture.
This was the first picture taken of us as a couple. We were so young!
Fun in the mud
Our first Marine Corps Ball together
About a year and a half later, we got married, and this is what our ceremony programs looked like, inspired by that first dance:
click on the picture for a bigger view
It's been 8 years since that phone conversation. We've lived in 5 different states (and one of them twice!), 7 different houses, and had 3 beautiful babies amidst the craziness. But it's been the craziest and happiest 8 years of my life.
I love you Gregory Wehrman. I wouldn't change a thing.