Our Love Story (part 3)

For part 2 go here and scroll down a little.


  So, on our ice skating date (date number three)~I had never been ice skating.  It was a new experience for me whereas my husband seemed pretty expert at it.  We decided to play tag.  Once again, I was really impressed with his athletic abilities.  Normally, keeping up with the guys hadn't been a problem my entire life-and here was this extremely intelligent guy leaving me in the dust.
  I was it.  He was taunting me and skating backwards while I skated as fast as my legs could carry me, huffing and practically red in the face.  This competition was ON!
  As he saw me approaching, he quickly turned around and I lunged my arm out there to swipe him-certain I'd missed, my hand made unmistakable contact-right in the REAR.  I was more than utterly embarrassed.  He quaintly turned around and began skating backwards again with an over exaggeration of surprise and embarrasment~raising his eyebrows, putting his hand over his wide open mouth.
Then I saw it.  The wall was quickly approaching him as I turned the sharp corner.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see him collide, although I didn't have the skills to skate backwards...as I turned around and watched him ram into the wall and fall on his behind, I too fell flat on mine and we both laughed until we were red in the face.
  That was how it seemed to go with us.  He made me laugh.  He wasn't at all self-conscious, and very comfortable with himself, quirkiness and all.  I really liked that in him.
    
  Things began to heat up on the home front-between James and I.  I sensed James' keen awareness at the fact that he wasn't the only guy on scene.  So, what would any good LDS guy do when he wants to let a girl know he's serious?  We began holding hands.  Now this is as serious as I'd ever gotten with anyone in dating...so it was a pretty big deal.  We cuddled while watching movies and frequently held hands.  And I was on cloud nine.  I began feeling like the level of our relationship was such that I ought to begin only dating him.  So I gave Dan a call and left a message.
  When Dan returned from work that day, he was surprised to find a message on his answering machine letting him know that I was dating someone else pretty seriously, and that I probably shouldn't continue on with our relationship out of respect to him.
   From his point of view, he said that getting that message, his logical response was "Oh well...plenty of other fish in the sea".  But that something else inside him just couldn't let it go.  He's a pretty easy-going guy as far as knowing when he's not in control of a situation-or people's choices.  So it came as a surprise that he just couldn't let it roll off his back.  He said that he was full of anxiety and turmoil-on into the night.  He tossed and turned and woke up feeling awful.  Thought to himself, "There's no way I'm going to be effective at work if I can't shake this".  So he prayed from his heart, asking the Lord to please give him peace about the situation so that he could carry on with his life.  After much pleading, he said that a thought came out of the blue-another strange phenomenon that made no logical sense:  "She'll be with you." Peace.  Being the intellectual man he is, his thoughts were something along the lines of, "Okay...I wasn't expecting that...what on earth does that mean?"  Nonetheless, he was thankful for the sudden change and was able to go on with his work day as usual.
  Well, when my parents heard what was going on they advised me strongly. "No ring, no date, no claim.  You shouldn't be closed to other possibilities until you have a ring and a date."  Secretly, I think they were rooting for Dan.  We just seemed to go together.
  That's when I decided to call and leave yet another message letting Dan know that I was still up for a date the coming weekend. 
  
  Sometime later, Daniel headed to his sister's wedding in Las Vegas.  I went on another date with James.  Unknown to me, he had gone out and purchased an engagement ring (after a month of dating).  He was planning to propose that weekend and stake a claim for good.  We went to the Temple on Saturday morning and went for a walk around it.   In front of the Denver Temple, just in front of the fountain, he got down on one knee and said all sorts of flattering things, then asked me to marry him.  I stood for a moment, wondering what the correct answer was (not very confident in my ability to make good choices), and felt good enough about it, so I said "Yes!" and gave him a big hug.  We had not kissed at this point; as a matter of fact, I was twenty-one years old and had NEVER kissed a man before. (That evening, he asked if he could kiss me goodnight.  I told him I didn't know how.  He told me I didn't need to do anything and that it would just be a peck.  So I squeezed my eyes shut and sat there with a red face and let him kiss me.  It was a wonderful kiss).
  We went to his house after getting engaged, and he began calling family members.  I felt excited.  But as the day went on, for some reason there was something looming over both of our heads.  It just didn't feel right.  By the next day, Sunday, everyone who was with us was a little perplexed at the way we were acting.  Something was not right...shouldn't we both be full of smiles?  Instead it seemed that boredom and anything but exhilaration for this special occasion loomed over our heads.
  We talked it over and decided that maybe we had rushed things a little and maybe it just wasn't the right time for us to be getting engaged.  So I gave him back the ring, letting him know that we would still date and look forward to the time we would be engaged and happy.  He seemed to feel at peace with that.
  I remember during the entire weekend, I kept reflecting on the several dates, hours of talking and hanging out I'd had with James-and how all of that combined did not seem to stick out in my mind nearly as much as the few dates I had had with Dan.  I didn't feel it right either that I was thinking mostly of another man during the day and a half engagement to James.  So after I'd returned the ring, we both felt much better.
   Meanwhile, after the weekend was done, Dan was being delayed on his flight back to CO-via a terrible snow storm coming through. 
I was living at home as a full-time nanny for my parents' foster kids.  Four little ones ages three and four all with fetal-alcohol and drug syndrome (the biggest taste of motherhood I had up to this point).


 I remember having so much fun when the electricity went out that night.  My little sister Kemarie had a couple friends over, and they ended up staying because we were snowed in.  So we all cozied up into the office downstairs with our blankets and pillows, and Kemarie entertained us with her amazing reading and acting skills-reading Harry Potter which was quite popular at the time-until it was too late and we all went to sleep.


Daniel returned from the wedding and soon, we spoke and had another date set up.


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