If I don't write this out formally I might forget what really happened. I have officially been with Eric 3 and a half years now so it is FINALLY the longest relationship of my life :)
So I'd like to start out by saying that I was single ish for about 4 years up until this moment and I was constantly like "LORDDDD. WHERE IS MY HUSBAND?!?" I wrote him letters. I prayed for him. I wondered every time I went to a church event if maybe he was going to be there. I thought "I'll know him when I see him." I was wrong.
I went to Nanoose Bay Pentecostal Camp in the summer of 2013 with my roommate Mahkeela... and I'll be honest.. I thought I knew all the guys there because I had been to her church before. You know. They were all great guys. But yeah... no sparks. She had previously shown me all the eligible bachelors through Facebook and so I went there not thinking that I would meet anyone new. I met Eric on the first day of camp and I shook his hand at the back of the Chapel and I didn't think much of it... Yup! That's how I met my husband, guys!...BUT HONESTLY it was because he was so TALL I didn't even see his face!!! True story!!
I came to camp thinking that I was coaching the Irish team. I had brought ALL my green clothes to be as Irish as possible, but for some reason G Prime (Mahkeela's Dad) told me that I was going to be on a different team. At the time I wasn't sure why... but I went with it. I'm flexible! (It was a set up and I didn't even know it!!) Sure, I'll be on whatever team you need me on! I stood at the back with Eric and his assistant coach, Anna, as they called ERIC RIEDSTRA and KATE MILLS and we jogged up to the front leaving Anna at the back..very confused. lolllll (She ended up being on the Irish team).
Mr. Riedstra and I were coaching the "Steelers" team together (which just happens to be his least favorite football team FYI) and he didn't really need me. I found out pretty quickly that he was the coach and I was his side kick. He was a LEADER.. and I was the one who had to make sure we had the medical supplies on the field... and it was okay! Cuz he was a dang good leader! He would lead them in stretching and give them motivational speeches when necessary and he did all the line ups for me so at times I felt like I was pretty much just another camper.
Later in the week I decided maybe I should help out with picking the players for our shifts... and so he said we could do that after lunch on the Wednesday of camp... <3
I found him in the cafeteria already working on the line ups and sat with him. And then... I caught a glimpse of his eyes... and he smiled at me.. those big blue EYES #hearteyesemoji. It sounds silly but I don't feel like I really saw him until that moment. I just knew he was really tall and really tanned and really loved the Lord.
One evening, one of my campers hinted at something about me and Eric. She suggested that we go to the Gala together on the last night of camp... (which is ridiculous because we were both leaders anyways) and I responded with, "First of all. He's not going to ask me! and second. He needs to work out a bit more before anything happens!" (I'm so sorry honey... I think you're perfect now!)... and then they decided that they were going to do something about the "He's not going to ask me" statement... so naturally, they confronted him in private.
While we were standing in line for lunch one day I found out that he was a year younger than me... and I immediately thought NOPE. He could TELL by my reaction that I was sort of writing him off. Haha... and he was like.. "it doesn't even matter!" and I believed him. It didn't really matter... What's one year, right? I was 23 and he was 22. WOW... we were so young! Haha! Here's a few photos of us looking athletic and stuff:
So Friday comes. Gala day. He said we needed to have a meeting to choose our team MVP and such. We sat on this little blue bench in the middle of camp. We picked our players and he casually asks me... "Who are you going to the gala as? " (because it was celebrity themed) and I told him that I was being Hayley Williams from Paramore... and he didn't know who she was. :| I asked him who he was being and he said Ryan Gosling. *eye roll* and then he said, "You know our campers really want us to go to the gala together..." and I was like... "Is that so?" lol. And then we continued to talk about our players.
Then Ella, my sweet young ginger friend came by and was like, "Katie are you finished yet?" and I left with her.
A quick moment later Eric ran up behind me and was like "Hey Katie, can I speak to you for a second." And I glanced at Ella and she was not impressed but she let me go for a moment longer haha....
And he sort of nervously but sort of confidently asks me... " So would you like to go to the gala with me?" and I was like :) "Sure!" and I SHOOK HIS HAND!! Like.... we just made some sort of sweet business deal or something?! Katieeeeeeee thisssss is why you were still single! :|
We "went to the gala together" but we pretty much just walked around and served our campers the whole time. It wasn't like it was a date or anything. We both just knew that we were there... together. He claimed me by putting his sunglasses in my hair and that was about it. Haha.
On the last day of camp, when everyone was leaving or waiting for their parents Eric was just standing around in the middle of camp in clear view to me and I was with one of our campers. She was like "KATIE... GO ASK HIM FOR HIS NUMBER!" soooooo loud. Oy..... and so I was like... what the heck... I'll just go talk to him like its a totally normal. Whatever. No biggie.
When I came up to him he was like... "Sooooo.. do you want my number?" and I was like kinda shocked. Lol. He saw the look on my face and said, "Actually, I would really like your number." And I thought to myself, that's more like it, and I put my number in his phone. Then he accidentally fumbled and I had to do it again for him. Haha
I got in the car with Mahkeela and her family. We were headed back to Victoria for the night and I quickly received a text:
"Hey gurl, hey!"
to which I responded "That's my saying!"
and he was like... "Oh, is it now?"
And then I sent him a whale emoji because I'm awkward.
At the time he didn't even have emoji's. He had to download the app so he could respond accordingly.
Later that day I was having dinner with Mahkeela's family and he texted me again. He was like "What are you up to this evening? Can I come pick you up?" and I was like :| :| :| ERMAAAAAAA. I was asking Mahkeela's Mama what to do. Because I didn't even really know him!! and I didn't know if I liked him!! or if I was even really that attracted to him!!... my mind was racing. But she told me to go for it!
So I did. (thanks Mama)
Mahkeela has FIVE brothers. Yes 5. And three of them came to the door casually holding baseball bats when Eric came to pick me up. I still think its hilarious that they did that... they all already knew Eric! haha. He picked me up after dinner in a little white 1997 Honda Prelude and he was wearing a nice blue jacket and a t-shirt and jeans. He smelled nice, but not the artificial kind of nice smelling man... more like... manly wooden floors or something.
He took me downtown Victoria and we parked on the street and got out and walked around the inner harbor as the sun went down. We shared our life stories. And I didn't hold much back. I felt like it was okay if he knew me. He jumped up on a bench by a big ship and told me that he was probably going to be bald one day. Lol. (Lets just get that out in the open right away, shall we?) We sat on a bench by a bridge in the moonlight. He had an iPhone 4 and I had a 5 and he was prettttty jealous. Haha. He was really easy to be around. That's mostly it. I felt very safe. I didn't know what would come of it. I just knew I enjoyed being with him.
He drove me home and he walked me to the front door and I stepped up a step so I could see him better. He gave me a big hug and said to me "I really wish that you didn't live in Vancouver." <3
And so it began....