We Never Had a First Date

Posted on May 27, 2014 | 38 comments

We Never Had a First Date

We never had a first date.

There was just that day when we met, and you helped me staple my backpack shut. Friendship, then best friendship, then this crazy awakening of hearts and a kiss beneath a streetlamp.

…and the rest is history.

Three years in after that kiss, we climbed a mountain and you knelt and I saw forever in those blue eyes of yours. We scribbled a note on a paper, put it in the time capsule mailbox, and you shouted to the world below that I’d said yes. Youtube didn’t see it, and we didn’t have Facebook to change our statuses on— but somehow we were official still. 😉 I had a simple gold band with a precious gem that captured light, and the heart of a man I couldn’t believe chose me. We hiked back down the mountain with hearts full of hope and promise, and drove to the store to buy sparkling cider.

We got married before Pinterest. But our day was simplicity and truth and people we love. It joined me to you, and you to me. It was ours.

You thought maybe we could sail off into the sunset, but I knew about a certain capsized sailboat in a certain person’s history, so instead we loaded up into a decorated pickup truck and drove off onto our honeymoon… which was full of laughing and love and flat tires and steaming car engines and wrong turns and campsites and hotels lined with books and history. There was the tram ride in the redwoods, where we stepped out to see the much-heralded glorious view. The operator fellow at the top greeted us with a Puddleglum voice and welcomed us to “His foggy kingdom,” and although we couldn’t see but a few feet in any direction, we loved it. On we drove. There was the giant xylophone band, the spiral staircase in the lighthouse—and most of all, there was us. We were each other’s, at last.

From the first shoebox apartment with no stove and a tiny refrigerator (long live the hot plate and the ice chest!), to married student housing, with the football stadium cheers flooding through our windows every Saturday from up the hill, to the funny little house with the golden mailbox, to our little cottage… I’ve been with you, so I’ve been home.

The walks and bike rides we used to take with our galumphus of a golden retriever-ish dog, who took it upon himself to break free from us and run onto the soccer field, where a dozen six-year olds shrieked in glee: It’s Airbud!!!! …while we scrambled like mad to catch him.

The garlic pranks.

There was the blindfolded sunrise picnic you gave me, the time I sent your name to Mars on a NASA rover, the day you orchestrated a solitary scavenger hunt for me with a surprise party at the end of it, the time I stole your falling-apart Bible (can we just take a moment to appreciate that? I stole a Bible!!) and sent it away to be re-bound, the time I tried for 6 months to potty train a child and then left for 5 days and came back to find it was finished—and you’d taken all the credit (I’m willing to give you that one). The endless montage of my clumsy moments with your ever-patient laughter and solutions coming to my rescue (He picked a huge fallen boat up off of me with his bare hands, people. Chivalry is not dead!). The time you made dishwasher fish (don’t ask) the first day we had company arriving in town, and the whole house smelled oceanically horrid for the rest of the visit.

The prayers. Every morning, every night, bookending our days together with our God. Knowing Him with you. Understanding His love more through you.


More garlic pranks. We could probably write a book about those.

You drove me down that bumpy dirt road to get me to the emergency room in the middle of the night so that I could bid farewell to my appendix (sianara, organ!).

And then a few weeks later, again—when the pain was so bad I started saying my goodbyes to you… you held my hand and probably my hair while I vomited and cried in the waiting room…and it turned out to be a kidney stone.
You held my hand through it all.

And held it for years, then, when our little cottage yawned empty. There was room—so much room—in our hearts for the little ones we longed for. Room and silence, silence and room.

…and then they came. Miracle by miracle, they came, and I’ve watched the heart of the man I love grow even bigger, and I fell more in love with you still.

The moments that will never find words here, because they’re ours, just ours, and I’m selfish. I don’t want to share them.

The moments that will never find words here, because they’re bygones, and we choose to forget them.

From heartaches we never expected, to joy-moments we never imagined, we were each other’s.

The talks about real things, the talks about silly things, the deep philosophical questions in earnest and the jokingly not-so-deep philosophical questions about things like, I don’t know, how in the world you thought Pride and Prejudice took place in the deep south, and why in the world I cried during X-men. The garlic pranks (please, no more?), the crazy spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen with our little family, the dueling Pandora stations, the dreams we buoy up and fight for on behalf of each other, the joined passion of living this life in a way that matters…

This is life with you.
It’s been a decade. A decade of this.
And I just want to say…
Thank you.
I love you, my Beloved.



  1. By far the most beautiful words I’ve ever read. Happy Anniversary!

    • Oh my, thank you, Jessica! <3 You're such a blessing!

  2. Lovely. Simply lovely. Happy Anniversary!

    And the dishwasher is the ONLY place to make steamed halibut at home!

    • Andrew, I think you and my hubby would get along just fine. Steamed fish in the dishwasher… tell me, does the smell linger for days in your house, too? Thanks for your kind words!

  3. Garlic? Sends my mind raving in so many directions!

    How beautiful Amanda, how wonderfully blessed you two are. Always bookend your days, your life with our wonderful God.

    Happy Anniversary to you both, praying God graces you with many more.

    • Melody, garlic indeed! He’s a master prankster. 😉 Thank you for always giving so generously of your beautiful heart and words. You’re such an encouragement!

  4. Beautiful, Amanda. Happy Decade Anniversary. My hubs and I will celebrate ours in October. It seems like forever, and it seems like a moment. Blessings!

    • Sondra, happy early anniversary to you, too! You’re so right. Forever, yet just a moment. A beautiful paradox. Thank you for being here!

  5. If ever a post deserved to go viral it is this one! how genuinely, brilliantly romantic— in the best possible way.

    You two are so lucky 🙂

    • *blush* thank you so much, Rachel! <3

  6. That was so incredibly beautiful! I feel like I got to know you and Ben and your friendship in such a deep way through your words just now. So happy you two have each other!

    • Katie, thank you for being such a faithful friend! I’m so thankful for you, and grateful you’re a part of our story. 🙂

  7. Happy anniversary! Probably one of the sweetest things I have ever read!

    • Shelby, so kind of you to come by and read this! You’re a joy!!

  8. Quite possibly the most beautiful love story I’ve ever heard.

    • Jodi, such kind words! Praise God for His hand in our story. 🙂

  9. Like you, dear Amanda, simply lovely xo

    • Dearest Rel, wish I could reach through that screen and hug you. 🙂

  10. Beautiful. You couldn’t have said this better.

    Happy Anniversary feels so empty because clearly this is about a life, not just a day to celebrate. But thank you for giving us a glimpse into your beautiful adventure together.

    • Bonnie, I love that: It’s about a life, not just a day. Thank YOU for that, and for living your life for our God!

  11. Happy Anniversary! Such a beautiful story of love and life and happiness!!

    • Thank you so much, Heather!

  12. This has to be one of the most beautiful posts I’ve read in a long, long time, Amanda. This is a beautiful glimpse into your heart and life. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Casey, coming from your beautiful heart, this means so much. Thank you for being you, and for being wonderful!!

  13. Amanda,
    Such a beautiful glimpse into your falling-in-love and staying-love moments.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Happy Anniversary.

    • Beth, thank you so much for being here and being the amazing woman of God that you are. I’m thankful for you!

  14. Aw, this is beautiful, AJ! So well written with a genuine heart. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rissi, thank you so much for stopping by! You’re always such a joy!

  15. Sweet Amanda .. You have a God given talent for seeking the beauty in life . God saw the need for a life partner and made sure that your backpack needed stapling. You and Ben have something very special and will find the beauty in life together for ever..

    • Oh Bea, I love that. He made sure my backpack needed stapling. I can still see it: it was this mustard-yellow backpack, and the front pocket zipper was broken but I wouldn’t part with the backpack… good thing, too! 😉

  16. Sweeeet. 🙂 my 10th annv is today! It’s funny how same & different marriage adventures are. The ups & downs are there…but so different bc they have our stamp on them & no one else’s.

    Married before Pinterest…that’s my favorite! Before FB as far as I’m concerned…I had never heard of it, anyway. Lol nice trip down marriage lane…here’s to 10×10 more! Blessings!!!!

    • Happy, happy anniversary, Elizabeth!!! What a day to celebrate. Blessings to you and your husband, too. Cheers!

  17. What a gift you have, Amanda. A gift in Ben and a gift with words.

    • Oh Wendy, thank you. I do have a gift in Ben, and I’m so thankful. <3

  18. This was just beautiful..I laughed, I cried and will wan to re-read it again…but most of all I wanted to kiss my husband and remember the reasons why I am grateful for him, as well. Thanks for letting us glimpse your heart and into your precious marriage. Hugs, Joanne’s Mom 🙂

    • Nettie, what an honor and joy to read your comment! I love your heart. And you know I love your family. 🙂 Hugs right back!!

  19. Beautiful, Amanda! Happy Anniversary.

    • Thank you so much, Lori! You are such a blessing!