To be honest, it’s hard to sit down and sum up our entire relationship as one story. The reality is, “our story” is the sum of many little stories. Each one holds a significance and weight in a unique way. Rather than just focusing on the who, what, when, and where details, we thought it would be more special for us to highlight one of our favorite memories for you.
One of Caleb’s Favorite Memories: His 27th Birthday
My birthday came only six short weeks after Amanda and I started dating (with Amanda’s birthday the very following week). This put us in a difficult circumstance, balancing the desire to celebrate well but not going overboard as we only had just started dating. Fortunately for me, Amanda had to take the lead in celebrating my birthday first giving me time to adjust if I was totally off base with my plans.
My birthday fell on a Sunday and other than attending my church in the morning I had no idea what Amanda had in store, she is pretty good at keeping secrets. After church we grabbed coffee and pastries and headed to Central Park to one of my favorite spots near the north west corner. This section of the park has a beautiful lawn, nice benches and tables and most importantly very few tourists. After sitting down and enjoying the surprising pleasant weather for mid-March, Amanda handed me a notebook titled “Happy 27th Birthday Caleb”. Amanda filled an entire notebook with inside jokes (the few we shared at this point), a humorous graphical representation of the last six weeks of our dating history (yes graphs can be funny to me) but most importantly Amanda filled the notebook with words of love & affirmation far beyond what I felt I deserved. She affirmed in me all the things she loved and made me feel like the most special person in the world. Sitting there in Central Park reading this notebook I felt so deeply loved and somehow so well known by someone with whom I had spent relatively little time. The remainder of my birthday was spent on a food tour in Brooklyn (food is our 6th and final love language), enjoying some live music and lastly a romantic dinner. As much fun as I had on the day I think that notebook is one thing I will never forget. Amanda has a way of making me feel like the most special person in the world, little did I know at the time but my 27th birthday was only the beginning.
One of Amanda’s Favorite Memories: Date #4
Caleb had planned a big surprise. I could tell he was excited, and I felt so special that he was putting this much effort into our fourth date. As the days approached, though, I felt a heavy cold coming on. I resisted as much as I could, but when it was obvious I was going to be a hot mess, I went back and forth over whether or not to cancel the date. Timidly, I called him up and asked him if it would be ok for us to stay in instead. Not even missing a beat, he insisted he come over to my apartment with dinner in hand for a relaxing night.
Nervous because it was still so early into our relationship, I did my best to clean myself up. My roommate, Krista, and I planned for him to come over exactly 15 minutes before she had to leave so she could vett him (nobody else had met him until that point!) So in walks Caleb with a huge backpack filled with goodies. He pulls out buckets-worth of homemade chicken noodle soup and toppings to spare. A move straight out of the movies for sure, but not a huge shock considering the circumstances. Then all of a sudden, he went a step further and brought out another bag. In it, there was fresh ginger, lemon, and honey. All so he could make me tea from scratch. That “extra” amount made such a difference in the moment. It reflected Caleb’s character – where he wasn’t just kind, but thoughtful. It reflected someone who was detailed, went above and beyond, and took the time to make me feel loved and cared for.
We spent the rest of our date night drinking soup and tea, talking about a huge range of topics, and settling into a comfortable rhythm which would soon become familiar in my own living room. After our movie ended, I apologized that I didn’t have much more to entertain him with. Quickly, his eyes lit up, and he asked me to get my computer. When I pulled it out, he asked me if I would walk him through my Facebook photos and describe for him all of the people, memories, and places that were important to me. He said he wanted to get to know me more, and this would be one way to learn. To say I was touched would be an understatement. It was such a beautiful moment of us walking down memory lane – ones that we had walked apart, but were now revisiting together. I was so blown away to have a man with me so kind, so thoughtful, so good. One who wanted to sit there while I was sick and just…get to know me.
In case you haven’t heard the who, what, when, and where yet, here is some of our (very condensed) story together:
- Who: Amanda + Caleb
- Met on: Coffee Meets Bagel
- First Date: Blue Stone Lane
- Game Changer Date: 3rd date that lasted 10 hours!
- Live in: New York City
- Traveled Together To: Tampa, Florida / San Diego, California / Iceland / Mansfield, Ohio
- Knew We Were In Love: One Month In
- Admitted We Were In Love: In a quiet moment, when Caleb helped Amanda get something off a high shelf
- Number of People Who Knew We Were Getting Married Before We Did: Pretty much everyone
We got featured as a proposal story on How He Asked! Read our story here.
What’s Next For Us
We are thrilled that God has given both of us an individual heart & commitment to the crazy, beautiful, and always changing New York City! We will be attending Renaissance Church together & hope to find an apartment on the Upper West Side or Harlem so we can continue to pour into the community there.