Three years ago, on April 16, 2010, Danny Everett asked me to be his “Facebook-official, monotonous girlfriend.” Yes, I wrote that correctly. I giggled and said only if he meant “monogamous,” because I sure hoped it wouldn’t be boring, and then I said yes.
How did Danny and I get to that point, of me becoming his girlfriend, you ask? Excellent question.
It all started with us ending up at the University of Northern Colorado in the fall of 2009, him a transfer student from Pikes Peak Community College (which is down the street from where we now live), coming to UNC to pursue a girl (who is now one of our best friends), Kate, and me an 18-year-old fresh out of high school who wanted to be anywhere but Greeley (my hometown).
Within the first week of school, we both (separately) joined an organization on campus called Christian Challenge, and by the way, over the next three years, being a part of the group would change our lives in a plethora of ways. Over Labor Day weekend, we went on a retreat with the group, and I was too nervous to take any pictures (I was new and incredibly introverted and very conscious of what people thought of me), so instead I saved some from Facebook that other people took, including this one:
With this picture, I fell in love with my now-husband. I saved it to my computer and looked at it every so often (okay, every day). At that point, there was no feasible way I could ever even talk to this handsome guy, let alone date or…or…MARRY him! So I figured it couldn’t hurt to just gaze up on his beauty.
Throughout that first fall semester, we both became very involved in Christian Challenge. Danny’s roommate started dating Kate (the reason he came to UNC, remember), and so D began pursuing a variety of girls (possibly multiple at the same time? The details are kind of vague even still.) Danny and I even had a class together – he sat in the back row (if he came…), myself in the front, but we still didn’t talk/acknowledge one another. At the end of the semester, we had a final test in our class, and the guy who didn’t buy any books (ahem…Danny…) asked me if we could study together. I met him at his dorm and we took chapter quizzes together, and instead of him finally realizing how smart and cute and funny I was, I left super frustrated. He texted and Facebook messaged a girl in Kansas all evening in between answering questions (and somehow getting them all right) in preparation for our final exam. Who does he think he is?!, I left thinking.
As my family drove through Colorado Springs and passed Pikes Peak Community College on Christmas that year, I remember thinking about him and what he was up to.
In the spring, things started changing. A few interactions at a Christian Challenge Super Bowl party made me wonder if he thought I was actually worth noticing.
Our spring break trip to San Diego was where things really changed though. I (sneakily) took a few pictures like this, albeit with (honestly) no ulterior motives:
And then my confidence was apparently really high, as I snapped this one:
Throughout the week, he found it entertaining to steal my sweatshirt and my camera, and he even asked me to be his partner for a few projects. I truly had no idea that he was interested in me as more than just a fellow member of Christian Challenge who happened to be on the same mission trip as he was. I had moved past liking him and dreaming of having a relationship with him and was quite content with the incredible (female) relationships I had been developing and growing over the past year. I took pictures of him on the trip because I took a TON of pictures on the trip, and only a few contained him. He did seem to be around me a lot, though, which is why there are any of him beyond just a group shot.
Unbeknownst to me, during an afternoon nap time one day, he declared to the males of the group that he like me. Big step!
On the way home from San Diego, we rode together in the van for a bit. He told me real things about his life as others slept and I actually became less sure about who (I thought) he was. I don’t know if I said much about myself, but that’s beside the point.
My parents invited any of the students who were living in the dorms to come over to pizza and cake the evening we came back. D, ever the social butterfly and never one to turn down pizza (these were pre-vegan days), was really hesitant to accept the invite. I was perplexed at the time, but now it’s crystal clear. He was about to meet his future in-laws!
Later that evening I went to a friend’s house and Mysteridge texted me, telling me that I “should go after that Danny guy.” I told him a lot of girls were interested in him (true) and laughed it off.
The next day, Danny told me that he liked me and want to pursue me…!!! For a month, we hung out every day. I brought milkshakes to his dorm:
We took our first official picture together, because people were definitely noticing that we were about to be a ‘thing.’
The day before our first date, on my way home from an Owl City concert, D called and asked if he could take me on a date the next day, which would make it (April 14th) his best half birthday ever. I agreed. We fed ducks with bread he got from the dining hall (aw!), held hands for the first time (eee!), went fishing (ish), caught a fish (eee!), ate Subway (with my dining dollars – he didn’t have a job, so don’t give him a hard time), and later on, fried the fish up (and threw it away). We watched Osmosis Jones with Brandon and Kate, and called it the best day ever.
Two days later, I became Danny Everett’s girlfriend. And what a journey it’s been since then…
The Lord was so gracious to us in so many ways while we dated – it was the first serious romantic relationship for both of us – and although there were many bumps and detours along the way, dating was incredible – so much fun and joy and newness. We love our love story and how to the Lord brought us and kept us together. Last May 14th, Danny asked me to marry him and I became his fiancée, and this past January 3rd, we made a covenant with the Lord and became united in marriage. I am now Danny Everett’s wife! The beauty of it all astounds us still, and we revel in how good God has been to us. May we continue to seek Him first and foremost, and look to Him to sustain us for all of our days, and continue to write us a beautiful story together.