How It All Started

God must have had fun watching Ryan and I grow up. We attended the same pre-school (St. Barnabas), and had common childhood friends. My locker was right next to Ryan's close friend Matt Keegan's in Junior High and High School. We even had the same home room! He must have been laughing to himself, knowing the fate of these two souls and seeing them cross paths so fleetingly, yet with such purpose. So it may come as a surprise, after so many chances to meet, that neither of us knew who the other was until the Spring of our High School Sophomore year.

On a random Friday night, my friend Michelle called me up asking if I wanted to see a local band, 28 Orange Street. I was always up for hanging at a coffee house and listening to music, so I was in. Thanks to a storm that night, Michelle's house was as far as anyone's parents were willing to drive. I walked in the door to see a guy there , "Oh, Ryan's coming to the concert too," she said. We were just waiting on a ride to get to the coffee shop and, realizing how stormy it was outside, decided to just hang in Michelle's basement.

If you had to ask me one thing that I remember about the first night I met Ryan, it is how much I couldn't stop laughing and smiling. We were simply sitting around and talking, yet I had such a fun night! He had so many good stories and fun jokes to fill the night up that I felt like I had known him before.

Ryan and I got along so well that we stared hanging out a lot on our own - he and I would go bike riding on the weekends and he became the disciplinarian while I taught my brother's 7th grade religion class after school. I loved seeing how well Ryan got along with my brother and with my whole family. He just melted into my life so seamlessly that I almost didn't realize that maybe the amazing boyfriend that I wanted was right before my eyes the whole time.

It was right around Christmas time 2001 (Junior year) when I started to realize that Ryan and I had the potential to be something more... but we had developed such a great friendship that I think we were both hesitant since neither one wanted to be responsible for making the wrong move and take that away from us. I think that we both knew things might be changing - because all the sudden the person who I had grown so comfortable to be around made me really nervous ;-)

Finally, that snowy new years eve day, Ryan decided we should go sleigh riding. The closest place within walking distance (b/c we still didn't have our licenses) was Forest Lake School. The entire downhill was overcrowded with kids and parents, and I didn't want to be the teenager running down the little kids as we stormed down on our sled. So we decided to go into the woods of Twin Lakes where we could be on our own. Of course, when Ryan is involved, nothing is ever left well enough alone so we tried sledding down a shallow staircase. Needless to say we both fell off, and that's when we weren't just friends anymore ;-). Nine years after our first kiss, I can't believe the anticipation I have for the first kiss I will have with my Ryan as my husband!