Monday, March 21, 2016

Love and Marriage: Courtney and Mikhail

Hello blog world! I hope you have enjoyed our series on Love and Marriage, I know I have thoroughly enjoyed reading up on everybody's love story and learning how they met, what makes them tick, and getting some relationship advice along the way! I get to finish out our series with my story this week because I have been married the longest in our office - we will be celebrating 14 years in a couple of months! It all started a little more than 17 years ago....

To start you must know I was a super nerd as a teenager - I had a very hard time relating to those my own age and really could care less about all the going's on in high school. It could have been that my parents moved me from Florida to North Carolina in the 2nd half of my Junior year...but either way, I had no allegiance to the high school I was graduating from and decided to graduate December of my Senior year. I enrolled in a community college and started taking classes in the spring while I waited to start college that fall - as a Sophomore of course (Totally didn't get it back then...). This will relate to the story I promise!

One night I had just gotten home from a night class and my mother called me from church. There was a family that traveled around from church to church singing and that night they just happened to be at my parent's church. Apparently the daughter in this singing group,  she was close to my age, wanted to go out after the show and wanted another girl to go with her. Mom called me and asked me to go out with this girl and I told her no - I was tired, already home, and in my pajamas. My mom then bribed me with money (I was saving for future campus life at the time) so I relented.  I drove up to church and picked up the singing group girl and off we went to Gypsies Shiny Diner!

Once we got there I realized why she wanted me to come along - I was the chaperone on a date she made the previous night at the previous church she sang at - enter Mikhail and Rob. It was very clear the whole time that not only was I the chaperone but Rob was too. While singing girl and Mikhail got their chat on, I had a great time getting to know Rob. He was a middle school history teacher, piano player, and all around entertaining. We made several mustard and ketchup people while allowing the other two to get to know each other. That's not to say that I didn't have any interaction with Mikhail that night - I did manage to drop ice cream in his lap. By the end of the date - for them - we all exchanged AIM names (for those of you not in the social scene in the 90's - that stands for AOL Instant Message - it is the precursor to texting).

Fast forward half a year or so to the fall of my first year at Meredith. I was living in the dorms and the whole hall was sick. I was feeling terrible and could not sleep so I decided to log onto to the computer and distract myself. I logged onto AIM to see if any of my friends happened to have insomnia as well and after a bit Mikhail messaged me. We had not messaged since that night we met so he proceeded to remind me of who he was and we messaged back and forth a few times. By the end of our "conversation" we had decided to meet up in a couple of weeks to get some coffee.

I honestly did not think anything of our coffee date, I didn't even think of it as a date but more of a meeting of convenience. I was going to be near where he lived, so it was on the way! We met, started talking, and time started flying! We closed that coffee shop down and drove up to Raleigh, where coffee shops were open much later, and closed that shop down too! We spent another hour or so in the parking lot before we parted ways. I left that coffee date dazed! I had no idea what just happened but I knew something did!

The very next day was the weekend before fall break and on my way home my car was rear-ended by a 18 passenger van, I had just paid it off too, and it landed me with a concussion. Not that I remember, but Mikhail called, tracked down my address, and sat on the front porch conversing with my parents while I slept inside. He did this for a couple of days! I do remember when I came to that Mikhail was there waiting with a fish in a fish bowl. I had told him during our marathon coffee chat that I wanted a mascot for my dorm! I knew then that this guy was attentive and I wasn't the only one who felt something during our coffee encounter!

That was the beginning of Courtney and Mikhail. We dated through fall, spent thanksgiving and Christmas together, The end of the school year was approaching when I had to have some answers! I fell fast and hard for Mikhail and he played it pretty cool with me. I knew that I was falling in love with him (which I did not emotionally attach easily) and I didn't know if he felt the same way. I decided that I needed to know and I didn't want to stay in a relationship where I felt more - I had to have an answer. I told him how I felt about him and within a couple of days I was home with my parents and he called me and asked if we could talk (I knew it wasn't good) Long story short - he broke up with me. He said he didn't know how he felt about me/us but didn't want to string me along or be in a relationship that wasn't equal. I was devastated! When he left I started crying and cried most of the night to the point where my eyes were too swollen to drive to my final - so my Mom took me.

Within a couple of days Mikhail called me - and told me he made a big mistake. He said he didn't know where we were going but was wrong about his feelings for me. I knew I didn't want to go back to the same relationship and I really wanted a commitment if we were going to be together - we decided to take a month off and really evaluate what we wanted and if we were supposed to be together. We prayed about it and sought advice from friends/family - we really put a lot of thought into our future. I remember being so nervous at the end of our hiatus! He picked me up and took me to sushi (My fav) and proceeded to tell me that he wanted to be with me - now and in his future. I felt the same way - the hiatus had not changed how I felt about him. It felt as if the world had righted it self!

Our Engagement photo - such a baby face! (Mikhail Hates this picture :)
We were engaged shortly there after that and were married two years later (I was a baby...). It amazes me sometimes when I think about how we met and re-met and it makes me believe that God Definitely had a plan for us - sometimes I think it was His plan for built in comic relief down here - as Mikhail and I could not be more different! I really do believe that being with Mikhail for so much of my life has shaped a lot of who I am and many of our ups and downs together have led me to a greater understanding of who I am and who we are together, and those people that we are together are people I love.
Now! Still in Love

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