Monday, February 15, 2010

How to conduct a cheesy Bible college relationship

Or.... how I met and married my husband.

This is also something from my old blog that is sort of necessary information. How can I have a blog about my life and not include the story of my husband and I? This is how I met and married my hubby, complete with an embarrassing photo narration.

The beginning - seven and a half years ago:

isaac and simon museum

I was nineteen and he was eighteen when we met. He was an incoming freshman to our Bible College, and I was part of the group running his orientation (for missionary kids and international students). Everyone who has been to Bible college realizes that it may as well be a meat market in terms of dating. I was in on the fun - both Isaac and I had had almost-but-not-quite relationships the year before and were very single and open to fun and flirtation with new prospects. I remember the first evening of the orientation pretty clearly - my friends and I took stock of the incoming group... mature, I know.

(the first photo of Isaac that I sent home to the family. My mom's response: "He's taller then the Sears Tower!")

pool chalk
He was tall. I liked his dark hair and ready smile and, most of all, his humor, which was constant (and still is). He was definitely loud (to some, that translated to obnoxious - but I've always found the sarcastic jokers to be the most fun), and definitely a flirt, in a very Bible-college sort of way. It took me all of a week for me to decide he was not just my favorite of the new guys, but definitely the one I intended to get to know. Isaac teases me now and says that I chased him and caught him, but that is totally untrue. *wink*

( Isaac loves to tease, hence the blue pool chalk that is all over my face in this photo. Isaac looks frighteningly cheesy. This is within weeks of meeting)

the group at night

Turns out that the group that Isaac came in with was filled with life-long friends for both Isaac and I. That first semester we practically spent every evening out around Chicago - at the beach, navy pier, rollerblading in the city, grabbing coffee, or just wandering around. Isaac and my first date was to Chicago's Celtic festival and was supposed to be a group outing that everyone else canceled on. We spent the rest of the day talking for hours, exploring the festival, walking through the city, discovering a little garden courtyard and fountain in front of the art-institute, and grabbing slushies from 7-11.

(Some of our group of friends, out on the town on Michigan Ave. Isaac at bottom right)

File0001So we played the typical Bible college relationship game. Christian girls use relational intensity and a fun-loving persona to catch men, I tell you. They might know that's what they're doing, but I think it's the evangelical version of a courtship ritual. In any case, whatever I did by simply laughing at his jokes and being sweet and coy worked, and Isaac's mom says it was just a few weeks into his time at Moody that he answered her question, "So, any girls you're interested in?" with "Yeah, there's this girl named Kacie...." and that from that point on he never changed his answer.

(Yikes, we're SO young... looking over photo albums at my grandpa's house)

The Dating Years (Dating Sucks)

mksIn any case, we had the stereotypical DTR “define the relationship” in Culby 2 and of course said we wanted to “take our time” and “get to know each other”, which meant another few months of not dating”, and annoying everyone else around us by our starry eyes. This is standard procedure at Moody, except for the couples that begin dating immediately and get married in 6-8 months. Isaac and I spent missions conference completely unfocused on the speakers and holding hands for the first time (despite “not dating), which was the height of happiness, I tell you.

After having known each other for about six months, he asked me to be his girlfriend at the Starbucks outside Loyola University.We spent
the next two years were a roller coaster of getting to know each other. We debated everything you can think of. I kid you not; we could bicker with the best of them. In the end I really think it couldn’t have been healthier. We learned to argue, we learned each others’ weaknesses, we learned compromise and how to deal with the other’s personality, and … well, so much. But really, it’s amazing that we survived the experience to get to the marriage part!


Although technically our relationship was “long” for Bible College (three years from when we started our friendship), we really needed that time to grow up. I think the biggest things that made us “fit” were our similar experiences overseas and with very close families, our mutual love of learning and debate, and our complete honesty and ability to communicate with each other. We met each others’ families, we spent summers apart doing internships and working…. It was a gradual process, and honestly a rocky one. We nearly broke up a couple of times. 

Isaac was sure about me. He’s like that. He makes decisions and then obstacles are just things to get around, not stop signs. When he and I connected and within months he’d picked me, that was it for him. I love that. I, on the other hand, am rather afraid of an intimidated by decisions and commitments. It's sorta the perfectionist in me, and it's also the fact that I take marriage very very seriously. Oh, and we had some friends giving us rather bad advice about our relationship, and that damage was only undone when we sought the advice and counsel of a professor. I'm so thankful for Dr. Sauer and his insightful and hopeful words to us. I saw him this Fall and he was delighted to hear we were married and quite happy. 

P1020954(Isaac introducing me to my first drink  (Baileys))


(Isaac's favorite 'meet the family' photo. Unlike what you'd think from this one, he got along great with my siblings, and Matt adored him. In fact, in their banter back and forth one day, Matt looked at the two of us as said pointedly, "Marry". Isaac asked him why we should get married, and Matt looked at us and coyly said, "You mean, you mean, both mean, marry.")

Picture 117

In Dec. of ’05, someone asked me (for the millionth time) if we would be getting engaged soon, and for the first time, my answer wasn’t an immediate, “I’m not ready yet.” My roomate tipped Isaac off, and I spent that Christmas thinking it over without telling Isaac, and he shopping for a ring without telling me. 

File0006On the first  night we returned from Christmas break, we went out on an anniversary date.  I was clueless. We were seated in big bay windows overlooking a snowy Michigan Avenue, lit up with the Christmas lights I love so much. He told me he loved me, which caused me to freeze and say, “Are you SURE?” because that was something neither of us intended to say until we were sure we could back it up with a lifetime commitment to continue loving. Oddly enough, both of us had decided that before we ever met each other. In any case, Isaac assured me he was completely sure, and got down on one knee and proposed, which was met with a long-drawn out silence of me sitting there with my hand over my mouth in shock, completely forgetting I was supposed to respond. I managed to say yes eventually, but it took me several hours to stop shaking and begin to even grasp what had happened and remember that I was actually wearing a diamond. It was a precious evening, complete with a champagne toast complements of a couple who had seen the proposal from across the restaurant (whoops, broke Moody rules, oh well, I couldn’t care less!).

Engagement was much more fun the dating (dating sucks), and marriage has been more fun then either. Our wedding was on the hottest day of the summer and I wouldn’t do it again (the wedding, not the marriage) for the world…. Elope, I tell you!

So that’s our story. Complete with all the cheesiness of an extremely young couple and the idiosyncrasies of a Bible College couple.

P1060543 "Flagpoling" is a Moody tradition for engaged couples. The guy's friends plan a time to kidnap him, drag him to the central plaza of Moody while drawing as large of a crowd as they can manage, spray him with shaving cream and tie him up, and then hold a mock trial for "betraying the brotherhood and falling in love with a woman." They read all kinds of evidence of real or made up love letters, at which point the crowd condemns him for being guilty. The only way he's let out is when the crowd calls out for the woman in question and she comes running out from her hiding place and kisses him. A better description would be making out, as this is the only time kissing is allowed on campus and couples take advantage of it. In any case, it's a fun tradition)

Picture 444
Picture 113


Missy said...

I'm glad Kars and I didn't fit into the typical moody relationship mold...we didn't have months of "not dating" and we didn't get married within 6-8 months of meeting/dating. =) It must have been because we were more mature. =) hehe.

Kacie said...

Well, it was cheesy, but it was fun. And though it is laughable, the "not dating" was an actual boundary in some ways. It allowed us to develop our knowledge of each other without yet being committed, which does help you to avoid walking into an awful situation that looks good on the outside.

Steph said...

I've heard this story, but I love hearing it every time. :) Maybe 'cause it's pretty similar to Asher's and mine as far as how we felt and when we were "sure"...only, of course, I was sure a couple months in and Asher wasn't for awhile. :)

Annette said...

I love a good 'How I met my spouse' story!! Thanks for sharing,. And it was interesting learning about the Moody traditions etc!

This Heavenly Life said...

That flagpoling is hilarious! What a memory. And the sweet holding hands while 'not dating'...shivers. Those days of anticipation are better than just about anything!

Togenberg said...

I really like that picture of Matt and Isaac and Matt's comments, so adorable that.

Kacie said...

An elevator party... I attempted to avoid that. I'm just shy enough that I really was sort of horrified by all the attention engagement brought on me! :)

Rae said...

I am right there with you on the marriage is so much better than engagement which was so much better than dating thing. And when I read your thoughts on saying "I love you" I thought "Ah! They are Elisabeth and Jim Elliot sort of people." True or coincidence?

Kacie said...

Haha... both of us were quite opinionated about relationships - I wouldn't date in high school because I thought it was sort of a temporal thing - the relationships wouldn't late so why invest in them? yeah, I definitely saw dating as meaning to lead to marriage. I think you are right, I probably got the "I love you" thing from reading Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, but I'm not sure where Isaac got it from. We didn't even discover that similar opinion about saying "I love you" until we were already dating a while.