21 February 2017

Our Past

1. When you met: September 2008

Angel's graduation, in case you couldn't tell by the robe. We're just friends, okay.

2. How did you meet? The oh-so-famous story. It was my first-ever day of college. I went to a fair where all the student clubs had tables. Angel was at the table promoting the Bible study club. He didn't talk to me, he was busy talking to some other guy all about the club and I snuck up to the table and wrote my email address down on the email list, because I knew I wanted to join the Bible study, I didn't need any convincing. I attended the first meeting of the Bible study that Friday, and then sometime the next week, Angel walked by my homework table, sat down for a little while, and told me I should be sure to come for the next Bible study meeting. He was a dutiful recruiter for Bible study. As everyone knows, we were mostly casual friends/Bible study associates for the first semester, and then, gradually, by second semester he was one of my best and closest friends at college. He was moving to Texas after graduation, so we just stayed in touch long-distance until he came to visit me for my sophomore year spring break and we became official at the end of March 2010, and then he left to go back to work the next day and we were long distance again and didn't see each other till July. We initially kept our relationship 'secret' from all of our mutual college friends until we were sure we were getting married (which wasn't very long), just because we didn't want to cause any drama. Nobody in our friend group suspected, not at all. Most were really surprised when we announced our engagement, seemingly out of the blue. We're very naturally the best of friends, so no one ever suspected anything else of us.

3. First date/Date you got engaged: We usually count these as one and the same. July 2, 2010 or something like that. It was Angel's 2nd full day in Malaysia. My parents and siblings dropped us off to get breakfast at a little roti shop, and afterwards I told Angel to walk down to the park, and I made him walk barefoot around an acupressure path. Cross-cultural experience, you know? Then he used my phone to call his parents and let them know he was safe and fine all the way in Malaysia. And then he got down on one knee and said, "I do love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, so will you marry me, Honey?" Then we walked home to my parents' house where everybody was ready to burst out the door to congratulate us and see the ring (yes, everybody knew we were going to get engaged that morning. If Mom and Dad hadn't taken all of them to McDonald's for breakfast they would have been stalking us around the park.).

5. Marriage anniversary: December 2010. Just two weeks after Angel moved back to Michigan to start his new job. It was assumed from the beginning that he would have to move in order for us to get married, since I still had a good chunk of college to finish up.

6. What is "your song"? "If I Stand" by Rich Mullins.

7. Do you remember the first movie you saw together? The very first movie was The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra at a friend's apartment with a big group of friends. The Blind Side was the first movie at the movie theater. We picked up my friend JB and the three of us saw it together. 

On Our Honeymoon

8. First road trip together? Our honeymoon! Six months after we got married, I was finally finished with Junior year, and he had worked at his job long enough to get PTO, so we hopped in the car and headed to Kentucky and Ohio. So fun.

Angel's surprise birthday party, 5 minutes after he arrived at my family's home in Malaysia. That's the sort of thing he's had to get used to.

9. Who was interested first? Angel. For sure. I went into college open to the idea of meeting a potential spouse sometime before I graduated, but I was 17 and not at all the type to have crushes. I just wanted friends so that I didn't feel totally alone after moving to the opposite side of the globe. Besides, I knew he had a girlfriend when I first met him, so, for me, Angel was automatically not even qualified to be a potential interest. Angel made his interest somewhat noticeable in second semester by parking his car next to mine everyday for an entire semester, always coming to study with me at my homework table (a freshman Chinese major and a senior nursing major are obvious study buddies, right?), inviting me to everything, joining the cast of the on-campus TV crew that I was part of, etc. He was always the one putting effort into finding me and joining the things I was a part of. However, he says he thought I was really weird when he first met me, and he didn't come to a hayride that I invited him, and the rest of the Bible study, to, about a month after I started going to college, because he'd never gone to a hayride before and thought it would be 'dumb.' Little did he know. Hayrides are awesome. 

Our "official" engagement photo. And I just realized that he still has that shirt and still wears it to work...impressive, considering nearly the years that have passed and the two international moves...

10. Who said I love you first? He did. But then he took it back. Sitcom worthy? Yes.  On a phone call, he said, "I love you....I mean, I care about you." less than a month after we were officially courting. It cracked me up. I was the first one to say it without taking it back, I wrote "I love you." as the sign-off in an email about two weeks before we got engaged and he wrote back to me super excited and was like, "I love you? You mean that? Wow! I've been wanting to tell you that but I was worried you'd get too scared and run away." It was hilariously cute. Recall, this is AFTER he had already had my engagement ring purchased for nearly two months. And AFTER we had already been talking about potential wedding dates. He's always said that up until we were legally married he was never sure if I was actually going to go through with it--he just couldn't believe he'd really caught me.


So that's the 'past', which we have a little more of every year--as of next month we've been "Angel and Rachel" for 7 years! I often feel like I have absolutely no idea what the future holds for us. And that's because I don't. If you would have told me in in 2008 that I would marry the guy who led my Bible study, I wouldn't have believed you. If you would have told us as newlyweds that before our 4th anniversary we'd be living in China, we wouldn't have believed you either.  If you would have told me that while living in my beloved hometown in Malaysia we'd have the toughest and saddest season we've ever yet faced, I couldn't have believed that either. The future is impossible to predict. We do have dreams together--dreams of having children, of opening our own business--but at this point we don't know when or if or how or in what form our future will take place. Ideally, we can look back on the past seven awesome years of being together and say, all right, whatever the years to come may bring, as long as we can do it all together, they'll be good. If there's one thing we're good at, it's 'togetherness,' plain and simple.

Post idea c/o The Lady Okie. Linking up with #LoveBlog today.


  1. This is such a great post! You guys are so cute together! Wishing you a happy life together

  2. So sweet! I have a funny story about the first "I love you", too! And "If I Stand" -- great song, but unusual pick! Is there a story behind that?

    God bless you two!

    1. There is a bit of a story. We were running some errands together during my freshman year and he put on that song in his car while we were driving and I was like--No way! You listen to Rich Mullins, too? For someone like me, born in the 90s, it's not like most of my peers are really into Rich Mullins, but I've had a long fascination with his lyrics. It was a nice surprise to hear him instead of normal 2009 sort of music. haha! We shared an appreciation for that song and the rest of his music, and because romantic music wasn't really our style, we came to the conclusion that that was our song, and included it in our wedding ceremony.

  3. This is so nice! What a great post! You both look so happy together, wishing you the best in the years to come! =)

  4. omg I just adore your writing story! I loved reading about your relationship! My fiancé and I also met when I was in college and did long distance. NOT fun, but totally worth it!

  5. Your story is so sweet! I love to see couples that have made it past a couple years without getting all cranky and bitter. Y'all seem so cute together.

  6. I loved reading more about your story. My family once threw Nick a surprise birthday party when he was visiting me in New York. He was completely surprised, especially since it was a full month before his birthday. We have this awesome picture of his surprise face that has become quite famous in our family.

    And I agree, if you can look at your husband and just be able to trust in whatever comes your way, you have something pretty special. 10 years ago I never could have imagined packing up and moving to Hawaii. People in my family just don't do that. If you told me that I would become a military wife, I wouldn't have believed that either.

  7. Love this! I was also a 17-year-old freshman who was definitely not looking to get married anytime soon. Then there was Christopher. And suddenly we were a thing. And four years later I married my first boyfriend. I wouldn't change it for anything. :)

    Also, I love that your friends were all surprised that you went from "being friends" to "being engaged" haha! One of my sisters did that too!

    I want to hear more about what kind of business you guys would like to own together!

  8. Your story is so so cute, I love it! And I love your outlook for the years to come as well. :)

  9. I seriously think your love story is one of the best ever. I always love when you write about it! You guys just seem like a really awesome couple. :)

  10. What a fun story. I love reading other people's "how we met" stories. Every single one is so unique. :)

  11. This is such a sweet post - you guys really are a unique couple! :)

  12. I love this so much! Your story is so sweet.

  13. Oh my goodness, this is too cute! I love your story. And the "I love you" exchange made me laugh! :-)

  14. His loss on the hayride - ha! But it still worked out just fine :) I would have found it really hard not to tell my friends I was dating a good guy. Did you tell family? Thanks for sharing your unique story :)

  15. This was so interesting! I feel like I've read most of these stories before but it was cool to read them all again and together. The "I Love You" story was hilariously quick!

  16. I love hearing about how people meet! I met my husband the first day of college, too...but it took us another seven years to get engaged (we broke up for several years in between--and I even got engaged to someone else in the interim). :) You two are so cute together!

  17. I laughed enough reading this that Dan asked me what was so funny. I thought he and I moved fast, but your relationship/engagement were faster than ours.

    Dan needed more convincing than I did to get married, although he still proposed after 2 years dating. He could have proposed a full year sooner, and I would have been totally prepared! A full year and a half sooner, and I still would have said yes. ;)

    Thanks for linking up!

  18. I enjoyed reading this. I know you two got married at about the same time as us (December 3rd, 2010), and we also got engaged on July 2nd, 2010!

  19. I. Love. You. Two. your relationship is seriously special xX