Here are just some fun stories about Randy and I. From when we first met, to how he proposed, and just great stories along the way! Enjoy!!
I had moved to Kentucky August, 2005. I moved here with about 10 people from work. And slowly but surely, everyone left. So, I was here is a state with no friends here and no family. I had met a few friends at a few different places that I worked, but you tend to lose touch with them when you get a new job.
So, I decided maybe I would try meeting people online. I talked to a few people and met a few. Some of the people ended up being great friends to talk to. But not much more. Then I decided, Okay. I kind of give up. Then I met a girl from online and her and I became friends and went out a couple times a week. At that point, I decided I did not want to meet guys online anymore.
To pass the time at work, I would still go online and talk to people. Half the time the messages were so stupid I would just delete them. Especially if people make comments about football and the Bears. I just felt they had nothing better to talk about. One day I got a message from "Sports Guy" or something like that. And of course, he mentioned football. For some reason, I decided to respond to his message. And we casually started talking online and through email.
Normally, I do not give out my number to people. If they give me their number, I may call. But it was not very likely! And for some reason, I was feeling really impulsive. "Sports Guy" was about to go to work. So our conversation was coming to an end for the day. Well, I really enjoyed talking to him. I emailed him and said something along the lines of, "I don't normally give my number. But if you want to call or text." And I gave him my number. We started text messaging and having really long, great conversations.
We talked on the phone and through email for a few weeks. Then we finally met. I decided that I wanted to meet him in a place that I am comfortable. There is a restuarant called Old Chicago right down the street, so that is where we went.
We had a few beers and a great conversation. And from that day on, we saw each other like 4 or 5 times a week. Which, shortly after turned into everyday.
Living the single life and being a home owner, not only made it rough on my finances but also limited my night life and of course the dating scene. I happened to run across a "Blue Eyed Girl" on a website called LouisvilleMojo.com, where locals can meet for friendship, networking, pen pals and dating. Upon clicking the cute picture of this Blue Eyed Girl, I quickly discovered that she was a die-hard football fan from the Windy City. Now being that I myself am a purple blooded Minnesota Vikings fan, I thought sending this Blue Eyed Girl/rival Bears fan a message would be an excellent idea! Especially, considering she had written on her profile that she refused to respond to stupid football questions and comments. I don't remember exactly the words I used, but it was something along the lines of a charming "A Bears fan and a Vikings fan? Uh oh!" Within minutes I received a message back from this Blue Eyed Girl from Chicago. And wouldn't you know it, we ended up having a full blown conversation surrounding just about every team in the NFL!
As we talked online almost daily for a few weeks, there was one conversation in particular that made this girl different and intriguing. I had to close our conversation one afternoon as I was headed to work on my beloved second shift. To be honest, I felt empty that I couldn't see her response to "Hope you have a great day!" until I returned home later that night. The response turned out to be none other than "I normally don't do this but here is my phone number. Feel free to give me a call whenever." I knew then that this Blue Eyed Girl wasn't afraid to take a chance on an opportunity to meet a new guy.
It turned out that our conversations on the phone covered every topic from the primary elections and politics to sucking cheese out of a Combo without breaking the pretzel! And so when I finally had the courage to ask this Blue Eyed Girl to hang out with me so we could finally meet, she put the ball in my court and told me to pick the place and the time. This was a huge blow to me considering I'm a very indecisive individual. I settled on Old Chicago figuring she couldn't turn down a restaurant that had the name of her hometown. Turned out I was right. I called her as I was ready to pull into the parking lot and she put me on speakerphone which I later found out she was just running a little late putting on the makeup and doing the hair. Minutes later we were having an appetizer and a few beers and talked almost non-stop into the night. From that day on, this Blue Eyed Girl and I saw each other just about everyday and our relationship escalated into bigger and better things for both of us.
So who is this Blue Eyed Girl? She is my best friend and companion. She is the only woman that I will love always and forever; Mallorey.
You might say falling in love with someone is not an easy thing to do and according to most will just "come naturally". Half of this statement is right and half of it is wrong. Falling in love with Mallorey came natural yet easy to me. Within a few weeks of dating her, all it took was a simple look into her bright blue eyes. Sure we had made eye contact countless times throughout seeing each other almost daily, but there was something different to me about this particular look.
I had come to her apartment that night to watch a movie from Redbox. Seeing as how she always stayed up late to be with me after I got off work around 9 o'clock every night, I thought the least I could do was rent the DVD. We watched the movie Rendition. A movie that she would later make fun of me for because I didn't quite put all of the pieces of the plot together at the end. But that's okay, I'm sure I deserved it. In fact, I think I confused her more than myself!
When the movie was over we moved from the couch to the floor with nothing but a blanket and pillows. We watched meaningless late night television and talked for hours. Although I must admit, I had to be silent while she directed her undivided attention to the late night Hollywood movie star drama updates.
But the look came shortly thereafter. We both laid on our sides and stopped talking. I gazed into her eyes as she gazed into mine. Not a word was spoken for at least half of a minute. There were no movements, just staring into each others blue eyes. This moment wasn't just about her beauty and great personality. It was about the two of us lying on her apartment floor speechless and motionless. I thought about all of the wonderful and amazing times the two of us had shared over the previous weeks. I thought about how happy she had made me and how this heightened level of happiness had never occurred in me. At that point I realized something was different and it hit me faster than I could blink an eye. It was something so emotional and meant so much that only one word could describe what I was feeling at that exact moment: LOVE.
I've been in love with Mallorey ever since that night. And my love for her has continued to grow more and more each day. It's the best feeling I've ever had in my entire life. And I want it to go on forever and ever.
The first time meeting Mallorey's family was very exciting. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't the least bit nervous about coming to their Chicago home on July 4th weekend. But I knew things were going to turn out just great when the first thing her father asked me when I walked in was "You want a beer?" Her mother welcomed me into their home and I felt comfortable with them almost immediately. In fact, they kind of reminded me of my parents in a way.
We drove up to Mundelein two days before July 4th on a Wednesday. Little did I know that about 24 hours later my life would change. On Thursday night, Mallorey and I, along with her parents and grandmother, began a game of Progressive Gin. This was a card game that apparently had run rich within the Stevens family and she had rant and raved about playing for months.
Needless to say, I saw no such thing as beginner's luck as I was in last place just 3 or 4 hands into the game. Her dad was clobbering everyone! In fact, he had yet to lose a hand and was perfect up until the last 2 hands of the game. For whatever reason, he and I started a long and drawn out conversation about how ice cream was one of the greatest things ever invented. Of course Mallorey only poked fun at our conversation and had no idea what was to come at the end of the card game and ultimately at the end of the night.
As her dad was having a flawless game, and about to reach a milestone that no other Stevens had done before in the history of Progressive Gin, I stepped up to the plate and the cards began to fall my way. On the second to last hand, I got rid of my cards before anyone and won the hand. Her dad was got as mad as a hornet, threw down his cards and even walked away from the table!
Upon returning a few minutes later, with his pride still in tact despite not setting a new Stevens' record, her dad was set for the last and final hand of cards claiming it still would be a milestone to end the game with just under 10 points going against him. And wouldn't you know it?! Low and behold the Progressive Gin gods were on my side again as I got rid of my cards before anyone else again and won the hand. Only this time I caused her dad to be caught with a plethora of cards thus destroying his claim to fame. I didn't know what to expect, but apparently everyone at the table thought it was funny and the smoke had cleared.
Her dad immediately asked if I wanted to walk down the street and grab some ice cream since we had been talking about it the better part of the night. I accepted the offer and got Mallorey's ice cream order as well. Conveniently enough, about a block away from her parents house is a standalone Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts. To me, it was a little piece of heaven.
During our walk to get ice cream, I'd never really decided on whether to ask her dad if I could marry her until then. But I figured it would have been way to soon to ask on our way there. I mean after all, I just ruined what possibly could have been her dad's greatest hand of cards EVER! So I decided to wait until we were walking back with our ice cream in hand. At least the mood would have lightened up a bit by that point.
On our walk back to his house, I implied him that the night had already been crazy enough so I told him I wanted to go ahead and ask him something. And out it came. The golden question. The question that any guy would be nervous to ask, much less only knowing her girlfriend's father for about 24 hours. "Can I marry your daughter, Mallorey?" I had no idea what his response would be. Would he still be boiling over the card game that I so fittingly dismantled for him? Or would he be thinking about how delicious his ice cream was tasting at that very moment? In the split seconds that in sued after I asked him, all I could do was stare at the grass and pavement ahead of me. All of a sudden, this one block route back to her parents seemed to be like a journey on foot to the west coast of California.
When her dad answered yes, my heart dropped and slowed down like it never had before. It was such a relief to know that I had his blessing in marrying his youngest daughter. He even asked me to give him some grandchildren some day. But the funniest thing about our conversation was when he asked me if I was really serious about this. I told him I was and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Mallorey.
The thing that I will take away most from that night is something that he said to me on our way back to his house. Something that can't be measured or even compared on any level. It was something that I already knew that night and will cherish forever: Mallorey has a heart of gold.
The day after returning to Louisville from Chicago, we thought it would be best to share the exciting news with my parents about Mallorey and I getting married. I set this up simply by telling them we wanted to tell them about our trip to Chicago. With my parents on one side of the family room, and Mallorey and I on the other, we shared the stories about Mundelein Days (an annual carnival in Mallorey's hometown), great food that we devoured, 4th of July fireworks display and finally the parade.
What my parents didn't know was that I asked her father if I could marry her. And so I told them about the hilarious Chicago story of me ruining her dad's milestone card game then going out for ice cream and then asking him if I could marry her before the night was over. Two things I think we can both agree on. One, my parents were shocked to hear it, and two, they were happy for us.
That night, I had asked Mallorey to go to Old Chicago with me for a beer or two even though she had to wake up early for work the next day. She accepted the offer and we left immediately following our big news appearance at my mom and dad's. On our way there, made small talk of what to think of my parent's reaction to us wanting to get married. There was something on my mind that I had been planning since I had gotten home from work that night. Sure I was listening and putting in my two cents worth on our conversation while driving. But I was putting together a game plan. Not just any game plan. Rather a game plan to propose to the woman I love and the woman who's father I had asked to marry just four days before. Luckily, Mallorey never saw anything protruding from the sides of my pockets. At least I was sure that by now she knows I carry my keys on my left side? Before I parked, I had my game plan ready.
Upon turning off the engine, I stalled and let her go a few steps ahead of me as I securely placed my hand in my right pocket over a small object attempting not to be obvious. As I got out of the car and closed the door, Mallorey was way ahead of me. She waived her arm forward telling me to "come on". I stalled even more smiling back at her and asked "Aren't you forgetting something?" She laughed and backtracked towards me and said "Oh yeah, my boyfriend!" When she got close enough I lowered my weight down to one knee while simultaneously pulling out a small green felt covered box from my pocket with my right hand. Although this was all happening so fast, I could still see Mallorey's smile stretch and her eyes widening as if it were in slow motion. Trying to stay calm, I reached over with my left hand to lift back the top of this small box revealing a polished, shiny, white gold engagement ring with a marquis center stone that I wanted her to wear for the rest of her life.
As I pulled back my left hand, as not to overshadow the appearance of the ring, and steadily held the ring box in my right hand for her to see, out came the words "Will you marry me?" When she said yes, I took the ring from its box and placed it on her hand. And after she gazed at the new hardware on her hand we shared in a few kisses and long hugs right there in the parking lot of Old Chicago. The restaurant where these two love birds met for the first time.