October 30, 2011 is the date that Ron and I met for the first time--exactly 6 years ago today! We often recount the story of how we met, but I have never actually written it down. So today I thought I would write out our story :)
Some people's story is one that involves years of friendship, slowly evolving into something, while others' stories happen in an instant and can be pinned down to the date. Ours is a story of the latter.
I moved to NYC in the middle of September 2011. I didn't know anyone when I moved here, and so I was quickly trying to make friends and get plugged in at church. It was barely a month after I had moved here, but I remember that particular Sunday in detail. At the time, we both attended Apostles Union Square. I remember seeing Ron for the first time on those church steps. He handed me my bulletin, and I thought, 'oh, man, he's cute' LOL. Ron will say that he remembers me running up the steps frazzled because I was so late haha. But he still recalls with detail, the exact outfit I was wearing that day, a maroon dress, leggings, and my Steve Madden boots. After church that evening, someone from my community group invited me to join a group that was going out to eat (at the Blind Pig haha). I remember being so tired from working all day, but then also thinking, 'well, I really need to make some friends, so I should probably go.' So I agreed to go, and as our group of about 20 people started getting ready to go, I ended up standing next to Ron. Our friend introduced us, and we started talking the whole walk to the bar. (Funny side note, I thought his name was Rob that night!)
Let me back track a little bit. When I first moved to NYC, I came to work with a network of hispanic churches and their children's ministries. A few days before this particular night, I had heard of new church plant in Washington Heights. So I had reached out to the pastor to see how I could help out (little did I know, a year later, he would marry Ron and me!)
So, back to that Sunday night. While talking with Ron, he told me that he was actually a part of a church plant in Washington Heights. I asked him what the name of it was and quickly discovered that it was the very same one I had just been in contact with! Small world.
We spent the rest of that evening talking each others' ears off, and by the end of it, Ron asked me for my number, under the pretense of getting me in touch with his church ;)
Another silly thing to note--Ron loves to tell people we met at a bar, while I prefer to tell people we met at church!
That night, I remember going home and talking with a friend on the phone. I told her about meeting Ron, but I remember telling her that even if he didn't like me, I just wanted a friend!!
The next day, Ron and I ended up spending the afternoon together in Central Park. I look back on that day now and realize just how much he must have liked me. First, I remember him offering to take me to do something touristy (which he hates), and second, we ended up aimlessly walking around Central Park for hours, another thing Ron does not usually enjoy doing haha.
We talked endlessly, and I just remember a few snippets. It felt like kismet that day when Ron asked if I had any tattoos and I told him about my 'Soli Deo Gloria' one, which was one that he wanted to get himself. And I remember at the end of that day Ron being Ron very explicitly said, "Brooke, I like you. And I want to take you on a real date this weekend."
And that set the tone from there. One thing I love about Ron is how open and honest he is. I never once had to question whether or not he liked me, or what his intentions were. He was straight forward from the beginning!
From there, things just sort of snow balled. I remember our first kiss, the first time we said I love you (I think...I might...kind of...if you do, I do...sort of love you!), and starting to talk of marriage. Though we had only dated for a few months, we were serious, and we knew that we wanted to spend our lives together.
That following May for Memorial Day weekend, we went camping in Cape Cod with our best friends Shannon and Levi. While we were getting ready to leave the city, we made a pitstop at Ron's apartment. Not thinking anything of it, he asked me to throw his contact solution in his backpack, and when I did, I saw the ring box. Oh man did I have to exercise some self control, but I did not look further than the outside of that box! I quickly zipped his bag back up and didn't say a word. So I knew it was going to happen that weekend, but I still wasn't sure when exactly. He still managed to surprise me, because I didn't expect it to happen when I hadn't showered and was covered in sand on the beach haha. We were sitting on the beach and Ron kept asking me to go for a walk with him out on this rocky pier. I kept insisting that I didn't want to go. So finally Ron was like I'll go by myself then haha. So I finally agreed, and once we got to the end of the pier, Ron said, "Well, we've walked to the end of this pier and we can't go any further, but I want to walk the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"
From there, here is a quick timeline of what happened from there:
Sept 1, 2012: We got married
Nov 20, 2013: Aly joined our family
Oct 28, 2015: Fynn joined us
Dec 2017: Roman will be joining us!
In the 6 years of knowing each other, we have lived in 3 different apartments, (almost) 3 children, a few job changes, a knee surgery, some tough times, and some of our best times.
Love you always, Ron!