OUR FIRST PHOTO TOGETHER - 4th of July
I want to apologize at first for how long this is, but I promise it's a good story, so keep reading. It is crazy to think that one year ago (approximately), we were leaving to go out to Catalina Island to start the summer working at Camp Cherry Valley. What is significant about this event, you may ask? If it wasn't for last summer, there would be no Cortney and DeAnn, and no eternal bliss:) What is ironic about this event is that neither of us foresaw what was to come, and both of us decided late in the game to go out and work at the island.
My decision came in January when Dave called and asked if I'd be the camp nurse. It truly was one of the hardest decisions of my life, and as I was deciding to go, I had to decide whether the sacrfices to be made were going to be worth it. But I prayed and felt right about it - and I didn't know why...at the time. Cortney's decision came in March-ish after years of taunting from best friends who had spent their teenage summers playing and working at Cherry Valley. This last year was different though, and when Cory (Cortney's friend) asked if he wanted to go, Cortney surprised himself when he answered that he would. So there you have it.
The funniest part about it all is that we didn't even acknowledge that each other existed until later in the summer. I originally thought Cortney was really hot, but told the other girls at camp that I would never date him. Ha ha ha. (I wouldn't date him, but now I'm married to the wonderful guy!) I thought he was someone different (yes, a pre-judgement, based on some of his friends), and wasn't really interested.
Then the day came (on a Sunday afternoon, about 3 or 4 weeks into the summer) when I found out a little more about Cortney and who he really was, and boy was it a surprise.
Me and my girls were hangin' out at the buddy tag table waiting for troops to arrive, and Cortney and a couple other guys came up to talk to us. Just to start a conversation, I asked what he had done in his free time that afternoon. His answer surprised me and taught me not to judge people by their friends. He said he had read his scriptures, Preach My Gospel, and a couple conference talks. As it turned out, we had both read almost the exact same thing. Isn't it ironic? From then on, we started becoming better friends and actually talked to each other every once in awhile. It wasn't until a week or two later when we talked again (longer than a short greeting).
Still reading? Keep going!
I was in the kitchen one night after the day's work was done reading scriptures with my friend Kit Fox. Cortney came in and started reading and talking with us. It was neat to talk to Cortney because he really knew a lot about the gospel and I was super impressed. I think we both were pretty enthralled in the conversation and started talking about deeper gospel topics and about our missions. I don't think we noticed that Kit Fox left because we were enjoying the conversation. After that, we decided to have a nightly scripture study with Kit Fox and whoever else wanted to come. It turned out to be a great nightly activity and we got to know each other a lot better.
One small detail I haven't mentioned yet is that while this was going on, I denied that I had any feelings past friendly feelings for Cortney. I, in fact, had another crush on another guy who was working in Wyoming. He was my dream guy (or so I thought). So I blocked any feelings which might've developed for Cortney and focused my flirty attention to another man.
As the summer went on though, it became harder and harder not to start "liking" Cortney. He was irresistible. What can I say? We had a ton of fun on the weekends on kayak and canoe trips, as well as playing basketball and ultimate frisbee. When I first saw Cortney play basketball and ultimate frisbee, I knew it was love. He was so awesome at sports! (A dream come true! Ow ow!) He was also very funny and positive, which made it hard not to like him.
AT BEN WESTON BEACH-THE BEST KAYAK PAIR EVER!
Keep reading! Here's the part where it gets exciting........
2 weeks before the summer ended, I knew for sure inside that I liked him, but didn't say anything to anybody. My roommate Marge kept asking me, "Does Cortney like you?" and I denied it, but knew that he really did. And I knew I liked him too. I was in a pickle though, because I still liked the other guy, and would still talk to him occasionally. What was a girl to do in this situation?
About a week and a half before going home, I got wind from a friend of a friend of Cortney's that he supposedly "liked" me..... and was going to tell me. AGHHHHGGHHH!!! (Yes, if you are wondering, we are still in Junior High) What was I to say? Turned out that the following Saturday, he expressed to me (sitting on the beach, overlooking the ocean on a beautiful starlit night - how romantic) that he liked me. I didn't know what to say so I just said, "Cortney, I like you too, but I just don't know. I have commitment issues." There you have it. That was my answer.
BEFORE THE CHERRY TRI
The next week (the last week of camp) was the best week of the summer and we both thought it would be awkward (since our conversation really never came to a conclusion - dead end), but it wasn't at all. We hung out with each other more than ever and had a lot of fun. I really liked this guy. But I wasn't prepared for what was to come on Sunday (which was also Cortney's birthday).
It's getting juicier, I promise - keep reading!
We were sitting in the chapel for the last sacrament meeting of the summer. It was a great meeting. After it was over, another meeting started (a meeting where all the staff meets together and they can express their feelings about the summer). During this meeting, we sat awful close to each other. I remember thinking to myself, "what if he held my hand?" and I completely doubted it. Something funny Marge and Ashlee told me earlier was, "I bet he tries to hold your hand!" and I denied it. But there we were. I folded my arms and my hand was easily accessible. He finally (after several attempts) got up the nerve to hold my hand. Ahhhhh, yeah;) It was so weird because I expected it to feel awkward or weird, but it didn't. It felt right - and inside I was asking myself, "What am I doing?!?!?" After the meeting was over, they told us we could get free shirts and hoodies down at the office. At the last word, I let go of his hand and ran down the dirt road to the office. I couldn't believe it! He had held my hand! And I just ran away from him (give me a break, I was scared!). As we were waiting in line for the free goods, he came down the dirt road and I beckoned him to come stand with me. We got the same free hoodie to wear!!!
The rest of the day seemed like it was several days long itself. Because it was the last day, there were still projects and work to be done. We spent what time we could with each other and the latter part of the day we were able to spend a lot more time with each other talking and just hanging out. After dinner, we had to pack up our own stuff so we went our separate ways. Both Ash and Marge said, "Ten bucks says he tries to kiss you!", and once again, I denied it. No way......
As the night wore on, we played with Emily and Kate, watched the staff video, ate some snacks, and prepared to go to bed. A bunch of us headed up to Lion's head (a high point which overlooks the ocean) to sleep for the last night.
We all just sat around talking and laughing until it was time to go to sleep. (Don't worry, the boys slept next to the boys and the girls next to the girls). Cortney and I stayed up a little later just talking and holding hands. The night was so beautiful. There were a few wispy clouds in the sky and the full moon reflected it's beautiful rays upon the ocean.
There was a slight breeze and the ocean waves were heard crashing upon the rocks below us. It was ULTRA ROMANTIC! It was time to say goodnight and go to sleep. We stood up and embraced. The hug lasted for a few minutes and I just knew we were going to kiss (I mean, c'mon, with a romantic atmosphere like this one, it was perfect!). We both drew back from the embrace, looked into each others' eyes, and went in for the kill. It was just like magic! It was definitely like something out of a romantic movie. I couldn't believe it! We had kissed! After the kiss, we said goodnight. I couldn't sleep! I just kept thinking of what had transpired and what I was going to do! I was happy though, and it all felt right.
When I woke up for my run in the morning, I ran into Margaret on the road. All I said was, "Marge - ten bucks!" And we both giggled like elementary schoolgirls. Cortney and I spent the rest of the day together as we traveled home - until we parted with a hug at the airport. I still didn't know what was to become of this and I couldn't get him out of my mind!
After a week of being home, I knew that I was supposed to be dating Cortney. It just felt right. And he was so great to me! And he still treats me wonderfully! Being able to re-tell this story has reminded me once again of the love I have for him. I love you Cortney!
And thus began the saga that is us............................
HEADING HOME ON THE FERRY