I was going to do this yesterday, but I forgot. Better late than never, right? Thanks to Betty Beguiles for the suggestion.
1. Collin and I met online in 2000 via a Yahoo! web club called "Harry Potter for Grown-Ups." (A web club was part message board, part e-mail list, essentially).
2. There was an ongoing discussion about why adults loved Harry Potter, and someone suggested it was because we all hated our childhoods and wanted to live vicariously through Harry (like his childhood was any better?!). Somehow that segued into a discussion about teenage body image. I said that I'd been teased for being chubby as a teen, although looking back I wasn't really as fat as I'd thought I was. Collin replied to that post, saying that he thought the models of today were ugly and disgusting, and way too thin; he said he preferred a woman who had nice curves and natural beauty. My response to him -- and I am not making this up -- was, "Will you marry me?" I had no idea he'd take me up on it!
3. We started e-mailing off-list and discovered that although at the time we were living 850 miles apart (I was finishing my freshman year of college in Laramie, WY; he was working in Minneapolis, MN), we were both North Dakota natives and had grown up within 40 miles of one another.
4. I went back to ND for the summer, and our first date was on July 7, 2000 at the Fargo Barnes & Noble. We went to the release party for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." We'd gone to a movie beforehand ("Chicken Run"), and after the party we stayed in the store parking lot 'til 2am talking. I think I knew even then that I wanted to marry him.
5. I met his ENTIRE family all at once, as he asked me to be his date at his grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary party (about a month after our first date). It was very intimidating, to say the least. However, I must've made a good impression; by the end of the weekend, his aunts were giving me things to use at our wedding and his grandma had said both "she's a keeper!" and had asked me to call her "Grandma" instead of Bernice.
6. We got officially engaged on December 17, 2000. I had flown to MN (from WY) to visit him for Christmas break, and he took me to see the illustrated "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" display on the eighth floor of the downtown Minneapolis Dayton's. (Then it became Marshall Fields, and now it's something else... Macy's, maybe?). At the end of the display, I commented that it was really nice, and he said, handing me a program, "It's not over yet. Check the last page." I looked, and he'd pasted in a little paragraph that said that the last scene of the display was where Collin asked JoAnna to be his wife. I looked up and he was down on one knee with the ring box in his hand. Obviously, I said yes. :)
7. We were married 9/1/2001 (September 1 is the day Harry Potter traditionally left for Hogwarts School). As we were married in the Lutheran Church, we were able to have the "Star Wars" theme as our recessional. Our dance was Harry Potter-themed, but not be design; Collin's aunt and cousins showed up with Harry Potter glasses and temp tattoos for all the guests, so many of our dance pictures feature guests in Harry Potter glasses. We also got a ton of Harry Potter-themed wedding gifts, many that we still have.
8. Our song is "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" by Elvis Presley. It seemed to fit our relationship very well.
9. Collin's birthday is December 24, and his youngest brother's birthday is also December 24. They are something like 5 years and 1 hour apart. Crazy, isn't it? I think Collin was actually due on New Year's Eve but came early.
10. For our seventh anniversary, we went to Las Vegas and were able to be present at the closing weekend of "Star Trek: The Experience" at the Las Vegas Hilton. It was phenomenal and I'm so sad they closed it (especially since now we live within driving distance of Las Vegas!). If it were still open, we'd probably go there for our tenth anniversary as well.
SOULDANCER available free today, tomorrow
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