Well, I had so many questions asked, I’m going to have to break this up into two or three posts. So, I thought I’d get the big ones out of the way first. So, I hope this sheds light on the subject.
Adventure Dad asked: When did you find out you were having twins? And what was your reaction?
I learned we were having twins on November 17, 2004. I know that because my Y*M*C*A hosts a golf tournament each year. The 2004 tourney was supposed to be held on October 28th but it rained that day. I had to scramble to get a make-up date and the only day the course had available was November 17th. The only problem was Andrea was scheduled to have her first Doctor’s appointment that day. I asked her to reschedule but she assured me that I didn’t need to be there since it was going to be a preliminary exam and there wouldn’t be much to it. And I believed her.
When I arrived home late that evening, I scrambled up the stairs to find a smiling Andrea. She sat me down as I asked how the appointment went. She then showed me the ultrasound photos that were taken that day. There four or five of them and she showed them to me one at a time. She pointed out the fuzzy blob on each photo. First one, then the next. When she got to the third photo she asked me what I saw. “Oh, is that the baby?” I asked, pointing to a blob. “Yes.” She replied. “What else do you see?” “I dunno,” I said. She then proceeded to go back to the previous photos, pointing out each sack and each fuzzy blob. When we got back to the third photo, she pointed to one blob and repeated “That’s a sack…”
And then it hit me. I clearly saw two blobs in the photo. My mind began to grind to a halt as it struggled to comprehend the enormity of the situation. I looked at my wife and I asked, “Are you serious?” She nodded and smiled. I then yelped this nervous laugh as we embraced and tears welled up in both of our eyes. “Wow” was all I could manage. For about a week I kept walking around in a daze mutturing the phrase, “Two babies. We’re gonna have two babies.”
Honestly, my first reaction was shock followed closely by fear. We had just bought a new home and we had only budgeted for one baby. It wasn’t until we sat down soon after and redid our budget that I actually felt like we could handle this. A year and a half later and I’m not sure we’re handling it but the babies are doing well, so we must be doing something right.
Deanna asked: If I remember correctly, you met Andrea over the internet, right? How did that all come about? And Maria asked: How did you (or your wife) propose?
In the days before blogs people used to have simple web pages. Mine was a one page bio sheet that I thought was pretty cool. It listed my interests and my family history and little more. After I constructed this page using my limited html knowledge, I registered at a now-defunct site (called 411.com or 411info.com, something like that) that you could list your name, interests, schools, etc. so people could find you. I listed where I lived (northern California) and that I was interested in Track & Field.
At that time, I was pursuing my Master’s degree in Sport Psychology and living completely on my own for the first time (no roommates!). So, I clearly remember receiving an email from a woman named Andrea. She told me that she had seen my webpage by searching people who lived in California and were interested in Track & Field. She thought we had a lot in common. She informed me she lived in Denver and was planning a trip out to my neck of the woods to search for a clinical site (as she was pursuing her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy) and she wanted to know if I could recommend some places to visit when she arrived. She also told me about her interest in Track & Field and inquired about my coaching experience.
Stunned that someone had actually seen my webpage, I wrote back and we started to correspond regularly. When it came time for her trip, I offered to show her around (a very awkward proposition as I really didn’t want to freak her out). Luckily she agreed to meet me in a public place. When I first laid eyes on her, I was hooked. She was absolutely gorgeous and we hit it off immediately. That first night we went to dinner, went over to a friend’s house for a brief visit before I took her to Santa Cruz, my hometown, and we rode the rides at the Beach Boardwalk. By the end of the evening we were holding hands while walking along the beach. We spent the rest of the week exploring northern California and falling in love. Well, I fell in love with her. I had to be pretty persistent over the following months as we did the long-distance relationship thing for a year and a half before she finished her degree and moved out to California. You could say I wore her down. I hope she’d say it was worth it.
As for the proposal, I’d rather plead the fifth. But, it’s worth tellling the story, so here it goes. We began talking about marriage in the Summer of 1998. The only problem was that I was broke. I couldn’t afford to buy a ring and I really wanted to have a nice ring when I asked Andrea to marry me. My saving grace, however, was that prior to meeting Andrea, I was coaching a high school track team and one of the parents of a kid on the team approached me and thanked me for the work I had done with her son. She told me she was a gemologist and that if I ever wanted an engagement ring, to give her a call and that she’d help me pick out a nice diamond and get it at wholesale cost. So, I had this connection but I still couldn’t afford the ring. In the fall of 1998 I decided to coach the Cross Country team at the same high school. At the end of the season (November) I received a stipend for coaching the team. I used that stipend to purchase the ring. Now, all I had to do was figure out how to propose.
Fast-forward to late December. Andrea was graduating and I flew out to Colorado to be there for her big day. It was going to be a busy weekend as she would be graduating one day and we would be going to her best friend’s wedding the next. As I departed the plane, the ring was burning a hole in my pocket. I didn’t really know how I was going to propose but I knew I didn’t want to forget what I wanted to tell her, so I wrote it all down on a greeting card. The card detailed my love for her and the idea was I would give it to her, let her read how much I loved her and then get down on one knee and propose. The only problem was that I was on foreign turf. I had no idea where I was going to propose but it had better be soon because I was going to burst from anticipation. I also wanted to do it before all of the festivities so Andrea could show off her ring.
So, where to ask her? I thought, well the ride from Denver to her house is quite scenic. Maybe I can get her to pull over at a rest stop with the awesome view of the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. That was the plan. It was a good plan. I was going to ask her at a rest stop with a romantic view of the Rocky Mountains. Yeah, great idea.
Then, we pulled into a parking lot to eat lunch before continuing our trip. And then, the inexplicable happened. I asked her to marry me in the car while we sat in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.
Thank God she said yes. And, no, she hasn’t let me forget that I asked her to marry me in a parking lot.
Stay tuned for more Q&A