Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Robert and Caitlin's Crazy Love Story...

For any of you who have been to our apartment, you might have noticed this picture hanging. (taken in Kauai) This is a photograph by David Whitten. (a photographer that uses the lab)

As I look out at the dreariness which is our weather in Utah. I can only imagine what the weather is like in Hawaii... About a year and a half ago Robert and I were there, combing the beaches on our honeymoon. I can't believe it has been that long. It seems like just yesterday I was getting a call in the MTC from Elder Hashimoto saying that I had a phone call and "Good news! Your boyfriend wants to marry you!" (insert thick Japanese accent)

For those who have not heard this crazy/romantic story, it goes something like this...

I had decided to go on a mission right around the time Robert and I decided to date. So when he said he wanted to keep dating me I said "Fine, but I am going on this mission!" When it got a little closer to when I was supposed to go to Ohio, and we got a lot more serious. We started having second thoughts. We decided to pray and see if it was right for me to go. So I did and strangely enough it was right.

We continued dating and it was harder and harder to think about leaving him. But at the same time I felt really good about going too. I have never been so conflicted! When the day came to take me to the MTC, there were MANY tears. While in the MTC I met many people to make this transition in my life easier. Sister Winkel (my comp.), Gibbons, and Florence. (Wink, Gibbs, and Flo) We shared a room and these girls were all so supportive. They will always have a special little place in my heart.

One day we got an overhead announcement in our dorm saying that Sister Baddley (me) needed to get down to the office immediately. (no matter how much time goes by I will always remember that feeling. That uncertain feeling of dread. I was certain someone had died.)

Sister Wink and I bustled straight to that office, the whole time her just as worried as I that something was wrong. She was great to give me little comments that "everything was going to be alright". The aforementioned Elder Hashimoto came out and told me that I needed to go back to his office alone. (in the MTC you never leave your comp. another bad sign!)

Luckily Sister Wink was right in saying that everything was going to be alright. Before I could even sit down Elder Hashimoto shouted the words that will forever ring in my head as the words of proposal (not from my husband I might add) "GOOD NEWS! YOUR BOYFRIEND WANTS TO MARRY YOU!!" (like I had been waiting to know if my boyfriend was going to snatch me out of the MTC)

Well as you can imagine I was not only startled, but VERY confused. Hadn't we talked about how I was going on a mission? The first words out of my mouth? "Who are you??" (I was sure that Elder H's job was to wait in the wings for some unsuspecting sister missionary and swoop in for the oh so romantic Japanese screaming words of good news)

He explained that I needed to call my father and talk to him about all of this (the only thing I could think was "Will someone PLEASE get Bob on the phone!?") I was taken to a small room to call my Dad. He answered and said that Bob had come to him the day previous and after a game of golf told him of all his feelings and experiences that had led him to realize he needed to marry me. I asked if maybe I could speak to Bob (um finally!)

Bob was quiet and explained what he had been through in the short time I had been in the MTC. I won't go into the details except to say that Bob is not someone to do anything rash or make any decisions that he hasn't fully weighed out in his mind. He had spoken with his Bishop who had agreed that it was right to call me. Not to mention everyone else at home who thought it was bizarre that we were so right for each other and so far away from each other!

I told Bob I needed time to think and pray about this all too important decision. I did and later on called him and told him I was going on the mission. (WHAT??! you may ask, well there's more) The last week of the MTC I started realizing that I had made the biggest decision of my life OVER THE PHONE? I realized I needed to talk to him in person and needed to pull this last thorn of doubt so I could have a successful mission.

Elder H and my teachers agreed. So we made the phone call and the next day my dad and Bob were there at the good ol' MTC. Since I was set apart as a sister missionary I couldn't be in a room by myself with Bob (I am not quite sure what they thought would happen, but I know it's precautionary) So they put my dad, Bob and me in room no bigger than what seemed to be a phone booth tipped on it's side. While Bob poured out his heart to me and promised to wait the 18 months, my dad tried to seem inconspicuous and uncomfortably scooted as far away as he could. I decided I was now okay to go. (That's right hop on a plane and go across the country without talking or seeing each other for 18 months.) (But wait there's just a little bit more!)

I full heartily went to Ohio, with now no cares about my home life. Ready to serve, excited to be on a new adventure. All the way until the plane set down in Ohio. The only way I can explain the feeling was something inside that didn't feel right or complete.. a heaviness.

We took a tour of the most beautiful Kirtland historical sights, where I would be serving. We saw things that normally I would be brimming with excitement to be apart of. The only thing I could feel was that something wasn't right. Now I was feeling confused since I had gotten a definite answer that I should go to Ohio, so what could be wrong?

All of us missionaries were taken to the School of the Prophets. (where probably anyone could feel an overwhelming spirit) We were told that it was time to dedicate our missions to the Lord. As I knelt, ready to do this, trying to ignore this nagging heavy feeling. I suddenly let myself wonder if it would be okay if I could go home and marry Robert. A feeling of complete warmth and happiness flooded over me. It was okay. I had a sudden understanding that I needed to go to show I was willing. I also think it was a way for Bob and I to realize just how important it was we get married and to appreciate each other. (Believe me this is not how I would have planned it, I still can't believe I flew all the way to Ohio, I guess that shows just how willing I was to serve.)

So what happened next? I talked to my mission President who agreed I should go get married. He told me to call and tell him the good news. While my new comp. had to be in bed by a certain time I hid in the closet so I could call my future hubby and tell him I was coming home to marry him. On the other end of the phone call you could hear Bob saying things like "I promise I will be the best husband, I will do everything I can to make you happy.." (he is and he has)

A few days later I was home in his arms and ready to plan the wedding. Happy as a clam. Isn't it funny how life can be? I think that was one of the hardest ways to get engaged, but it was the way it had to be!

I don't usually do posts this long, but seeing as one of the biggest reasons I started this was because I wanted to share it with my future children.. what better way than to read a funny/crazy/romantic story about their parents. And as for the rest of you, you can get to know me just a bit better.

Was I talking about Hawaii? Hmm, yes I wonder how the weather is there...


she'sonlyhappyinthesun said...

I loved this post! It made me cry... I am so glad you and Bob found each other:)

caitlin said...

Oh wow, thanks! Yeah, it was one of those crazy life experiences! Can I just say that I really want us to be next door neighbors when we grow up? What age is that?!

caitlin said...

Okay, just read that and I hope you took that as You and Sean in one house and Me and Bob in the other. (Not me and Bob as neighbors! ha, I'm a nerd)

The Lehr's said...

That is such a cool story! I had never heard all the little details, just the main idea, so I'm really glad you shared this story!

Jess said...

I love this story!

shan & andrew said...

Cute story! :)

P.S. I added your link to my blog- so you'd better to the same or it's bad blog karma! lol

she'sonlyhappyinthesun said...

I knew what you meant... me and Sean talk about that a lot actually. We want to move back to Utah someday, but who knows if that will really happen. Are you guys visiting Washington at all this summer?

caitlin said...

Well we were thinking about doing Seattle for our anniversary, but now we don't know if we can afford it. We will have to see. I can't get a ton of time off for work so who knows. We should for sure be out there for the holidays. Prob. Christmas. Will you stay in Seattle for the holiday's or visit the tri-cities?