I haven't been blogging as much lately, I realize this. I've been posting a lot in my personal blog, just because I can't seem to get any of my thoughts straight and a lot of those thoughts I don't feel comfortable posting publicly, at least yet. There are more people that read my blog than I realize!
But I saw this post idea from a friends blog and I just feel like talking about Spencer and I and remembering. I love to remember the things that make me so happy. Most all of these questions are worded in such a way that it's intended for the couple who is still.. uhmmm Earthly Together? Interesting way to put it.... but I just want to talk about our relationship =) I've never really shared certain parts of it fully (ie our engagement story?! lol) and I think some people might be interested... enjoy =) [Fair warning... this may get very long!] Annnd this is meant to be a Valentines day post. So I am gong to leave out some things, since we didn't get to celebrate Valentines day; though I will leave the questions on here incase someone else wants to do this too.
How the "I" Became "We"
1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
Spencer and I were friends for, oh I guess I would say about 6 years. We were friends for about 6 months to a year before we started dating. In total, (excluding friendship) through dating, engagement, and marriage we were together about 4.5-5 years! Definitely not long enough, but I'm so thankful that even though we weren't married long, we got those 5 years together.
2. How did you meet? (What's your "love" story?)
Spencer and I met because he had Cystic Fibrosis and I have Crohn's disease. We met on a website for Chronically ill teenagers and their siblings called Starbright World. (SBW for short) I joined back in around 2005 and really became active in 2006 and that's when Spencer and I met! We started talking a lot in SBW chat. One day Spencer whispered me and told me that he had a question to ask me and if it would be okay if he could IM me. I told him that it was fine. I was so anxious to hear this question he had to ask me! We started IMing and talking a little bit and he hadn't brought any kinds of questions up and so I asked him what he wanted to know. He then proceeded to tell me that, "I honestly don't remember what I wanted to ask you." Mhmmm. Sure Spencer! I didn't, and still to this day I don't, buy it. After prodding him time after time again he ended up asking for my email address so that we could talk on MSN without being on Starbright World to talk. I was all for it. But honestly, I think he just wanted to IM me so that he could get my email address, no questions involved ;-) He denied that to the day he died saying that he really did have a question to ask me and that he forgot... Guess we'll never know!!!!
But I'm not going to lie, this guy intrigued me. There was something about him that I just loved! He could make me laugh any time and he was just so much fun to talk to. I started to go on SBW just to talk to Spencer!
So I gave him my email address and we started talking on MSN for a few months, just as friends. Well after we coined popular nicknames for each other (I'll get to that later!) and after many late night phone calls, one of Spencer's friends asked him if we were 'dating'. So, of course, Spencer came to me online and asked me, "Nik, Alysa is asking me if we're together.... what do I tell her?? are we?" At this point I really had a huge crush on Spence. We were flirting a lot on SBW, MSN, and some on the phone. We just had a great time talking to each other. But after having long distance relationships before, I didn't want to have another - especially someone who was 12 hours away from me! I could barely handle a LDR 1 hour away, in Tribune! haha.
But when he asked me if we were together, I remember turing really red, getting warm, butterflies in my stomach, and a huge smile on my face; yet I had this internal conflict going on because I really didn't think anything would come from this online / long distance relationship and hey, what if someone else was interested in me back home! I didn't want things to get complicated!!!!
Soooo I told Spencer how I felt, that I did like him, but I didn't think it would ever work out. I told him no. I turned the poor guy down! But, let me tell you, Spencer was kind of a stubborn person! He didn't take no for an answer! He assured me that everything would be okay. That we would just try it out; test the waters. Nothing had to be serious. We could just do this for a little while and if we didn't like it, if things didn't work out - it was over, no questions asked. I still said no. He told me that if I found someone here that I liked, I could date him and it would be over between us. Same as if he found a girl out there.
Eventually, after MUCH persuasion, I caved and told him that he could tell his/our friend Alysa that we were officially together. I believe that was either Sept or Oct 13th ;-). We then of course changed our Myspace relationship status, told everyone on SBW that we were official... You know - all of that fun stuff.
I do have to say - I am SOO glad he pushed me. I don't think either of us expected things to turn out like they did. Spencer even admitted that at the time he just wanted a girl friend. He just wanted someone to like him. Haha! Oh the little things we knew ;-)
And from there it's just kind of history! Lots of visits of me going to Utah to see Spencer, and a few of Spencer coming to Kansas to see me, and go to my senior prom with me. I then moved to Utah in 2009 and started school there and our relationship really took off and led to us getting engaged and then married =)
3. If married, how long have you been married?
Well, we got married on June 3rd, 2011 =) Best day of our lives! And Spencer and I were married 6 months on December 3rd, 2011. In total we were married for 6 months and 8 days until his death on Dec 11th. I still feel married to him and so it's weird to say that it was only 6 months. Just weird.
4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?
Spencer and I got married in Kansas, in my hometown of Bird City. We got married in the church that I grew up in, The Methodist Church. We were originally planning to get married in Salt Lake City, but not many, if any of my family would be able to make it. It was a really hard decision of where to have it, but ultimately knew that more of his family would be able to travel to Kansas than my family could go to Utah. I am so glad that so many of Spencer's family was able to make it for our wedding. It meant so much to the both of us - especially him.
I would say that we had a medium, average sized wedding. We were a little disappointed that a few people weren't able to make it, but of course understand, but those who meant the most to us were there and we are so happy and blessed for that. It was such a beautiful, perfect, and special day. I will never, ever forget it. The look on his face, in his eyes. The love just radiating from him. And closeness of our family and friends as we shared such a wonderfully amazing day. Our reception was at the Bird City Legion hall where we had my favorite DJ. It got so, so hot in there, people left early, without notice (we were disappointed, but alas we were also very tired), we only got to do the bouquet toss, first dance, father daughter/mother son dance... no dollar dance, no garter toss... Spencer got sick about 1/4 of the way into the reception so he wasn't able to participate - but he still had a good time visiting with friends and family =)
5. Do you have any nicknames that you call one another? Share!
Of course we do! Told you I would get to this =)
We called each other "Pea". We were on SBW so much, and one day we were finishing each others sentences left and right. I eventually said to Spencer, "Spence, we're really like two peas in a pod since we're always saying what the other person says, at nearly the same time" or something of the sort! And it really just kind of stuck! Spencer then called me Pea every time I would enter the chat room on SBW. I caught on quickly and started calling him Pea as well. After we made the decision to "be together" and "date" he started calling me "My Pea" =) What a warm thought for me. Every time I entered chat I would get a huuuge welcome from Spencer with, "MY PEEEA!!!!!!!". I again caught on and called him "My Pea" and it went from there. Our wedding reception was kind of based off of the Two Peas in a Pod concept =) so cute! I honestly miss calling him my Pea.
6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
Really... just 3 things??? Holy cow... 3 things honestly doesn't even begin to touch the surface. You know, since Spencer has passed away, I remember all the time the things I love most about him. And by the way... these are in no order at all... I loved everything about Spencer and I can't put them in order ;-)
1) I loved his advice and listening ear. If I had a problem, ANY problem at all no matter how big or small, Spencer would always listen to me. It didn't matter how long and drawn out my explanations of my problems would be, he'd listen until the very end. I didn't always like what he had to say at the time, by giving his advice I would always ask for... but thinking back - man Spencer was always, always right. If I only would have listened to him more ;-) He had a very, very unique was of looking at a situation and helping me out. I truly miss that. (ok i miss EVERYTHING....)
2) I really loved how Spencer would always, always tell me how much he loved me, and he would constantly tell me how beautiful I was, inside and how. He told me how amazing I was. I guess he just praised me so much. He just never, ever let me forget how much he respected me, looked up to me, loved me, and felt about me. I heard it ALL of the time. I loved how compassionate he was towards me. His spirit was beautiful. He had a heart of gold and was an absolutely, without a single doubt, a beautiful soul.
3) It's hard picking a third. So many things I want to share... Haven't even scratched the surface... but I will say uhhhh.... I'm just going to say a bunch.. forget 3 things. I'll just spare you and won't go into detail about why I love this about Spencer.... The way he touched others. His smile. His Faith. His encouragement. His Empathy. His attitude, though sometimes it would be down... he really did have a good attitude. His selflessness. And now I'm really missing him so...etc etc etc.
7. Tell us how he proposed!
=) Good memory! Spencer and I were asked to speak about our illnesses and our relationship at the Starlight Gala in 2010. We were asked to talk about how important Starbright World was in our lives. And we were also asked to preform a skit with our best friend, Emily, who we also met on SBW. [Side note... we had an AMAZING time! We met and hung out with tons of celebs and we were treated like Celebs that night... ahhhhh]... So Spencer and I flew to LA to meet up with Emily, and my family who was also invited to attend to hear us speak. We hung out all morning and afternoon and had a wonderful time. But during the late afternoon things started getting, well.... strange for me. I felt like everyone was hiding something because they were talking among themselves and I felt like everyone was keeping something from me because mom would keep taking me out of the room and away from Spencer! I finally complained to my mom about how left out I was feeling, and she told me not to worry at all that she just really wanted to spend some time with me since it had been so long since we'd seen each other! I calmed down and figured she was right. much time passed and Spence, Em, and I were all hanging out in our hotel room when someone called Spencer on the phone. He told me it was my sister and that she wanted us to go down to the poolside. Emily agreed and said that she really wanted to swim. I thought swimming sounded like a fantastic idea and was shocked that Spencer wanted to come too! So I went into the bathroom to change into my suit and emily did the same. We then headed down to the pool - I was pretty excited and in such a good mood! We got down there and my mom tells me, "Nikki! You should go check out that cabana over there, it's really cool!!" Of course, I didn't think anything of it and walked over to the cabana while Emily joined her family. Spencer followed me. It opened up the side of it and saw candles everywhere, rose petals all over the table, and a huge bouquet of roses sitting on the table.
[side note... I was completely oblivious the WHOLE time. Haha I really should have known!!!!! Spencer and I had talked about wanting to spend just a little bit of time to ourselves during this trip because we VERY rarely got to travel... we wanted to take advantage of being in such a cool place together!!!! It was first for the both of us...]
So even after seeing this very romantic cabana set up, I didn't think twice about what was going on. Of course since this was a suuuper fancy hotel, they just randomly did this at night, right?! It was just something fun they did for dates and such! HAHAHA!! Lame I know. So I ran out of the cabana and begged Emily to come over and check it out! (of course I did..) My mom hollers at me to get back in there and she'll be there soon. Ok, sure. So I go back in there and Spencer comes in. I am just looking around, huge smile on my face, thinking of how cool things are. And then it hit me.... Spencer had them set this up for me!! Not for an engagement (of course not! I had no idea...) but just for some time together. Just for a really nice night to ourselves. I thanked him so much and just couldn't get the smile off of my face. Spencer never did anything like this for me. It was SO SWEET!
After talking for a little while he started acting like his portable oxygen compressor was acting up. He told me that he was having a harder time breathing and that he thought something was wrong with the O2 machine. I got concerned and a little disappointed, because things like this always seemed to happen to us.... so he got down on both his knees to "check his oxygen compressor". I started to go to the other side of the bench to help him when he told me, "no just sit down, I figured it out, it was on pulse" (ya right.. ugh)... so I relaxed and then he turned around, still on his knees when he suddenly put one knee up and pulled out a box. Poor old me.. I was still confused.... He then started to talk to me... and it really, really hit me. He was proposing!!! I have no idea what he said. None. I am pretty sure he told me how much I meant to him etc etc.. he then opened the box and asked me to marry him. After he opened that box I continued to shake my head, tears streaming down my face, saying "no no no no!! you're not doing this! oh my goodness no no no no!!!". And then I actually asked Spencer, "Oh my gosh.. did you ask my dad?!" He told me that yes, he did indeed ask my dad and then again said, So Nik, will you marry me... I finally got knocked out of my dazed and confused mind frame and of course told him yes while still sobbing!!! One of the happiest nights of my LIFE! =) We then went to eat a very fancy meal with everyone at the hotel =) and lots of pictures taken!!!
8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kid of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals kind of guy??
Uhmmm... I would say no and no. ;-) He might get me a nice teddy bear for v-day, but none of the other stuff. Spencer didn't like getting me flowers because they died. He didn't like spending money on something that just died within a week. Very practical. Totally got it from his dad!!! But we did have a tradition for vday and we would go to Olive Garden! It was a lot of fun. We usually went the weekend before or after Vday so it wouldn't be so crowded.
9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of gal, or pop in a movie and relax on the couch kind of gal?
Honestly... I like to pop in a movie and relax on the couch with my man kind of gal. BUT I really do like going out and having a romantic dinner, too =) I guess I just more see myself as someone who doesn't mind staying home... as long as I'm with him!
10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant other one day. if you could do anything? Go anywhere?
Oh boy... Spencer and I would have LOVED to travel. He told me so many times he would just love to live on a boat for several months! He wanted to see the world. See the USA. He honestly wanted to travel so much and just see it all. I could definitely agree to that - if we could have, we would have!!!!
11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentines Day?
(it's already passed and I really have no comment with this one....I could do it for the next vday... but that has no significance to me right now....)
12. Are you asking for anything this Valentines Day?
(again... really no comment...)
13. Give us one piece of advice about keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Oh boy... Live every single day like it's your last with one another. Enjoy every moment, even though it may be hard. See the good out of the bad. Stay positive. And I can't stress any of that enough. Tell each other you love one another all of the time. Don't take one moment for granted. Don't ever, ever go to bed angry. Love with all of your heart. Just love, love, love like there is no tomorrow.
14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.