Rose & Paul met back in the summer of 2008. Their churches combined efforts for a youth summer retreat in Iowa and they were both camp counselors. For him, it was love at first sight. “When I arrived, I was introduced to some of my group members, and one of those members introduced me to Rose. You know, there are those moments in a person’s life where everything slows down and the details of the moment are remembered in uncanny precision. This was one of the moments. She was a quiet-mannered person (or so I thought) and didn’t say much besides her name. She was wearing an orange hairband and had wavy long hair that went beyond her shoulders.
“Even though we didn’t talk much for the next few days, it seemed like we hit it off pretty well. If I’m honest with myself, I admit that I had no chance. She was perfect in every way I could imagine and much beyond my reach. We went our separate ways after the retreat so I tried my best to keep in touch with her from Illinois.”
Paul is a huge Cubs fan and Rose has grown to love baseball as a result. Their first date was a Cubs game. “It was a home game, against the White Sox, I believe, on July 11, 2015,” Rose says. “I don’t remember if it was explicitly spoken as, yes, this is our first date, but while I was at the game, a friend of mine texted to see what I was up to. When I told her I was at a Cubs game with Paul, I remember her saying something along the lines of, ‘Ooh, is this your first date?’ and I replied, ‘I guess so!’ I could feel my cheeks burning from feeling unexpectedly shy at this new revelation, but the date itself was comfortable, relaxed, and fun. The Cubs lost, and to make it more sad and dramatic, it rained, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I wanted to share more experiences and adventures with Paul, even if they did seem unfavorable, because it was still enjoyable with him.”
“There were so many things that attributed to me becoming confident that Paul was someone I would want to share my future with. I think the process from before we began dating and during, it just seemed like things were clicking into place, and with each fitting puzzle piece, there was peace. He was someone I really didn’t grow tired of. He challenged me in ways that enabled growth, both personally and spiritually, and I began to envision my future with Paul in it. I wanted to work together, cry together, serve together, fight together, pray, grow, love, and praise God together. My change in mindset, the softening of my heart, and the extension of grace in many occasions that I know were clearly not from me, fueled the excitement of marriage. Through the sweetest of times to the most sour, excitement for Paul continued to grow. I was excited about my future with Paul. And that’s when I knew. I wanted to marry him.”Emily Crall Photography