Erick visits Tennessee for the Asian Club spiritual retreat. Lindsey meets Erick for the first time at Chili’s before a birthday party that night. Her first impression: “I thought he was a punk, with that 'dyed' white streak and everything.”
Erick transfers to Southern, bringing a week of Michigan snow and ice with him, which cancels the first week of school. His status update: “It’s beautiful outside!! Feels just like home!”
Erick and Lindsey go on a trip to Cozumel for spring break. Other than intramural games and potlucks, it’s their first time spending a lot of time together. Their first joke of many inside jokes: “Noooo, Lindsey, noooooooo!”
Their first movie (it takes two attempts to get through it!). The first time Lindsey falls asleep sitting up on the floor, which Erick finds hilarious. But after they watch the second half, they have their first serious talk and their friendship begins to grow.
Erick keeps in touch with Lindsey through Skype calls and texts throughout the summer. After many postponements, he finally returns to Southern, making up for lost time with all sorts of fun summer adventures. Her thoughts: “Erick has this way of making people feel like they are really special—like you’re his favorite or something.” Hmm. :)
In a series of dramatic events, Erick is rushed to the ER by friends as he literally turns blue from difficulty breathing. He is diagnosed with a serious (but temporary) heart condition. During all that waiting in the hospital, Lindsey realizes how worried she is about him, and that makes her wonder why he means so much to her. Sid’s reaction on the way home: “Why are you looking at each other like that?” LOL.
By this time, Erick and Lindsey have already confessed their feelings during a late-night talk. :) Erick takes Lindsey on a romantic date to Tony’s, and as they walk back towards the park, strangers stop and give Lindsey flowers. Then, she hears “their song” playing, and Erick asks her to officially be his girlfriend. Erick, August 25: “It’s like we’re building our foundation to a house right now. And when the walls go up, it’ll be indestructible. Maybe we’ll build a mansion.”
They’ve only been dating two weeks, but Erick already wants Lindsey to “meet the parents.” They take their first of many trips to Michigan (we’ve lost track how many), and Lindsey gets to meet the family, visit Lake Michigan, explore Erick’s hometown, and go to Tippecanoe. The most nervewracking part for Lindsey: “Trying to learn everyone’s names!”
Just a few months later, Lindsey brings Erick home to New England to meet her family. They go to Ben & Jerry’s, Stowe, Yankee Candle--not to mention Erick’s first Patriots game! Erick’s note to Lindsey: “Seeing the place where you grew up brought me closer to you. Spending time with your family brings joy to my heart. Sharing old memories and making new ones and having the honor to spend Thanksgiving with a loving family is the most amazing feeling.”
It’s a blustery Chicago day, but Lindsey feels safe and warm on her first adventure to Chicago with Erick. They go to Joy Yee Noodles in Chinatown, see The Bean, shop the Magnificent Mile, get pizza at Giordano's, and hang out at Navy Pier. It’s the best way to start the New Year. Erick, after Lindsey nervously asks if anyone might have seen their first New Year’s kiss: “I hope so. I want everyone to see that we’re in love.”
Even though his birthday is on Valentine’s day, Erick surprises Lindsey with an early gift--a star named after them (“Erick Loves Lindsey”) to remind her that their love will never go away. If that wasn’t enough, he also buys a telescope for stargazing that very night. Journal excerpt: “Why are you crying?” we both asked each other. I was crying because it was so perfect--and he said he was crying because I was.
Erick puts his football skills to the test and catches the garter at his oldest sister’s wedding. A sign of things to come? :) From that week’s love letter: “You told me later that lots of people kept asking if we were next, and when our wedding is going to be. Whenever [they would do that], I just had this really happy feeling inside of me.”
The day is full of surprises between the couple. Erick makes Lindsey breakfast, gives her roses, love notes and gifts all throughout the day, and takes her out that evening...and Lindsey surprises Erick with an Anniversary Room, full of their memories, hanging hearts, lights and a slideshow of their year together.
Mid-term break takes Erick & Lindsey on a roadtrip to visit two sets of aunts and uncles in North Carolina. Spectacular views in the mountains, explorations of the caves, and adventures in the city below complete a great trip filled with unforgettable memories.
Lindsey is especially sad to spend Christmas apart this year, but Erick surprises her with fabulous date to Knoxville before they go their separate ways... little does she know that a few days later, Erick will give her an even bigger surprise. On Christmas Eve, Lindsey is shopping with her mom and Amanda in the mall--and then suddenly Erick appears in a fitting room! Best. Christmas. Gift. Ever. :D
Ellie & Matty and Erick & Lindsey head off to Texas to visit Ate Em & Kuya Michael for spring break. Authentic Mexican food and street corn, cupcakes from a food truck in Austin, and dinner at the Four Seasons in San Antonio are just some of highlights!
Erick specifically asks Lindsey to wear a red dress he knows she has in her closet. She thinks it’s just a date to celebrate their 1 year 9 months. She’s not even suspicious that Keith and Ashley are still in her apartment once she leaves. :)
They drive down to the park, but storm clouds are threatening. Right when they arrive, it starts to rain. Lindsey thinks maybe they were going to have a photoshoot and now the date is spoiled, since Erick suddenly changes plans and they leave the park.
Erick pretends he doesn’t know where he’s going, but “somehow” they end up in a beautiful neighborhood with fabulous houses. They spend some time driving around, looking at the houses, and dreaming about their future.
The sun is setting as Lindsey and Erick arrive back at the park and walk along the bridge to the art district. They have a bit of wait at Tony’s, but then Lindsey realizes Erick has requested the same table they sat at on their first date. Then, to her surprise, the waiter brings her a red rose--very similar to how he had brought her a daisy on their first date.
Thunder is heard outside. Erick is uncharacteristically texting a lot during dinner, and Lindsey teases him that he is barely touching his food like their first date. Erick announces they are expected somewhere, so they leave the restaurant. As they walk back along the bridge in the rain, out of nowhere, strangers appear--just like the first date--and give Lindsey roses. One woman says, “You’re very beautiful, and you’re a lucky man!” She still doesn’t catch on, but they share a good laugh when she accidentally sees Jeremy and Jeremy videoing them at the end of the bridge (she thinks they are getting footage for a video from their very first date!).
Erick tells Lindsey, “Hope you had a nice date!” which makes her believe the date is now over. They head home, talking about everyday things. They walk up to the apartment door... and then Lindsey realizes that this... wasn’t any ordinary date. Her apartment is full of candles, rose petals, balloons and streamers. There is a path of candles leading to the balcony...
Erick brings Lindsey outside to the balcony and tries to turn on some music, which cuts out (electrical problems because of the rain), but Lindsey recognizes the song. “Forget that,” Erick says, and gets down on one knee. :)
Then, Erick tells Lindsey to look out over the balcony. There, below them, are all their friends, standing in the rain, holding a huge “Will You Marry Me?” sign. Well, at first it just says, “U Marry Me,” which of course makes Lindsey laugh through the tears of happiness. “I guess I have to!” Lindsey says, but the answer is already YES!
And just for those curious, yes, Lindsey does get an engagement gift from Erick, a beautiful Movado watch engraved with their initials and 1 Corinthians 13, a special Bible verse for them.
So that’s our story (although the real story could never really be told on a website). But like Erick said that night of the proposal, “This is only the beginning.”