Thursday, December 29, 2011

our love story {part 4}

((to get caught up, check out part 1, part 2, and part 3))

Can you believe he asked to meet my father a week into dating me?!  I was shocked...and he actually asked to cook us dinner, but I told him I didn't want to share the memory of the first time he cooked for me with anyone else ((especially my dad...weirdo!))
I took these photos of Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market later in January 2009
As Brandon said, he knew very early on where he wanted the relationship to go, while I did not share such strong feelings upfront. Don't get me wrong, I liked Brandon.  He was kind and thoughtful.  I remember he had to work on New Year's Eve, but asked me to meet him downtown to watch the fireworks after he got off work around 11 or so.  It was really cold and I ended up having to wait for longer than expected, taking refuge in Dunkin Donuts.  The fireworks were canceled, due to wind ((this date was off to a great start)), but we ended up walking around by Faneuil Hall and he asked me the sweetest thing.  He knew I'd lost my mom seven years earlier and I had told him New Year's always made me think of her because she was born on New Year's day.  He took my hand ((for the first time I might add)) and asked me to tell him what my mom was like ((she passed away in 2001)).

Looking back on that New Year's Eve, I'd say it was the beginning of my falling for Brandon.  He was thoughtful and wanted to know me for real.

Fast forward into February, when a friend of mine from grad school in Colorado was going to be visiting her family in New Hampshire and I invited Brandon along with me for a day trip.  It was a cold and snowy morning, when we left and he was wearing a beanie pulled down low.  He got into the car and said something like "don't freak out...I gave myself a haircut."  And removed his beanie to reveal his bald head. Completely. shaved.  I was shocked, but quickly responded with, "surprisingly, you can pull off the bald look."  I couldn't believe it, but thankfully he hasn't shaved it completely since then.

That day marked the first time we took a photo together.  Brandon was into photography ((he still is, but doesn't often make time for it anymore)) and after visiting my friend, we went for a memorable walk in the snowy New Hampshire woods.
photographic evidence of Brandon's bald head from February 2009
I could go on and on about stories from our dating life.  As he already shared, he made his intentions of marriage clear to me about six months into dating.  I wasn't ready to admit I had imagined what life could be like if we were in it together for keeps.  That spring and summer are filled with good memories: we traveled to Tennessee to meet his mom and extended family, helped good friends by serving dinner at their wedding reception, going to Red Sox games together, we went camping with friends, and most importantly, I grew increasingly convinced he was someone I should spend time with.
(l) during a friends wedding (r) a day trip and photography adventure South of Boston
One evening that August, I remember standing in the kitchen with all three of my roommates and enjoying their company.  We weren't talking about much important, just getting ready for the week ahead ((I think it was a Sunday)).  I remember that night so vividly because I told them I was pretty sure I was falling in love. They squealed with excitement and I felt so blessed to have them in my life.

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