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as kim and i celebrate our anniversary today (may 18th) i am reminded of the day we met. i don’t think i’ve ever told that story online. we always love hearing how our couples met, so i think it only fair to share how kim and i met. i’ll try to give the abridged version, but i do not know what that word means :)
(taking deep breath)
kim and i are both san diego natives that grew up within 10 miles of each other, but we had to travel 2560 miles away from home to meet.
i was on active duty for the Navy at the time and serving on Oahu (tough job but someone had to do it). it was a thursday and i had just finished a long day flying when my friend doug asked if i wanted to go to waikiki with him to celebrate his girlfriend’s birthday. i didn’t say yes right away. i NEVER went out partying during the week. i told him to ask me again before he left because i was already tired and i knew going out to waikiki with doug meant that we would be drinking until 4am, not getting any sleep, and having to go back to work at 6am (half-dead). as 9pm rolled around doug came knocking on my door. with a sigh, and the thoughts of knowing what punishment i was about to inflict upon myself, i told him i would go. afterall, i was his wingman, and a wingman never says no.
what doug failed to tell me was that his girlfriend worked in a bank and the party was being thrown by her co-workers at a club called studebakers in restaurant row. it was an awesome club, if you were 45 or older. we, being barely legal, stood out like ron burgundy’s trousers when he was talking to veronica corningstone. and yes, people were impressed :)
i made the best of it. at least the dj was playing some cool 80’s music. as the party went on i noticed one of “the co-workers” just sitting in a booth all by herself not talking with anyone and not having a very good time. doug and his girlfriend were out on the dancefloor, and everyone else seemed to be having fun in their own way. i felt bad for her, so i did what any self-respecting person would do, i asked her if she’d like to dance. i honestly don’t know if she had ever been asked to dance before because she looked at me as if i were speaking german, so i asked again. her face lit up and out of the booth she sprang. we danced for probably about 20 minutes and that’s when i saw this incredibly beautiful woman standing at a table next to the dancefloor staring at me. she had the kind of beauty that demands your attention. with every turn i peeked back to see if she was still there. she was. she didn’t make a move or say a word. she just stood, looking at me. at some point after that, doug’s girlfriend and the co-worker said they were tired and went to sit down. it was then that i walked over to where the beautiful stranger had been only to find an empty table. she was gone. my eyes quickly searched the room. a sea of faces surrounded me, but not the face i was in search of. how could i have been so stupid? i should have walked over to her the first moment i saw her. it was in the following moments that God taught me that there is a perfect place and a perfect time for everything and that it was not up to me to decide when, where, or how things would happen in my life. just as i started walking back to doug’s booth i saw her again. i had a lifetime of bad pick-up lines at my disposal, but i found myself speechless in the face of her beauty. the only thing i could do was hold out my hand as if to ask her to dance. she grabbed my hand and followed me out onto the dancefloor. who knew that the best pick-up line was to say nothing at all? it was some time during that first dance that i collected my thoughts and asked her name. kim, she said, as i tried to keep myself from saying something stupid and ruining any chance i had to get to know her. funny thing is, i didn’t. every word i said to her was just, right. for the rest of the night we did not leave each others side. we decided to leave studebakers and walk to another nearby club called the blue zebra. the music was infinitely better. all night long we danced and laughed and talked about the things we love. we were like old friends that had been apart for a lifetime and were finally getting back together. one thing i remember talking about was the totally random music that we both like (i.e. U2, nwa, white zombie, depeche mode, and the smiths). the world around me vanished when i was with her. her words were all i could hear. her face was all i could see. she was perfect in every way.
as 4am approached doug came up to us and said it was time to go back to base to get ready for work. i told doug that i could not leave. kim was the girl i had asked God to lead me to for my whole life. i was not leaving her for anything. doug knew that i had to stay, so he left me there and drove back to our base at barbers point. kim and i continued to talk and as the club closed we took a cab back to her hotel, the outrigger reef on the beach in waikiki. we went up to her room and proceeded to accidentally wake all her friends (patti, bryan, scott, & ed) that were on vacation with her, thus earning me a nickname that shall not be named. after waking everyone up we decided to let them get back to sleep so we headed back outside where we walked on the white sandy beach of hawaii from the outrigger reef on the beach all the way down to the statue of duke kahanamoku. we stayed up all night talking, swimming, evading hotel security, and… :)
it wasn’t until the sun came up that reality hit me and made me realize i would be in deep doo doo if i didn’t show up at morning muster. i called doug and he came all the way back from ewa beach to pick me up. as i waited for doug, i asked for kim’s number and held her as we said a long good bye.
a little over a year after first meeting kim i got out of active duty and went home to san diego. i reconnected with kim and less than a year later we were married.
just when you thought this story couldn’t get any more amazing, it does.
at the time when we met, i NEVER went to clubs during the week because i always had to fly early in the morning. this was the first time i had gone out to a club on a thursday night AND it was to a club that i had never been to or would have ever gone to on my own.
the reason kim came to studebakers the night we met was because she had come to oahu with some friends on vacation and they were wandering around lost, looking for an entirely different club. upon seeing studebakers kim, and her best friend patti, said they were tired of looking for the other club and decided to go in to studebakers. approximately 23 seconds after kim and patti walked in they realized the club was not very good, but as they turned to walk out patti saw him (dancing with the co-worker) and said “look at that cute guy,” and then kim said to patti, “he’s the one.” (patti confirmed this story to me months later.) upon sayin those words kim ordered herself a long beach ice tea and stood next to the dancefloor staring at me while dream weaver played in her head.
that was all it took.
now, i’d like to have you believe that i just have that kind of skill on the dancefloor, or that my attire was so sophisticated that kim couldn’t help but stare. in all honesty, i am not even close to being a backup dancer for britney, and i was not wearing assless chaps (that night), nor do i speak italian, spanish, australian or any other cool language that makes the ladies swoon. i’m just a simple man (kim would say a “very” simple man) that God or fate or destiny or whatever you believe in, put me in the right place at the right time to meet the right person. i spent my entire young adulthood searching for the woman i would marry and love for the rest of my life. i had no clue that when i wasn’t looking for her at all she’d find me. thank God she did.
i have always believed in lifelong love. my grandparents taught me that. they were married for 73 years. after 73 years they still held hands, they still kissed, they still called each other honey, and they still loved each other as much as they did the day they were married. my grandma passed away last september. my grandpa is still with us fortunately. every time i see him i am reminded what true love is. his heart is lost without her and it hurts me to see him miss her so much. i feel blessed to have witnessed love like theirs. kim and i have a long way to go to reach 73 years but since the day we met i have chosen to let life lead the way and not try to force things. i know that God has a plan for us all. all we need to do is have patience and love every minute that we are granted on this beautiful world together. i do.
kim, i still do. 

please excuse the crudity of these old photos. it’s 2am and i have neither the time or will power to improve their quality :)
here’s patti and kim on the trip when we met. looks like i showed up just in time.

tomfoolery aside, singapore is an awesome city to visit. obviously this is before i met kim and straightened up my act.

check the white vans. so fresh and so clean clean.

here’s patti and kim the day after they met me. notice the smiles.

this is kim and i heading out on our first date after i got back to san diego. she’s so HOT!!

here’s a couple from our engagement session. if you look closely you can see the world in my eyes :)

this was just moments after we were announced husband and wife.

this is what happens whenever an article of kim’s clothing is flung into a crowd of single men. our friend dave was the (lucky?) recipient of kim’s garter. i couldn’t tell if he was screaming for joy, or if he was sustaining bodily injury, so i hopped on top of the pile to check. i can’t be totally sure, but amidst all the noise, i may have heard the faint sounds of bones cracking.

kim made sure everyone had a good time at our reception. everyone.

ymca, still works.

doug’s take on the dollar dance.

this is where things got really fun. doug (and some dude in red boardshorts that we didn’t even know) got into the caterer’s cool whip supply.
the night was about to jump up a notch.

apparently i didn’t have enough product in my hair. doug took care of that for me with a little cool whip.

good job crasher dude, and doug.

good job indeed

before the night was over, i had more drinks poured over my head than i could count, i was stripped of all clothing from the waist up, and i had cool whip in 4 of 6 orifices.
in other words, it was an awesome night.
kim and i both said we’d get married again just to have another reception. this reception was at marina village. it was so much fun that there were people coming over from other wedding receptions at marina village to party at ours.

with my rag-top down so my hair can blow :)
we closed our reception with everyone singing 40. everyone still standing was invited back to our hotel room so they would have a safe place to stay the night (and sober up) kim and i hopped in our rented chrysler sebring convertible and drove around pb and belmont park for a bit then went home to prepare for our honeymoon in oahu that was starting the next morning at 6am. no sleep til…north shore.

we were stoked that our photographer met us over on oahu to get some honeymoon photos for us.

this was our favorite honeymoon bar at the outrigger reef on the beach. where else can you go topless at a bar and nobody says anything?
back scratcher!

when we got back home we suited up again and did a bridal session in balboa park.

when choosing an anniversary gift for your new bride, you may want to save this one for a few years. i had this sign flown around cabrillo national monument and the old point loma light house (where i asked kim to marry me) for our 1st anniversary. how do you top that?
seriously.
how do you top that?
i need some ideas for next year.

last time i was on navy reserve duty in oahu i gave kim a call and told her i was walking on the beach in waikiki. i then asked her to log on to the duke cam for a little surprise. here’s what she saw.
through the magic of al gore’s internet and my trusty mobile phone, i asked kim to marry me again. of course she said yes, so as soon as we get the time and funds together we are going to throw one rad reception (with a little ceremony). we’ll keep you posted.

this was our gift last year from april.

april surprised us again this year with another awesome drawing. thank you april!

if that’s not enough, here’s a quick slideshow for ya