January 13, 2011

Our Story

Alex and I met at a Young Life camp in Challenge, California in August of 2002. He says he noticed me the first day we were all together as a group, which was rare because I was on work-crew (17 and 18 y/o’s) and he was on summer staff (college-age) and the two groups didn't mingle often.  I noticed his handsome face very soon though. 
I don't know where it all started, but somewhere along the line we started making eye contact….A LOT. I was a waitress in the dining hall and he was a lifeguard and every time he came to the dining hall for a meal I got to steal glances. He eventually started winking at me. In all honesty the first time he winked I did a quick 360 to make sure there was no one behind me….it was me!! It totally made me blush (and who winks these days anyways?) I soon started feeling self conscious if he was in the same room with me, let alone even looking my way. Funny how crushes do that to ya.
Me cleaning up after dinner. I do have 10 fingers. Promise.
He worked at the zip-line on occasion and any chance I could (when I knew he was working of course) I would beg a friend to go down with me, always making sure I went down the side he was working on. I had a serious crush on the guy and I would do anything to get within 2 feet of him. A girl does what she’s gotta do. Right?
 Zip line. Me on the left.

That's him in the white shirt in the middle… oh wait, and everywhere else with the plain white t shirt on. About the 3 pictures on the bottom right: Alex and two summer staff guys did this skit called "light and fluffy" where they sang a song, danced, and put shaving cream in each others faces in front of the campers at dinner once a week. No biggie. All normal stuff here.
You can’t tell that I was a little obsessed with him could you?  You could. Shoot. Well ,my friends quickly picked up on my obsession too. Was it because I turned bright red every time he winked at me? Or maybe because I needed to go stand in the walk-in fridge after he walked within 6 feet of me?  Either way, my friends nicknamed him Chelsie's “husband”. And when they saw him close by they would say "Chelsie, your huuuuuuuusband is coming. (giggle, giggle, teeeeheeehee)." This was my cue to stand up straight, put on lip gloss, and act as normal as possible.

This is a picture of Tableau night. Summer staff and work crew dress up like cowboys and everyone is supposed to freeze while the campers come down from their cabins. The program team does a skit with us freezing and then moving when they blow the whistle. Clear? Good. Let’s continue to my favorite picture of all time...
 I love this picture. Tableau Alex was my faaaaaaavorite. (insert angels singing here) Guy can really pull off the cowboy hat, no? Yes. Yes, absolutely he can. Even with a sunburned face.

This is him too (But should I claim him in this picture?) during another week of tableau. No angels singing this time though. :)

A friend and I 'frozen' on Tableau night.
So, because of my crazy life-story I was asked to give my life testimony to the whole camp, which was about 350 high schoolers. Eeeek! I hate public speaking in front of 7 people let alone a whole army of people. I knew in my heart that ultimately it is Gods story to tell about a merciful God who saves --- a story that I knew might reach others. I remember the night like it was yesterday, I remember my clammy, shaky, hands and thinking what on earth have I gotten my self into? (funny, as I write this my hands are totally feeling clammy!) Work crew led worship songs and about halfway through we would pass the mic and introduce ourselves to the campers, and the person who was giving their testimony would stand up, and, well, give their testimony. I'm not sure what I was more afraid of, the act of standing up in front of a room full of 350 people with all eyes on me, or the fact that I would be telling my story to my crush (who was close by because he was playing the guitar for us when we were leading worship). He would definitely think I was a crazy mess after hearing it all! I remember when the mic was a couple people away I looked over at Alex, and (to my surprise) he winked at me and mouthed "You can do it!" Him doing that was what gave me a moment of braveness (because I was close to sneaking out the back door and running for the hills). I gave my testimony, teary eyed through the whole thing….I actually did it!
Fast forward to the last night at camp. He promised he would give me his testimony at one point or another. I was just looking forward to talking with him and learning a little about him (since we never really got the chance to talk). He came into the dining hall where I was getting something to eat and announced to everyone that he was going to bed. WHAT!?!? Going to bed!!?? Here's this guy that I have a huge crush on, and this is my last night to actually, maybe, talk to him before everyone packs up and drives away, probably to never see each other again! There were tears for sure; our Woodleaf bubble was about to burst. For him to just up and go to bed must mean he doesn’t like me. That was a totally devastating thought at the time. 
The next morning, when everyone was gone except for about 10 of us, I was loading my stuff into the car and he called me over to a little bench under a tree were he sat a lot playing guitar (I may or may not have spied on him occasionally through a window in our room at night ;)).  He said, "Hey, I never really got to give you my testimony like I promised you, can I tell you now?" Ummmm…Yes! Please.  Anything to sit next to him. He told me his story and I sat there, soaking up every detail. I liked this guy. I REALLY liked this guy, and I didn't want this moment to end. After he was done he snapped this picture of us sitting there on that bench the last day of camp:
Sorry about picture quality, Its a picture of a picture that's on our fridge to this day. I love it to pieces.

 So fast forward from camp to about 2 1/2 years later I finally married my handsome 'husband' after dating, long distance, for you guessed it, 2 1/2  grueling years. We have been married since July of 2005. And have two sweet, blue eyed kiddos and one in the oven who will make her appearance in late May. We are so very blessed and happy!


  1. What a wonderful story! I love it and you've inspired me to maybe someday write mine and Garth's down.

  2. So sweet to hear your story put to words. You really can see God's thumbprint on your life...His plans for you are good!!

  3. And now I have another sister - I am so lucky!


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