shaun is from Henderson, Ky in western kentucky. he came to lexington to attend UK. the summer before his freshmen year of college, shaun became a christian. the day before the bus left, shaun was finally convinced to go to Young Life camp. he went and it changed is life. when he got to UK, he saw a guy (matt stone) with a Young Life t-shirt on. from there, shaun and his best friend paul learned how to be a Young Life leader and how to follow Christ daily.
i grew up here in Lexington. i went to Lafayette High School and decided to stay in town and go to UK. i immediatly got involved at the Christian Student Fellowship. by my sophomore year i was really involved and loved learning more about God. i moved in with a great group of girls and we all became best friends. one of those best friends, mandy chiles, started dating matt stone.
through the years as mandy and matt dated, i met shaun. we never really hung out, we just knew who the other was from our roommates. my first introduction to shaun was in matt's apartment one night. mandy was hanging out over there and the guys started burping. mandy had heard me burp, so she bragged about my burping skills. so, they called me and challeged me to come over and compete against this guy named shaun. MANDY! are you SEROUS!?! what have you done? how EMBARRASSING!!
but yes - i went.
"hi, i'm shaun. here's a coke. start drinking and get warmed up!"
during this "warm-up" process shaun let out the loudest and longest and craziest burp i have EVER heard.
"that's it. i quit. there's no way i can compete with that!"
there you have it. our first, very romantic encounter.
as the years past by shaun and i would continue to run into each other. mandy and matt finally got married in 2003 and we were both in the wedding. we saw each other here and there, but i was always dating someone else and shaun had sworn off girls. (literally. there was a club and shaun was the leader. they were single guys who didn't even want to hang out with girls, let alone date one.)
but in 2005 something changed. mandy and matt were tired of me dating guys that weren't good for me. and they were tired of seeing shaun single. so they talked us up. well, mostly matt talked us up. i heard about shaun cook and he heard a lot about me.
"you all would have a lot of fun together"
"you all just need to hang out"
so, one saturday morning matt calls and tells me he has gotten me a ticket to the UK vs FL game.
"come down to CSF. a bunch of us are tailgating and then going to walk to the game together."
i got ready and headed over. i didn't even notice shaun was there. but he noticed me. he was playing cornhole and took a break once i had been there a while. we talked and walked over to the game together, but then got seperated when it was time to sit down. we all planned on meeting up and finding new seats together at half time, but UK was loosing so badly, we all decided to head out instead.
once back at CSF, mandy and matt invited everyone over to there house for a movie night. everyone was a couple. i wasn't going to go, so i didn't really pay too much attention. i also didn't pay much attention to the fact that i had left my watch with shaun. it was a wide leather band that was uncomfortable in the summer heat. i had regretted wearing it so shaun said he would hold it for me during the game.
everyone said goodbyes and headed home. i made plans with some other girlfriends, and shaun made plans to go to mandy and matts for movie night and to return my watch. whoops.
a few days later shaun showed up at CSF to return my watch. i was surprised to see him and thanked him for returning my watch. then i left for lunch with a friend.
*you may have noticed a trend by now. mr. cook was becoming more and more interested in getting to know me better. i had no clue. i had just gotten back from a summer in ghana, west africa. i was focused on god and all the wonderful things i had just learned. boys were the last thing on my mind. especially this shaun cook guy that i met like 4 years ago.*
ok- back to the story.
when i returned with lunch, shaun was still at CSF talking with our campus minister. i chowed down on a giant chicken queso burrito from qdoba and we chatted about an upcoming party. still, i'm clueless.
about a week passes by and i get a phone call one morning. the phone # coming up was not one i had in my phone, so i didn't answer. i figured they would leave a message. they didn't so i figured it was a wrong number. later that night the same # called back. this time i answered and i was shaun cook. "hello shaun cook." (for some reason he was a guy i had always called by his first and last name. i guess i knew a lot of shaun's) well, he asked me out. on a date. on a date? i've never just been called up and asked out on a date, but i thought why not?
from there we took off and fell for each other pretty fast. we were both out of college and working full-time. we were busy with our jobs/ministries (he was now on staff with Young Life and I was on staff at CSF) but we worked it out. our first date was Oct. 11th, 2005. By December we were in love. On February 23rd he proposed. and on July 21st, 2006 we were married. 9 months. we knew it was right and we didn't want to wait.
our "we're engaged!" picture. after he proposed we headed to a coldpay concert in Louisville.
i can honestly say that i love shaun more today than i did 4 1/2 years ago. my love for him is more rooted and stronger than i could have ever imagined possible. we have been through a lot together and i know there will be more to come. shaun knows me better than anyone else in the world, and i know that he loves me more today than he did yesterday. and the day before that. and the day before that.
shaun and i fell in love. and we are living happily ever after.