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Love Story

February 9, 2011


Erin Schrader

Let me tell you a little (or big) story about a girl and a guy, and how they fell in love. Warning: It is not a typical boy meets girl, girl instantly falls in love with boy, and they end up living happily ever after. Where is the fun in that? I apparently like to take a different approach to falling in love.  For me and my husband it went a little something like this…
I was introduced to Shawn through a mutual friend of ours at the ripe age of 15. I was a freshman and he was a junior. I was innocent, had only one “serious” boyfriend in middle school (What? You don’t consider a relationship based on love notes serious?), and was just starting to figure this out this thing called dating. Shawn was a little more experienced in the dating scene, and wasn’t exactly what I would classify as “innocent” (love ya babe ;)). During our first encounter, we sat across from each other at a local restaurant, each of us having a large group of friends with us. There was no gazing longingly into each other’s eyes, no real conversation, nothing. Certainly neither one of us thought we were looking at our future spouse. I was uninterested.  Apparently Shawn did not get that vibe because soon after, he asked me out on a date. Just.Us.Two.  Somebody must’ve told him I can’t say no to anything so he realized he had a chance. I begged a friend to go with me and she agreed to it. The first date went a little something like this:
..Getting into the car
E: “Can you scoot your seat up so I can I sit behind you?”
S: “No, you can fit.”
..At the movie theatre
S: “It’s hot in here”
E: “You could take you coat off..”
S: “Nah, I don’t feel like it”
End of story. Now, remind me why after a date like the above a girl would go out on a 2nd date with the same male? Well, I did. And it was totally against my parents will. They were not looking for their 15 year old daughter to get serious with any man, and especially not with Shawn. After many tears shed to my parents fighting for them to be okay with me liking Shawn, they agreed to let him come over for dinner. If they could grill him with enough questions and figure out his real intentions, they would consider letting me go on another date with him. This is when I really realized Shawn liked me, he came for dinner. He passed the test, at least for a couple weeks. My parents still were not thrilled with the idea, but allowed us to continue to see each other, mostly under their supervision.
One of our first official pictures together, braces and all.
Shawn & I at the restaurant we originally met at. Thank God that looks change as we mature =)
Six months passed and things continually kept getting better. By this time, I had just turned 16, Shawn now 18 and getting ready to start his senior year of High School. This is when our relationship matured, a lot. On July 24th 2002, Shawn’s father suddenly died of a heart attack. This is who Shawn had lived with as his parents had split up years before. In an instant, his world was turned upside down. Here we were-two teenagers fresh into a relationship, dealing with real, tough, issues. My parents who previously saw him as a boy trying to date their daughter, instantly became an adopted son to them so it seemed. In the months following the loss of his dad, Shawn became a man. An amazing man. The transformation of a kid who had no goals, no vision for his future, suddenly was taking full responsibility for his life, figuring out his next steps, and the best possible way to get there. By this time, I knew he was the man I was going to someday marry. Fifty-one weeks after the passing of Shawn’s father, we were faced with another loss. One of our best friends was killed instantly in a car crash. In the first year and a half of our relationship we had more tears than I can remember. God is so good and we were able to come away from each situation, stronger in love and better equipped to make the best of what we had.
First dance together. Auwwww.




Nothing has changed.
Fast forward to 2006, after 4 ½ years of dating, we got married. This October we will be celebrating 5 years of marriage. We have had our hard times, but we have had the best times. I am so fortunate to wake up every morning to my best friend-a man who will sing the national anthem with me while folding laundry, who makes up dances with me while getting ready in the mornings, who eats Mac & cheese with me at least once a week, and who continues to show me unconditional love at all times. We learn from one another, laugh at each other, and grow together.
And that my friends, is the story of me and my man. If you made it through this story without falling asleep, I commend you. I promise I’ll keep it shorter next time 😉
October 14, 2006.


“What we’ve got is just like driving on an open highway, never knowing what we’re going to find. Just like two kids always trying to live it up, that’s our kind of love.”

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