Betty moved into West Chicago, IL when she was 2 1/2 years old. After several years, her family was attending a somewhat distant church regularly on Sunday mornings, but chose West Chicago Bible Church for the evening services and the youth programs (such as AWANA, along with the junior and senior high youth groups).
Grant moved into Winfield, IL (just a few minutes away) just before his 6thgrade year. His family attended Faith Baptist for a year, after which they settled on West Chicago Bible Church for Sunday services (morning and evening) and the youth programs as well.
Grant and his brother Flynn got along well with Betty and her brother Jim, since we were all within 3 years of age. Almost every Sunday, after the evening service, we would hang out together at somebody's place with the rest of the highschoolers that were at the service. Through the years, friendships between our two families grew, and we spent more time together than just with the rest of the group. We would get together to play cards, other board games, and even roller hockey.
As Flynn and Jim went away to college, we still spent time together. When Grant was having a hard time deciding which college to attend, Betty convinced him to go to Wheaton. He had enjoyed the pep band in high school and joined once he began classes at Wheaton. This gave us even more opportunities to spend time together at Football, Hockey, and Basketball games, as Betty played the clarinet in the pep band.
January 26th, 1996, we had an RDT (relationship defining talk), and officially our dating months began, along with a trip to the Washington Banquet with the college. It's hard to say, with all the time we spent together before that, that it was actually the beginning, but that's when it became official to us. Through the next few months, we continued to spend time together at pep band, and Pooh Corner (where a group of college kids got together to read through Winnie the Pooh books). Homework was done together at each other's houses, and we spent time going to late night skates, renting movies, and going out to the riverwalk for rollerblading. This was the pattern for a year, through January 26th, 1997, when a big day came.
For the celebration of one year together, we had decided on dinner at the Olive Garden. We had already decided that it would probably be best if we got married that summer, but hadn't yet gotten engaged or set a wedding date. Over dinner Grant asked Betty how long before marraige he should pop the question, even though he had the ring in his coat pocket. She responded by saying that the engagement should probably be at least 6 months, so he'd better do it soon.
After dinner, we headed out to the Geneva section of the river walk. It had snowed quite a bit, and the world was white around us. We set out for a walk in the snow, reminiscing over the past year and beyond. Remembering all the fond memories and fun times that we had had together. After several minutes, we came to a footbridge that runs under the train's bridge. We stopped and talked for a while more, all the while, Grant was shuffling his feet. When Betty wanted to keep moving (because it was cold), Grant stopped her. Then said to her (something like) I know we weren't going to get each other gifts, but I got you a little something. It's a reminder of one year together and, hopefully, many more to come.
Getting down on one knee in the spot where he had been clearing away the snow, he pulled out the ring and asked Betty, Will you marry me? Betty hugged Grant quickly, as he closed the ring box for fear that she was going to knock it into the river. He could tell the answer was yes. From that day to the wedding day, exactly 6 months later, we worked on wedding preparations.
Happily Ever After (?):
This part we're still working on! We got married July 26th, 1997.
We hope this will grow to decades more. We both graduated from Wheaton College (Grant with a BS in Computer Science/Mathematics, Betty with a BA in Business/Economics). In July of 2001, we bought a house in West Chicago, IL. We're both working hard, and that's where things stand right now.