our story – the final installment! (part 8)

(part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7)

the best day of my life – saturday, june 14th, 2008

(i had really wanted to post this on june 14th of this year, but the whole “just-had-a-baby-a-week-prior” sort of got in the way… )

over the 2 weeks between the New Attitude conference and the concert, zach strategically increased the amount of communication between the two of us and began making plans.  he was graduating from college the day before the concert and told me that he’d like to have a little break from life after that and asked if he could stay a few extra days after the concert.  of course!  so we began making plans for his visit.  seeing a movie… going rock climbing… getting coffee and talking about what God showed us at the conference.  zach started texting with me much more frequently – pretty soon we were texting off and on throughout the day, every day.  i remember sort of chuckling to myself as we texted and made plans and thinking sort of in passing, “i feel like i’m planning for my boyfriend to come visit or something!  is this weird?”  but i really didn’t think anything more of it.

until thursday.

i vividly remember exactly where i was standing at the office when it suddenly hit me, out of the blue: i like him again. 

and i began to panic.  “no no no.  this can’t be happening.  not again.  i don’t want to go through this again!  crap.  this is terrible!  ugh i should have known.  guys and girls can’t be this close of friends without one or the other developing feelings.  and it’s me.  i’m the one with the feelings.  no!  we had such a great friendship and this is going to ruin everything!”  

and now we had this whole fun weekend together planned and i had to figure out a way to get through it and keep my emotions and feelings in check?? great.  i actually almost called the whole thing off.  on the one hand, my heart said that hanging out exclusively and doing all sorts of fun things with the guy i liked sounded wonderful.  duh!  but on the other hand, my head said that such frequent communication and spending 4 days together was not a smart move.  i didn’t think my emotions could handle it.  aaahhh what to do, what to do.  i talked with my parents and basically said, “let’s see how the weekend goes… but you may need to have a talk with zach… my heart can’t handle this level of ‘friendship’…”  aaaand my parents were like, “uh, yeah.  ok.  let’s see how the weekend goes…” 

friday night came and my parents and i watched the online streaming of zach’s college graduation ceremony.  it was totally long and boring, especially because the small part involving zach wasn’t until the very end.  again, i thought, “this is totally a ‘girlfriend’ thing to do – watch a 3 hour long graduation ceremony online.  what am i doing?!”

i pretty much spent the next 24 hours praying and pouring my heart out to God in a very raw and honest way.  saturday morning i was driving to hang out with a friend and i remember praying, “God, i really want him to ask me out this afternoon at coffee.  i do.  i really like him.  but i trust that what you have for me is best… help me to trust you.  help me to get through this afternoon!”  

so later in the afternoon i picked zach up from the church where he was setting up for the concert and we headed to starbucks.  we sat in the comfy chairs in the back corner and talked about all sorts of things… just not about us.  we talked about New Attitude, his graduation, the most awkward care group meeting EVER (that had happened 2 days prior and i just HAD to tell zach the story)… no hint or sign of discussing anything at all related to our relationship.  he didn’t even seem fidgety or nervous.  any hopes i had for this being a significant conversation were slowly fading.  after an hour and a half, they were all but a distant glimmer. 

at this point, there was a brief break in the conversation.  i reached for a drink of my coffee and thought, “it’s not going to happen, andrea.  get over it.”
i looked up and a lady had walked up to us and cheerily said, “well hi you guys!”  i had seen charlotte having coffee with someone else in another part of the store when we first walked in, so i wasn’t surprised that she came over to say hi.  zach on the other hand, stared at her blankly.  charlotte said to him, “do you remember me?”  i inserted, “zach, it’s charlotte richardson.  courtney’s mom…” while looking at him like he was from mars.  he totally knows her!  what was wrong with him?!  he shook his head and stuttered out, “oh!  right!  charlotte!  hi!  sorry, i um… didn’t recognize you.”

we chit chatted for a minute or so before charlotte left. zach excused himself to use the restroom and i immediately began praying again.  “God, just help me get through the rest of this evening.  i trust you.  i really do.  i’m feeling disappointed, but i trust you.  help me get through the next few hours…”

and then my whole world changed. 

zach came back from the bathroom, plopped down into the chair and said, “i-totally-called-your-dad-two-weeks-ago-and-asked-if-could-ask-you-into-a-courtship” rapid fire, like it was spilling out from a fire hydrant.

in the 2 seconds that followed, it was my brain that became the fire hydrant.  the flurry of thoughts and emotions that washed over me was crazy.  and i thought, “do i go with the script?!  i will never have this moment again.  i’m going for it!”

(back story: because i’m a total freak, 2 years prior to this, i had actually thought about what i would say if zach ever asked me out.  i didn’t want to just give him a gushing “yes!  ohmygosh yes!  i thought you’d never ask!”  to be honest, after all we’d been through – or rather, after all i felt that he had put me through, ha! – i wanted to make him squirm just a teensy bit.  my answer was definitely “yes,” but he wasn’t getting it that easily…)

me: “um, zach.  you do realize who you’re asking, right?  me.  andrea lambros.  i’m a lambros!”
him: “i know.”
me: “i have red hair.” (he used to joke about being afraid of redheads)
him: “i know.”
me: “i like dogs that look like puppies and stay that way their whole lives.” (he likes big dogs)
him: “i know.”
me: “i like musicals and broadway shows.”
him: “i know.”
me: “i have to say… i wasn’t really expecting to have this conversation today…”
him: “look, if you need to take some time to think and pray about it, i totally understand.” (he suddenly got slightly nervous about what my answer might be)
me: “well.  while i wasn’t really expecting to have this conversation today… i was really hoping we would have this conversation today.”  [big grin]
him: “really??”
me: “yeah.”

at which point he pulled out a gift he had brought – a tshirt that said “i’m with the drummer” for me to wear at the concert that night!

the whole thing suddenly felt completely surreal.  did that really just happen?!  is it true??  zach actually likes me back!  and asked me out!  he wants to be in a relationship with me!  i was over the moon.  that night was the first night in my entire life that i actually couldn’t sleep because i was so excited.

i don’t remember much about the concert at all.  in fact, i was probably only in the auditorium a grand total of 20 minutes.  most of the time i was with my best friend upstairs telling her about the whole thing and gushing my heart out.

as we were squealing and gushing, raigan said, “i feel like you just got engaged!” and i replied with, “weeelllll…..” i mean, i had known for a long time that if zach ever came to a point where he liked me enough to pursue me in this type of relationship, it would end in a wedding.  we were such good friends and such a great match… i just knew it would be “it,” if it came to this point.  and he knew it too.  or at least he knew that he would never even risk starting a relationship like this with me – such a close friend – unless he was pretty much sure that he wanted to marry me.

[soooo…. funny story about that night… in true bestie fashion, raigan immediately asked me to send her the picture i had on my phone of a ring style i really liked.  you know, just to be prepared.    so i did.  i texted it to her right away.  except an hour later she asked me if i had sent it because she never got it.  “yeah, i sent it like an hour ago…  let me check…”  i looked down at my phone and realized i had accidentally sent to zach!  um yeah.  less than a few hours after he asked me out, i sent him a text that said “not this one exactly, but something like this is what i like…” with a picture of a ring!!!  yeeeeah that was a little embarrassing… he still “reminds” me of that moment occasionally.  ]

the four days that followed were a blast.  i can’t remember ever being so happy in my life.  we still did everything we had planned – except this time i was doing them with my boyfriend!  aaahh it was so fun!

rock climbing:

hanging at the house… i think here zach was creating a playlist of “cool” music that i needed to be exposed to.  🙂

he came and hung out at the office with me while i worked on monday and tuesday:

on the way to the airport so he could fly home (boo):

and the rest, as they say, is history…

(for anyone who hasn’t been following my blog from that far back… i began posting pictures and chronicling our courtship here… proposal/engagement story here… engagement photoshoot here… wedding post with pictures here… first dance song here… honeymoon pictures here, here, here and here…)


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