Fall 2000 - How we first met
It was the first weekend of school in the fall of 2000, and I’d been on my way
to dinner, when I saw some friends, Tim and Mandy playing Ultimate Frisbee. When
I stopped to talk to them, they invited me over for dinner because they knew
that I liked to cook, and they know how school food can be at times. I’d known
Mandy for a number of years, as she as my camp counselor for the last two years
I was a camper prior to working at the camp, and Tim was her fiancé at the time,
who I’d also met at camp one summer. Drew had been playing Ultimate with them
for the past three years, and Tim and Mandy would often have people from the
team over for dinner and to hang out, and this just happened to be one of those
I went over to their house to help cook and to hang out and
get to know some other people on campus, as they were having a group of people
from the team over. We had to stop and pick some food up so that there would be
enough to feed everyone. By the time we got there, Drew was already there, but
he wasn’t just sitting around watching TV or lounging like most people would
have been.... Instead, he was underneath their dining room table trying to “fix”
it. I just thought that he was strange (….and boy was I right….), but I went
into the kitchen to start cooking. After dinner and spending time hanging out
and getting to know people, I wanted to head back, but didn’t have a ride, so
Tim asked Drew to give me a ride. I was thinking to myself, great…I get to ride
with a fool… We were pretty quiet on the ride back to school though, because we
are both naturally introverts.
The first thing I remember was peaking out from under the table to see this
beautiful woman looking down at me. I don't remember the people at the party.
I don't remember the game from earlier in the day. I didn't even remember
giving her a ride back to Kea until she brought it up. All I remember was
looking up at this beautiful face, and watching the expression on her face
change as it declared her inner thoughts, "Who is this nut-job on the floor?"
I think we said hello, I waved from my position on my back, on the floor, under
the table and then went back to work. I can vaguely remember that ride back to Kea.
Like she said, not a whole lot to write about there. One thing I do remember though...
the food... umm umm Good! Spaghetti with meatballs & garlic bread I think. But to be
perfectly honest, I really didn't think much else of Tracey or that evening until that
famed Vermont Trip over fall free day weekend.
I decided to join the Ultimate team, so we
spent some time together practicing or eating dinner with the team, but I never
really thought anything of it. It wasn’t until Fall Free Day Weekend, and our
annual team trip to Vermont, that some stuff began to change. It was on this
trip that I started dealing with some of my past. We spent some time together
over the course of the weekend and became closer friends through it all but
neither of us were interested in dating the other.
We got back from the trip and hung
out more then we had before, and everyone thought that we were dating. I still didn't
know about him, and I wasn’t all that interested in dating him at that
time. The rest of the fall semester went by and we remained close friends, but
A Vermont... you can't beat it. Billboards are illegal and the leaves are beautiful
in the fall. Especially from the top of the mountain near the cabin.
Insert Pictures Here
Its tradition to pray as a group and then look up to the sky before leaving.
Nine hours later, the first thing we do upon arrival is walk down to the dock on the lake and
look up at the sky again. Living in a major community, you don't realize how many stars there
really are up there. Anyway, the van ride was uneventful. I helped drive, navigate, & keep us
clear of the cops on the way up. Tracey sat up near the front because of her propensity towards
motion sickness. The weekend started normal enough. The Ultimate team still tells stories about
that trip and the weekend long game of assassin. Mafia was pretty popular too, but the most fun
we had was raggin on Kara & John for talking loud all night long. That lasted all of about two weeks
after we got back. It was kinda funny. Tracey and I had our late night chats too but we weren't loud
about it. We both opened up the books of our lives and read the significant chapters to each other.
I'm not even sure why, but for some reason, we both decided it was time to share this stuff with
someone. This brought us a lot closer than we had been... I mean, we went from hardly knowing
anything about each other, from being the cook & the dork under the table, to close friends.
Not much changed after the trip. Neither of
us were looking for a deeper relationship. I'd pretty much already determined that I
was graduating from a Christian College single & happy... something which is considered
a sin in many circles today, but I was content. So dating Tracey was really one of the further
things in my mind. I mean, we started going to meals together somewhat regularly after
the Vermont trip, but that was the extent of it. We didn't have any classes together and
she lived way the heck across the way on the North side of campus. I did my walking freshman
year. I wasn't interested in doing it again. I liked Doane. However, I did make my way to Kea
once in a while & we caught up at Sunday Night worship & Chapel each week. See that's the
thing about being on a Christian Campus. Your first meal together means nothing.
The second one is a date. If you go on a third one, everyone thinks you are going steady.
If you go to meals regularly, its just assumed that your are engaged. Everyone kept
asking us if we were dating. Her friends were asking me, a senior, if I'd declared a major yet
and my friends were asking her, a freshman, if she had a job lined up for after graduation.
We took a lot of heat, but neither one of us even considered dating the other.
Soon enough, Christmas break rolled around.
Spring 2001 - Are you guys going out?
We really didn't keep in close contact during Christmas break. We e-mailed and IM'd on occasion,
but not a lot. Drew took some time off an then hooked up with Tim to do some web stuff for
iBeast the last two weeks before classes
started to make some extra money helping them develop their ASP call center application.
I was supposed to be babysitting for someone
near school the last week of winter break so I came back early for the spring
semester. Plans changed, things got switched around and they didn’t need me after all,
so I was hanging out at Tim and Mandy’s Glenhardie Condo for the week.
Drew had already been back a week, and we had one more to go before classes started.
The four of us (Tim, Mandy, Drew & I) hanging out just did something that week.
During the first few days that I was back, we talked and decided that maybe there was
something between us. Everyone must have been talking about something.
And so we just kind of started dating.
She nailed it. Winter break was pretty uneventful. I was having a blast down at the
cave and cranked out some nice looking pages. Tracey showing up a week early was a total
shocker. A welcomed surprise, but an unexpected one. (Tracey: that's why its called
a surprise dear. You are being redundant... again.) Shhhh... its my turn. Anyway, the four of us
ate together and Tracey and I started helping Mandy with youth group at
Hope. I needed to keep my hands to the
wheel and it just felt right serving there. Plus, when else can I play dodge ball with
40 screaming 5th-8th graders? I agree, that something changed that first week back, but
its not like I ever asked her out. As we went through that first month
of spring semester back at school, we started to ask if there was something to what
everyone was saying. We couldn't do homework in a lounge for 15 minutes without
someone asking if we were dating. You can only say 'NO' so many times.
Eventually, we had to look in the mirror, try to see what everyone else
was seeing, and seriously ask ourselves... "Well, Are we?"
"Well, I guess we are. When did this happen?" We kinda looked at our calendars
and picked a date... Thursday, January 11th, 2001. We'd had another long
talk at the Condo and just seemed like an appropriate day to pick. I mean, everyone's
gotta have an anniversary... right? And we’ve been together ever since. So if
it weren't for Tim and Mandy inviting me over and then encouraging me to join
the Ultimate team, chances are Drew and I wouldn't be dating at all and this
website wouldn't exist.
Summer 2001 - Spring 2003
Took a trip up with Tracey to "Meet the Folks" shortly before Graduation.
Of course the guys across the hall from him were running a month long movie marathon,
watching "Meet The Parents" each and every night. The trip went well and
Rick didn't shot him, or kick him out, even after the A/C Compressor ceased
in the car on the way up.
Drew graduated and started working with his youth pastor from High School and the
Ground Zero Youth Ministry of
New London Presbyterian Church.
Tracey got a job on campus at Eastern with Plant Operations cutting grass,
chipping branches, raking leaves, weeding gardens, etc.
They visited together once a week at summer league ultimate games through
Social Team Sports
and the West Chester Ultimate League. After each game, they'd grab dinner at Denny's
and catch up on each other's lives.
Tracey resumed classes in the fall as Drew really began to start taking ownership of the
Jr. High ministry at Ground Zero. Tracey interned with the
CrossFire / ImageQuest
youth ministry of
Hope Community Church
in King of Prussia, PA where Mandy & Tim work
and where Drew volunteered during his Senior Spring (01) at Eastern.
They commuted back an forth every 2 or 3 weeks to see
each other and spend time together. It was hard to cut back after meeting weekly during
the summer, but they were both busy and had lots of stuff to do. Such was life.
Tracey went home to NH for winter break. Drew continued doing the same old, same old.
They didn't see each other again until Tracey returned in January. Instant messager
and e-mail are wonderful inventions.
Spring semester 2002 resembled the fall. Visits were few and far between. Except for the
occational Winter League Ultimate game in Downingtown. Tracey began to
help more with GZ. Tracey got a summer job with Plant Ops again and got to spend a lot
of time on the mower. Summer League was again a regular occurance, as were dates
afterwards at Denny's or with the team. Fall 2002 continued the pattern. We wanted to
see each other more after being spoiled during the summer with all that time together
so we were making trips basically every other weekend.
Tracey went home to NH for winter break. Drew left after Ground Zero to
go up for New Years and they took a trip up to Wolfboro, NH
to watch the fireworks. After enjoying the week with the family, he drove
back down on Friday to be home in time for GZ. They didn't see each other again
until after Tracey returned in January. Ah the magic of instant messager and e-mail.
Spring semester 2003, Tracey jumped into GZ head first. She interned with us for credit, helping
with Souled Out, Jr. High Foundations & GZ Friday. Summer League did not fit the schedule this year.
They scheduled games on night when Drew had to be at the church. Tracey moved into Drew's
parent's house in Delaware and worked at Tomm's Produce in Hockessin during the summer. She got
heavily involved in the Jr. High ministry at GZ with Drew. She built a strong relationship
with several of the girls. The more they got to know Drew and Tracey, the more the following
question began to be asked.
Summer & Fall 2003 - What do you mean your NOT engaged yet?
We got this question so many times, we started taking a poll. Everyone is jumping down our throats asking
why we aren't engaged and married yet, so we are asking people to
tell us why we should be.
Katlin McFadden - Landenberg, PA
Katlin: No one ever told me, and i'm quite curious, are you and tracey like boyfriend and girlfriend? i didn't know, and then i heard someone say something and i was just curious
Drew: yeah, kinda
Drew: i think its neat that people still dont' totally know for sure
Drew: we don't advertise - how's that?
Katlin: haha, yeah
Drew: we will have been dating 3 years in January
Katlin: wow! thats awsome
Katlin: Do you wanna marry her?
Katlin: aw! thats cool
Katlin: Shes a lucky girl!
Drew: i'm a lucky guy
Katlin: yep. Its nice to hear that two people can have a good relationship- you just don't hear much about that anymore.
Liz Furman - King of Prussia, PA
Liz F: ok...so when r u getting engaged?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!
Tracey: why are you in a rush for us to get engaged?
1. I wanna go to the wedding
2. you've been together forever and a day and I've been asking forever and now its finally time where it's obvious it's coming soon
3. I wanna see u in a wedding dress all dress up n all
4. And I guess u guys love each other too, but that's not too important
Rhianna Stockbridge (Wee Wee) - Landenberg, PA
Drew, I have one thing 2 say -- u MUST propse or i will MURDER u PERSONALLY and strategically find a place 2 hide the body!! U 2 r meant 2 b 2gether, n wat will b will b, but wat is supposed 2 b isnt "being" fast enuf!! lol, thnk uve waited long enuf?? besides...im jus waiting 4 all the good food :-D
Sarah Furman - King of Prussia, PA
Why? because I want to eat your wedding cake and the good food that will be at ur wedding and its cuter that way.
Nora Barth - West Grove, PA
you guys are just perfect for each other. You're like Katlin and Jeff,
it's meant to be! You two are like a disney movie!!! haha.
You guys really are meant to be, you're just are like snow white except from
what i know she doesn't live with dwarfs and you guys are just like absolutely
perfect for eachother just being around the two of you together you can just tell
it's supposed to happen. really. God is working there. Really.
Drew's the first boy you've dated, and I hope he's the only one too!!
Neither You nor Drew ever deserve a broken heart.
Emily Hendricks - Landenberg, PA
well...I say, if you KNOW that you're gonna get married, and all you're waiting for is for her to finish school, then I don't see a reason not to get ENGAGED yet, but definitely don't get married til she's out, but the choice is still yours...don't worry about what everyone else says...follow your heart and don't let your head do TOO much of your thinking
Justin Piccard - Northwood, NH
i think you should get married when you both are mutally ready for the step. love is a force to be recond with... use it wisely. You are a wonderful and smart girl. Us batcholors will miss you! You have my blessing.
Tina Doyle - King of Prussia, PA
Tina: Why? because it's about time! Do u love him?
Tina: have u ever loved anyone more?
Tina: can u see u being w/ him the rest of ur life?
Tina: then thats all the reason u need
Lisa Eash - Landenberg, PA
Lisa: lol drew... i cant believe u went 2 the extent of making a website. lol. Wat did i tell u b4?? U gotta stop dancin around this n making up excuses like askin around n stuff.. u kno every1s gonna say u should.. cuz u should! lol
Drew: he he he... yeah well
Lisa: but i guess if ur just waiting "4 the right time" n tht kinda thing then thts cool but i guess i really dont kno the reason u havent yet.
WHOA!!! I was readin the website. R u traceys 1st bf?
Drew: yup, ain't that fun
Lisa: lol yea, thts really cool actually.... ok wait how can u have a wedding day set n not b engaged?
Drew: i danno
Lisa: so its kinda like u both know ur getting married n have it all planned out but u never really "asked" her
Lisa: Are U gonna propose
Drew: well - I might... if you all think i should
Lisa: no drewus u gotta do wat u want, but yea u gotta do wat u want, cuz if u dont thn u might not b happy, n tht would b bad.
Kevin, Jess, Atkins, Christine, Nate, Val - New London, PA
Hey nice web site you've got here. Too bad at the bonfire tonight atkins
enlightend all of us. so lets see, why should you guys get married seems
to be the topic of the night. Lets start by saying that we love you
regardless of your decision, in other words tracey, there's still time to
back outta this one.....In any case we love you both and enjoy the rest
of your lives together.
PS - Now Atkins knows why you dont get anything done in the youth house.
PPS - Hurry up and get engaged so we can quit teasing you about it
Rachel Jones - Kingston, NH
Rachel: ask her already
Rachel: bcuz, mommy and daddy keep asking me if u have
Drew: ha ha ha, that's funny
Rachel: they do
Drew: when the time is right... i will
Rachel: well hurry up
Drew: why - so they stop asking you?
Rachel: that, and everyone's waiting for it
Drew: yeah well...
Rachel: well nothing, ask her!!
Rachel: i'm gonna go watch tv now, i'll ttyl
Oct 31st - Nov 2nd Engaged Encounter
When I was about 16, I began babysitting Jonathan quite regularly for Steve & Cindy Malriat.
I helped take care of Jonathan from the time he was about 6 months, until he was 2.
Occationally, my brother and I would cut the Malriat's grass for them.
Cindy, taught my brother and I how to take care and ride a horse.
Right before I left for College, they introduced me to their nieghbor who was selling their
1986 Olds Cutlass Supreme for $1300. That car lasted me five and a half years and probably had
another one or two left in her when I sold her.
So when Steve and Cindy got back from a Marriage Encounter weekend and raved about how
great it was, I added it to my mental checklist of things to look into.
Tracey and I have known each other for nearly three and half years. We were coming up on our
2 year & 10 month anaversary of the day we started dating. We've talked through a lot of things.
God seemed to be pointing us in this direction. It just seemed to make sense.
Tracey said she didn't want to be engaged more than a year. We had both been talking about
getting married in May 2004. So that meant I could propose any time between May & November 2003.
She invited me up for her families annual Labor Day Lobster Feast. Seemed like a good chance
for me to talk with mom and dad and save myself a special trip all the way the way up to
New Hampshire. I pulled them aside in the kitchen one afternoon and told them what I was
thinking and explained my intentions. They were both very supportive and told me,
"Tracey is a big girl. We trust her judgement. We've been expecting this for a while now.
You don't need our permission." SCORE!!!! okay... that part was done. Now I just gotta
My parents also were strong proponents of the Marriage Encounter program & its sister program,
Engaged Encounter. They promised to pay for it saying they viewed it like
insurance, guaranteeing a good return for their investment in wedding expenses.
In the words of Pastor Mike, "If its free... its for me!!" Tracey researched the programs
in the area. There were Assembly of God, Bretheran & Catholic based EE programs in Lancaster, PA
and a United Methodist sponsored program in Virginia. She made me a list of upcoming dates
and I gave it to Mike. "Which weekend do you need me the least?" He choose Oct 31 to Nov 2.
This happened to be the Virginia Weekend. Four hour road trip... here we come :-)
We left Friday at 1:30 PM. We hit a ton of traffic on the DC beltway. So, being a male, I grabbed
the map, jumpped off at the next exit, and cut cross country. We arrive 4 minutes before we
had to be there, at 7:26 PM. This was an incredible weekend. There were 9 engaged couples,
2 frauds (tracy and I and another couple) and 3 presenting couples.
Two of the three presenting couples would lead each session, sharing their experiences with us.
After each session they would send one either all of the guys or all of the girls out
of the presentation room to go find a place of their own. Then everyone would write a letter
to their significan other about the presention that was just given. Often we would each answer
specific questions posed by the presenters. After 15 minutes, the people who remained in the
presentation room would head out in search of their partner. Tracey and I always took a
blanket out onto the lawn overlooking the valley. They gave us 15 minutes to reach
each other's letters and then discuss stuff.
We talked about
personalities & how we perceive each other's strengths and weaknesses; what it means
to make a daily decision to love your spouce and to promise them that, no matter what,
you will never divorce them; the difference between having a marriage goal of happiness
verses a marriage goal of unity; how our relationships with family and friends will influence
our marriage and how those relationships may change; our ideas about planning and finances;
how we might cope with change, specifcally loss of physical capacities, and death; expectations
regarding abstinence before marriage, intimacy in marriage and how to honor God and our spouce
through sex & intimacy; and working through past hurts & pain and learning how to forgive each
other. We learned some new things, but more than anything else, this weekend really
confirmed some things and helped us nail some things down that we'd been working on.
We highly recommend the Engaged and Marriage Encounter Programs!!!
- Assemblies of God Engaged Encounter
- Catholic EE
- Methodist EE
- Lutheran EE
- New Hampshire Catholic EE
- Boston Catholic EE
- World Wide Marriage Encounter - Catholic
- Presbyterian Marriage Encounter
- WWME - Philadelphia Region
- WWME - New England Region
- Interfaith listing of upcoming Marriage Encounter events
On the way home, we decided to take a scenic trip up Virginia's beautiful skyline drive.
While we were up there, we stopped and picked up some souvineers and took a short hike
down to check out one of the waterfalls. This was an awesome weekend. Thanks Mom & Dad.