• Viva Crouse

The Classic "This is How We Met"

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

A few weeks ago I asked my little "instagram community" what type of things people wanted to see more of on the blog. You all brought me so many great ideas, and of course several of them had to do with how my husband and I met! So, to kick off my first "Anniversary Month" post I'll be starting with ye old "how we met" story.


"She stalked me." a direct quote from the man himself

If you've ever had the pleasure of asking my husband how we met, he always, without a doubt, begins our story with that loving opening line. His short, sweet , and ever so humble version goes a little something like this:

I caught her eye during her freshman orientation. My handsome beard woo'd her instantly. Once she found out I ran the campus apostolate, she couldn't bear not to join. Then, she stalked me straight into my music ministry. From that point on, she was everywhere I turned...I took her to the beach and BAM. We were in love.


Now, if you're like me and enjoy reading a bit more of a detailed romance, keep reading for the real version... He's right about the fact that I first noticed him during my freshman orientation weekend. I was already considering leaving the university when he walked in front of our seated crowd to talk about something he ran at the school. Was it the horrific yellow shirt that made me notice him, or the beard? No one will ever know. But, I remember turning to my mom, whispering "wow, so there are hot guys here after all..."

Listen. I had just stepped foot into the tiniest (and I mean tiniest) Catholic film school. And not that I wanted to date (which I didn't), but I definitely wasn't placing my bets that there were many "dateable" options at my availability (I was also horribly judgmental that weekend, y'all, but I digress...)


A few days passed and we had our "freshman retreat", led by non other than the hot junior with a beard. Our first speaking engagement came soon. As we were all gathered in this big "let's play a game and introduce ourselves" circle, no one was closing the gap. I looked at my roomie then walked my butt on over to close this dang gap and stood next to him. Sweaty, nervous, and annoyed that my fellow 18 year olds couldn't follow directions, we exchanged our first "hello." He thought my name was cool (cue the jitters!!)

As the retreat came to a close, he was taking names for students interested in joining the campus apostolate. My roomie and I obviously put our names down...


The first meeting came around. Then the next. Then he found out I played piano and sang a little and my roomies encouraged me not to be a bum and actively participate in this apostolate. So I did-- I went to all of the meetings, starting singing for weekly adoration and became quickly involved with this little community.

Now if you're thinking "wow Viva you did kinda stalk him" let me be very clear.

I was active in this apostolate from the get-go, but AVOIDED HIM AT ALL COSTS. Seriously. If I didn't absolutely have to stand next to him, walk next to him, or talk to him, I didn't. I wanted so badly to avoid this stupid crush and stick to my little "boys didn't wanna date me in high school then fine! I'm not gonna date them in college" attitude. Nevertheless, for as much as I resisted, a growing friendship was there.


Then came the gelato.


"He asked me if I liked gelato. WHO doesn't freaking LIKE GelAtoOoOo?!?! me on the bathroom floor barging into my roommate who was showering. poor thing. (love you, M)

I raised the most money for the big retreat we were to put on in the new year, and apparently he was going to take whoever it was to get gelato and say thanks. Mhm. Sure, Chase. And so we went on this explicitly "non-date" to get gelato after Sunday evening mass. Everyone in that little shop knew I had a massive crush on this guy, too, because my good friend worked there and informed e v e r y o n e about my nervous, fluttering heart.

And that was it.

After hours of talking and laughing past closing time he dropped me off and there was no more denying that something honest and good was happening.


Thanksgiving break came and went. We were talking all of the time and always trying to find an excuse to walk to school together or meet up in between classes. He then pulled a move which sealed-the-deal on my feelings for him. We drove to a beach in the middle of the day to study for finals. At this point Solana was the prettiest beach I'd ever seen, and we sat on the vacant shores for hours. I was so at peace, being there with him and talking to someone who felt like I'd been friends with for years. Although I was nervous that he was 3 1/2 years older, I realized that my time spent with him seemed so easy, so joyful, so light. Not to mention the fact that he was such a southern gentleman (thank you Jesus and my in-laws!!)


Talk of a first date began to flow. Side-note: we've had very open communication about everything and anything from the very start. 10/10 recommend.

I began to hear a plethora of information regarding his most recent breakup and I wrestled with whether or not I wanted to deal with anything like it. Thankfully, Jesus gave me the courage to confront him, and I did. I told him I would agree to a first-date ONLY IF he gave me a full run-down of that relationship and any that preceded it. He so kindly and willingly gave up all the information I wanted to hear (except for the things only a wife ought to know). Honestly, I was shocked by his honesty, but even more by the way he spoke of those women and his mistakes. He was so respectful and gentle about it all. There was no doubt that this was a good man.


Next thing you know he's asking professors of ours where to get Thai Food because he'd never heard of such a thing (it's my favorite..I know..who hasn't had thai food, right?!)


On December 7th, I got ready for my first real date. I saw my first pack of sun-bathing seals, watched the sunset over La Jolla shores, and ate some of the yummiest Thai food ever (thanks, Fr. A). The night ended on my doorstep with a prayer and our first *real hug*.


This fall will mark 5 years since I first saw him in that horrid yellow shirt, 5 years since our first "hey."


It's not a true date if we don't have calamari somehow-- it's the only thing he recognized on the menu that night & now it’s tradition.


Thai food is now a staple in his diet as well.


Now that we're gone, I can't think of Solana beach without tearing up.


Most importantly, he has never stopped pursuing me the way he did then -- gently, sweetly, respectfully, and with Christ at the center of it all.


Our Lady, Star of the Sea, pray for us.





The Beauty of Pursuit







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