Every couple has their stories. About how they met, how they got engaged, and of course funny things that happened along the way. Here are out stories. Feel free to browse them all.

1. When we first met 2. Our first date 3. Meeting in the middle
4. Valentines Day 5. Ana's Triumphal Entry 6. First Kiss/Engagement
7. Newlyweds Game 8. Shorter/Scooter 9. Get a Room
10. Driving Will's Car 11. Announcing 12. I love you
* Ana wrote these stories and invited me to make some clarifications as I saw necessary, so anything you see added in dark red is the extra that I thought you'd be better off knowing. - Will

1. When we first met

  When my friend Say first invited me to the First Fall Run Fundraiser for Youth Unlimited, I didn't really want to go. But I eventually realized why it was important for me to go. I earlier ran into a friend, Esther, who's husband is a good friend of Will's, and when I saw Will standing among a group of Grebel guys. I knew he looked familiar, but that was about it.
  After the run, as I stood by the refreshment table, stuffing myself like a turkey, Will sort of approached me, looking like he might want to talk to me ... but not sure where to begin. So, I quickly said, "I know you from Grebel!" and he said, "Yes, and you're Ana Fretz. I remember seeing you in Godspell, and hearing you speak in Chapel." I was amazed that he remembered so much about me, and from that point on, we talked for about 35 minutes.
  Eventually his friends came, beckoning for him to go, and I immediately thought "Oh no! .. I'm never going to see him again ... say something!", and before I had to worry, Will asked me out to supper. I was assured I would definitely see him again, until he told me he could memorize my phone number. I thought, "Great. Now I'm really not going to see him again", but Will assured me he's good with numbers. Then he left, and I excitedly told Say about this strange (in a good way) encounter.

  Everything seemed positive until I told her I would just remember her phone number. I didn't get why all of a sudden she wasn't as crazy about the idea as she had been. I thought it was impressive that I could remember seven digits on the spot, but it seemed to turn her off, and I was really confused. I didn't have a piece of paper or a pen. My skimpy shorts didn't have any room for any of that in the pockets.
  However, true to my word, I remembered the number and called her back three days later, and I'm glad I did.
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2. Is this a date? First date confusion

  For the guys reading this, you might be surprised to find out just how much girls analyze these situations. In between the time Will asked me out and the time he actually called me, I was discussing with my friends whether or not such an excursion counts as a "date". I actually had friends asking me, "Well, did he say 'dinner' or 'supper'? 'Cause 'supper' would imply a date more than 'dinner'." .... and so on. I didn't want to get my hopes up, so I basically didn't think of it as a date.
  After abiding by the "3-Day Rule", Will called me on the third day, and we made plans for "supper". We went to Will's favourite Chinese restaurant, where we continued our conversation from where we left off ... except we perceived the situation very differently.
  Because I wasn't sure it was a date, I guess I was giving off signs that I wasn't interested in anything. I was telling Will about how I've been hurt in the past, and how I've come to a point where I'm happy and comfortable being single, and I am no longer feeling pressure to get married.
  I told him this so he could be assured that I'm not some desperate lonely person who only agreed to go out with him to fill some emptiness (and maybe I was testing him a little bit, to make sure he was serious). He, on the other hand, heard me saying "I'm perfectly happy being alone, and I don't want anybody messing that up!!" Needless to say, he almost didn't call me a second time.

  I seriously almost didn't call her back. I was getting some pretty strong "you're going to have to work awfully hard to convince me this is worthwhile" vibes, which I thought was a bit too intense for a first date. I knew there was more to her than that, and I wasn't going to walk away from a challenge so I called her again for another date. Or at least for the first outing that we both called a date.
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3. Meeting in the Middle

Will grew up outside of the small town of Aylmer. I grew up in the big city of Toronto.

Will has 9 siblings. I have 2.

Will grew up in the Evangelical Mennonite Church. I grew up in the General Conference Church. (For those Mennonite readers, you will know what this means)

Will is Russian Mennonite. I am Swiss Mennonite.

Will sees cats as belonging outside the house. I see cats as belonging inside the house (we have many disagreements about my cats)
Part of belonging outside is the finding of their own food. The only food we should give cats is table scraps and maybe some milk if they've been good.

Will grew up more Conservative than I, although learning how to be less so later in life. I grew up more liberal than him, although learning to be less so in Uganda.
We've both learned to despise labels. Both Ana and I find ourselves holding many conservative and many liberal ideas. Being honest with ourselves, we cannot attach ourselves to any particular label.

Having said that, somehow Will and I perceive the world in very similar ways, share a similar theology, worldview and life goals. From this I have learned that God can take any two people, from any kind of background, and enable them to see themselves in each other.

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4. Broken hearts and Valentines Day Confusion

  This was rather funny. On Valentines Day, my room mate was in a bad mood because she hates Valentines Day. She hates it so much she wrote an "anti-Valentines Day" poem. When Will came over, we were planning on baking a cake for fun, and she asked us to make a broken heart cake. We put blue icing on it. When we were taking a piece of the cake over to my sister's house, Will said to me, "When did they break up?" Stunned, I said, "What? Where did you get that idea?" But sure enough, as he replayed the evidence, I could see why he thought that:
  1) Grumpy room mate
  2) Anti-Valentines Day poem
  3) Broken Heart cake
  Ah! When I told him that was not the case, he was dumbfounded. And I couldn't blame him.

  It seemed pretty obvious pretty early that her roommate had just been dumped. There just isn't an easy way to offer the first consolation without her first bringing it up specifically, so I just waited until Ana and I were alone. That was definitely a moment of mutual confusion. "What?!? They're still together?" "What?!? Why would you think they broke up?"
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5. Will's Sermon, Ana's Triumphal Entry

  Will had finished his sermon on the Saturday night. He made some changes to it Sunday morning, and figured he could print it off at church. When we got to church, good ol' Murphy (of Murphy's law) decided it was time to take action, and the printer at church wasn't working. We had -1 minutes before the service began, so Will sent me to his place to print off a copy there.
  I grabbed the disk and took off in his car, with the Mission Impossible theme song going on in my mind. When I got there, I couldn't figure out how to access the document from the disk (panic!), so I grabbed his landlord (who just came home on time) to help me. He did. Then I started printing it, when 3 pages later, the paper got stuck in the printer (panic!!), so I quickly removed it and started it going again. I quickly drove back.
  Meanwhile, Will was scrambling to write out points from his sermon, in case I didn't make it back in time. And, the scripture readers were reading a little bit extra before the sermon to buy us some time. I came in literally just in time, and walked up to the front to give him his sermon. Afterwards, people asked me if I wrote Will's sermon for him ..... I guess they'll never know, will they? (dum, dum, duuuuum)

  We got to church an hour before the service started, and I was convinced that I would be able to figure out a way to print it at the church. When I was right out of time, I gave the disk and keys to Ana and hoped for the best. I had given up hope and was ready to give the sermon based on my scribbled notes when she walked in. Given that it was Palm Sunday, I was about ready to start spreading palm branches and people's jackets at her feet as she walked in. Talk about a triumphal entry.
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6. First Kiss / Engagement

  So, for our first kiss, Will took me to a park in Bridgeport, where we walked for a while, admiring the beautiful night. We eventually got back to where the car was parked, and had stopped to talk. Suddenly I turned to go to the car, when Will touched my arm and said he would like to kiss me. So we did.
  9 months later, Will brought me back to that park, and we went for a "romantic" walk along the path (I say "romantic" sarcastically, because the mosquitoes were feasting on us, and we didn't last very long out there). We soon stopped where the car was parked, and when I turned to go to the car, he touched my arm again. This time he said "I want to marry you."
  We had already been talking about this for months, but after some confusion about our expectations for marriage, when it would happen, etc., I had given up trying to figure out when it would be. So, it caught me by surprise. So much so, that I asked him to pinch me. And I asked him to say it again, and again, and again (in different ways). It eventually sunk in, and it felt right.

  I first brought up the topic of marriage long before, but based on her reaction, I felt it best to not bring it up for a long time. Slowly she began to bring it up, thinking that I was still as serious about it as I was the first time I mentioned it. Based on my reaction, she felt it best to not bring it up for a while. I took a few days away from her to think things over and I knew.
  What made me realize that I needed to think more seriously was when she told me about a dream she had where I had proposed. Curious, I asked what the answer was. She said, "Of course I said yes" with so little hesitation that I knew I could propose now and we'd be engaged.
  Since I knew she wanted to marry me, I didn't ask. I simply said that I wanted to marry her, and that we could start to make it public. Her surprise and disbelief made me reword it a number of times, as she kept saying, "Really?"
  We had talked earlier about forgoing the engagement ring route. We each wear silver chains around our neck to symbolize our mutual commitment, instead of the more one-sided engagement ring idea.
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7. Newlyweds (or not so wed) Game

  We were asked to participate in a church Couples Game (where all the wives answer questions without the husbands present, then the husbands have to answer the same question and get the same answer, and vice versa), during a dessert fundraiser. I said to Will, "But we're not married", but he assured me that didn't matter.
  People at his church have enjoyed their pastor being in a relationship, and want to see us in action (not that kind of action). It was a win/win for us, because if we lost we could blame it on the fact that we're not married, but if we won we could brag about how well we know each other. Well, we lost, but it was funny to experience.
  When I was asked what the most romantic thing he had ever done was, I knew what the answer was right away, and I knew he'd say the same. But I didn't know if he wanted to keep that private or not (it was the time he first told me he loved me story #12, accompanied with a rose and chocolates). So, I said "When he asked me to write a musical with him" which is up there on my list ... but it wasn't the right answer. Will ended up saying the flower and chocolates answer, and I felt terrible because he was so proud of the romantic thing he had done, and I didn't even say that. Shucks! People found it pretty funny, nonetheless.

  The funny part is that at first I wasn't going to tell her about the game, I was just going to bring her, and then let her find out when they called her name. Someone advised me not to do that, and it's probably best that I didn't.
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8. Did he say "Shorter" or "Scooter"?

We were biking along the Iron Horse trail together to go to the MCC office, so I could put some hours in, and he could work on his sermon. There was a scooter for sale near the office that Will wanted to show me, but he had told me about it a few days earlier and I had forgotten. I was sort of leading the way, and I was about to lead us to a short cut path to the office, when I noticed that Will was going another way. I was confused, and even more so when I heard Will yelling "Shorter! Shorter!"
  Me, being stubborn and competitive, I saw it as an opportunity to race (for fun), so I was like, "Okay! We'll see who gets there first!" So I went bombing down my short cut path, with racing music in my head, and lo and behold, I did get there first. Well, that was because Will wasn't racing me. He had gone to see the "Scooter", which in fact was what he had said all along "Scooter! Scooter!" Silly me.

  I was pretty upset because she took off without really paying attention to what I was saying, she assumed I was being stubborn, and I was justy trying to show her a scooter that was for sale that she might be interested in buying. When she clued in to what I was actually saying, I was so upset that I just sat there in the parking lot and she went to look at the scooter by herself. We both got to act like little kids that day.
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9. "Get a room" at Canada's Wonderland

  We had gone to Wonderland with some of his youth, and we had split up for the day. When Will and I were in line for the "Italian Job", we were just hugging (like 99% of the couples at Wonderland do), when I heard a little (no, not little, more like snarky and annoying) voice from behind, chanting in a song-like manner, "Get a room-get a room-get a room-get a room" and it was so close by and so rude that I was positive the voice wasn't aimed at us, but at some other couple farther, beyond ear shot. Sure enough, when we hugged again, the little -yet-not-so-little-snarky voice came back; "get a room-get a room-get a room-get a room".
  Will looked back and smiled at the 12 year old girl behind us who wanted to show her girlfriends how cool she was, and when we didn't stop hugging, she went on to say "to her friends" but really to us, "Oh, they're ignoring me. They're just doing that for attention. People do that, y'know, they do things for attention." And I'm thinking, it takes one to know one.
  Now, in all seriousness, I can understand that our hugging may have made her uncomfortable (although hugging in public is not against the law), but I was more dumbfounded at her rudeness, to people twice (and then some) her age. When I was 12, I would NEVER have spoken that way to people that much older than me. Wow.

  I thought I had a pretty good idea when I suggested to Ana that we follow her around the park and run ahead of her start making out so that she would see that at every corner. It was at least a pretty funny mental picture.
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10. Driving Will's car with Mom

So, when Will was away at Charlotte, I was lucky enough to be able to use his car. Having driven in it for the duration of our relationship, I have gotten used to it's quirks. Well, my mom, who drives a newer Volkswagon golf, was not used to it. I can't blame her either; it is not a top-notch car (sorry, Will). It was very funny to see her reaction to it, though. When she first got in, she noticed the "Check Engine" light on, and immediately said "Why's that on? Is this car safe to drive?" I assured her the light is always on, and it doesn't matter.
  Then, sometimes when you press the gas pedal down too fast, the car jumps a bit, which wasn't encouraging to her either. Right after that, the stereo plate fell off. My sister (also in the car) was like, "What was that?!" I assured them it was just the stereo. Again, my mom questioned the safety of the car. When we got out of the car, my mom noticed the broken tail light, which worried her more, and then when she asked me to lock the car, I said "We don't lock it, and some of the locks don't work." She insisted I lock, as it wasn't a safe neighborhood, so I actually tried to put the key into the key hole, and it wouldn't go in!
  At the time I started to get worried too, but now I just find it funny.

  My car is safe to drive. The "Check Engine" light signals that my AGR valve is broken (it's useless and it would cost $30 just to shut the light off). The transmission is on it's last legs, but it will cost over half the value of the car to fix it, which isn't worth it. I don't feel bad not locking my car. If something needs to be kept safe, there is tonnes of trunk space, and people usually steal nicer cars than mine.
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11. Announcing our Engagement

  When we found the time to make the announcement, we were pretty excited to do it. We first announced it to our families, which was quite the adventure. We first went to Aylmer to tell his family, and we were held up there because he and his brother and dad were putting on new brake pads. When we got back on the road to go back to Waterloo, we drove right into the crazy storm (the one we had a month ago), and the rain was coming down so hard we could hardly see out the front window (and it didn't help that Will's windshield wipers don't go very fast).
  I was thinking "If I can't see where we're going, I don't think Will can either!" And he couldn't, not without a car right in front of us to follow. Needless to say, we made it to Waterloo, and finished announcing it to my family.
  The following Sunday we announced it in his church. The way he did it was to point out that the first two youth pastors that worked at Tavistock came single and left married, and he was proud to say that he's continuing the tradition. At that, everyone burst into applause, but I didn't really catch what he said, so I just kinda sat there, when suddenly the women beside me gave me a big hug and said, "Oh, I'm so happy. I was hoping this would happen soon!" Her happiness for us made me cry.
  Two Sundays later we announced it at my church, Waterloo North, which happened in an unusual way. I was planning on announcing it at the "Announcement" time, not during the "Prayer" time. So the prayer time came and went, and during the "Announcement" time I was waiting for someone to come around with the mike. But they didn't. And just as the worship leader said, "No more announcements? Okay...." I grabbed Will's hand and we walked to the front quickly, causing a bit of a stir, since we obviously weren't expected to make an announcement. Nonetheless, people burst in to applause (some pretended to be surprised, as word had gotten around quite a bit), and were very happy for us.

  My wipers go plenty fast enough, and I could still see the white lines and was a very safe distance from the car in front of us. I had scheduled being home to work on my brakes and eat supper and that's all that people were expecting. They were quite pleased when we made our announcement. Ana had called her family members a few days earlier and asked if we could drop in that evening just to talk about stuff. So they knew exactly what to expect. I was a little frustrated that it wasn't a surprise to her family, but she assured me she couldn't have done it any other way.
  I was very touched by the responses we got at both churches. There's something about hearing from a man married for over 50 years that marriage is more fun every day that almost made me cry. To see the joy in people's eyes at our news was quite heartwarming as well.
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12. He loves me, he loves me not
  I knew that I loved Ana well before I actually said it to her. And in typical oblivious Will Loewen fashion, I just figured she knew and that the telling wasn't all that fundamentally important. A little later, at her sister's place, and we got talking about relationships.
  She asked how we know if people care about us. Then she turned to Ana and asked her, "how do you know that Will loves you?" And to this seemingly rhetorical question Ana replied, "Well, I don't." That bothered me. I clearly loved her, and I felt that my affections had indicated such to her. However, I decided it was best to just keep quiet and straighten it out later.
  A few days after that, I was in town early and while I waited for Ana to come back, I went to town and bought a rose, and some really nice chocolates, and a nice card. I gave her the flower and chocolates first, then the card, which read something like "Don't worry, there isn't any kind of special occaision, blah, blah, blah, I just wanted to say that I love you." After she read it, she looked up, half crying, so I said, "I really do love you, and I want you know that." We hugged and kissed and all that. It was nice.
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