Dave’s story begins on September 19, 1980 in Detroit Lakes, MN. Charlie and Kathy Burlingame were thrilled with their new bundle of joy. Over the course of the next eight years Nathan, Bethany and Judah were added to the Burlingame household. Dave persevered as the oldest child. He made it through his awkward sweatpants stage and on to high school where he played baseball and did his best to impress the ladies. Upon graduating high school Dave decided to high tail it out of DL and headed to the Twin Cities for college. He pursued a degree in Graphic Design as well as being active in various on and off campus activities. In the spring of 2001 a friend of Dave’s convinced Dave to work at Arrowhead Bible Camp for the summer as a counselor.
My story begins on December 20, 1982 in Huntington, West Virginia. Paul and Caron Paulson were anxious to meet their second and last child of the family. I joined my older sister, Brianna, in bringing much joy to our parent’s lives. When I was just three years old my family moved from Ohio to Clear Lake, Wisconsin where I lived until I graduated from high school. Upon graduating from high school I headed to Arrowhead Bible Camp for a fun filled summer of working as a counselor.
What does Tim have to do with anything?
We both know Tim in one way or another. I grew up with Tim in Clear Lake, we went to the same school, played in the school band together, went to the same church, etc. Dave meet Tim their freshman year of college in marching band. Due to other commitments Dave was unable to stay in marching band but he and Tim remained friends. Spring of 2001 Tim convinced Dave to work at Arrowhead for the summer as a counselor.
We met during the summer of 2001. I had just graduated from high school and was looking forward to the next stage of my life. I was looking forward to going to college, meeting new people, studying for my majors and eventually meeting a guy to date and marry. But first I went to Arrowhead to work for the summer. I meet Dave at Arrowhead during Memorial family camp. At family camp we were having a graduation party for me and four other friends of mine – Brianna (sister), Jill, Jared and Ruthie. It was at the graduation party that I actually saw Dave for the first time and he was hanging out with Tim and Lizz (Berry) Adkins. My initial reaction of him was, “what a loser, he’s hanging out with Tim”. His initial reaction of me was, “here comes another high school punk”. As the summer started and continued, Dave and I found ourselves hanging out together more and more and enjoying each others company. Without realizing it my feelings for Dave were growing into more than a friendship type of like, I was actually starting to like the guy. I really didn’t want to like him ‘like that’, I wanted to go to college and be single and date guys there. Well, apparently God had different plans for me. One day in the middle of July Dave and I were heading to the laundry mat to wash our clothes and hang out. On the way somehow my feelings for him just kinda slipped out. I finally confessed that I really, really, really liked him. The next week he went and bought me a huge Winnie the Pooh bear. My dad says that to me a Winnie the Pooh bear is equivalent to an engagement ring. Well, before long we were unofficially a couple. Summer turned to fall and I panicked about starting college and being separated from him. But we persevered and were able to maintain our relationship through the hundreds of miles that separated us. Our love for each other grew over time and distance. We really enjoyed our weekends and holiday breaks together and knew eventually we would be getting married.
Finally, on October 4, 2003, Dave proposed. He came to Sioux Falls for the weekend to be with me (and many thousands of other people – it was Viking Days). We had a wonderful day together, he helped me with the float during the parade, we watched the football game and finally ended up at Falls Park. We went to the park to get away from people and relax. We walked around the park taking in the sites and sounds of the beautiful day. We eventually ended up on a blanket toward one side of the park. Dave proceeded to woo me with how much he loves me and how excited he is to spend the rest of his life with me. He then presented me with a card, which reiterated how much he loved me and how excited he was to spend the rest of his life with me. He signed the card with ‘your loving husband – David John’. I looked at him and said, “my loving husband?” Next he gave me this cheesy ring from a quarter machine and reminded me that I didn’t want him to spend a lot of money on a ring (I was immediately regretting that decision – it was ugly). I just smiled and said thank you while slipping it on a finger. Next, using sign language he signed, “will you marry me?” I looked at him and asked him several times if he knew what he said and if he was sure that’s what he wanted to say. Dave very patiently informed me that yes, that’s what he wanted to say. I immediately screeched YES!!!!!!!!! And that’s when he presented me with a beautiful, round, solitaire diamond ring.
On August 7, 2004 we became Dave and Megan Burlingame. It was such a wonderful day.