23 July 2009

You asked, I answered!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...
I'd love to hear you and your husband's love story! :-)

And I started thinking, “Do we have a love story?” haha, I totally kid. While it isn’t flashy or incredibly romantic, there is a story…so bear with me as I reach into the far corners of my brain and dig it up.

It has been 15 years, you know.

After I graduated high school in June of 1993, I did what 99% of all other high school seniors do- I went to college.

‘Cuz, ya know, my dad and I had the whole “get a full-time job or go to college” talk. And I wanted to do everything I could to avoid working, haha.

So, off to college I go, about three and a half hours away from home. There I met Matt who was from the great state of Michigan and who was also a college freshman. We were in the same “freshman advisory” group.

Now, here I will tell you, for those who don’t know….I was born in the aforementioned great state. I was born there, spent the first 3 months of my life at the University of Michigan Medical Center and proudly spent my youth as a UofM Wolverine football fan. Even though my Dad was a Nazarene pastor while we were growing up and we lived in such places as Kentucky and Nebraska (among others), “home” is Michigan.

And what I didn’t know at the time, is that Matt’s sports loyalties lie with the UofM’s arch in-state rival, the Michigan State Spartans. Blech. That’s okay…it doesn’t change the story.

The following spring, in April of 1994, Matt said to me “Have I got someone you need to meet.” So I’m thinking “Okay, sure. How bad can he be?” Thinking of course that the worst that can happen is that I have to block his number from my dorm phone and I can forget all about him once I go home for the summer.

About a week before Jon and I meet face-to-face, he calls me. And I think that we spent something like 4 hours on the phone, just that one time. Turns out he wasn’t terrible and we had quite a few things in common.

**He’s a preacher’s kid- like me.
**He’s lived in Michigan- like me.
**His parents pastored a church in Wisconsin- mine had just accepted a call to a church in WI about 4 hours from his parents.
**Oh, and he’s a Wolverine fan….something we never actually talked about until after we got engaged. How funny.

There’s more, but it’ll bore you…..

On Friday, April 29,1994 Jon’s going to make the drive from his home in Green Bay to where I attend school- about an hour south of Chicago. He’d worked his job at the convenience store on the third shift the night before, so he doesn’t show up the campus till around 7 in the evening.

He calls me from the lobby of Matt’s dorm and I go to meet him. All I really remember is that he’s tall-6’3”- and he has really dark hair and REALLY blue eyes.

He says to me “Hey, you must be Jennifer.” My reply is something like “I guess that makes you Jon.” See…not romantic. hahaha.

The rest of that weekend goes by in one gigantic blur. I know that we ate pizza and I know that we spent Saturday at the local amusement park. We ate at Ponderosa. (It closed less than a year later...) And spend every spare second together on Sunday too, till he left campus before 10pm.

Did I mention that it was the weekend before finals? Oops.

We talk on the phone almost every day after that. I go home to Wisconsin (my parents had been pastoring a church in IL when I left for school) and announce to my parents that I met the man I’m going to marry….at that moment they are less than impressed.

They do get to meet him a couple of weeks later; and while I think they reserved judgement, I don't remember them saying anything negative. We spend that whole summer with one of us driving the distance to meet the other…blech. And I have to say that during that time, I get pretty darn good at putt-putt golf- a game I HATED when we started dating. And we watch every episode of the XFiles together. I miss that show….. And talk and drive, and talk. And talk.

He asked me to marry him on my 20th birthday that September. We were across the street from the house at the church…in the middle of the sanctuary aisle he asked me if I saw us getting married there. I thought he was joking…turns out he was completely serious! He dropped to his knee and said “I love you… and I want to marry you..right here.” Of course, I said “YES!” My parents were surprised, but didn’t try to talk us out of it. (They’d gotten married at 18, so what could they say? That fact worked in my favor!)

We were married the following October in a ceremony that was uber small as far as attendants and frou-frou, but perfect. Matt was best man- of course. And the rest, they say, is history. Some day I’ll have to show you pictures.

Does that answer your question?? I hope so!


Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Nope. Doesn't answer my question. hehehe.
Just kidding--It totally did! And you're wrong, girlfriend, that IS romantic. I love his proposal- sigh. But now I need to see wedding pictures! :-)

Helen said...

What a great story! I loved it! Thanks for sharing :)