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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Wedding

Today is my anniversary (Happy Anniversary, honey!). After telling the stories of how we met, and the proposal, of course the wedding follows. The wedding was beautiful. It was exactly what I could have hoped for.

Except, for, well, of course, the things I hadn't planned on happening.

We got married in the Oakland temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We had a very early morning temple schedule that called for me to get up at 5 am. I didn't sleep well- something about getting married the next morning didn't exactly encourage sleep- and was fairly high strung. BUT, everything was beautiful, and the ceremony performed, and we were married. The photographer was supposed to be outside waiting for us to shoot some photos, then everyone would drive off to my parent's house for a wedding breakfast before going off to the reception and more pictures.

The photographer was very late, and by the time he came, we got some group photos, sent everyone off to breakfast while we stayed for the other portraits. We were so tired that by the time the pictures were taken, we fell asleep in the car on the way back to my parent's house. What we had forgotten to pack for the honeymoon, which we were leaving for right after the reception. We had assumed there would be plenty of time after the breakfast to get it all done. That had changed. So after a hasty hello to all of the guests, we rushed around getting things packed for the trip, threw the bags in the car and left for the reception.

More guests, more pictures, a ring ceremony, and a reception line kept us busy. The reception line lasted until we had a big gap in the guests arriving. We thought perhaps we could take a break and sit down, but we were up constantly as guests trickled in randomly through the rest of the reception. We cut the cake, threw the bouquet, changed into regular clothes, and had birdseed pelted at us as we headed to the airport.

The short flight to Disneyland was relaxing, and we had a chance to realize that we were exhausted- and STARVING. Neither of us had eaten more than a passing bite at the wedding breakfast, and the full plates at the reception had mostly been picked at as we were called on to greet more guests. No actual eating had occurred. Shaky with hunger, we grabbed some snack mix at the airport- paying exhorbitant prices on our meager budget. We inhaled it on the shuttle to the hotel, but it didn't really satisfy. The hotel restaurant was closed to everything but room service- for double the cost. We were so hungry, we decided to splurge and share one entree between us- a chicken salad scone sandwich. The scone meant that instead of good solid bread, we had some flaky thing that dissolved when the fork touched it. I don't know that I even remember tasting it.

I have made it a policy for every wedding that I am involved in to make sure that there is a bag of snacks put in the getaway car for the poor starving newlyweds.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Proposal

Continuing the countdown to my sixteenth wedding anniversary, I am of course, thinking of the steps that got us here.

When Jay got off his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, things were a little awkward. Lots of girls "wait" for their missionary with disastrous results. Some find true love while their missionary is gone. Some wait and have high expectations when the missionary returns, only to find everything gone wrong, and things failing. I decided I wasn't going to play that game. I told Jay I wasn't waiting for him, and we'd see what happened when he got back. I dated without guilt, and had a few close relationships, but nothing that I was willing to commit to forever. I was still available when Jay returned.

I hadn't stopped dating for him, and I felt it was only fair that he date other people when he got back rather than just committing himself to me. He dated plenty, but mostly he dated me. That was when things got hard. I was pretty much head over heels in love, and would paint a smiling face on when he said he had a date with another girl. All the while, I was really wondering if this date would be the one where he realized he liked her better than he liked me. A couple of months passed. I was pretty sure he liked me best, because we were still going out, but he'd still have dates with other girls. Finally, I just couldn't stand the pressure. We were spending the day together, while Jay had a date with a mutual friend that night. I was thinking about things, and finally, I just asked:

"Can I ask you a personal question?"

"Um...yeah?" He clearly was nervous about what I might be asking him.

"Are you going to ask me to marry you?"

"...Probably...not this month!"

"Well, when you ask, I'll say yes."

And that was it. The proposal. I had asked him. I ruined his date that night, and sparked off some very serious thinking. It was a month or so later that there was a very romantic night with a walk in the park, and him kneeling on fallen leaves to give the real and official proposal. The answer really was yes. It was a few weeks after that under a streetlight on a cold evening with Christmas lights blinking on the houses around us that I had a ring slipped on my finger.

But really, I had asked him.

I'd do it again, too.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


My sixteenth wedding anniversary comes this month, so naturally, I've spent time thinking about how I got to this many years married! It's a pretty good story, so naturally I have to share it.

My husband and I met when we were both in high school at a church youth conference out in Utah. It was a conference held every year at BYU called "Especially For Youth". His youth group travelled by bus from Maryland. Mine travelled by bus from California. We met on the very last dance on the very last night. It turned out that we had several things in common, so we talked through the whole dance. Even when we wanted to dance with other people we met, somehow we always found our way back to each other. At the end of the dance we exchanged addresses, and boarded the bus to go home.

He wrote first, but it didn't take long before we were writing letters regularly. We were pen pals for 2 1/2 years. Toward the end of that time period, letters had also turned into phone calls, and our friendship deepened. We both ended up going to BYU, and arranged to meet each other there. I was worried because after getting to know him I knew that he was going to want to date when we met again. I wanted to just be friends with him- because, well, he was pretty geeky. I also wanted to have a chance to date lots of other people.

We met, and got along really well. We would talk for hours, and talked on the phone every day. My roommates started teasing me about my boyfriend, but I would insist that we were just friends. He would call, and the roommates would say, "Julie, it's your BOYFRIEND." And I'd say, "No, it's just Jay." My roommates started calling him "Just Jay" as a nickname. We went out frequently, and talked all the time, but I was insisting we were still just friends. Finally, one Saturday, as I was stirring my macaroni and cheese, I had a sudden inspiration. I put the spoon down, turned to my roommates and said, "I really like Jay!" They replied, "DUH!". It was wonderful! I liked him! I REALLY liked him! I kissed him that night. And we were boyfriend and girlfriend for a whole three weeks before the semester ended and we went home for the summer. We went back to being pen pals.

After a summer of convincing myself that I wasn't ready to have a boyfriend, and we needed to just be friends, my resolve to back off from the relationship lasted about a week, and we were dating again. We dated the whole semester. Then he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints and we had to go back to being pen pals. Again.

By the time we got married, we had known each other for six years, and had written to each other longer than we had ever dated. I still have a lot of his letters.

"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

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