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

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.


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