It’s no secret that I love working with couples. One of my favorite parts about meeting couples, is hearing their love story! I’ve never heard the same one twice, and it’s always so fun to hear the excitement and feel the love they have for each other. I also really love romantic comedies. And Hallmark Christmas movies. And, I’m not admitting to anything, but I hear Nicholas Sparks knows a thing or two about love stories. Who am I kidding, “The Notebook” is one of my favorite movies ever!
Ok, but real life love stories are my absolute favorite. I mean they’re real! And real love is just about the happiest thing ever! So, I had this idea…
I’m a real person. And I’m in love. And it all started somewhere. So why not share my love story?! From the very beginning to the right now. All of it.
The L word was out. We were young and in love. Well, I was young, Jesse was 26. And, to 19 year old me, that was kind of old. He was running his own business, and I was in the middle of my second year of college. I was young.
During the same “I love you” conversation, Jesse also told me he saw a serious future with me. As his wife. But he was also worried about our age difference. He didn’t want to rush me or push me towards marriage too fast. And I agreed with all of it. But I was all in. I could feel it. As cheesy and cliche as it sounds, when you know, you know. And we knew. He was just a little quicker at admitting it than I was.
Another month or so passed by, and it was Thanksgiving, and Jesse’s entire family was coming to visit. Of the 7 kids in his family, 5 were married, 4 had kids, 1 was getting married in December, and then there was Jesse. Every phone call home to his parents, every week, for years had been about whether the current girl he was seeing was the one. His mom was worried. Until he met me. Those phone calls changed, and the entire family knew Jesse finally found a girl to marry.
No pressure, Em.
Thanksgiving was a blur of getting to know everyone. Jesse’s oldest sister sat me down and started asking me what I wanted my colors to be for our wedding. There was no ring on my finger yet folks! Luckily, another one of his sisters had warned me that would probably happen, so I wasn’t totally caught off guard. And I think I even had a solid answer! I fell in love with Jesse’s family over one weekend, and by the next week had forgotten all about taking things slow.
Which was good, because Jesse had already bought a ring.
Enter my dad. The all knowing, dad that had some how managed to get his head strong oldest daughter away from the high school boy friend, off to a California adventure, fully knowing her plan to get married AFTER college.
Now, I had talked to my parents about this guy. But I’m not sure I was 100% open about how it was all going. And it was all happening pretty fast anyway. But that was ok, because my grandparents and Jesse’s parents had lived in the same small town and been friends for years before Jesse and I met. Which meant my parents had more than one source of information. And my dad was wondering why this guy was so old while my grandma was trying to convince Jesse’s mom that it probably wasn’t that serious. And the next thing you know, I’m home for Christmas break, and my dad flew Jesse in for a visit. As a Christmas present to me. Sweet, or sneaky?
Luckily, Jesse is a pretty easy guy to like, and my family loved him from the start. After an hour long interrogation on the drive home from the airport, my dad even decided older guys were really the better way to go. Much more mature. Especially compared to the last guy I brought home for Christmas. But that’s a story that really just needs to stay in the past.
When Jesse pulled my dad aside and asked for my hand in marriage, my dad cried. (After another, shorter, interrogation). Then he shook his hand, gave him a hug and said, “Welcome to the family!”
Now I just needed that ring.
A couple weeks later, I drove down to Orange County, like any other weekend. And, like our second date (that we really count as our first date), we went to Dave and Busters. Then Jesse made up some reason why we needed to stop by his sister’s house before dinner. We walked in the front door of a dark house. Still, completely oblivious until I saw the candlelit kitchen table, and huge vase of roses. And I must have been walking in front of Jesse, because when I turned around, he was down on one knee, holding a ring.
To be continued…