I always think of ‘Father of the Bride 1‘ when I hear that song, ‘Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry‘, by Darlene Love. I haven’t seen it in a while and I thought of it again on my birthday when I opened my second gift from The Workout Bud.

He got me a food processor.

I immediately played the scene in my head from FotB 1 where Annie calls off the wedding because her fiance buys her a blender as a wedding present. When she tells her dad that is why she called off the wedding, she starts balling her eyes out over the blender, thinking that it meant he wanted her to be a housewife that cooked and cleaned, when really, the fiance just knew she liked making smoothies.

When I opened my gift, I had to chuckle a little bit. And it just made me realize that we are at the point in our relationship where we buy each other practical gifts. I used to get him sentimental gifts all the time – mostly things I made. And not to say that I don’t do that anymore, but we are coming around to the practical gift side of things.

We are going shopping in a few hours for Christmas presents. I need to figure out how I am going to get his, without him finding out what they are! He gets some practical, and a couple sentimental.

And speaking of sentimental and sappy things, it’s about time I shared our story with you all, right? Are you dying to know who the proposal went down? Wishing you knew the story behind this devilishly handsome guy I get to marry in a few short months?

Well, I am going to tell you all about him. I worked hard to condense 4 1/2 years into a short blog post, but I know it didn’t work that well. Especially with my ridiculously long intro, right.

Just grab a cup of coffee or tea, maybe some breakfast pancakes or afternoon popcorn or a gingie or two, and a tissue or two, if you are the crying type.
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HE WILL HIT ON YOU…
It was early winter in 2010, so March maybe. I was sitting in the car next to one of my besties, Kara, coming back from a dress fitting or a lunch or something. She was getting married in June and I got to be a bridesmaid.

2His name is Kris. And watch out, because he will try and hit on you.‘ That’s what she told me in the car. Apparently, this Kris fellow, the guy I would be walking down the isle with, was a major flirt. She told me a little more about him and, of course, I Facebooked him to at least see if he was cute, but I couldn’t find him.

Fast forward to June 25th, 2010.

THE FLOWER
I pulled up to the church for the rehearsal. The church were I met Kara back when we were 16 and 17 years old. As I walked up the sidewalk, I saw a boy, in his convertible, with the top down, music loud, playing on his phone.

That must be the guy I have to walk with, I thought to myself.

After a running to the restroom and saying hello to everyone, I made my way to a seat while waiting for instructions.

Guess who found a seat right next to me?

He held out his hand for me to shake it and proceeded to be obnoxiously flirty. I told myself that I just needed to make it through til the end of the wedding and then I wouldn’t have to see him again. As we rehearsed, he continued to talk to me, but he was not winning my favor. Just look at my face…

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When we got to the restaurant for dinner, guess who was by my side to help me carry in some wedding presents…He took a couple of the bags and walked next to me. Then, he picked a flower from the flower box outside the restaurant and told me that I better save a seat for him, next to me.

The flower was predictable and slightly cute, and of course, when we all made our way to sit down, guess who was at my left side.

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I don’t know how started the conversation, probably him, but we started talking. And talking. I had this kid pegged for a football playing jock, that had a new girlfriend every week, was less than intelligent and drank beer more than water. As I found out that night, I was wrong about pretty much everything, expect the beer part…he likes beer. As we talked, I started to get a little crush. A few googlies in the pit of my stomach. He wasn’t such a terrible guy after all. And we even had things in common.

THE RECEPTION
Fast forward to the reception. We talked off and on throughout the day and continued our Would You Rather/What are you pet peeves/Tell me ALL THE THINGS about yourself game we started the night before.  It took FOREVER for him to finally ask me to dance. And after he did, we danced all night. I left the wedding with some serious stomach googlies over this boy.

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THE FRIEND REQUEST + FIRST DATE
A couple days after the wedding, he friends me on Facebook. We talk about random things like our favorite color (green and orange), and if we could only eat one food for the rest of our lives, what would it be (cereal and sushi), and what is our greatest joy/biggest fear (spiders were our common fear. and getting old). He comments on how I am so quiet and I tell him I bet I’d talk his ear off if we went out for sushi (see how I hinted to him that he should ask me out, right there. Similar to my hinting that he should ask me to dance at the wedding…)

And a day or two later, I am getting a speeding ticket on my way to our first day at a sushi restaurant. Because as usual, I’m running late. I try sushi for the first time and make a complete fool out of myself by taking a bite out of it instead of eating the whole piece in one bite. He also doesn’t tell me that the orange little balls, or roe, are actually fish eggs, which I always call fish eyes, until after I eat a couple bites. We walk around for hours just talking before saying good night and promising to get together again soon.

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THE FIRST WEEK
He’s at my house the next night (my parents house!) after his shift delivering pizzas at 10p. We go to the store to get things to make pancakes and he holds my hand. He covers his pancakes in loads of syrup and powdered sugar, exactly like he does nowadays. We chat and watch movies. He likes me. And I like him.

We proceed to hang out for the next week, nearly every day. He doesn’t get his first kiss until we’ve been dating a week. He left my house without doing it – I gave every opportunity. Luckily, he left the movie we watched at my house and smooched me when I ran outside to give it to him. It was awkward and not really foot popping, but it still made me smile.

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THE DTR
Now, we are getting to the point where we need to have a DTR (discuss the relationship). See, I’m a recent Christian college graduate, I don’t date any boys that don’t love Jesus. He didn’t love Jesus. At all. And I didn’t date boys unless I thought I could marry them. But I liked everything else about him and why couldn’t I date someone just to date them and have fun.

So we did.
And about 3 weeks after we made it official, he told me he loved me. IN A TEXT MESSAGE. It freaked me out. And took me another 2-3 weeks to say it back.

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THE NEXT 4 YEARS
For the next nearly 2 years, we dated off and  on, remaining friends even when we weren’t dating. We become the best of friends. I told him that I couldn’t marry him without him loving Jesus, that it’d just be too hard. He said he loved me no matter what.
Eventually, I moved out to Boston to take a break from Indiana. He says that I moved there for him, even though that wasn’t the case. Of course, we ended up dating while I lived out there. And after I decided to move back home and breakup (thanks to my tummy troubles), he decided to move back home to help his parents run their business. And be close to me. And then we got back together.

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THE BREAKUP
On the 3 year anniversary of our first date, I broke up with him and told him we couldn’t speak anymore. And we didn’t talk for almost 6 months. It was the worst, and best time. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. We slowly resumed our friendship around December of last year, randomly one day. And continued being friends into this year.

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THE GOOGLIES RETURNED. AND STAYED.
Early this summer, he started going to church with me. And going consistently. To his friends, if you say Kris went to church, they would just laugh. Kris voluntarily setting foot in a church was not heard of. But somewhere in those initial few months of going to church, he decided to start loving Jesus.

Now, I didn’t believe him for weeks. It wasn’t until we finally had a conversation about it that I realized his change. And a couple months later, we decided to start dating again.

But, Jena, you said you guys dated on and off for almost 4 years and still kept breaking up. Why start up again?

Girl, you are right. But things were different this time. And we both acknowledged that. We knew that this time it was either marriage time or time to walk away from each other for good.

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The past few months have been our best yet. We grew up. We started being intentional with things – spending some time with Jesus, getting more involved at church, hanging out with our parents and friends more, talking about literally, everything.

The time was right. Sure, there were plenty of times we could have gotten married in the 4 1/2 years we’ve known each other. He asked plenty of times. But there was always something standing in the way. But now, I’m more than confident that the Lord worked it out in the best possible way.

And, I get to marry my best friend. Like, for real.

I know everyone says that. But it’s really true. And it just makes me smile thinking about it.

Gosh, you probably want to know how we proposed, right?! I almost forgot to add it!
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THE PROPOSAL

So, for weeks we had been talking about getting married. All along I told him that he better not ask me until he asked my dad. A couple months ago, they had coffee for the first time together and hit it off. He know loves my dad and after the coffee bro date, he talked my ear off about what they talked about…remember this.

Let’s back up to December 6, when I visited my girls in Ohio and they tried to convince me that he was going to ask on my birthday. And when I went to see my mom that night, she also kept hinting that he was going to ask on my birthday. And since he had told her when he was proposing, I kinda of thought they might be right. The birthday dinner came and went and no ring.

On Tuesday night, I was at his house, and he had me looking at rings online for at least 1 hour. He’d say things like…Well, if you like this, maybe I should take your ring back…or…Man, I guess I should really go pick yours out. So, I had no idea if he got it or not. And I couldn’t decide when he was going to propose. Our friends are coming into town next week (the couple who’s wedding we met at) and I thought he might do it when they were in town.

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Anyway, we went to go look at cars on Friday night (the 12th) because he was thinking of trading in. The entire time we are looking, he is rattling off all these things about my dad,  which made me think that they had coffee and he asked my dad for permission (I was right!) When we left at 6, I was getting to hangry to make us dinner, so we ran by the store and then went to a place to eat by his house. Our plan was to decorate the tree he got earlier in the week. All during dinner, he kept telling me we should to go CVS to get some lights right after, to start decorating.

So, after dinner we went to CVS, where he starts texting like crazy. I look at the light selection and when I see that they are pricier than what I know we can get at Target, I tell him that we should just wait til Saturday and get them then. I was getting tired anyway and was fine to not decorate. But he insisted that we get lights. And he would not get off his phone.

I picked out the lights, paid, and left. And then I asked what he was doing on his phone. He made up this story about some of his tenants texting him. Good lie, boo. We get to the house to decorate. And I told him the lights on the tree were my favorite and needed to be put on deliberately and carefully. He just kind of throws them on. So, I try to follow after him and make it work.

We get the lights on and he goes to get 2 stockings from him office, that his co-worker made for us. I find a good placement on the wall and tell him to get some push-pins- keep in mind, still texting. He puts the first one in for me, since both of my hands are holding the stockings. And then hands me the pack of push-pins when I ask for one to hold my stocking. Stocking in one hand and push-pins in the other – how is a girl supposed to take out a push-pin with both hands occupied?!

And when I turned to him, he opened a little ring box with the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen and asked me to marry him. I was freaking out and so surprised. And he just held the box there, so I shouted that he needed to put it on my finger. And he did.

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I looked up to see his mom behind us taking pictures. I had requested that he get someone to take photos for us when he popped the question, so he did good finding someone.

I called my mom like 4 times right away, but she was at a Christmas program. When I finally got through about 10 minutes later, she screamed and told us to come over immediately. And when we arrived, we screamed alot.

I found out that night, that he already bought 2 rings that Tuesday night he made me look at ring. He got one at a pawn shop and the one I am wearing. I told him he better never get me a pawn shop ring, so he was glad he got this one instead. And I guess this ring was in the selection he showed me on Tuesday and he was stoked that I said I liked it!

Long post, I know. But it’s my blog, I do what I want. And honestly, who doesn’t love a sappy love story that ends with a proposal, am I right?!

Keep an eye out for lots of wedding details. I’ll share a few posts every now and again. I think and hope that we get the barn venue we are dying for. Our theme is shabby chic meets ‘Murica. Think Christmas lights, cornhole, giant Jenga, chicken and waffles, s’mores, navy and gold…ah! can’t wait!

What’s your story with your honey like? How did the proposal go down?

– Jen.

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