Another long story up ahead...how Jeff and I met and stayed in contact before we got married.
When I first went to LHHS I didn't know anyone besides my parents and Brooke who went to the school. Technically I should have gone Brea HS. The friends I eventually met had gone to Junior High with Jeff but Jeff and his family moved to Vegas the summer he started HS. Had they not moved he would have also gone to LaHabra HS. In retrospective it's a good thing he didn't. I think he would've broken my heart in HS and that would've been the end of that. But he lived in Vegas. My new friends asked if I knew him because he was Mormon and they showed me his pictures (which I thought he was cute). Our first introduction at a x-country invitational race at Mt. Sac in Oct 1993 was quick. It's a vague memory now. We first hung out with each other a few months later in January. There was a big earthquake the same weekend I met him. I was at Erin Cardenas' house close to where Jeff's grandma lives. A group of us just hung out and there was a connection, but we were only 14. We started writing each other (7 years) and that continued until he got back from his mission. I saw him here and there when he would come to visit his family. We would see each at stake dances and a group of us would eat a Denny's after. We would dance together but I didn't like touching his completely drenched white shirt and the smell of sweat that surrounded him. This was the case with most guys. Either the a/c didn't work or there must have been a ton of people. There were many months when we didn't talk because he called me a "molly mormon" because I wouldn't kiss him at a Denny's parking lot...and did I mention he said that his friends dared to kiss me. Hmm. Some things you just don't say if you wanna kiss someone. Again he was 14 or 15. But at the time I was offended and he knew it. Months passed and he called outta the blue. Time had past and I was over it but he had called to apologize. We were 16 now. Those 2 years make a big difference. We kept in contact during college even though he went to Ricks and I went to BYU. We were each other's first email and starting emailing than writing on paper:) He came to visit BYU my first semester there with some friends. It was good to see him. He felt like family at this time in my life when I was feeling lonely inside. He was having a hard time too because his parents had divorced and they were dealing with too much to support him financially or emotionally. Jeff supported himself by donating plasma, cutting hair, selling cookies and school books throughout college...oh yeah and getting good grades. Thankfully he had academic scholarships to help him. When he left for his mission I went to the MTC. Looking at those pictures makes me cringe. I wore overalls and of course my hair was nappy:) What a surprise that I had nappy hair:) We wrote throughout his mission as well and he came to see me at Liberty Square when he returned home and was heading back to BYU-Idaho now. When I graduated from BYU, I moved back to my parents home and the first Sunday I went to their ward and guess who walks in...JEFF. He took the semester off and was living with his mom and working to save money. We were finally living in the same city and it was just kinda obvious that we would start dating. We had talked about it once when he visited BYU--if we ever lived in the same city, which never seemed like it would actually happen, we would have to date since we had been friends for so long and were definitely attracted to each other.
Some of the things that I admire and love about Jeff:
1. His friendship. As I already mentioned we were friends first. Truly friends. We both genuinely cared for each other. Every year since we had met (age 14), he remembered my birthday and usually mailed me something special. It made me feel special that he remembered and even sent something even though I was never his "girlfriend."
2. His Loyalty. The fact that we kept in contact for so long and sustained a constant relationship with many miles between us. I have still yet to have kept the same contact with anyone else like I did with him.
3. Kindness. One time my parents and I flew to Utah and had a layover in Vegas. He met us at the airport with a dozen donuts. Let's admit it....It's always a hassle to go to the airport, park, and go inside. He did it and then even brought us donuts. So nice even though I don't like donuts. He always speaks to me with kindness as well and their are other sweet, nice things he's done for me and others.
4. Charismatic. He's usually always upbeat and in a good mood. He likes to do fun things. One date he got an old limousine and a bunch of friends together. We drove to LA and went to a comedy club. Our first date: blown up boat and rowed around Newport Harbor with random questions he had written down to ask each other. And he's a salesman...you have to be charismatic to get educated, busy doctors to talk with you.
5. Drive, assertive, hard working, creative. He's worked since he was 8 in commercials, plays, and a movie. He's sold candy and fireworks outta his locker in Jr High, earning money; that was until the principal found out. He played guitar on the strip in Las Vegas to earn money, washed dishes at a restaurant, tutored someone, cutting hair, selling cookies, school books, and plasma, and then some jobs that actually gave him a W2 form. Another memory that comes to mind is when he made a powerpoint presentation to my parents when he asked them for my hand in marriage. He catered to both my mom and dad. Slides for my dad were about how he was going to provide for me and slides for my mom were about why he's was in love with me. He works very hard with his job and has always found creative ways to drive sales and to reach out to people.
That's a short version of our story and why I fell in love with him. Of course since we've been married, there are more examples and more traits that I love about him but that is another post for another day.
6 years ago