Saturday, November 3, 2007

Our Story.

Hey everyone, this is Kenny! There's been a very popular question that I've been asked WAY too often, as of late. Not that it's a bad question, or that I hate answering it. Heck, I love talking about it, but the answer keeps getting longer and longer. Now I'm sure you're all wondering what that question is. Well, considering I got home from my mission on the 4th of July and am now engaged to a girl I met 2 months after coming home everyone wonders, "Isn't it a little fast?" So, Jamie and I put together this little story to fill you all in on how we met, dated, and got engaged. Enjoy!

Jamie spent last summer working as a camp counselor in California. After a short visit from her family, Jamie and her mom were wondering whether she should stay at camp an extra 2 weeks or take those 2 weeks off before school started again to be at home with her family. After lots of meditation and prayer, Jamie felt it would be best to spend the time at home, in spite of a very good employment opportunity during those 2 weeks.

On the 4th of July, Kenny returned home from serving a full time mission to Mexico City only to help his family load up the moving vans and head to Arizona. Originally from the Seattle area, Kenny was not too excited about this sudden change of scenery, yet decided to spend a couple weeks there to see some friends and extended family before moving to Arizona to be with his family. Upon arriving Arizona, Kenny was determined to start fresh, and began attending the singles ward. He was quickly put to work there in the Elders Quorum Presidency, as well as being given various speaking assignments at the stake level.

Word quickly got out that he was planning on returning to BYU in the winter to study music education. Consequently, he and his family were asked to sing a special musical number at his home ward a couple weeks before Jamie was due home from camp. During their musical number, several friends and family of Jamie's thought that she just absolutely had to meet this fresh-off-his-mission RM.

The plotting began, and the day that Jamie came home from camp, her family had organized a barbecue with several other families in the ward, including Kenny's, with the sole purpose of getting them to meet. Jamie, being informed of the intent of the barbecue, had no desire to meet this RM, who for all she knew was still "missionary weird". Kenny, too preoccupied with an appointment to be set apart by the stake president that night, ignored the comments that a young woman studying at BYU would be there too. He was playing catch (in a dress shirt and slacks) with his little brother and some of the other little kids when he saw what he presumed to be this girl come out of the house with everyone swarming to hug her and say hi. Jamie noticed a handsome guy playing catch in a dress shirt and slacks and knew immediately that this must be the potentially "missionary weird" guy that she was supposed to meet. Kenny's mom took the initiative to introduce them, also being completely oblivious to the intent of the barbecue, and they spent the rest of the time there chatting with their parents and getting to know a little more about the other. Much to their surprise, they realized that they had lots in common, but knew that chances were slim that they would ever meet again.

Coincidentally, it was stake conference weekend. Kenny was at the Saturday session extremely early because of a Leadership meeting beforehand, and was saving a seat for his mom. The chapel quickly filled and the only empty bench was the one he was sitting on. Right at that moment, Jamie walked in with her mom, and being the nice guy that he is, invited them to sit by him and his mom. During conference, Kenny and Jamie both couldn't help but notice some subtle interest in the other, but kept convincing themselves that they were being ridiculous. Afterwards they went with a big group to dinner and kept realizing that they had so much in common it was almost scary! After coloring on the kids' menu and a small choking incident, Kenny asked for her number and invited her to FHE the following Monday.

At the Sunday morning session of conference, Kenny sang in the choir and couldn't help glancing in Jamie's direction every now and then. He didn't feel so bad thought, because every once in a while he'd catch her doing the same. As he watched Jamie with her family during conference, he realized that this was not the kind of girl you run into every day. She was definitely something special.

Monday night's FHE was a great ice breaking activity for them: a scavenger hunt around town resulting in a Barbie vs. G.I. Joe match, dressing him up in little girl's dress up clothes, and even a staged break up in the middle of Wal-Mart! What was meant to be a small adventure at the park quickly turned into another long night of talking, sharing stories, playing, laughing, and beginning to realize that this was something different than anything they had ever before experienced. The night ended, but they promised to be in touch before Jamie went back to school.

The next day, Jamie invited Kenny to see a jazz combo at the courthouse downtown. Little did Jamie know that Kenny absolutely loves jazz music. However he was somewhat worried at her rather forward behavior. As the night went on, those feelings subsided and they shared more stories over ice cream sitting on the back of her car, gazing at the stars. Wednesday, Yavapai College's soccer team was playing and it was a big thing. However, Kenny had scratched his eye at work and could not see a thing. Jamie ended up commentating the game as he sat there holding her hand with his sunglasses on at night, and he made her drive his car home for fear of crashing. After realizing that they couldn't keep ignoring the way the felt about each other they spent their last day together on their first official date: horseback riding at the Drapers, dinner at Red Robin, and a Disney movie at Jamie's.

The time came when they had to say goodbye and decided to keep what they had started going. Kenny went on a temple trip with his family on Friday, and took advantage of the opportunity to ask for divine inspiration on the matter. Jamie went back to BYU and asked for a blessing from her Uncle Gary in preparation for the new semester and looking for some comfort in a world that had quickly been turned upside down. With plans to serve a mission, and the papers all ready to go, she too was in need of some heavenly help. By the end of the weekend, both were certain that they were meant to be together and ever since have spent every day talking for hours on the phone, wanting to get to know the other as much as possible.

After a couple of weeks on the phone, Kenny and Jamie had determined that they would be married, although there still hadn't been an official proposal. Kenny asked for Jamie's sister's help in looking for the right ring and surprised Jamie by arriving at her doorstep a day earlier than expected in Provo with a bouquet of red daisies (her favorite) in hand. He then took her for a walk to the Provo Temple because he hadn't seen it since they began major renovations on the grounds while in the MTC. When they arrived, he gave her a teddy bear to add to her collection wearing a string of real pearls around its neck. As they approached the temple they paused and sat on the edge of one of the fountains. After catching up and asking how the other had been, Kenny asked if he could ask her one more question. Pulling the ring from his pocket as he dropped to one knee, he proposed to Jamie with the silhouette of the temple behind them, asking if she would be his bride. "Shut up!" were her exact words as she pulled him off his knee and gave him a big hug. Taking that for a yes, he then pointed out the pearls that she had failed to notice til now. Jamie was so surprised, she couldn't believe it!

Since then, they still talk everyday for hours. There have been a couple more visits to see each other, with one more before they tie the knot on December 29th at the Mesa Arizona Temple. Wedding plans are almost done, their differences are being discovered, and the long distance is definitely taking it's toll. But it only brings them closer. As hard as it all is, they wouldn't have it any other way.