How We Met
Imagine this, you’ve had a long day, you have rushed to your hair appointment, no makeup on and you are ready for a peaceful evening of sitting in a salon chair and gabbing with your friend and hairdresser, Jeff. There’s been this guy who will not get out of your Facebook DMS, you and your pal Jeff start talking about him as he is placing the last foil in your hair. Jeff knows Howard and he is giving you the low down on him… he sets you under the dryer and as if faith would have it, Howard walks through the salon door on his way to the gym that was connected to the salon. Your eyes go wide! “WOW…That’s Howard?!” I say to my friend Jeff. He was in a suit, gym bag in hand, the Florida winter had somewhat paled his skin making his slicked-back black hair and piercing blue eyes really stand out. I remember thinking to myself “He looks like he came out of a twilight book!” I slump down in the salon chair and say a silent prayer that he doesn’t recognize me as I definitely was not looking my best with a head full of foil that made me look like I had just escaped Area 51. Needles to say, I was not that lucky… Howard comes up to me and starts chatting away as if he’s known me forever, a quality I will later grow to love.
After talking for about 20 minutes he leaves to work out. When he comes back he invites Jeff, my twin sister Kaleigh, and myself to his apartment to step in for a photoshoot our mutual friend Matt was doing. We all agreed. Later that day we meet up at his place and shoot, after the shoot we are all hanging out enjoying a few drinks. I couldn’t stop thinking about Howard, I was looking around his apartment, looking at him, as much as I didn’t want to I was definitely becoming a little infatuated with him. He starts up a conversation with me on the couch and it’s easy and free-flowing. The conversation doesn’t come very easy to me as I am a pretty meek person but with Howard it was easy! This has to be a sign… (or the beers I’ve consumed) we chat for hours and before the evening is through I blurt out to him “You know what?! We’re going to date, you’re going to fall in love with me, and we are going to get married!” Howard burst out laughing, turns to me and says “I’m not that type!” I look at my sister And say “Jerk..” fast forward a few hours and we leave, I keep replaying the evening in my head and decide to take matters into my own hand… The hunted becomes the hunter. I’ll prove him wrong!!
That night was four and a half years ago and I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve learned that it wasn’t all that hard for Howard to fall in love with me and vice-versa. I learned what it’s like to leave your family and friends in Florida to move to Texas together for better job opportunities, I’ve learned what it’s like to move again to Howard’s home state of Oklahoma after he received a promotion, I’ve learned what it’s like to have 3 super funny and kind-hearted brothers, what it’s like to have additional moms and dads who love me just as much, what it’s like to enjoy life with your best friend and soul mate.. if you’re wondering just “what it’s like” I’d have to say it’s been a crazy adventure and a beautiful blessing.
How They Asked
Have you ever been bitten by the vacation bug? I thought Howard had when he had said to me one day “Let’s take a vacation to New Mexico!” I had just visited New Mexico a few months prior and had fallen in love with the striking scenery and comfy weather. I told Howard I would love to go! Plans were made and our friends Kayla, James and their new baby Ruby were to join us later in the week! It was going to be great!
Come September 9th we are making the 10-hour drive from Tulsa to Albuquerque. We arrive that night and while sitting on the hotel bed begin planning what activities we want to do while in New Mexico. I pick horseback riding and a kiss concert. Howard wants to hike to the peak of the Sandia mountains, me being the very un-athletic person that I sigh at the thought but agree because I know he would love it. The next morning we wake up, enjoy breakfast together, hop in the car and head out to the trailhead. thankfully it turned out to be a shorter hike than I expected and surprisingly it was quite enjoyable! “Wow, I guess I like to hike after all, “ I thought to myself as we reached the top! With the Sandia mountains in front of us and Kiwani’s old adobe-style cabin behind us the view was unimaginable. I am looking around checking out the sights when Howard says “This is so nice, Let’s take a photo together to remember it!” Me being the memory maker that I jump at the idea…. the only problem? there’s no one else upon the peak with us to snap a photo!
Howard thought of it all, he says don’t worry I’ll just set my iPhone on a timer to get a picture! Problem solved! I turn to lay my backpack down and get prepared to give my best smile for our mountain top picture but when I turn to the camera, Howard is right in my face, grabbing my hands and says, “ You know I’ll love you forever right?” I kiss him and say “I love you too” but I’m totally oblivious as I’m trying to get him to turn around, the only thought going through my head was “what about our picture?! The timers going to go off soon, I want a good one!” A proposal was not on my mind, Howard continued to kiss me and tell me how much I mean to him, how much he loves me and how he would love to spend the rest of his life with me…
I freak out, is this the moment I’ve been envisioning since the moment I met him?! He drops down on one knee and out of his pocket he pulls out a ring, holds my hand and asks, “Will you marry me, Jenn?” He barely got to choke out the word “me” before I was screaming “YES!!! OF COURSE, I WILL!” He then slips a gorgeous 2.5 Carat ring on my finger, a ring that I couldn’t even imagine in my dreams, a ring that I’m still not sure that I deserve. We kiss, cry, and embrace each other.. it was a fairytale moment for me, everything was perfect! I hate to say it, or maybe I don’t LOL but I was right all along… I WOULD date, fall in love, and marry that handsome, loving, irreplaceable guy who walked into the salon 4.5 years ago.