How We Met
How did you meet each other? ( Lauryn’s rendition) It was slow, the wave of her washing over me. It’s strange now, to imagine that there was a time that I wasn’t completely submerged in her beautiful soul. I decided to attend a cross-fit class at a newly opened gym in my town. I had done cross-fit previously but had stopped due to the hour commute that it required. I don’t remember the exact moment or interaction that occurred between us but I just remember at that time in my life feeling something changing. I had been in such a funk. I had slowly let the meanness of the world harden my once soft heart. I didn’t like that feeling at all. Something about this place made my hardened heart start to feel softer again. (my first picture doing cross-fit at CFLE!) Kiristin didn’t teach every class but I remember loving the ones that she did teach. I remember feeling her presence, her warmth, her energy. It was almost overwhelming. I didn’t know at the time but she was going through a divorce, yet she still exuded all of this beautiful energy. Time went on and I continued to regularly attend classes. I even became a cross-fit trainer myself. All the while intrigued and interested in this girl. My heart continued to soften back to its original state. As it often does, life happened. I began working more and attending my nursing classes and my plate got full and I felt overwhelmed and as if I needed to deload something. Regretfully, what I decided to deload was cross-fit. I can’t say for certain what it was. I honestly think I was a little afraid of her as I was in a relationship at the time.
Months passed and I watched her, along with all of my other friends from the gym, from afar. I would look at their Facebook’s and think about wanting to be back there. I would talk myself out of it time after time. Until finally my friend Whitley who had continued to go convinced me to come back to a class with her. At this time I felt my relationship dissolving, I needed to get myself back. I knew I needed to reclaim my own hobbies, my own people. I did, and ive been going ever since. Shortly after returning to the gym there was a big group of people that were going on a “Red neck party bus” to celebrate a birthday. I thought it sounded fun so I wanted to go. I wanted to re-submerge myself back into this wonderful group of people. Whitley had to work so I knew that if I decided to go I had to go alone. So I did. A few weeks prior to the departure of the party bus I had a couple text communications with Kristin. One was to show her our 1 year friendship on Facebook and the other was to drunkenly tell him to “add me on snapchat bitch.” ( I swear I’m romantic guys lol ) . I think I even told her that the redneck party bus was gonna be my comeback, and it was. So the day of the party bus came and I remember wondering if I should go or not, it was either that or a turkey banquet…..so I went. I pre gamed as I got ready. I was nervous, I wasn’t sure who was gonna be there and I had only been back to the gym for a couple weeks.
I get on the bus and I knew several people. I was having fun! Then I hear someone say, oh we’re picking up Kristin at her house. In my head I was like “yessssss” lol. She walked onto that bus, and though I was drunk I remember this so clearly, she looked at me and it was like I was the only person there. We talked, danced, sang, the rest of the night together. Something about her eyes, her voice, her presence that night. I was hooked. Time went on and my relationship did, in fact, completely dissolve. It just so happened this this was also the same time that the cross fit open was happening. This is an exciting time as it brings the entire gym together. I decided to sign up for it. This ended up being my saving grace. The gym was a refuge to me during this time. Kristins friendship was a refuge to me during this time. (Kristin judging one of my open workouts…and also judging me as a very out of shape person ;) …I kid ) As I was moving into a new apartment there was a night that I didn’t have a bed moved in yet. Kristin, so graciously, offered to let me stay with her that night. We talked and talked and talked. We stayed up way too late and drank way too much wine. I woke up the next morning feeling so thankful for her presence in my life. I left her a bottle of wine and a thank you card. I remember her telling me that no one had done anything like that for her since she had been divorced.
I was shocked and delighted at the same time. In my head I was thinking how could that be? This women is a beautifully written novel, a brilliant play, a soothing song, a crisp fall day…How is it possible that I have been the first one to do just a small gesture for her. In my eyes she deserved (and still deserves) the world. I didn’t know how anyone could be blind to that.Nonetheless, I was thankful to be the first one to express to her that I was thankful for her existence. Time went on, we spent almost every Wednesday night and every weekend together. We went on adventures, big and small. We talked for hours. We asked questions. I had never been in the presence of someone who truly wanted to get to know me. I had never spoken with someone who was as opened minded, as optimistic, as kind, and as sweet as she was. She made, and still makes me, feel so free. ( One of our long nights spent taking when the power went out and I got to sit and talk to her beautiful face lit up by candlelight) She slowly let me deeper into her being. She let me inside of her thoughts. She told be her biggest secrets. I felt myself starting to love her then. As my relationship with her grew so did my relationship with Jack, her son. I was always so cautious in regards to that. I wanted her to know how important he was to me and how important it was for me to build a relationship with him.
She saw that and appreciated it and let me spend more and more time with him. With each hug he gave me, with each time he spoke my name, my heart grew bigger for him. It seems as if all of that was just weeks ago. It seems impossible that months have passed since I first kissed her her lips, since I first held jacks hand. In those months so much has happened that I cant wait to tell you all about. I’m so thankful for this story that has led to our beautiful, loving, life together. So…that’s how we met. Sorry to everyone who has asked me in person and I replied with the simple statement ” at the gym” as its so so so much more than that. Its so much more beautiful than that. I’m so thankful. Journey into the unknown! So…how did you two meet? (Kristin’s Story) Hello, good morning, good day.This is my very first blog post on our brand new bonfires of the heart page.I’m super excited to share a lot of journeys…and coming up with my very first post has been difficult.But I decided to start from the beginning and work forward from there.I’m a girl that loves to reminisce sometimes, so thinking about some of the moments when the lovely Lauryn Patton entered my life makes me start to fall in love with her all over again. Let’s start here shall we.You see I met Lauryn through CrossFit when I first opened the gym, CrossFit Little Egypt in 2014.We hung out a few times in group settings, I would have her in class…she even became a trainer of mine.But at the time, we were both in relationships.
I was actually going through a divorce.Fast forward life a bit.She quits CrossFit (how dare she, right?!) and we really lost touch.I would see her out every now and then, never really understanding why she left the gym. So our encounters were pretty brief.Then out of the blue this past February, she hits me with a text (see our intimate exchange below).”Friends on FaceBook for 1 year.”Then a few days later, she so politely asks me to add her on SnapChat.Then it proceeds from there.I remember being in Florida the night she started snap chatting (I’m not big on SnapChat, so I’m not sure if the kids call it snapping or snap chatting or SC’ing or what) me, not thinking twice about a thing. On February 8th, Lauryn signed back up for the gym (for 3 days a week).;)She quickly changed to Unlimited that next month. The month of February brought a few things for Lauryn and me.See, I like wine.I like gatherings.I like people.So our gym was planning a little celebration for a member’s husband on February 20th…all aboard the Redneck Party Bus, ladies and gents. Lauryn decided to sign up for our little party that evening, saying it could be her come back to the CrossFit world.And maybe it was. Maybe it was the pre-gaming that took place before I stepped on that bus. Maybe it was seeing her sitting there looking so sweet.Maybe it was the cut off flannel shirt she couldn’t resist. Maybe it was the way her eyes looked up at me when she was sitting on my living room floor at the end of the night.
But even though our paths were much different during that time, we connected in a way that led us to where we are today. Maybe we didn’t know it after that weekend, but a pretty amazing thing had been lit between us.We went about a week without talking.I believe I only saw her in the gym one night after our flannel extravaganza.She was in a relationship.I was still in a cycle of confusion around mind vs. heart vs. wants vs. needs vs. truth vs. reality vs. selfishness vs.….OK, you get the picture. We started talking casually again the first part of March.Her relationship status was changing and as the real friend I am, offered for her to stay with me a few times during her moment of need (inserting sweet, but sly emoji here).She stayed with me one night early March and when I got home the next day, I find this on my oven. Oh only my favorite kind of wine that we had stayed up the night before drinking a ton of.And a sweet little card.Yes, this little burglar had started breaking into this heart of mine. I remember taking these pictures and sending them to my besties. What is this gesture?Who does this girl think she is?What is she trying to pull here?I don’t know about any of you, but after you come through a divorce, your armor is on tight…at least mine was.So any kind of sweet gesture at that time took me off my guard. That following weekend we started becoming inseparable.
A group of us went on a hike after one of the Cross-fit Open workouts.You see there’s this fine young man that entered my life on October 1, 2013 that stole my heart away; my son Jack Jameson ! Having anyone come into his life in an emotional way was something I treaded very lightly with.To be with me meant to be with him.To be with him meant to be with me.I still remember the way my heart felt when I saw Lauryn and Jack interact that day.Her attention was on him.They through BIG rocks, she held him close to her. She was sweet and gentle.She was kind and caring. She was interested. My heart continued to open. There wasn’t a weekend that we didn’t spend time together.She continued breaking into my house, I continued to be pleasantly surprised by her beautiful soul and authentic heart. I wanted to know her.I wanted to learn everything in the world about her.I wanted to experience old and new with her. I wanted to hear all of her stories.I wanted to make new ones with her. I started feeling myself changing, softening to the idea that someone out there was actually this beautiful of a person.I became hooked on her smile (still am).I looked forward to every time I saw her name come through as a text on my phone (still do).I would get anxious when we would go out on dates together (still do). Status: Heart = open. So how did the two of you meet?Just like that.And feeling how I do right now about my love…I wouldn’t have changed it.
How They Asked
The Proposal It all started on a Monday…Okay maybe not ALL of it but it was a Monday when I officially decided i was going to propose to the love of my entire life, Monday February 6th to be exact. For those of you keeping track ,yes, that is less than 2 weeks away from the date of my proposal. Nuts? Maybe? Do-able? Def!!! So here’s the lowdown. I have been madly, hopelessly, completely and utterly in love with Kristin for quite sometime. I have known for quite a while that she was the one who I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. What i didn’t know was when i was going to ask her to marry me. Previous to the Monday that my decision was made i had been thinking about proposing for around 1 or 2 months. The thought would cross my mind and i would just kind of let it sit there. Kristin had a VERY BIG wall up for a long time and while that has long sensed crashed down I was still very cautious to that. I had no doubt that she wanted to spend her life with me but i didn’t want to scare her by asking to early. On this particular day i decided I would email our friend Brittany to see what she thought of the idea.
After composing and sending the email i was sitting at work for a bit before the reply. During this downtime my co-worker, who is one of the sweetest souls i have ever met, said so when are you and Kristin getting married?” This took me off guard as the week before she had just been lecturing another girl we work with on not rushing into things and figuring your own life out first before jumping into marriage. I replied by telling her i thought she was joking since she had just made those comments a few days before. Her response to me was ” oh I wasn’t talking about you. What you and Kristin have is the real deal. Why wait?” During this conversation i got an email back from Brittany that basically said the same thing as Amber. So i knew it was right. That day on my lunch break i went and bought the ring. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. I was so excited and happy. I, of course , wanted to share these feelings with my best friend, Kristin, so i decided then that i would make videos of myself planning the proposal so i could share it all with her afterwards.
Now if you know me you know that i am a hopeless romantic. So i have seen my fare share of proposal videos. I honestly don’t know where i got my idea from. Maybe it was a hodge podge of all the videos I’ve seen over the years but i didn’t even have to think about it, i knew exactly what i wanted to do. So the next thing i did was reach out to several of our friends and family members. I asked them if they would make a short video talking about Kristin and I. I explained to them that i would then put all the videos together and show them to her before the proposal.
The most nerve racking part of this was when i went to ask her family to do this/ ask for their blessing. Kristin’s Aunt Gina helped me get her mom,dad, wuwu, and uncle mike all together so i could talk to them as a group. Now i tend to ramble a bit when i’m nervous so i decided to write a speech (LOL). The day that i was to meet with her family soon arrived. I remember being SO nervous. I drove around the block like 10 times before stopping lol. I walked in, had some small talk, and then presented my speech….I’m gonna be honest, it was really silent for a hot minute. I was thinking, ” well shit that went bad”. The first person to say something was Kristin’s mom Kathy. She immediately said that we had her blessing as she had tears in her eyes. The next person to say something was her dad Jerry and he said “Well are you gonna get better at Cross-fit then to keep with with her”. Hey, at least that eased the tension! The conversation ended with her aunt Gina interrogating me for a few minutes with questions about kids, marriage, etc. Then she warned me about having to take care of Kristin in her old age, which i said i would happily do!! ( refer to previous blog post about a soap suds enema ha ha ha) The days leading up to the proposal passed fairly quickly.
I managed to get off work that Saturday and i kept it as a surprise. I ordered all of my supplies online, i went a little nuts with that…I mean who needs 10000 pieces of gold confetti..? My mom so graciously agreed to help me decorate the day of so i had an inventory list prepared for her…okay i’m insane i know. Fast forward to February 18th, the day of the proposal!!! Kristin and I woke up that morning together, happy that i didn’t have to go to work. I had a gift and a card waiting on her upon her awakening. I had three pictures of us framed to hang above our bed, I also had a good morning card giving her just a few details of the morning. She still had no idea where we were going or what we were doing. I also had her her first outfit of the day doubt and set out for her to wear when we decided to get ready. I didn’t want her to have to worry about a thing. We spent the morning together drinking coffee and just being with one another. That’s one of our favorite things to do. After a couple hours we decided to get ready. When we were already to go I pulled out the duffel bag full of things for both of us for an overnight trip. Kristin was so excited that I were getting out of town and that i had packed everything she needed for the weekend away! In the meantime i had gotten all of the decorations to my mom a few days beforehand. She was headed to St Louis the same time as us to help set up the scene! We got to St Louis right on time. We checked into our Air bnb loft and were off to the lunch date I planned.
I took Kristin to the restaurant in ballpark village that we went to the day we (I) lost her keys…there’s a previous blog post about that as well lol. At lunch i had another card and gift for her. This gift was the outfit she would be wearing that night, a black shirt with a built in choker and a red blazer…I mean i know my girl! She was so excited!! During lunch my mom was texting me with some of the difficulties that they were having trying to set up the proposal on the rooftop…like people smoking weed, bringing up dogs, and the wind blowing everything over.I was getting a littler nervous at this point!! So after lunch we went back to the loft. I had to sneak away from Kristin to take a screwdriver to the rooftop for my mom and stepdad to use to put together somethings.I quickly came back and we had a glass of wine together before starting to get ready. I got ready before Kristin. I didn’t let her see what I was wearing. I leaned into the bathroom where she was getting ready and I said just text when you’re done and I’ll give you your instructions.
She was confused to say the least! So i headed up to the roof top!! I met my mom and step dad up there. I asked them to hide and put up a sign after Kristin got up there so no one would come up on the roof. I walked onto the rooftop and it looked perfect. The sun was setting and i couldn’t wait to ask this girl to marry me. I set up a few last minute things and then text her where to go. It felt like i waited forever before she finally made it to the roof. I didn’t want her to see me so i was hiding under a table behind a curtain when she came onto the roof. I could see her but she couldn’t see me. She immediately started crying. I had our song into the mystic playing in the background. It was perfect. The first thing she was led to was a little wooden box that said “Love Notes” I had written a letter to her about my love for her.
I watched her read it and she began to cry even more. After reading the letter she then sat down and watched the video that I had made of all of our friends and family. I absolutely adored hearing her laugh and watching her smile and cry while watching it. It took around 25 minutes for all this to happen so as you can imagine i was really excited to pop out and see her!!! After the video finished I, not so gracefully, crawled out from underneath the table. Kristin ran up to me with her eyes full of tears. I had an entire speech prepared but i couldn’t utter a word. Everything that needed to be said was shared between us in that hug.
After a few minutes i finally got it together enough to put a few words together. I started off my saying “don’t be scared baby…” she cut me off before i could even finish my sentence and told me she wasn’t scared at all. God she looked so beautiful. I told her how much i loved and cherished her and finally asked her to marry me. She immediately said yes and embraced me yet again. We just hugged for what felt like an hour. It was perfect. I just wanted her close to me. Once we pulled it together i took her back over to the laptop to show her the video I had made of myself. She loveddddd it!!! After watching that video i gave her the last gift of the night which was a little ring dish that said “happily ever after” and matching “Feyonce” shirts for us to wear the next day.
I don’t care how cliche it sounds, it was absolutely magical. We went back down to the loft to get cleaned up. After that we met my parents for a drink and to thank them for all of their help. Kristin pulled my mom aside and told her that she would always take care of me…my heart melted even more. We ended our night by going to a sweet little wine bar and then Baileys chocolate bar. We were just wrapped up in each other. We woke up the next morning engaged, and completely consumed in one another.
I could write a novel about this, about her, i really could. While I make these big and grand gestures i want to make it clear what is most important. It’s not the ring or the rooftop. It’s the love, it’s the girl. I really don’t know what i have done in any life to deserve a love like this but I am so thankful i have it. Kristin is the beginning and the end of everything to me. I would walk to the ends of the earth for her, sacrifice anything for her. This is what life is about, real, true, selfless love. I don’t know how much time I am destined to have on this earth, but i do know that it will never be enough. I will spend every lifetime i ever live loving that girl. It’s cliche ( so am I ) but life is short. Live it with those you love. Why not start forever today?