How We Met
During a Summer day on July 11, 2014, Joey and I met for the first time on a charter bus headed to Portland, Oregon. I was 20 years old starting my 3rd season as an NFL Cheerleader for the Seattle Seahawks and Joey was 21 living in Seattle for the Summer while interning for the Seahawks before starting his senior year of college. That weekend we were both assigned to work the 12 Tour, which was a series of tours in the Pacific Northwest that the team would host to connect with our fans and create excitement leading up to football season. For this specific tour, we were headed to Portland for 3 days with a large group of Seahawks staff.
When I got on the bus, I saw many familiar faces except for one new face sitting at the front of the bus reading a book. In true Jackie fashion, I introduced myself to make the new intern feel welcome and went about my way with my teammates towards the back of the bus. That weekend, Joey kept trying to make conversation but I was completely oblivious to the fact that he was wanting to get to know me. Joey tells me that at the time, he was trying to discreetly ask for my number once we got back to Seattle without our coworkers seeing but I quickly gave him a goodbye hug and took off before he could. A few days later, Joey sent me a message on Facebook and asked for my number. He says he nervously paced around the football field at work before he finally mustered up the courage to call me and ask me out on a date.
The day before our first date, I was working with my teammates at a camp for children recovering from severe burn injuries, and on my way home, I received a call from another teammate saying she was stuck in traffic at the Snoqualmie Pass on her way back from a wedding. She said she was scheduled to work a golf event at the Seahawks facility in just 30 minutes and asked if I could cover for her since I was already in my uniform. I quickly drove down to the facility and to my surprise, Joey was also there working. His duty for this event was to recover all the golf balls being hit into the lake, so all afternoon he drove around a little Boston Whaler on the water trying to dodge golf balls coming his way. During the event, Joey and some of my teammates talked about going out on the boat after working, but once the event was over, all the girls suddenly had “other plans” which just left the two of us! Joey went inside and packed a backpack of beers and we sat in the boat on the lake for about 5 hours talking about our families, goals, and dreams late into the night under the stars.
The next day we went on our first date at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue. I was so nervous that I could hardly eat so all I ordered at this amazing steakhouse was a wedge salad, which Joey makes fun of me for to this day. During dinner, his phone was buzzing on the table the whole night and like a true gentleman, Joey didn’t look at his phone once. After dinner as we were about to head down the elevator, Joey’s uncle showed up at the restaurant to meet someone for work and it turns out he was the one blowing up Joey’s phone all night because he knew he was there and wanted to meet up. We hung out with him for a while and thanks to his uncle insisting we take a photo together, we have a dark, blurry picture from our first date but it is forever one of my favorites. After dinner, Joey brought me to his aunt and uncle’s boat and he had a bottle of wine and a playlist prepared with lots of Jack Johnson songs, which was fitting because the boat was named “Better Together”. Just like the night before, we talked for hours and had our first kiss!
Our first date was the Monday before Joey moved back to Minnesota for his senior year of college so the rest of that week we made the most of our time together and went on a couple more dates. We both worked the Seahawks pre-season game that Friday and thought it would be the last time we saw each other before he left because I had to fly out to LA early the next morning for the MTV Video Music Awards. To our luck, my flight landed back in Seattle on Sunday exactly an hour before he was departing so we said our goodbyes in the airport at the A Gates at SeaTac, unsure of where this Summer love was going to go next.
That Fall, Joey and I kept in touch as friends and like clockwork, he texted me before every single Seahawks home game with a sweet message wishing me good luck, and never missing a game. He came back to visit in September and I met both his dad and best friend, Nick, for the first time. When he visited again in December he met my parents over brunch and I met his mom and sister over dinner. After dinner with his family that night, I brought him with me to a Christmas Party where he got to meet most of my friends for the first time. And just a few weeks after that, he came back again and I met the entire extended Schneider family the night before we won the NFC Championship that sent the Seahawks back to the Superbowl.
We saw each other again in February at the Superbowl in Arizona where he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was so shocked and said no, unsure of where this would go with him living in Minnesota and us having to do a long-distance relationship. This is also another part of our story Joey will still give me a hard time to this day! When we said our goodbyes in Arizona, he made me promise to come to visit him in Minnesota during my Spring Break and I told him I would think about it. Just a couple of weeks later on Valentine’s Day, he sent me a dozen roses, and thanks to his incredible thoughtfulness and persistence, he finally convinced me to come to the Twin Cities. What was supposed to be just a few days turned into almost a week-long visit thanks to the Minnesota snow! But we had the BEST week ever celebrating both our March birthdays with his family, hanging out with all of his friends, touring Joey’s college campus and several Minneapolis landmarks…and Joey asked me to be his girlfriend for the second time and we finally made this thing “official”. We had a long distance relationship for a short 3 months before he graduated college and finally made the move to Seattle! We would spend the next 7 years building the most amazing life together filled with lots of travel, football games, law school, a global pandemic, and many more adventures!
How They Asked
It was just 2 days before Christmas and both of our families were in town for the holidays. We had dinner planned that evening at our favorite restaurant in our neighborhood with Joey’s parents and siblings as well as my parents, brother, and grandparents. Joey and I planned to meet everyone at the restaurant but it seemed as if they were all running late, so we walked out to the dock to catch what was left of the sunset while we waited for our families to arrive. Shortly after we got out to the dock, Joey turned to me and grabbed both of my hands, and got down on one knee.
He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him on the same lake we spent those 5 hours on a boat talking to each other the night before our first date and in the place we have built a life together for the last 5 years. After I said yes, our families all appeared from hiding and we hugged and cried and I had never been more surprised! Immediately after he proposed, we had an intimate dinner with our families and then celebrated with both our family and friends at our local neighborhood dive bar all night long! Everything was absolutely perfect and we woke up the next day on Christmas Eve with very full hearts and so happy to be ENGAGED!
Proposal on Lake Washington, December 2021