How We Met
Jarrett and I were set up by mutual friends. After exchanging numbers and talking for a few weeks, we decided to grab dinner. Jarrett was more familiar with the Dallas area and suggested a restaurant in Uptown for our first date on February 22, 2016. The night before, I asked him for the address, and he told me it was Gloria’s on Lemmon Avenue. The next night, I went to the restaurant straight from work. 6:00 came and passed. 6:15 finally came and he wasn’t there..turns out, there are two Gloria’s on Lemmon, literally 1 mile from each other. And we were at different ones.
Once we finally figured out the mix-up, Jarrett drove to the location I was at. Relieved that I hadn’t been stood up on our first-date, I turned back to being nervous to meet him! At 6:40, a tall, very handsome man wearing a burgundy button-down, jeans, and cowboy boots came walking in. He gave me an awkward hug, and we went to our table. We stayed at our little table in the back of the restaurant until they closed that night. We were both obviously not great at the dating game: I nearly knocked my wine over but caught it at the last second; he parked too close to a pillar and could barely squeeze back into his driver seat as we left. Our first date was full of all sorts of awkward conversation and nerves, but as we drove home that night, there were smiles on both of our faces. Dating isn’t easy. We both had been in complicated relationships in the past. Trusting someone new can be really hard, but as the year progressed, our relationship blossomed. Neither of us has ever felt so confident and secure in a relationship, not to mention incredibly happy and fulfilled. We have learned that although no one is perfect, a relationship with the right person feels effortless. We laugh daily, affirm one another, and cherish the little things. Since I am a native Californian, Jarrett saw it as his duty to turn me into a Texan. My education consisted of the Texas State Fair, multiple Texas A&M football games, the Houston Rodeo, a Willie Nelson concert, and many wonderful days out on the lake in the pontoon boat.
In July, we drove across the country for him to meet my family in Michigan. We survived the long drive, and loved every second we spent there. In September, my dad and step-mom flew out from Los Angeles to meet Jarrett (and watch the Horned Frogs play!). Jarrett took my dad to coffee and asked for his permission to marry me. Over the next few months, Jarrett designed the perfect ring. My middle name is Joy. It is a word that carries so much significance to me and has become a theme in our relationship. It was my sweet grandmother’s name, and it is a daily reminder of the way Jarrett and I want to live our lives together. Once the ring was finished, he hid it behind the washing machine (where he knew my 5’1″ self wouldn’t be able to reach it) and waited for the right moment.
how they asked
On the morning of Saturday March 11th, I went to get my nails done with my friend Lydia (Stop #1). We spent the morning catching up on life, and when we were finished with our nails, Lydia walked me to my car and gave me a hug. As she turned around, she handed me a card and told me she loved me. I opened the card, and in it, Jarrett had written, “Lydia and I thought you could use a day to yourself. You have an appointment for a massage and facial. Have fun!! I love you!” with an address at the bottom. Stop #2: When I walked into the salon, the receptionist asked my name and had a huge grin on her face. I followed her gaze and saw my sister, Jessica, (who lives in Michigan) sitting on the bench in the waiting room. I immediately started crying and hugged her. We spent the next hour and a half getting pampered. Once we were done, Jessica handed me another card; in it Jarrett had written, “You are now having lunch where we had our first date! Yes, you went to the correct one ;) Hope you’re having a great day! I love you!” To this day, we tease each other about who was actually at the right Gloria’s. Stop #3: I got in my car and headed over to Gloria’s where my college roommate and best friend of 6 years, Courtney, met me. We sat and had lunch, trying not to talk about what was obviously going on that day. Once we were all finished, she handed me yet another card. This one read, “This is where it all began, and I can’t tell you how happy you have made me! You are now going to hear from some very important people, they have some things they want to say! I love you!”, with another address. Stop #4: When I arrived at my friend Rachel and her husband Chase’s apartment, I was greeted by a row of dresses and heels. Rachel had gone shopping and picked out eight dresses for me to try on, and Jarrett and Jessica had dropped off every shoe and undergarment combination I could ever need. I had left the apartment in the morning wearing yoga pants and a flannel, and they wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to feel beautiful that night. When we were done trying on dresses, Rachel told me there were a few videos for me to watch. Before he proposed, Jarrett had reached out to both my parents and his, and asked them to record a video message for me to watch on this special day. I was crying before the first one was over. Having the affirmation, love, and support of both of our families meant the world to me. Once we both had dried our eyes, Rachel gave me my next card, which read, “Now you get to see someone again! I hope you’ve had a great day so far, and I can’t wait to see you! I love you!” and sent me on my way to the mall. Stop #5: When I walked into Nordstrom, I saw Lydia’s smiling face in the entryway. She went with me to get my make-up done with one of the stylists there. All of the girls at the counter were so excited after hearing the journey I had been on and all of the thought that Jarrett had put into every detail. Once make-up was done, Lydia gave me my next card, “I hope this day is everything that you imagined it would be! It’s not over yet, another stop to make! I love you!” and sent me to the Drybar in Fort Worth. Stop #6: Courtney was waiting for me with a bag full of bridal magazines, and we excitedly chatted while getting our hair done. Once we were completely done up, I put my dress and heels on and Courtney gave me my final card, “Come see me where we watched our first Christmas Tree Lighting together! I love you!”. Stop #7: I threw all of my things in my car and drove to Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. The walk from the parking lot to the center of the Square felt like miles. But as soon as I turned the corner, I saw Jarrett sitting at one of the tables, waiting for me. I have never been so nervous/excited/anxious as I was at that moment.
Saying yes was the easiest thing I have ever done. The night concluded at Lydia’s house with friends, family, food, and champagne. I felt so incredibly special and loved that day. Jarrett’s thoughtfulness and the support and assistance from all of our friends and family still moves me to tears. Jarrett, you are the most wonderful man. What a privilege it is to be yours.