So I’m officially addicted! All day I think of things I can write about in my blog.
As promised, I am going to tell you how Jace and I met. Now I want to preface this blog with the reminder that I remember nothing (please read my post from Feb. 10 for an explanation). If I get some of the details wrong, I’m sure that someone will come behind me and fix them. Also, I guess when I get started it is difficult to stop, so pace yourself, this one is a novel.
The first time I met Jace was my junior or senior year of high school. He was involved in the Association of Baptist Students at Louisiana Tech University and they came to my church once a year. This particular year we decided to do a hayride and then go back to the church to play games or whatever. All that I can remember of the party is playing a game called “Chubby Bunny.” The object of the game is to see who can stuff the most marshmallows in their mouth at one time. Well Jace and I happened to be on the same team, so I got to pass the marshmallows to him as he stuffed them in his mouth. He ended up winning (everyone else stopped at like 10 or 11…not Jace; he managed to stuff about 20 of those marshmallows in his mouth). Of course the most attractive thing about this game, is that you can’t exactly swallow the marshmallows, you must spit them back out. Oh yes, gross. Not exactly “love at first sight.”
Later that night, I remember us all sitting down at tables eating hamburgers or hot dogs or something, and I sat across the table from Jace and one of his roommates, Gary (they are really the only people I remember being there). At that time, Jace was wearing his state championship ring for baseball, and I can remember making stupid high school girl flirty comments to the cute college guy about his ring (you know what I’m talking about…we’ve all done it girls!). I don’t know if he even remembers my stupid flirty comments, but I remember at the end of the evening being totally in love with all college guys. No stupid high school guy was ever going to do for me.
A year or so later, I started college at Louisiana Tech University. I decided to also join the fun at the Association of Baptist Students. By this time, I didn’t really think much back to the days of “chubby bunny” and “stupid high school girl flirty comments.” So I started school in September, and by about October I was in love (or lust, or total infatuation…whatever it was it was sickening). I just knew that Jace was the one for me…he just didn’t know it yet. See, the thing I have realized over time, is that when it comes to this type of thing, guys just don’t get it.
Over the next few months I did my best to impress him…of course he noticed nothing. All of my friends, on the other hand, noticed everything. I guess it was November or early December, we were having a Friday Fun Night (or something) at the ABS, and well, um, I got caught by one of my good friends, checking out Jace’s, um, backside. I’m turning red just at the thought of this. Jace noticed nothing…totally oblivious….thank goodness, because if he knew at that time that I was checking him out, I have no idea what he would have done…geez. I was such a stupid girl with a huge crush on a really cute college guy.
So over the next few weeks, Jace and I became pretty good friends. I can remember chatting with him on AOL instant messenger on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (I didn’t have class until noon on those days, so I had plenty of time to chat). We also went to the movies, hockey games, and out to eat, just with a bunch of other people. After Christmas, I think the boy started catching on.
A week or so after Christmas (I think…this very well could have been before Christmas) my mom decided to cook up some yummy food, and I called a few of my college friends and asked them if they wanted free tasty food (now, they REALLY had to want this free tasty food, because I was still living at home at this time, and it was a 45 minute drive from the college to my house). Keith, Micah and Jace decided to make the drive for my mom’s food. Before they came, I told my mom that I was pretty interested in Jace. See, my mom and I have never really had the kind of relationship where we discuss boys. I think she just wanted me to finish college, and that was all she was interested in at that time. At the end of the evening, after everyone went home, I asked my mom for her opinion on Jace. I don’t remember exactly how she worded it, but she basically told me that he was out of my league, and that I really didn’t stand a chance. I love my mother, but geez, way to make a girl feel good (and I’m sure my mother has no idea to this day that she even said that, and I’m sure when/if she reads this, she is going to freak out, but it’s all part of the big story).
Well, after that delightful conversation, I decided to drop the whole thing. Give up on the boy. It was over, and I didn’t stand a chance.
Jace and I (along with several others) were in a Monday night Bible study together, and our Bible study group decided to go to the David Crowder Concert. It was loads of fun! Still to this day I get chills when I hear David Crowder sing “Come Thou Fount.” After the concert, we all went back to Jace’s house and hung out for a while. Since I lived 45 minutes away, I had to leave a little early to go back home. As I was leaving, Jace took my keys and removed this little blue light from my keychain (looking back, I think this is how Jace flirts…but still, I’m not so sure). Anyway, I left the light with him and walked outside. This time he followed me.
About half way to my car, Jace stopped me and handed me my little blue light. Then he asked me if I would go have dinner with him sometime (or something like that…I really hate that I can’t remember this, because it was just so perfect). My response was “OK.” Yes, I just told the guy that I’ve been drooling over for months now “OK” as if I wasn’t excited, or my insides weren’t about to burst. See I had played this day over and over in my head. I had imagined how he would ask me, if he would ask me, so I guess when he did ask, I was caught off guard that I didn’t know what else to say.
January 19, 2001, our first official date. The first date was a bit awkward, but aren’t they always a little weird? Jace and I were pretty good friends, so we knew each other pretty well. He came and picked me up at my house, then we went to Copeland’s for dinner (yes…he drove 45 minutes from his house to my house, then we drive 45 minutes from my house to Monroe, then after dinner we drove 45 minutes back to my house and he drove 45 minutes back to his house. So, 3 hours of driving for that poor boy that night…I guess he did kinda like me…hehe). So, I’ve been on first dates before. I know the standard protocol…don’t go on the first date hungry, because you will look like a pig. So to avoid looking like a pig, I ate dinner with my family about 5 that evening. Jace came to get me about 6 or 7. When we made it to the restaurant, I was full...as in, not hungry at all. I was nervous, and my stomach was all queasy anyway, and then like an idiot I ate a full dinner prior to my dinner date. So I just ordered a salad, not because I wanted to give him the impression that I’m one of those salad eating girls, but because I thought it would be best if I stayed away from all fried food, things covered in heavy cream or butter, and really anything else on the Copeland’s menu.
Overall the date was great. To be honest, I didn’t want that day to ever end. That night, Jace met most of my family (parents, sisters, brother, cousins, etc.). He was a trooper. The next day, Jace’s entire family came to visit (parents, brother, aunt, uncle, cousins, etc…you get the picture). So after only one date, we’ve officially been introduced to each other’s entire family. Awkward, yes, but it’s like they say with a band-aid, just rip it off quickly. That’s how we dealt with the meeting the family issue….get it over with quick.
The first few months of dating are always the strangest. What do you call each other when you introduce him to one of your friends…is he my “boyfriend”….that seems so 7th grade, and you know we are all grown up now and in college. And how many dates to do you go on for this “boyfriend” title to become official. Who comes up with these rules!? Some couples have a nice sit down conversation to discuss “where the relationship is going.” Not us. I can’t remember a time when we discussed anything about what we wanted in the relationship, or where we were going. It just kinda fell in place. We just knew, I guess, or we just didn’t really want to have that awkward conversation. They always said that you would know it when you found “The One” and I think it’s true. It’s that person that you are totally comfortable with, the one who will allow you to be yourself and you don’t feel weird about it. I can’t explain it. If you’ve ever been there, you just understand.
Jace graduated from Tech in May 2002 and moved back to Baton Rouge to live with his parents. If you’ve ever had a long distance relationship, you know, it really sucks! The thing is that now if we want to go visit each other, we have to find a place to stay (for him that meant staying with college friends or my parents, for me I would always stay at his parents’ house). So once a month or so we would make the four hour drive to visit each other. This got old quick! Whenever we were together, we never did get much alone time (not that we were doing anything, but you know…sometimes adult couples just like to be alone every now and then….to talk or whatever). When he came to visit me, all our friends always wanted to hang out, and then when I went to visit him, we spent a lot of time with his family. Maybe I will do a future post on long distance relationships and why it is a terrible way to have a serious relationship. For now, I won’t bore you with all that information.
We managed to make it through that very rough time, and in October 2002, Jace asked me to marry him…and of course I said yes! We got married about a year later on October 18, 2003.