Friday, May 25, 2012

Falling in Love

                In regards to my wonderful wife’s earlier blog post, I would have to say that I, too, share the concern that no one in their right mind would want to read about my life and what few updates I actually have to blog about. I am, after all, a very boring person. I have basically the same schedule every day of my life: I wake up, I work, I try to find time to work out, and then I spend every possible second I can with my wife. Like I said, pretty boring…except for the part about spending every possible second with my wifeJ. No matter what we are doing, we always end up having a great time. Whether we’re snuggling on the couch watching a sappy chick flick or rolling around in sleeping bags on the floor playing “caterpillar,” we usually end up laughing until our sides hurt.
One of our favorite activities : )
                As I implied earlier, there’s really not a lot of exciting things that go on in my life. Understandably, then, I had a hard time thinking about what I would blog about. After thinking for a while, I decided that something everybody likes to hear about is a cute love story. And ours is really cute, so I thought it would make for a perfect blog post.
                Our story began about 14 months ago. I was just finishing a two-year mission for my church (I served in Des Moines Iowa, Spanish speaking), and my soon-to-be bride, Jessie, was in my dad’s Institute (religion) class at the University of Nebraska. My dad told the class that there was going to be a substitute teacher the following day because he was going to pick me up from the airport. Jessie was the only single girl in the class at the time, so one of the other girls jokingly suggested that Jessie should go to the airport with my family. When Jessie confusedly asked why, the girl replied, “Who knows? Maybe he could be your future husband.” So, for the rest of that class period, all of the students facetiously planned how we were going to meet, what our first date would be, and even where we would get married. It was all supposed to be a big joke. As it turns out, their joking predictions ended up being far more accurate than anyone could have ever guessed.
Over the next couple of weeks, my dad told me about the class’s big joke, and he informed me more than once that I had to come to his institute class if I was ever going to meet my wife. I was intrigued, but I did not really understand why. Logically I should have wanted to avoid that particular class, thus avoiding a potentially embarrassing situation. I knew that the class would give us a hard time if I showed up, but for some reason I felt prompted to go. I realize now that it was my Heavenly Father trying to help me find the woman I needed to marry. At the time, however, I felt as if I were going to the class against my better judgement. I went to her class for the first time on Thursday, April 14th, 2011. My dad told me what she looked like, so I kept my eyes were peeled. I was a little more than disappointed when I realized that nobody matching her description was currently in the classroom. I was a little relieved at the same time, though, because I really didn’t want to deal with people joking about us getting married. I was a mess. I kept switching between disappointment (which was strange because I had never even met the girl) and relief. We were about halfway through the class when it happened: I fell in love. The most beautiful girl I had ever seen barged in, soaking from head to foot, and took her seat at the front of the classroom. She launched into a story about why she was late, explaining that she had locked her keys in the car, which meant that she had to ride her bike to class. Unfortunately for her, it happened to be raining. While she was telling this story, I could not stop laughing. This girl was so funny! I looked at my dad, and he gave me a quick nod, confirming that this was the girl that the class had joked about setting me up with. My whole life I had grown up not believing in “love at first sight,” but I literally fell in love with Jessie in those few minutes that she was telling her story. After she finished her story, one of the girls from the class said, “Jessie, there’s someone in here that we’d like to introduce you to. This is Austin.” Our eyes met for the first time, and both of our faces went the color of Memorial Stadium on a Husker game day. After class, a couple of the students started trying to set us up. I didn’t want Jessie to feel like I was asking her out just because of the pressure I felt from the students, so I just joked along with them, and eventually the subject was dropped. Even though we had stopped talking about it, however, I couldn’t stop thinking about the pretty girl that had made such an impression upon me that day. That night I asked my dad for her phone number, and, fending off a wave of anxiety, I called her. I am sure my voice was cracking as I said, “Well, if we’re gonna get married, we might as well go on a date first.” She said that she would not be free until the following Saturday, April 23rd, so we planned on going out then.
The next week went by very quickly. As Saturday approached, I got more and more nervous. On Saturday morning I woke up, and my palms were already sweaty from anxiety. I read a book for a while in an attempt to get my mind off the upcoming date, but it didn’t really help. I suddenly remembered her saying that she loved brownies, so I made her a batch to pass the time. I left my house to go pick her up at 11:30. I had told her I was going to pick her up at 12:00, but I wanted to give myself plenty of time in case I got lost. It turned out to be a pretty smart move. I got lost (a pretty frequent event when I’m in charge of navigating), and I barely made it to her dorm on time. As she exited her building and approached my car, the butterflies in my stomach turned into hummingbirds. I got out of my car to go open the door for her, and she ran up and gave me a big hug. I opened her door for her, and she hugged me again when she saw the plate of brownies I had strategically placed in her seat. We drove to Ruby Tuesday’s for lunch, and everything was going great. We talked about everything: our families, where we had lived, our favorite hobbies, etc. By the time lunch was over, I felt more comfortable talking to her than I had ever felt talking to anybody. We went straight from the restaurant to the mini golf place down the street. We played eighteen holes, and we had a blast. On the seventeenth hole I decided I didn’t want the date to end quite yet, so I said, “If I make this putt, then we’ll go out for ice cream.” Needless to say, I made the putt. For ice cream, Jessie suggested we go to a place downtown called Ivannacone. Ivannacone is a nice little ice cream shop, full of unique flavors. I got cornbread ice cream, and Jessie got mint chocolate cheesecake. I ended up eating most of hers, and she ended up eating all of mine. We continued to talk, and I continued to fall farther and farther in love. We probably would have spent the rest of the day together, but Jessie had to go to work. She asked what I was doing the next day, and I told her that I was going to speak at a church service out in Beatrice. She hinted that she would like to come, so I invited her to drive out there with me at 8:30 the next morning. She readily agreed, and we parted ways for the night.
I awoke the next morning feeling as if I had not slept a wink. My mind had been racing the night before, and I had had a really hard time falling asleep. As soon as I remembered the day’s upcoming events, however, my heart started beating at about twice its normal rate, and I was suddenly wide awake. I showered, got dressed, and picked out my most impressive necktie. I left the house at about 8:10, and I arrived at her dorm at about 8:25. I called to let her know that I was waiting outside. She hurried out, and my jaw dropped when I saw her. She looked gorgeous. I knew I was staring with my mouth open, but I did not care; she looked stunning. We started the drive, and we picked up right where we had left off the night before. The hour-long trip to Beatrice went by very quickly. We talked the entire way, and we both made comments like, “Man, it feels like I’ve known you forever. I feel like I can tell you anything.” Again, this struck me as very strange because I had only met her a little over a week ago, and we had only been on one date. Heavenly Father was obviously trying to tell us something;  being with Jessie just felt so right. Eventually we got to the church and went inside. We were about twenty minutes early, so there were only a few people there. We sat down by a little girl who looked to be about eight years old. She and Jessie became fast friends. After a few minutes of small talk, the little girl asked Jessie if she was married to me. Jessie blushed and answered, “No…but I’ll see what I can do.” I did not trust myself to say anything at that point, so I took my seat on the stand and waited for my turn to speak. After the services were over, we headed for home. As we were discussing our plans for Easter Sunday, she mentioned that she would be eating her Easter Feast all alone in her dorm. The only logical thing for me to do at this point was invite her over for dinner at my family’s house. She eagerly accepted my invitation, and we agreed that I would drop her off at her dorm now and then pick her up for dinner at 5:00.
That evening, I arrived at her dorm at 4:59. We drove to my house, helped my mom prepare dinner, and enjoyed a luscious feast of steak and potatoes. Everything was going very smoothly. Jessie had already known my dad from school, so they got along great. My mom instantly loved her when she offered to set the table. All of my siblings easily connected with her right off the bat. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. After dinner we sat around the kitchen table, and we just talked for about an hour. My siblings, like all good siblings, started to tease us about our relationship, asking if she was my girlfriend, if we had kissed yet, if we had held hands, and every other embarrassing question they could come up with. They finally asked if we planned on getting married, and Jessie surprised us all by saying that yes, we did plan on getting married. After a couple of seconds of awkward silence, everyone started laughing because they assumed she was joking. I, on the other hand, did not laugh. Somehow I knew she was not joking. Soon after this surprising revelation, Jessie told me that she needed to get home, so we got up and left. And that’s when things got really interesting. Jessie told me that she knew of a good shortcut, so I drove where she told me to go instead of going the way I normally did. It soon became apparent that her “shortcut” was not going to get us home anytime soon. She admitted that she had purposefully told me to go the wrong way because she wanted some time to talk. I didn’t complain - I was very happy to spend more time with her. We were laughing and joking and having a good time, and then, out of the blue, Jessie got really serious and said, “I wasn’t kidding, you know.” I knew what she was talking about, but I played dumb. “About what?” I asked. Then she said something that totally rocked my world. She said, “About getting married. I’ve known ever since that first day in class that you are the man I’m supposed to marry.” I was floored. I did not have any idea what I was supposed to say in a situation like this. She asked me what I thought about getting married, and I said, “I’m in if you are.” We drove around for another thirty minutes or so, and eventually we got to her dorm. I wanted to kiss her so bad, but I got nervous and chickened out at the last second. We parted without making any plans for our next date. Woops. Austin fail.
The next day, Monday, was a very long day for me. I wasn’t really sure where I stood with Jessie. I was pretty sure that she was at least a little upset that I hadn’t kissed her, and I wasn’t sure if I should call her my girlfriend or fiancée or nothing at all. All day I fought the urge to call her; I knew she was in school and had a really busy life, so I didn’t want to bother her. But I did know about a family home evening activity at the institute that she would be attending that night, so I decided that I needed to be there as well. I got to the activity, and she was already surrounded by friends. She waved to me, but there were no empty seats anywhere near her, so I just sat by myself. After the activity was over, I tried to make my way over to talk to her, but she was already moving into another room for a meeting. I waited outside for about forty-five minutes until the meeting was over, and when Jessie walked out, I was treated to my favorite smile in the world. She was very flattered that I had waited so long just to talk to her. I asked if she wanted to do anything, and she suggested that we should go get something to eat. It was already pretty late, so we went to the only place still open: Village Inn. We chatted about meaningless things for a few minutes, but we both really needed to know where we stood with eachother, so the conversation quickly changed to the subject of marriage. We both knew that it was what we wanted, so all that was left was agreeing on a date. After discussing potential dates for a few minutes, we decided on mid-August, a mere four months after the day we met. We both felt very confident that this was what was supposed to happen. We felt that Heavenly Father had also put His stamp of approval upon our decision. We left the restaurant feeling elated. I had no problems asking for a kiss when I dropped her off that night. Unfortunately, I was far from an experienced kisser, and I left feeling more embarrassed than satisfied. Haha. We still laugh about that momentJ.

Luckily, I figured out how to kiss before the big day.
And then the rest is, as they say, history. We had a couple of months to wait before we were married, and I think they went much faster for Jessie than they did for me. She was in Europe for about 6 months of our engagement (total hyperbole; she was only there for 5 weeks. It just seemed like 6 months). We got married on August 16, 2011, and neither of us has looked back since. Our love continues to grow, and we are even happier now than we were then. So there you have it. Quite possibly the cutest love story you’ll ever hearJ.  

1 comment:

  1. MMTC,

    You seem to have forgotten an important segment of this story: when you kept Mrs. Poulsen out well past her 9 o'clock curfew on Easter Sunday. Shameful.

    Well, I guess it all worked out in the end....