Monday, November 4, 2013

The Proposal Story :)

If any boys are reading this, pay attention!  This is how a proposal should be done.  I realize that my last post was in February, and I was talking about events that happened a year ago.  So I'm just gonna skip ahead to this and then go back and re-cap the last year.

I just had to get this story up because lots of you have been asking to hear it.  And it's so good that it just has to be told!  So here is the story of how Jeff and I got engaged:

This may be long...

A few weeks ago I got a text from Jeff that said not to plan anything for Oct 17, Oct 29, Nov 8 and Nov 9 because he had dates planned for those days.  I -accidentally- looked at the calendar on his iPod and saw that October 29th had an event entitled "The Date".  He told me that he was meeting with my roommate on the 21st to pick out the ring (I picked out 6, he narrowed it down to 2, and then recruited Jaylene's help/input to pick the final one).  He was so good at lying and deceiving (hope that's not the case for the rest of our marriage. haha.) that I didn't think the proposal was coming for another couple of weeks.

The plan was to leave at 5 (after work) on the 17th to go up to City Creek mall and eat and do a little shopping.  So I was surprised when he came at 3:30 and told me he arranged for me to get off work early.  I could tell something was up, but I was SO convinced that he was just doing all of this to make me think that he was gonna propose and then he wouldn't actually do it.  So I didn't want to have any expectations for the night, or get my hopes up just to be disappointed.

We ate dinner at The Garden on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, then we did a little shopping at City Creek.  We went to walk around Temple Square, and as we were waiting to cross the road a horse and buggy drove by.  I turned to Jeff and said, "when it's Christmas time and all the lights are out, can we go on a carriage ride?"  He said, "maybe".  We entered Temple Square and started walking to this obscure area that I've never really been to and I said, "Do you know where you're going?"  He said, "Yes" and we walked out the gates, where that same horse and buggy was waiting for us on the side of the road.

We got in the carriage and rode up to this adorable area of Salt Lake and into Memory Grove Park.  We stopped at this cute little bridge and the driver said, "This is a good place to stop and stretch your legs.  I'll go turn the horse around and see you in a few minutes."  We got off and walked over to the bridge and Jeff started looking over the side saying, "this is a cute little stream."  It looked like he was looking at something so I leaned over to see what it was.  When I turned back around, he was on his knee holding a little black box.  I thought for sure that he was faking it, but then he started talking all serious about how we've had so much fun together the past few months and how he can't wait to marry me and keep having fun.... honestly I don't remember that much.  It was all a blur, and even up to this point I wasn't for sure if he was actually proposing or not.  He showed me the ring and it was definitely not any of the ones that I had picked out, so that was another reason I thought it was a joke.  But then he said, "this is not the real ring.  It's just a place-holder for tonight and you will get the real one tomorrow.  There's a surprise and it will be like Christmas for you".  Then he asked if I would marry him and I nodded and he 
put the ring on my right hand.  haha.  He was nervous.  
Then he started talking about how he wanted to propose in private, but that we weren't alone.... there was someone, somewhere, taking pictures.  These random people came over and started snapping pictures with their phones.  I didn't recognize them, so it just seemed like some people passing by saw a proposal happening and they thought it was cute, so they came over to get pictures.  Come to find out, it was our friends, Josh and Karen, wearing wigs as disguises.  I totally didn't recognize them!  I was wondering, "who are these people taking our picture?!"

Josh and Karen, our secret picture takers

Putting the ring on the wrong hand...

Realizing that there were strange people taking our picture...

At this point, I had finally figured out that it was a real proposal and I started crying.... what can I say?  It was super romantic.  But it's not even close to being over yet!

The next day (Friday) I went to work as normal, knowing that there was going to be something going on sometime during the day.  I was sitting at the front desk of the office and I see a huge vase of flowers coming up the stairs.  I figured they were probably for me and got super excited.  The guy came to the desk and said, "These are for Stephanie Vincent".  My heart dropped a little, but then I realized that something sneaky was probably going on, and the flowers were probably for me after all.  *Stephanie Vincent is married to Steve Vincent, who is the 1st counselor in the bisopric in our singles ward.  I work at their Real Estate office and they know both of us, so I thought something might be going on.  Sure enough, at around noon, I got a text from Brother Vincent that said, "Come to my office and bring your phone."

I got to the office and he said, "These flowers are for you.  There's a box tied to the vase.  Give me your phone, and I'm going to record this as you open the box."  He also handed me a piece of paper with words to read out loud.

I opened the box and there was a ring inside.  I thought for a second it was my real ring, but it didn't look familiar like any of the ones I had picked out, and more importantly, Jeff wasn't there to give it to me.  I couldn't imagine that he would have someone else give me the ring, so I figured out pretty quick that it wasn't the real one.

If you can't understand me (I was apparently having a hard time reading) it says,
 "Sorry, I thought I gave them the right ring.  Like you said, it isn't always the thought that counts.  (One day Jeff said that he had thought about buying me a ring and I said, 'It's not the thought that counts'.)  I figured this would be a good place to start considering the Vincent's kept you around for me to date you longer.  Who knows what would have happened if you had moved to Salt Lake for the other job. (While we were beginning to date I was working in Salt Lake with the plans of moving up there.  This job at the Vincent's company opened up and they put in a good word for me.  Luckily I got to stay!)  It's probably been like Christmas for you all night and today, but you'll have to wait a little longer.  I left your real ring at the next locations: See you at Kneaders next to Riverwoods Mall at 1:30, your lunch time.  I love you, drive safe, don't hate me!"

So I went to Kneaders at 1:30 thinking he would be there.  I waited around for a few minutes and didn't see him, but then I saw our friend Josh pull in.... the same friend that took the pictures the night before.  We went through the ordering line and Karen was working.  She told me that my lunch of Chicken Caesar salad and a sugar cookie had been paid for and she handed it to me.  Josh and Karen ate lunch with me and gave me a bag with another fake ring and another note.

"Remember when I was supposed to throw this ring pouch away?  Well I started thinking this could come in handy so I kept it.  (A prize from Mary Kay had come in the pouch and I figured I didn't need it, so I had him throw it away.  Apparently he had other plans for it.)  Remember that time at the Christmas auction when I bought your cookies?  Well here... have a cookie - and lunch.  Also that night that we went on a little date to the other Kneaders and we overheard that customer complimenting the cashier on her ring.  I'm sure you'll get some (compliments) about your ring soon.  Hopefully you don't hate me for not having the real ring, but it looks like I didn't leave it here.  Next!  
Try out the Scera Theater at 5:00 by the concession area."

Next stop was the Scera Theater.  The back story on this location is this: Mark Gordon, the Elder's Quorum president in our ward was in a Christmas play at the Scera.  A group of us from the ward went to watch the play and we all met to carpool.  Everyone had a ride and the only people left were me and Jeff.  So we decided to ride together.  We had never met before so we started the small talk to get to know each other.  He started talking about how excited he was to see "The Hobbit".... 3 times.  And I told him how I grew up on a farm raising sheep.  I guess you could say that there wasn't a lot of interest at that point.

So I get to the theater and walk to the concession area where I find Mark Gordon sitting on a bench with a bottle of Lemonade 
(well it was Limeade, but we don't need to get technical).

"Oh shoot, wrong box.  Where on Earth could I have put that thing?  On the way to Mark's performance was the first time we sat and talked to each other.  We were stuck in the car one-on-one and I was just some nerdy guy talking about The Hobbit, and I wrote you off as a country girl.  Little did we know!  Before you head to the next stop I'm going to need you to leave your phone.  Next stop: Disneyland!  Just kidding.  Actually Texas Roadhouse.  Go straight there and I'll see you there momentarily."

Went to Texas Roadhouse and as I walked in I saw Kayla Spurlock standing by the hostess desk with a video camera.  The story about Texas Roadhouse is that we went there for dinner on my birthday.  After the play in December, Jeff and I didn't really talk much again until February, my birthday.  I invited a bunch of friends in my ward and one friend, Jared, asked if he could invite his roommate Jeff to come along.  
Jeff didn't have time to eat a full meal before he had to go to volleyball practice, 
so he just ordered some cheesecake and then left.

"Hey, do you remember that time when it was your birthday and I was invited to come along and we sat next to each other here? I just had cheesecake, barely knew you, and then I left you for volleyball. Here’s some cheesecake to remember me by. Well there is one last stop. We have to be there by 6:15, so I’ll be leaving work and
 I’ll pick you up innnnn…probably 20 minutes. 
Go home, put on a dress or something, and I’ll see you soon."

Kayla and I drove back to my apartment to eat the cheesecake.  We chatted for a minute then I decided I better go change into my dress before Jeff arrived to pick me up.  
I opened the door to my room and..... well, the video speaks for itself.

So I finally got the real ring, and it is AMAZING.

I put on a skirt and we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner.  We walked in the front door of the restaurant and Jeff just walked past the seating host.  I was confused for a second, but as we kept walking toward the back of the restaurant I saw some familiar faces.  My parents, grandparents and sisters were the first people I saw.  
Then I recognized all of Jeff's siblings, nieces and nephews, and his mom.  
They were all there waiting to celebrate with us.  
(I had been bugging him for a couple weeks saying that our families should probably meet each other. 
 He wasn't too worried about it because he had this planned all along!)

It was a pretty perfect proposal.  He put so much thought and effort into it and I loved everything about it.  He had a lot of people in on the planning and execution and pretty much everyone I know had been keeping it a secret for almost 3 weeks.  
I can't believe no one let it slip!  I was surprised every step of the way.

So that's the story!  It was an amazing couple of days and we have lots of planning coming up for a wedding in January.  Thanks to everyone that helped out with the proposal.  
It made it special to have you all a part of it.  And thanks Jeff for making it so I get to tell people a really awesome engagement story!  I love you  :)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mt. Rushmore!

I have these 2 friends.  Their names are Jenae and Audrey.  I met them when I moved into my apartment complex.  Jenae was my roommate and Audrey was our unofficial roommate (she was basically there 24/7).  We became really close friends.  And then Jenae moved back home to upstate New York, and Audrey moved back home to Eastern Utah to prepare for her mission, and I missed them a whole lot.  I got this crazy idea that I wanted to drive to Mount Rushmore over Labor Day weekend.  I had the day off work, so it would be a long weekend.  And it just so happens that one of my co-workers from Shenandoah National Park - cute, little, old, Louise -  was working at Mt. Rushmore this season.  It also happened that Rick and Tut, other co-workers from Shenandoah, were working near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  It was the perfect set-up!  So Jenae, Audrey and I had a 3-way phone call and we made a plan.  Jenae would fly out to Utah and we were going on a roadtrip!  And conveniently, Jenae has an aunt that lives in Jackson Hole, 
so we had a free place to stay.  Couldn't have been more perfect!

 So we left early in the morning, hoping that we could drive all the way from Utah to South Dakota and get to Mt. Rushmore before sunset.  I have a goal in life to see all 50 states, even if it is just driving through.  I hadn't been to Nebraska, so I figured while we were already so close, it would be really easy to take a detour through the corner and then head straight North to Mt. Rushmore.  It would only add an hour to our drive.  We didn't quite leave when we were planning because we had to stop at Walmart and get some groceries and wait for a bank to open so Audrey could get some money.  So we headed out a little late, but made up some time while driving.  We just ate sandwiches for lunch in the car and only had to stop a couple times for gas/potty breaks.  We made it all the way across Wyoming and into Nebraska and then into South Dakota

We got to Mt. Rushmore at around 7:30 pm, which was pretty good.  They have a lighting ceremony at 8:30 that we didn't want to miss.  We got there while it was still pretty light outside, so we parked the car (entrance is free, but parking is like $11... in case you were wondering/planning a trip there in the future) and walked through the entrance, which is lined with all the state flags.  I was really excited to see the monument!  I love traveling and doing all the touristy stuff, and I love history, so I knew this would be really cool.  We finally got to the opening and..... it was smaller than I was expecting....  But still so neat!  So we found a seat in the amphitheater and waited for the ceremony to start.  Once the sun set, they showed a video about the presidents of Mt. Rushmore and a little bit about how it was built.  As the video is playing the lights on the monument slowly light up, so when it was over, the lights were on all the way and it was awesome to see.  Then they called down all the people who are serving/have served in the military and had every single one of them say their name and what military branch they served in.  I was teary-eyed by the end of it.  I get really emotional about stuff like that, and I'm so grateful for those that serve our country!  To end the night, we stopped in the gift shop to see when Louise would be working.  I couldn't go all the way there and not see her!  Luckily they told us she would be there the next morning.  So we went back down the hills and into a cute little town called Keystone, South Dakota.  It's got a bunch of hotels and restaurants and shops.... a cute tourist town.  We were planning on getting campsites along the way and just setting up a tent, but we found a hotel room in Keystone for a good price so we just stayed there.

The next morning we got up and went back to the gift shop to see Louise.  I told her I would be coming on Labor Day weekend, but we didn't really make a plan to coordinate or anything.  So when I showed up in the gift shop, she was so surprised!  It was so fun seeing her!  I miss her sweet little self.  We talked for about 20 minutes and caught each other up about our lives.  She introduced us to a guy in the store named Nick.  Nick actually worked on building Mt. Rushmore!  He was super old, but it was so cool to hear his stories.  He wrote a book about his experience, so I bought one, and he signed it for me!  He was precious :)

  We then had to say goodbye to Louise and head out.  We had a long drive ahead of us.  Instead of stopping halfway between Mt. Rushmore and Jackson Hole like we originally planned, we decided that we just wanted to drive all the way there instead and get it over with. I can't decide if it was a good or bad idea.  
It was a LooOOONNG drive (longer than any I've ever done before, and that's saying something, cause I've had many long days of driving).  

*Just decided that I'm going to post all of this in a separate entry -- stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My problem

It seems I have a problem..... I, for the life of me, cannot keep up on this blog.  It might be because I know subconsciously that since I am not posting about engagement/wedding/marriage/babies/etc., that people probably aren't as excited to read it.  Or it may be because I seem to have no concept of time.  In my head, I can think I did something a few days ago, but it was really 3 weeks.  And I will think I did something 3 weeks ago, but it was really 2 months ago!  My friends at work make fun of me for that.  I will say, "I talked to that customer the other day...." and they say, "No, Jessica, you talked to that customer in December".  So when I think I updated not too long ago, it really has been a while.  And now, it is February and I have yet to make a post about my Labor Day trip to Mt. Rushmore....(coming soon!)  It's been 5 months since I went, but I swear it was just a month or 2 ago!  It's crazy how time flies.  I kinda sound like my grandma when I say that, but it really is the truth.

Well, I guess I'll start working on posting the Mt. Rushmore Road Trip.  It was a blast!  Lot's of pictures too!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

National Night Out (still catching up on August)

August is a bit of a boring month.  There's no holidays or anything.  So I found this website that has a whole bunch of random holidays for each day of the year.  At work we thought we would celebrate one weird holiday each day in August, but that didn't happen.  Too much effort that I didn't really have the time or motivation to put in.  We did celebrate Root Beer Float Day (yum!) and a few others.  

But by far the best one was National Night Out!  How awesome is it that there is a whole night devoted to just going out and having fun?  A big group of people from my ward got together to go to Karaoke Night at Applebee's.  We had a lot of fun.  All the girls got up and sang "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls, and then I also sang by myself.  After, we all came home and hung out on the basketball court and just looked at the stars for a while.  I'm so grateful to have such good people to surround myself with and make life a lot better.

Friday, November 9, 2012

August 2012

The most excited part of August was my last minute road trip to Idaho to try out for American Idol!  This year for Idol, they had a small town bus audition tour.  The American Idol tour bus traveled across the country and stopped in 10 small cities to hold auditions.  The first stop was in Idaho Falls.  They announced the date only 2 days before the auditions, so I had to decide really quick if I was actually going to go or not.  I arranged for someone to cover my Saturday shift and I called my friend Jill.  She is a great singer and she mentioned to me once that she's always wanted to try out for Idol. It didn't take much persuading to get her to come with me, so we packed up the next day and drove to Idaho Falls.  It was only about a 6 hour drive, so it wasn't too far.  

We weren't expecting too many people to be there.  Idaho Falls is not a huge city, and the auditions were only announced a couple days before, so I didn't think that many people would even know about it.  Not the case.  We got there and there was a huge line already.  We showed up at 9, and didn't get through the auditions until about 2.  The audition format was weird.  It was outside and they had groups on both sides of the tour bus.  They brought us up in groups of 4 and we each stepped forward and sang one verse of our song, then stepped back.  Jill and I were in the same group with 2 other girls.  One girl was pretty awful. And the other girl was superrrrrr annoying.  She dressed up in a hula shirt with a bow-tie and huge glasses and flip-flops with socks.  She sang a showtune and was super dramatic.  The judges apparently liked it, because they had her sing another song and she sang normal this time.  She was actually pretty good, and she moved on to the next round.  To the other 3 of us they said, "There's some great voices in this group, but we can't take everyone, so takes for trying out, and please come back next year."


Obviously, we were a little disappointed, but it was so cool to have the experience.  And every time I sing in front of a bunch of people like that, it gets easier and easier.  I get a little less nervous each time. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

July 2012

July is full of exciting holidays.... The 4th, 24th, and of course LAMB DAY!!

For the 4th of July, my family and I went to the parade in Provo.  It was a cool parade but I was so disappointed that they didn't throw any candy.  What kind of parade is that?!  After the parade, we hung out in Provo and went to the craft fair, then got snow-cones and took a nap.  We went to the roof of the Provo City building to watch the fireworks.  They didn't shut off the lights around, so we couldn't see too well, but it was fun to spend the day with my family and friends.

Anyone that knows me, knows that Lamb Day is my favorite day of the year!  I love it!  This year was different because Brittany wasn't there, but I got to spend time with a lot of family and friends.  Lamb Day week is the best because everybody comes home to Fountain Green.  You get to see people that you haven't seen since last Lamb Day.  Everybody is happy  :)
I played co-ed softball, as usual.  I don't know why I play every year....I'm pretty bad at it.  I'm just glad no one takes it too seriously.  My team took 3rd or 4th.... or maybe 5th place.  I forget.
The mutton fry was as delicious as ever.  I love serving the sourdough scones (5 years running!) and watching my grandpa fry up some lamb chops (his are always the best).  Best. Meal. Ever!
Saturday I always help in the lamb sandwich stands, and this year I sold Lamb Day t-shirts.  It rained this year, and I can't remember another Lamb Day that it rained.  It was very different weather than the hot-ness that usually happens.  
One of the scariest moments of my life: singing the national anthem in front of everyone I know.  I was asked to sing the national anthem before the championship games of the co-ed tournament.  I thought I would just be able to stand by the bleachers and sing, but they made me go out on home plate.  OMG!  I was so nervous!  It's easier for me to sing in front of strangers, but this was my hometown and all of my friends and neighbors.  It went well though.  No mess-ups.  Thank goodness!

For the 24th of July, me and Jess went to the Days of 47 rodeo.  I've never been to an indoor rodeo before, but it was really fun.  I love rodeos.... getting to wear my cowgirl boots  :)

I love July and getting to celebrate all of the history and heritage of my country, state, and hometown.  A few other fun events in July were: going to a Salt Lake Bees game, going to the Drive-In movie, and the Easton Corbin concert.  I even got to meet him!  He's a cutie  :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

May/June 2012

Apparently May was a rather boring month.  I can't really think of anything exciting that happened.  We went camping for memorial day and went on a long 4-wheeler ride around Emery County.  There was a lot of cool scenery.

June also wasn't too exciting.  We went to the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo and one of my old roommates flew in from New York to come hang out with us.  I love when I'm able to hang out with all my girls! 

Eating at Wingers before the rodeo :)