This day (Nov 4th), in 2003, Will and I had our very first date. The photo above is from that date, on our way to do a picnic at the top of Mt. Erie where I would throw the pickles off my sandwich down the side of the mountain while Will would ask me if I loved to hike and camp and laugh at my dislike for the green pickles.
This first date came after emailing and talking on the phone for about a month, after having met online on an LDS dating website.
I remember our first phone conversation. "Jenni it's for you", said my mom. I came running down the hallway to answer the phone in socks and pjs', when WHOOSH my slippery socked feet slipped out from under me and I splatted to the floor. Not wanting to miss a beat I hopped up and answered the phone, laughing that I had just totally biffed it.
And so it goes that Will's first time hearing my voice was me laughing that I fell. It remains true to this day that I love to laugh, and I am still a clutz.
I remember the first time I met Will in person, when he first knocked on the front door of my parents' home where I was living at the time. I answered the door and we hugged. I remembered thinking "Wow he has a lot of freckles!" which I never noticed in any of his photos that he had sent me. He came inside and met my mom, and he saw my mom's grand piano and played one of his original compositions for me. Yes you did hear that right. Will played ME one of HIS piano compositions, not the other way around.
We made our picnic together - with ingredients that I had specially bought to impress him. Expensive flavored sandwich condiments and Ghiradelli hot chocolate. Little did I know that he was a guy who didn't care about fancy stuff but could survive on PB&J if necessary.
So then we embarked.
9 hours later, we returned, giggling and tired. We hiked, road on a ferry, had a picnic, drove all around Whidbey Island, talked about all the people we'd dated, how many people we'd kissed (no we did not kiss on our first date).
A month later, I went to Portland and was his date for his singles ward Christmas formal.
A month after that, we went skiing on New Years Day and though he tried to hit on me with his cheesy pickup lines such as "If you're cold, I can keep you warm (wink wink)", I found him endearing and charming. And despite the fact that he was a much better skier than me, he encouraged me and made me feel so good about myself.
A month after that we kissed for the first time.
And then a couple weeks after that, we decided to stop dating other people.
A month later, after I had a really hard day at church conducting a meeting where I made all sorts of mistakes and felt terrible about myself, he told me he loved me.
A month after that, he came up to visit me on his Spring break, and I told him that I loved him too. I had loved him for some time, but he is the first man I had ever said "I love you" to as in "I am IN LOVE with you".
2 months after that I moved to Portland to be closer to him.
A month later, we were in Hawaii and he asked me to marry him.
3 months later, he did an official proposal with a ring.
6 months later we were married in the Portland LDS temple.
In case you aren't following the math, it all equals 1.5 years.
And now here we are 6.5 years later, with 2 little munchkins, on the brink of hopefully closing on our very first home, and absolutely loving our life that we've created together. We love each other more than anything. As we like to say to each other, "Stuck with me...for Eternity!!!"