"My name is Clarissa and I am disinterested in getting married until after graduation."
25 hours away, Jeff decided he wouldn't get married until he was 25.
We met about two weeks later.
This is a good place to start our story.
H O W W E M E T :
Jeff moved into a guys' apartment in my complex just 15 feet away from my front door. I saw him the day he moved in. He was wearing khaki shorts. He wears a lot of khaki shorts. The first time we actually talked was at church. I said hi and apparently that did Jeff in.
He reports that he felt the spirit tell him he was going to marry me. He shrugged it off and moved right along (I'm realizing this would be better if we were both writing this because his perspective is different than mine).
The impression kept coming to him for the following weeks. He would ponder about other items and I guess the prompting that I would be his wife just kept coming back.
Meanwhile, I continued in the way of obnoxious, attention-hoarding college sophomore girls everywhere; I dated a lot of people and was horridly lacking in self-awareness. I also talked really loud, talked in thilly voitheth all the time, and took up the viola for the first time in my life, so add screechy string instrument to the imagery.
One day I was asked by my Family Home Evening leader to ask the guys in Jeff's apartment to make a dessert for FHE that night. I headed over and felt like Jeff would answer the door and that something significant would happen.
Sure enough, Jeff was standing there in the doorway so I said, "CanyoumakeadessertforFHEokaybye!"
Jeff said yes and as I was walking away asked if he could have my phone number. I gave it and chalk the event up as significant to this day. :)
A little while later, I was doing my oblivious thing and "shooting Gatorade commercials" (dumping water on my face) in front of his apartment; simultaneously inviting friends over for night games.
Jeff was standing a little way's off talking on the phone (I found out later that he was talking about me and buoying up the courage to ask me out). I approached him and asked if he wanted to come over to play games and instead walked away with the plan to go on a walk together. 180. Wow.
T H E W A L K :
As we left for our walk (which was the first of many walks to come) I felt led to not expect romance, to be as honest as I've ever been with anyone, and to get to know Jeff. We skipped all the small talk and jumped right in to the steak and potatoes of get-to-know-yous;
"Who do you look up to most in your life?"
"What are your core values?"
I asked him a lot of questions and told him everything I could about myself. I shared my struggles and what I wanted out of life and blah, blah, blah. At this point, Jeff told me what was up, kind of.
He told me how he felt he was suppose to let me into his life for some reason, but he only wanted to do that if I was really trustworthy. He told me that all my sharing did that for him. I was attracted to him so I thought, "Alright. Crushed it."
I had no inkling that he thought we were going to get married though. Good thing he left that tidbit out the first time we hung out. I thought he needed to confess something to the bishop and needed moral support or something. Truly. Clueless Clarissa.
However, when I sat on my bed that night after our walk together, the spirit hit me like a ton of bricks. It said, "If you two got married you would be very happy." I thought, "Woah, I don't even know if that was a date. I'll log that away and I will never tell Jeff."
D A T I N G :
Jeff and I were both secretly harboring these impressions and went on walks together everyday. We sat at parks and random lawns and just talked. We did this for about a month. I knew that the end was inevitable so we took things really slow. I even had him go on a date with my best friend in the budding stage of our relationship.
We both knew we were suppose to get married and we wanted to get married. Jeff had every single quality I hoped to find in a spouse. No joke. Every. Single. One.
We dated for about six months and then came Christmas Eve 2011.
T H E P R O P O S A L :
Jeff took me to his family Christmas party and we planned to go to Temple Square afterwards to see the lights.
When we arrived in downtown Salt Lake his family called Jeff and told him that his dad was sick and they would not be joining us. Jeff asked me if I'd still like to walk around Temple Square and I said yes.
|Just a random picture of us at Temple Square--Not the night he proposed. I'm a great blogger, haha.|
We ended up going on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snowy city. I thought that was very romantic and spontaneous of Jeff to suggest. We got to the gates of Memory Grove and the driver named Crystal turned to us and said she didn't realize how close it was to 9 o'clock and she would have to drop us off there.
I knew something was up because Crystal was going to ride right back to Temple Square; so, I went along with it. I was like, "Okay, thanks!" and got out. Haha.
Jeff asked if I wanted to walk around and I said sure. We would walk and then he would stop and check his phone. I kept thinking, "Is he going to propose here?" He was coordinating with his family, but I had no idea. He actually stopped in front of this tiny Highland High School dedication plaque and I was pretty sure he was going to get on one knee right there.
Thankfully he held out and we walked down this beautiful trail and reflected the time we had been dating. We both expressed how happy we were and how much we cared about each other and other such sentiments. I started to see little, twinkly lights in the distance and as I got closer I realized Jeff (and his family) had set all these little candles around a little white Christmas tree. He asked me to sit on a bench and pulled out a box with a ribbon.
He had me open the gift and he pulled out a ring box and got on one knee. He opened the ring box to reveal my exact dream ring; a six-pronged, round cut little beauty on a super skinny white gold band.
I said yes, put that puppy on, and never looked back.
Oh, and he filmed the whole thing. Brava!
M A W W I A G E :
We were married in the Salt Lake Temple May 23, 2012. It was a Wednesday. We had an open house at the Lion House the day before and a reception that night at the Ivy House. Everything went without a hitch and it was so fun!
We honeymooned in Hawaii, but here's the coolest part. Jeff tricked me into thinking we were going to San Diego until we got to the airport! That Jeff is pretty darn slick.
T O D A Y :
We have been married for three years. After three moves, two degrees, and a baby, we have grown a lot. I am so extremely lucky to be married to Jeff. I have never met anyone so hard-working, Christlike, humble, and committed to doing the right things for the right reasons. It was definitely the best decision I've ever made.
Here is to many more. You go, Jeff Falco!