Thursday, October 29, 2009

His Side....

I guess I should follow suit and share a little of my side of the story.  Back on a Saturday in 1980, I was born in Amarillo, TX.... Ok, maybe that's too far back.  I'll fast forward a few decades... 

I never went to EFY as a youth, but was recruited by a good friend to be a counselor in 2008.  It was without doubt my most spiritual experience since my mission.  I learned about Nauvoo EFY from friends who worked there at the end of that summer.  I knew instantly that I wanted to be there this year.  I had visited during the Temple open house in 2002 and fell in love with Nauvoo.

I'm too old to be a counselor another year, so the experiences I had in Nauvoo were a perfect way to finish my EFY career.  I guess when a counselor is twice as old as some of his youth, they worry we might not be able to relate that well.  My last week at Nauvoo I had the older group, so some of them were done with high school and would start college the next week - including Jeri Lin.

My focus at EFY is to get my boys excited to serve missions.  So I barely paid attention to the girl counselors, and especially not the participants.  But because of the smaller groups at Nauvoo, I was able to get to know Jeri Lin pretty well.  And I was thoroughly impressed.  But she was young. And from Arizona.  There was no way anything would happen between us.  Still, we had a great experience talking about the temple and Church history and Joseph Smith.

Then she wrote me this letter after EFY that had me thinking, "What if?"  I realized that if I didn't do anything to pursue her, some snot-nosed guy at ASU who had barely gotten home from a mission might.  So why shouldn't I give it a shot? 

Once I flew out to spend a weekend in Arizona I was ready.  My dad has always said, "You Mormon kids sure do date weird."  Maybe so.  But after spending a couple of days with Jeri Lin and her family, I knew I wanted to marry her.  Apparently, I came late to the game.  She knew before I even got there.  So on my 29th birthday, we were sitting on her family's couch and asked if she wanted to get married.  Best question I ever asked.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Her Side

I guess we've talked about how crazy in love we are but we haven't really told you the whole story yet. Here's my side...

The week before I went to EFY this past summer I was joking with a friend. I told her I was gonna go to EFY and steal me a counselor. We laughed. It was so not going to happen. I showed up at Nauvoo on August 10th. I met my roommates (crazy teenage girls) and met my counselor, Jentri. The girls asked, of course, what she knew about our boys. Her answer was that she didn't know but that our guy counselor's name was Tony, he was from Texas, and he was old. Great...

Well, we went to meet the boys. I wasn't impressed. BUT...there was a handsome counselor wearing a silly cowboy hat. He had a belt buckle and he talked funny. BUT...he was old. Oh well...poor Jeri Lin wasn't going to find herself a husband at EFY this year.

That week in Nauvoo was one of the best of my entire life. I gained a greater testimony. I learned what it was really like to ask the Lord a question and to get a direct answer from the Spirit. Tony and I didn't spend a whole lot of time together those first two days. He was more interested in helping his boys than he was with being my friend. BUT...Wednesday rolled around and we broke into groups to tour Old Nauvoo. I was going to go with Jentri or Tiffanie but then I went with Tony. I have no idea why. My feet just went that way and I didn't argue. That's when we really hit it off. In my mind, Tony was fast becoming one of my very best friends. I had found someone I could relate to. Someone who loved the gospel as much as me, if not more. Someone who was wanted to teach me about the temple. Someone who would sit and answer questions whenever I had them. BUT...I knew there was no way it could ever be more than just friends. He was old! All week he kept telling me how frustrated he was that all these girls coming into the singles ward were like ten years younger than him. He was so not all. Period.

Before I left Nauvoo on Saturday morning I wrote Tony a quick note, thanking him for everything he had done for me and wishing him the best in life. Nowhere in that note did I hint at any sort of feelings I may have had for him. That wasn't the purpose of the all. Period. He'll tell you differently I suppose. To him, that note gave him the courage to pursue something. I hadn't been home a whole day before we were chatting on facebook and he was flirting with me..."If only you were five years older..."

I knew I wanted to marry Tony before he ever flew out to visit me. He kept saying, "I need to come out there. I know how I want this to work out but we need to spend some time together..." I kept thinking, "Hurry up and get out here. I know you'll figure it out..." Sure enough. He did. We were sitting on the couch in my parents' house the Sunday before he left and he said, "Do you wanna get married?" Yes. Yes, I do...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ten Weeks!

In ten weeks we get married! Preparing for a wedding is work.

But it is actually a great way to learn to work together. A week ago I was in Arizona with Jeri Lin and her family. We had a lot of work to get done that week. We looked for an apartment, did engagement pictures, and did gift registries among other things.

Thinking about apartment hunting and gift registries, those tasks are work. Doing either alone would be pretty dull, but doing them together was so enjoyable. One of the most important things in a marriage is to be able to work together and have fun doing mundane things.

Life is full of mundane things, but finding joy in them is the secret to a great life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Pure Heart

1 Peter 1:22 says, "see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently."

I don't think I really knew how to love someone like that until Tony came around and I feel like I still have a lot to learn. I remember the first time I told him I loved him. I really did love him, but I look back and think, "I had no idea!"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Beginning Life

It seems like you can't really begin life until you have found that someone who you can go through it with. There have always been decisions and trials and goals that I couldn't achieve alone. Whether it was work, opportunities to serve in the Church, or just building a home, I always felt like I couldn't do certain things alone.

I had to look in the most unlikely of places, but I finally found her. And we get sealed in the Mesa Temple on January 2, 2010!

This blog will have info updates as we prepare for the wedding and will become our family blog after the wedding.

Crazy In Love

I found him...the one I want to spend eternity with...the one who makes me laugh...the one who's going to keep me sane when the kids start showin' up...

Eleven weeks from today and we'll be in the temple together, being sealed for time and all eternity. Who cares that we've only known each other for a little over two months? We know we're crazy and we like it that way...

I love Tony Brown. He's so good to me--everything I always wanted and everything I didn't know I needed...

Life has never been better.