Three years ago yesterday, Bryan and I got married!! Woohoo!
Because I am lazy, I am pretty much just reposting the same stuff that I posted last year. Whatevs. Because I love you all (even those who didn't comment on my Readers post), I will add some more recent pictures as well. Click on the pictures to make 'em bigger... apparently I didn't post big pictures a year ago. So. Yeah.
Anyways. Here's from then until now, a brief overview of my baby and me.
You can say "awwwww" now. It's okay.
In the beginning.....
We were just buddies. (I'm in the green shirt and Bryan is in the white shirt) And Bryan's hair apparently looked super weird (at least in this picture). This was just before we climbed Table Rock in Idaho. It's tall. I recommend it, with a bit of caution: know where you are going first so you don't have to bushwhack it up the side of the mountain. Also, bring sun screen and bug repellent. And don't pull your groin 2 hours into an 11 hour hike. Not okay.
This is on top of Shadow Mountain, which is a very cute "mountain" that looks directly across the valley to the Grand Tetons. Bryan and I got flirty here, and he asked me out the next day. I said yes, and then ran downstairs to tell my girls (in a very singsong voice) "Bryyyyan asked me ouuuuut!" It would have been LESS embarrassing if one of the guys we worked with wasn't on the couch at the time...
This was at our Organic Yoga Smoothie Party Night (or OYSPN). Bryan got a ton of stuff for smoothies and we had a great time with a bunch of our friends, pretending to know yoga. It was fun! Also, it was another chance to flirt with Bryan. We were awkward at first -- isn't everyone??
This was after David, my brother, came to visit me in Wyoming. I got really excited for David to meet Bryan because I knew they would get along well. They really did! Bryan was super sweet and let David borrow his longboard and his mountain bike. That inspired David to get a longboard too; they had some good times! David approved, which was a nice bonus. :)
Early morning after camping. Camping here equals we started out sleeping under the stars but it got cold so we ended up running into the Audi and trying to sleep there. It was very cold, and you would normally see mountains and valleys behind us, but forest fires in the area created so much smoke I could barely see the Tetons for a week!
We were very enamored with one another. I thought it was going to be more of a summer thing... after all, Bryan lived in Idaho and I lived in Chicago. But it was obvious that Bryan wanted this to be more, and he pursued me with diligence. :) We promised to "leave the door open" to keeping the relationship going. Bryan told me that I would probably find a great guy at Olivet, my university, and I told him that he was wrong about that. He mentioned visiting me that Fall, but I strongly doubted he'd make good on his offer. We talked on the phone all the time, and one day he asked "so when can I visit?" Whoa. Didn't expect that. Hadn't even told my parents I was dating someone from Wyoming... they didn't really NEED to know if it was going to just fizzle into nothing.... Then, when I realized it wasn't fizzling, I told them and found a week when my folks would be in town. Bryan was coming to visit!! My folks were nervous about any boy who would fly cross country to see me, especially one who wasn't in school or working at the time (LONG story, email me at jessicamayslords at gmail.com if you really want to know), and didn't exactly have a plethora of "flying money" to his name. I was incredibly, undeniably excited. TOO excited. I realized that we had a real future, and it was scary, but amazing at the same time. About a week or two before he visited, Bryan told me he loved me one night while we were talking on the phone. I couldn't stop smiling! He told me that he knew I wasn't ready to say it... I had told him I wouldn't say "I love you" to another guy until I was ready to get engaged, as I'd said it before and it hadn't been true love. So he waited. And then he came to visit me!
I was ecstatic to see my long-distance boyfriend! We hadn't seen each other in almost two months, and it was ridiculously pathetic how silly and happy we were. Neither of us could stop smiling and giggling, and we held hands the whole ride down to my university. Since I hadn't told Bryan I loved him yet, he told me that he wouldn't say it to be, unless I asked, so I would not feel pressured. When I wanted to hear it, I could ask him. :) At one point he let "when we get married" slip. Believe me when I say I teased him for that!! Later on in the visit I asked him about it, if he was really thinking that way... and he said "I love you, and I think we're going to get married. Yes." He asked me if I was okay with him thinking that, and I told him I was!
In Chicago at the Bean in Millennial Park. We had a great Chicago day together... lots of museums, good Chicago style pizza.... ahhhh yes.
Bowling with my family! Mom put this picture, even if it WAS dark, on the fridge almost immediately. Mom immediately fell in love with Bryan; she said we just seemed to fit. My parents weren't thrilled with any other boy I've ever brought home, so this was a very good sign. She thought he was smart and sweet and cute and just thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. Bryan took my dad aside while he was visiting and asked his permission to continue dating me. YEAH. How hot is THAT?? This guy was GOLD!!
At the state park by my university.
Like I said, my mom just fell in love with this guy. When he was visiting she mentioned him coming back for a longer stay, maybe a month.... We talked about it, and I told her that she would need to talk to Dad and then to Bryan so he wasn't just waiting to hear what they were planning, since he had to plan his time around an extended visit too. Well, one month turned into "well maybe TWO months so we can really get to know him...." While they were deciding, I had decided that YES, I did love this man. I wanted to wait to see him again before I told him, but one night on the phone I just had to say something. We were already talking marriage pretty seriously, and he said something along the lines of "hey, if we keep talking about marriage, and you're not sure you're in love yet... I don't want this to hurt more than it has to. You need to figure out how you feel, I think. I don't want to rush you, but we should just stop talking about this is we aren't ready." So I prayed about it, wanting to know if I should tell him. He changed the subject, and we moved on. I breathed a sigh of relief. And then, before we said goodnight, he brought it up again. "Are you okay with what I said before? I don't want to tell you what to talk about and what not to talk about, I just don't want to make this harder." So I told him. I loved him. Every time he told me he loved me I told him I loved him back, only silently. I finally told him.
And then I called my mom. She KNEW what this meant. She KNEW this meant I was ready to get engaged. She and my dad, and some of their friends, were on their annual Myrtle Beach vacation. She was shocked to say the least. She also didn't get much sleep at all that night...
Not too long after that, she and my dad talked, then called up Bryan, and asked him to move in with them for the next semester. I was beyond happy! Bryan came to live with my parents at the end of November, 2006. The above picture was from his first day here. That look? That's extreme contentment.
Yes. Contentment. And the flushing is from kissing, probably. What can I say. It had been another two months.
Our first Christmas together.
On February 10, 2007, we got engaged.
The engagement ring is white gold with princess-cut diamonds and a cushion-cut Ceylon Sapphire. The wedding ring was my grandmother's.
I graduated Olivet Nazarene University in May of 2007. We considered getting married the same month, but that sounded like WAY too much stress. I'm glad we decided on July. It was a five and a half month engagement, which was really great, as far as I'm concerned!
We were married July 14,2007, at the church I grew up in in Mt. Prospect, IL. My father and uncle did the wedding together, it was really wonderful to have them both officiate.
After we got married, we went on a honeymoon to Bethany Beach, Michigan. We stayed at my parents' cottage for a week; it was extremely relaxing, I loved it so much!!
After the honeymoon we came back to Illinois and spent about a week with my folks, then loaded up the Audi and our new old van with no back seats, and set off to Humboldt County, California, where Bryan was going to go to school. On the way we stopped in Omaha, Nebraska, Pocatello, Idaho, and Jackson, Wyoming.
It took a long time for me to be happy in Humboldt. The birth control I was on made me very emotional, I started to have panic attacks, and my blood pressure skyrocketed. We fought, and it was 99% because of my birth control and crazy emotional whackness. Poor Bryan!!!
I also missed my family a lot, more than I let on to Bryan. I used to close my eyes and pretend I was walking through the house I grew up in, imagining myself there. It was not the best thing for me to do, as it made me even more miserable.
I finally switched birth control, we started getting more involved in church, and actually found friends!!! After that, I liked Humboldt a heck of a lot more. Now I love it!
In May 2007, we went to Gleneden, Oregon, with Amanda (Bryan's oldest younger sister) and her hubby, Chris, and their kiddo, GK. It was such a great vacation, and it gave me much needed time off to just relax and enjoy family. I love those guys!!!! It was one of the best vacations ever.
On August 1, 2008, Bryan's middle younger sister, Nicole, got married to Stuart Tucker, who we call Stu-Stu. We went to Idaho to be there with them, and it was wonderful to see everyone again, and to celebrate with Nicole and Stu-Stu! The top pic above is the whole Lords family (my husband's side of the family).
In San Francisco, spending some time exploring on New Years Eve 2008 before our plan flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and our cruise to the Carribbean!! We went with my folks, as well as my brother David and his wife-to-be, Stacey. It was so fantastic!!
After snorkeling and playing with a sea turtle in St. Thomas.
At the Chicago Botanic Gardens. We went out to Chicago in May of 2009 to see my brother get married to his wife, Stacey! It was a really good, but fast, trip.
At David and Stacey's wedding.
This is where the new stuff comes in....
Last Fall Bryan had swine flu which turned into pneumonia, and that was pretty terrifying.
He looks to be in pretty high spirits here, but that was after his breathing treatment. Just two days later and we were in the ER where he had to be put on IV antibiotics and get an xray and lots of bloodwork. It was really scary, and the doctors said he'd probably be fine because he was young, but reminded me that people DID die from pneumonia... it was easily the scariest time in my life. It took him two more months to feel totally healthy. I'm so happy he's okay!! This experience brought us closer together, and I now realize how deeply I love him.
Bryan graduated from Humboldt State University in December of 2009.
After looking for jobs in Humboldt and Idaho, we decided that moving back to Jackson, Wyoming, would be a fun thing to do. We had jobs already lined up there, and it would assure us both full-time work for at least the summer and beginning of the fall.
We said goodbye to our friends and Humboldt at the beginning of April.
It was really hard to leave the place that had been our first home; we were in Humboldt for over 2 and a half years, and we really thought we'd stay longer. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of jobs to be found in this small coastal area. We love Humboldt, and we miss our friends a lot.
April was spent in Idaho and Chicago. We were able to see a lot of Bryan's side of the family and a lot of my side of the family. It was super awesome. We even got to see Amanda (my sis-in-law) and GK and Addy (my niece and nephew)! Bryan saw Chris (my brother-in-law) because he took a bus from Chicago to Detroit. Lucky!
Bryan and GK at the beach.
We moved into our new place in Jackson, Wyoming at the beginning of May.
We still have no idea what the future holds, but that's life. Ours, at least. Will we stay in Jackson? I dunno. Will we ever get 'real' jobs? I dunno. When will we have kids so our parents can have more/some grandbabies already???
But I love my husband, and I love our life, and I know it will just get better from here on out.