Go see Moonrise Kingdom and you'll understand.
Summer of 2007
They met the Summer of 2007 at Sky Ranch in Van, Texas, as counselors in the Sky 2 age group (11-12 year old hooligans).
He was the senior counselor of Chief Jo Lodge - JoLo - and she was a counselor in Mama Su.
Neither can remember the initial meeting, but as the summer bore on, they got in trouble for spending as much time flirting as they did taking care of their campers. The distraction was the worst on Rodeo Nights...something about dressing up in cowboy gear and watching Will do the YMCA made sparks fly.
He would text her after the kids were in bed, cheesy lines and silly things, and she would share them with her co-counselors, who would give her disapproving looks.
One day he came up to her in the cafeteria line and asked her to be his skrush [sky crush] getting on one knee and presenting her with a hemp ring he made in crafts. She was flattered and a little shocked because he placed it on her LEFT HAND. She stared at it all day until she went to staff worship and realized how distracted it was making her. So she threw it across the gym and decided to instigate a little DTR...
One weekend night after the kids were gone she asked him to talk to her on his cabin porch.
"Hey, so… uh," she said emphatically. "Look, uh… we haven't been paying attention to the kids, and well… you live in Mississippi and I live in Texas. We can't do this anymore, someone is going to get hurt."
"Yes ma'am," he said. "I understand." He was bummed out.
She acted weird.
He moved on.
She moved on.
Thank God for the Texas Rangers
He was taking his dad to Arlington to see the Rangers in a week, but for now he was watching them with Chris on TV at Buffalo Wild Wings. He posted a picture of his Josh Hamilton jersey on Instagram and got a response from a long-lost friend.
She was a little shocked that he responded like he did to a simple "yes!", but thought nothing of it. She hadn't dated anyone in the five years that had passed, and was immune to innocent social media flirting.
They hadn't talked to each other much since 2007, only a "happy birthday," here, a "how have you been," there. He thought it would be fun to catch up, so he suggested they get coffee or drinks when he visited Dallas on the 23rd.
She said sure. Little did she know, this meeting would be a lot more than just friends filling each other in on time spent apart.
So, on Saturday, June 23rd, she picked him up from the Hampton Inn in Arlington. She was freaking out because he had acquired a manly voice and was even more good-looking than she remembered.
The first minute of the drive was awkward while they reacquainted. They had both grown up since the last time they'd been in the same car together.
She went the wrong way on the highway, and he kindly pretended not to notice.
She took him to Buon Giorno, her place of employment, because she knew he would be impressed with its ultimate coffee skills and it was a safe environment she felt comfortable in.
They got their drinks and started talking about what each other had been up to since the last rendezvous. They had both graduated college, done some serious growing up, and turned out to be some decent human beings.
In the course of night, she talked about her frustration of the last guy not panning out, "Are my ladies charms not good enough?" They talked until BG closed, and she drove him back to the hotel. They chatted in the parking lot for another half hour, and finally parted ways. He gave her finger guns as he walked away (because that always works), telling her, "I had a great time, and your lady charms are more than sufficient."
[She has no recollection of this, but was probably freaking out on the way home]
They texted for a little while that night. He didn't sleep.
On the way home he thought of all the charming and fantastic things he could say to win her over. When he got home he forgot all those things.
On Tuesday he took the plunge--"I don't know if this is something I should keep to myself or share but I am very, and very inconveniently, taken with you," he texted her.
He told her that he would love to buy her dinner the next month in Arkansas, a point that's halfway between them. She was freaking out on the other end, trying to figure out a coy response that wouldn't sound too eager. She decided to say "sure!" with the clarification that she needed to visit a friend in Arkansas anyway, lest he think she would drive all that way just for him.
On June 8th, both parties were on their way to Little Rock, planning to meet up with friends and see each other the next day. Due to extenuating circumstances, their date got moved up to that day! She was a bundle of nerves, of course, but held it together for appearances sake. He took her to dinner at Boscos and they had some yummy food while constantly marveling, "is this really happening?"
They walked along the river, he said something about the Obamas, she took his hand, he blushed and forgot what he was talking about it. They stopped by the Flying Saucer for some fancy beers, and continued getting reacquainted with each other, with plenty of nervous laughter and awkward pauses.
Since the plans had changed, she didn't really have a place to stay that night. Luckily, Justin (one of JB's roommates in college) had a blowup mattress for her to crash on. They went back to his place and talked until the wee hours of the morning, still in disbelief of how wonderfully the night went.
The next morning the three of them went to church at Second Baptist Church Little Rock.
He attended church at a dance studio. She attended church in a living room. Justin hadn't attended church since bible college.
Naturally, they sat in the back.
The three of them went to brunch afterwards.
That afternoon, she had to head over to the airport to pick up her friend. Being a smooth operator, he asked if they could take a stroll on the Riverwalk before she had to depart. Of course she acquiesced, and knew he was thinking of planting a big wet one on her. She was nervous, as she hadn't kissed anyone since 2006, but really hoped he would kiss her.
After waiting for all the people to clear out (what were they doing anyway, walking on a nice Sunday afternoon?), he kissed her and they both knew this was something real.
She went to Russellville for the night, and he bro'd down with Justin.
The next day (Monday) they met up to see Moonrise Kingdom. It's about two kids who met at camp, stayed in touch, ran away, met halfway and then fell in love. We totally picked up on the irony.
Before the weekend ended, she asked him, "So, what is this? Are you my boyfriend?" He answered yes matter-of-factly, and they parted ways.
On the way back to Tupelo he called Bryant and Tyler, two of his closest friends. "I just took my wife on our first date," he told them. She spent the 6 hour drive calling her girlfriends to tell them, "Girl, I got good & KISSED this weekend." You can tell who is actually more mature.
She happened to have a wedding to attend in Shreveport two weeks later, so they decided to meet up at his grandparents' the Sunday after. She was nervous, until she met them.
They got dinner at a fancy italian restaurant downtown called Chianti's. It was way fancier than they anticipated - he was wearing shorts - but it was only 5'o'clock so it wasn't that big of a deal.
They had both mentioned her coming to Tupelo earlier in the night.
"Are you as serious as I think you are," she asked.
He stuttered a lot. He had planned to tell her he was pursuing her with the intent of marrying her on the third date. It was the second date. She threw a stick in his spokes.
See, Chianti's had romantic lighting that makes for awful pictures
After dinner they went back to his grandparents' house and laid on a blanket to stare at the stars.
There is no recollection or evidence of what happened next, but somehow, these words came out of her mouth:
"I mean, I wouldn't mind marrying you."
"Well, I told Tyler and Bryant I was going to marry you when I left Little Rock," he said.
They spent the rest of the night alternatively switching between freaking out and making plans. That night he told her, "I love you" and she told him the same. The next day they both drove home in a daze of excitement and disbelief.
August was a whirlwind of figuring out what the steps were to a proper engagement and beginning the process of telling the family & friends how crazy they were. He told her he bought a ring, and she started on finding a venue and dress.
She went to visit him in Tupelo, a little anxious because it was where she would be moving, and fell in love with his cute little house and super-friendly dog, Dixie. She met lots of people (including his wonderful parents!) and passed the friend-approval tests with flying colors.
He came to visit her in Texas, where he met the parents and basically all of ComChurch in College Station. They had a wonderful night catching up with the Agnors and reminisced about that magical summer when they met. She dropped him off at the megabus station that Tuesday, sad that she wouldn't see him again for another two weeks, but thankful for the time they spent together.
sky 2 2007 reunion!
He had a ring and she knew it. It was burning a hole in his pocket but her friends reminded him he had to stick to the plan. She knew it was coming but didn't know when and he intended to make it a surprise.
It was the last weekend in August and she wasn't feeling well. He wasn't able to talk much that week; he lied about working late, he took off early and high-tailed it to Little Rock to spend the night before going to Texas to propose the next day.
He was getting a beer with Justin in the very restaurant where they had their first date when she called to say goodnight. She wanted to Facetime but he couldn't let that happen because she would know.
"I don't have any internet at the house tonight, I need to call someone about it tomorrow."
She was sad - her stomach hurt. He wasn't helping. [she would later find out that it was gastritis. Not just her imagination!]
"I hate to go while you feel so bad but Josh is expecting me in Oxford tonight, I need to grab a coffee and get on the road." Josh wasn't waiting and he was in Little Rock, no where near Oxford.
The next day he set out early to get to Van, Texas in time to meet Trevor and Becca to set the plan into motion.
He was 20 miles from Sky Ranch when she texted him, "Hey. I feel super distant from you, and not just physical distance. Not sure why. Just my imagination?"
He wanted to tell her, "Just give me three hours and it will be fine!" but he held strong, "You're probably just not feeling well but we'll talk about it later if you want."
It wasn't just her, he'd been lying all week to keep the plan a secret.
She got to Lindale to spend the weekend with Becca and he met Trevor at camp to catch up and scope out the site.
They decided the best spot would be on the deck of the cabin she lived in the summer they met.
Becca told her they needed to run by Sky Ranch to help a retreat group before going on their lady date in Tyler (she was really looking forward to villa montez! you should go).
They pulled up in the golf cart and he stepped out onto the deck, ring in hand. Trevor tossed a camera to Becca who snapped away.
She stood at the base of the stairs dumbstruck (she may have stopped breathing for a bit). Once she crested the stairs he dropped to a knee on the deck.
She said yes. They made out on camp property. Becca took pictures of it. It was beautiful.
After the proposal, the Jordans (Becca and Trevor) and the Howards (Bill and Allison) joined them for dinner at Lago del Pino in Tyler (beautiful place!). It was a sweet time to spend together with dear friends, who shared marriage advice and celebrated with them in excitement.
The rest is history.
The next two months will include a few more weekends spent together (including a Rangers game, 2 showers, and obtaining our marriage license), praying, lots of FaceTime-ing, reading Love & Respect, and preparing for our lives together. April will be moving her belongings to Tupelo the week before the wedding, and will become a Mississippi resident as of November 22. We are so excited to spend forever together.