Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesday: Meeting My Mate

I saw on another blog that today there's a link-up called Show & Tell Tuesday, and the topic is Meeting My Mate. I think I've blogged about 47 thousand times that Brent and I are high school sweethearts, but I don't think I've ever blogged about how we met and our love story. I am so excited to share that today! Grab a snack...this is a long one {but oh so sweet}!

Rewind to about 1995 or so... Brent was in my dad's algebra class, and {I think I'm remembering his side of the story correctly} he was in my dad's class after school for some reason. I stopped in to get money or something, and he thought I was cute. He continued to notice me for a while, but I didn't know who he was. He was on the golf team, and one of his good friends was dating a friend of my sister's, so he actually ate lunch a lot with his friend...and my sister. {It's kind of funny now that I think about it because I had a class with David - my sister's hubby - before they knew each other, so we each knew each other's spouses first.} 

During our sophomore year of high school, he sent me a Santa Gram. I remember being confused as to who it was from and someone had to point Brent out to me. I did not think he was cute. He was short and kind of dorky looking. {Sorry babe!}

Brent and Allena {and Patty} around when we first roughly knew of each other.
{I had cut my bangs myself and they were just a smidge too short, no? Ha}

Fast forward a year, and I'm 'talking' with Brent's best friend. A guy who is SO not my type. Brent and I end up hanging out together in a few group settings. He's grown about 7 inches and suddenly seems A LOT cuter...and he's funny and nice. Hmmm... I spent Valentine's Day 1997 with Brent's friend, and we had a disastrous evening. I knew our 'relationship' wasn't going to go anywhere. The dates get hazy in my mind, but at some point I find out he made out with the girl Brent was 'talking' with, and Brent caught them. We are both pissed, and it brings us closer.

We begin spending more and more time together...still always in a group setting. I remember him coming to one of my track meets with said friend, and I was SO excited he was there! The first 2 big moments for us {or at least in my mind} happened during a UT basketball game and a group night of bowling. I honestly can't remember which came first - but both really meant something. There were 4 of us who went to the basketball game - Brent's friend {the same one I had sort of dated who made out with the girl Brent had been sort of dating}, Brent, me, and a friend of mine. After the game, we got frozen yogurt at a TCBY near the arena. Brent and I played footsie under the table, ha. I still smile every time I pass that TCBY {it's near my office downtown}. During the group bowling night, Brent and I made a bet. If he won, I had to go out on a date with him, and if I won, he had to go out with me. #thisishow16yearoldsflirt #hewon

From that point on, we talked on the phone a lot and did a lot of flirting but nothing official. I went to his house for the first time after a track meet {still in my uniform, ha} and met his parents and nephew {who wasn't quite 2 at the time and is now almost 20, wow}. We just sat in the living room together, and it was amazing.

On April 5, 1997, we were on the phone, and he was about to go out with some neighborhood friends, and I told him 'Don't do anything you aren't supposed to do!', and he asked me why not.  And I responded 'Because I'm your girlfriend and I say so!'. That was the first time we declared ourselves. #dorks

Now for some visuals of our time together in high school...

How could I not fall for this guy? Playing with his nephew...

I think this is our first picture together. #babies

Homecoming week senior year

Prom 1998 {His dad let us take his new truck, we were rolling in style!}


My graduation party...

We ended up choosing different schools for college which was good/tragic. Brent's got a golf scholarship to Stephen F. Austin in east Texas, and I was born to be an Aggie.

Getting ready for the 4 hour drive to Nacogdoches
{I rode home with his parents and was pretty heart-broken}

College was great and challenging. 5 years of long distance was not easy. There were lots of fights {LOTS}. But it also enabled us to grow individually and make friends without each other. I got to be Allena independent of Brent's girlfriend and vice versa for him. And our weekends together {typically every other weekend} were awesome. 

Kelly always called this our 'A Wedding Story' picture, ha

We didn't graduate unscathed though. The summer between our 4th and 5th years {Brent redshirted his freshman year, and I did a dual bachelor and master's program, so we both stayed 5 years} was TOUGH. I felt disconnected and unappreciated...and had a crush on someone I worked with. Let's just say it wasn't good. We ended up breaking up, and I was pretty terrible to Brent. 

Right before we broke up... still a cute couple!

I think this was our last visit together before we broke up.

I wanted to see what life was like without him, but that didn't last long. He was always the person I wanted to call with good news or talk through bad things. I would hear songs, and it would remind me of him, I just felt like I wasn't complete. So we got back together. We both had some wounds {Brent more than me obviously}, but I knew we were in it for the long haul. That time apart was the final piece of the puzzle to me knowing without a doubt he was the one for me for always. We both graduated and began our lives back in Austin.

I started my job in September with Brent getting a part-time job shortly thereafter. He got his first 'real' job that February, and a few weeks later we got engaged. We had gone ring shopping together, so it wasn't a surprise, but he did manage to surprise me with the proposal. I had been out of town for 2 weeks for a work assignment in Kansas. I had left my car at the airport the whole time because I left during the day on a Monday. I remember getting off the plane in Austin {February 27, 2004} knowing no one was there to meet me, and I was tired. I had a giant suitcase, a huge winter coat, and a laptop bag to get all the way to long-term parking. I really wanted someone to be meeting me to help me with all my stuff. I looked up and at the bottom of the escalator was Brent! I didn't even notice his sign - just that he was there! And he could help me with my luggage! Then I noticed his sign that said 'Will you marry me?' He got down on 1 knee and pulled out my gorgeous ring. I of course said yes, and he of course helped me with my bags. I was on cloud 9! We went out to eat that night and the next day {Saturday} I went to work, ha!

We were engaged just over 7 months. It was a blur of planning and gearing up to really start our life together.

Engagement pictures - to this day I still love them!

Decorating our reception hall

Rehearsal dinner

I have almost no good wedding pics on my laptop.
October 16, 2004...one of the best days of my life!

Our honeymoon to Turks & Caicos

Now here we are...almost 18 years later from me telling him he was my boyfriend. 2 kids, 3 moves {with another 1 on the horizon}, 5 jobs, 5 vehicles...

Lots of love!


Kelly said...

Can I just say even though I lived this story with you I still read every word and just grinned the entire time. I love it! I notice you even included the picture I dubbed you "Wedding Story" picture. :) Love y'all!

the blogivers said...

I love this!! Glad you guys had a happy ending :)

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I've gained about 100 lbs from the first picture to the last. Thanks for the reminder - B

Karen M. Peterson said...

You have such a cute story! I love it! And you two are just as adorable now as you were back then!

April said...

Stopping by from Andrea's link up. You two have a cute love story and not many can say they've stayed together through college like that.

Frances said...

Lovely story! Some of those pictures brought memories back for me. I can't believe how young we all looked then. It's awesome that you shared your story. It just goes to show love isn't perfect, but is rewarding in so many ways. Very happy for you guys!

Laynah said...

Aw this is the sweetest! I love love love stories!

Kathryn Bagley said...

I never knew yalls story..so sweet to read!