On a beautiful, autumn day an innocent (and rather geeky) blond girl began the first day of life in a new middle school. She had just moved to a new, VERY small, and quite "hickish" town and was determined to make a great impression. She'd cut her long flowing hair to try a new look (and learned that somewhere along the way her wispy blond waves had become a THICK head of hair... picture an unintentionally goofy looking chin length cut that was not too flattering). As she walked boldly into this new school she was greeted with glares and looks of disapproval. The innocent little girl was about to learn that in 8th grade you were only "cool" if you'd been born and raised in that little town or were miraculously blessed with the cool gene from birth. In THIS school, this girl was an unwelcome nobody. Ugh.
This girl, however, was undeterred. She was a TALKER and when nervous this blessing/curse was at it's best. Therefore, when assigned to sit by a dufus-cute boy in her science class that ACTUALLY said "Heyrmph" (an 8th grade boy grunt of a greeting as it turned out), she immediately began chatting his ear off. Over the first few weeks of school she learned VERY little about the quite guy that sat slouched waaaaayyyy down into his chair and grunted responses to her, while HE got to learn way more about her than he'd care to. Ahhh.... the beginning of a friendship. ;-)
This boy quickly learned that this girl was quite studious and received fabulous grades. He therefore began occasionally peering over her shoulder to "check" his answers on tests. This boy was not too subtle in his peeks (apparently) because during one fateful test this boy was caught CHEATING and the boy AND the innocent girl were given big, fat, and incredibly UGLY "F's" on their tests. This was beyond devastating to the girl (duh!) and she ran from the classroom crying. Totally cool, obviously. Soon after the school's requests to move her to 9th grade were accepted by girl and her parents and she left the terrible 8th grade memories behind to begin enjoying HIGH SCHOOL! At this point, the boy and girl no longer saw each other until the boy made it to high school the following year... and gave her goofy looks of surprise when she would say "Hello" and acknowledge him in the hallways. Thus, was the "end" of their friendship.
Many years later (ok, actually it was only 3 but back then that was a long time!), that boy began hanging out in the library during the final period of each day. This period happened to be that girl's peer counseling hour, and when there was no "counseling" to be done to peers, she spent HER time in the library completing scholarship applications on the TYPE WRITER (!!!). The boy began sitting in the lounge chairs beside the type writer and talking with the girl. It was one of those adorable and totally pathetic boy/girl flirting relationships in which loads of teasing and giggling occurred.
One day, the boy (after a day ditching classes and 4-wheeling with friends) decided he wanted to see the girl so badly that he LOOKED HER UP IN THE PHONE BOOK and called. Yep. He did. At that moment that girl was already "fighting" with her current boyfriend about something lame and was totally caught off guard by the call. She told her boyfriend to leave as JOE had requested to come over. Yikes... that girl was totally not a player, she just KNEW her boyfriend wouldn't have been friendly to any male friend she had. From that point on, the boy and the girl began spending exorbitant amounts of time together, quickly growing increasingly fond of each other. He escorted her to her senior prom (after double checking with her that he actually did have to wear a Tux), and broke his neck the day of her baccalaureate just to see how much her nerves could handle (did I mention he rode moto-cross and was actually SPONSORED to do so?! Yes, he was awesome but this terrified the girl). The friendship blossomed into more and on June 18th it became official (sealed by their FIRST KISS!).
So, you guessed it. That story was about us. Joe & Jesi... the beginnings of one heck of a pair. We've endured deployments to Iraq, enjoyed laughing until we cry about things so stupid I couldn't remember to tell you what they were, and even the ups and downs up the adoption roller-coaster, a layoff, a move to a new state, and life with THREE incredible and very spoiled dogs.
This is to you baby... I love you!
For the rest of you, thanks for suffering through the mush! I'll do my best to refrain on most occasions in the future!
(First photo is 1/1/2003... blissfully unaware of a war that was about to begin with Iraq and that hubby would be activated on Valentine's day the next month... :'-( and the second photo was on vacation in January 2007)