Jeff's family goes to same church as my family, but Jeff's father's job required them to move often, so I only had a vague idea of who he was based on the few instances I saw his family in church. He is also 4 years older than me, so even if he was around, he probably would have ignored me anyway :)
While I was in high school, Jeff was at the Naval Academy. He got his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and he decided to go to the Marines instead of the Navy.
|About to get his head shaved for the Marines|
|My mother in law made this board for my baby shower|
During some combat training in October 2005, Jeff was involved in a serious accident (read about it here). Once he was stable enough, they moved him to Bethesda Naval Hospital in MD. Since Jeff's family was still members of our church, I heard about the accident and I think my reaction was "Wow, that sucks".
Eventually Jeff had to move home so his parents (his mom is a nurse) could take care of him and drive him to all of his appointments at Bethesda. After he'd been home a few months, my mom came to me one day and asked me if I'd consider contacting him since he was stuck with no friends nearby for his recovery and must be lonely. I must have been in a good mood that day because I agreed to do it. The best part was that she didn't have any contact info for him, so I had the fun task of calling his mom to ask for his email address. Most awkward call ever. :) I sent him an email and figured I'd never hear back (because it's just strange to get a random email from a chick you've never met).
About a week or so later, I did get an email from him. It was all in lower case and was missing a lot of punctuation, which made me think of e.e. cummings, but I figured I'd respond anyway. I didn't know that he was typing with just one hand because of a recent surgery, and really at that time I had no idea the extent of his injuries.
We emailed back and forth for a few months. I was finishing up my first year of grad school and kung fu took up a lot of my free time outside of class and studying. Easter Sunday was the first time I was able to see Jeff in person (he wasn't up to going to church before this point), and after that I decided that I should try to entice him to leave his house and go to a movie or something. It took a while to talk him into it, but eventually I got him to meet me for a movie.
After the first movie, I talked him into a second movie and going to dinner before. We went to some Vietnamese place I had never been to before (but it was close to the movie theater) and I got really sick from the food and ended up having to run out of the movie theater and yak in the bathroom. I thought for sure after that incident that Jeff would come up with excuses to not hang out with me again, but either his head injury or the painkillers clouded his judgment and he continued to go see movies with me all summer.
By the end of the summer, I knew for sure that I liked him as more than a friend, but I really had no idea about how he felt. Jeff is the smartest guy that I know, but he's not too quick on the uptake, if you know what I mean. No matter how many hints I dropped, he just wasn't getting it. So one night I just had to suck it up and tell him and luckily it worked out and we started dating.
|The first picture of us (we look so young!)|
|The VA Beach boardwalk|
|Back when I had long hair and no baby to pull it|
|Cheesy engagement picture|
Eventually, Jeff was medically retired from the Marine Corps. Because he was retired, we still have benefits like Tricare and use of the commissary. Now that Jeff knew that he was getting out, he had to find a job in the civilian world.
Jeff had no problem generating interest at career fairs and went on tons of interviews in all parts of the country. His education at the Naval Academy and his master's from University of Maryland seemed to make everyone want to interview him. I wanted to stay in northern VA, but Jeff didn't have any job offers that he liked there and he wasn't the biggest fan of the area either. Considering all the offers that Jeff was interested in, the job at Pax River Naval Air Station seemed to be the best option. So, the day after we got back from our honeymoon, we packed up and moved into a small apartment in southern MD.
So now we live here in southern MD, about 25 minutes from the base, and Jeff works as a navigation systems engineer for the F/A-18 program office.
So, we don't have the typical "We met through mutual friends" story and I usually stick to the "We met at church" line for brevity's sake, but there's our story in it's entirety. I always joke that the Percocet was instrumental in our early relationship, but even after he got off the painkillers, he still wanted to be around me, so he's a keeper. :)
How did you meet your significant other?