Saturday, March 23, 2013

1096 Days & Still Going Strong!

April & March of 2010 were a month of new beginnings for me. I was a newly single 22yr old, who had given up on college, given up on "local" boys, and needed a change. I had a good job part time job and amazing friends that were helping me through the changes. I was done trying to meet guys in the Chico Bar scene, I was done trying to rekindle old relationships, and I was really at a loss on where to find a decent MAN and not a little boy in a 20 something year old body.
My friend 'Hank' introduced me to a free dating website that she was using. I found "fishing" with her fun and entertaining and loved hearing stories of her conversations or dates she went on. After a few weeks of living vicariously through her(and two failed dates with guys I met at the bars), I decided it was time to sign up, I was just going to see what there was to offer and maybe go on a few dates. That's when my "fishing" days started on (POF), it was free and I figured I had nothing to lose! Started my search in the Chico Area, came up dateless because it was just like a virtual bar scene that I didn't want any part of. So I expanded the search thinking if I got out of the Chico area and did a semi-long distance thing it would work. That's when a certain profile from Yuba City caught my eye, now the first time it popped up on my search and read it I was about to send an email when I noticed he smoked so I decided not to email him. A week or so later 'Hank's' birthday rolled around and after a fun night out at the bars as I awoke hungover on her couch, I went "fishing". Now this picture pops up again in my recommended feed:
Now this time I think to myself, "Jenn it is one little aspect that maybe you could try to ignore", his eyes captured me every time I looked at his picture- so I sent him a simple little email. Saturday March 6th, hungover and not doing much at 'Hanks' when my blackberry alerts me of a new POF
email. Now once I read the reply I got those butterflies in my stomach because he had given me his cell number since he was driving from Mississippi back to Vegas (Yes, I was just as confused cause his profile said Yuba City but decided to roll with it). Like a giddy little girl we start texting, 'Hank' is helping me out so I don't sound too crazy and helping me think of questions to ask. Little did I know that, those moments would change my life completely! I learned about his job and why he was in Mississippi headed to Vegas then Cali, since the AF cross-trained him. After a few days of texting non-stop we had our first phone conversation while he was visiting his family in Colorado, he even sat in his truck at night freezing so his phone could charge and we could talk. We had talked about everything from favorite foods/colors to where we saw ourselves in 5 years and life goals. Now some call me crazy for this next step, ok a lot of people do and they call me absolutely crazy for even getting on a dating site, but it was a step that had to be made sooner or later. Zack was not headed to California for another month but we really wanted to meet and see if the connection we felt over the phone was the same as what we felt face to face. So I bought plane tickets to Las Vegas.

I purchased tickets to fly in March 20th and leave March 24th, figured that was more than enough time to get a feel for how we would connect. Now my boss thought I was insane, 'Hank' may have thought it to be crazy but she was supportive, and other friends told me I had a death wish and wondered what would I do if he turned out psycho, and my Mom was supportive as always. Well my only true plans were that we would be madly in love and it would be a perfect trip, but I knew I could always escape to the strip somehow and go home early! Now among many of our late night conversations we had talked about Marriage and I felt like I had known Zack for YEARS not just a few days or weeks. We had joked about getting hitched Vegas style while I was down visiting.
March 19th, I was more nervous than ever before but it was an excited nervous. I was about to meet the man behind calls and texts. Like any girl I had gone clothes shopping and gotten a new clothes to wear and a new purse, hey I had to look my best! Zack informed me that night on the phone that he had a surprise for me when I landed. I worked the morning of the 20th, then hopped in the car and headed towards Reno to get on a life changing plan ride. That 80min flight was the LONGEST 80min, I was so nervous I don't think I sat still. Landing in Vegas was exciting, I didn't know what to expect but was hoping that he was my prince charming. I got lost getting to baggage claim but he stayed on the phone with me helping me get to him, I think I was so nervous I wasn't reading the signs right plus it was 9:30pm and I hadn't slept the night before with all the nerves and excitement. I will never forget rounding that corner and seeing him! He was holding a dozen long stem red roses, he was exactly like his pictures and his face was priceless like he had just seen the most gorgeous girl ever! Now I have to admit our first kiss was one of those quick airport kisses so we did have too much PDA but it was still electric, I just remember trying not to pass out. Once we got my bag and headed to the truck he gave me my surprise, he waited in line at WalMart for the midnight release of New Moon for me since he knew I loved Twilight! Then he drove me up the strip since I'd never been to Vegas and took me to Applebees for dinner.
My Roses he had bought me.
The next two days were filled with Nellis AFB tour, showing me around Vegas, and me hanging out at his house while he had to work.
Driving around town, First picture as a dating couple!
 I felt like we had known each other for years not just 2 weeks. The connection was definitely there! On March 23rd while I was surfing the net Zack came up behind me and asked, "well want to go get married?", we had talked about it on the phone and through texts but it was the first time since we had met in person. I of course said "Yes!", and we got one of his roommates to be our witness. Late afternoon on the 23rd we headed to the Clark County Courthouse and got our certificate, then walked across the street and were married!
Our wedding photo.

We had no rings for each other but I didn't need a material thing to know that I had just met my soul mate and sealed the deal. I lost friends over the sudden marriage but wouldn't have changed what we did for anything, even now I love our Love Story-retelling it still gives me butterflies! The next day was sad, I didn't want to leave my husband I bawled like a big baby but he was set to move to Beale (Yuba City, CA) in about a week. We decided I would fly back down and help move stuff to California with my husband! The flight back into Reno was TERRIBLE, worst turbulence ever and topped off with the incoming snow storm it was a disaster.
I flew back to Vegas a week later to help load the UHaul and drive the Ram while following Zack in the UHaul. It was amazing knowing it was the last time we would have to be sooo many miles apart (well until deployments).
At a Rest Stop on the 14hr drive
Our Convoy!
Due to some things that had happened at my job I continued to work for another month in Paradise, commuting between Beale and Paradise to be with Zack but continue to work. We finally had our first house together and had bought each other rings by May of 2010. Life was wonderful and I finally felt complete.
I always questioned the saying love at first sight but after experiencing it I know that some people just have that connection. I'm so happy that Zack and I found each other, he can brighten the darkest days, knows what to say to make me feel better, and always does everything he can for our family. No we are not the perfect couple we have our ups and downs but its just to remind us we are human and proves our strong connection when we make it over the little hurdles! he has seen me at my best and at my worst, yet still loves me with all his heart and knowing that brings nothing but joy to my heart. Today is our 3 year anniversary, its been an interesting and fun 1096 days but I cant wait to see what the rest of our lives hold. I love you Zackery Thomas with all my heart!
Here are some of my favorite pictures of us through the last 3 years...
Family Pictures June 2010, courtesy of 'Hank'!
Just hanging out in Colorado
Showing Off
Working on 'Nicole'
Halloween 2010
Zack Jamming December 2010
Heading to the OR to have Sawyer April 2011
Holding Sawyer April 2011
Our first Family of 3 Picture, San Fran June 2011
Pre Deployment Family Pics. September 2011 (Jade Photography) 
Reunited after 6 months! April 2012
Mothers Day Beach Trip 2012
Moving to Japan 2012
I could go on and on with pics but I'll end with this one:
23 March 2013.
Forever and Always. XOXOXOXO

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