Beep, beep, beep, beep.
I slowly opened my eyes and tried to focus on my alarm clock. 6:00 a.m. (sigh)
On most days, I would hit the snooze button several times, before I actually woke up. But not today. Not today, of all days. I switched the on/off button to off and sprung out of bed. "I'm getting marr-rried today! I'm getting marr-rried today!" I chanted.
"Are you nervous?" my sister Melanie asked.
That's exactly what our relationship had evolved into. A peaceful, calm. I knew with out a doubt that this person, this man, was to be my eternal best friend. My eternal heart and soul.
I reflected to myself of just how we came to be. Of how the planets and stars must have been aligned perfectly on the first day that I had laid my eyes on this "Plumber Guy". Just how was it, that my landlord had the inclination to contrive a clever little plan, a little plan that involved his son-in-law's friend to fix one of his tenant's faucets, all the while having the "Plumber" check me out.
Then at that moment, there was a soft knock at the door.
Knock, knock, knock.
I opened the door to greet my soon to be husband. He was freshly showered, clean shaved, and his hair neatly combed.
Each of us gathered our things and I carefully gathered my wedding dress and we loaded into our vehicles.
His eyes lit up and he called information to get the temple's phone number.
"Um, hello? Yes, my name is Jennifer and I'm suppose to be getting married to Steve at nine a.m., but we are running very late because of the road conditions. Is that going to be a problem?"
The temple worker on the other end of the line said, "Oh no dear, that shouldn't be a problem. We've had twelve weddings cancelled today, except for you and one other wedding, because of the storm. You should be fine. Drive safely."
With in moments, Steve and I entered into the sealing room to be married, with our dear friends and loved ones surrounding us. Kneeling at the alter together, hand in hand, I was overcome with emotions and began to tear up. I was happy beyond my wildest dreams. As I looked into Steve's eyes, I noticed he began to tear up also. I also noticed he was a little nervous and was rubbing a painful groove into my hand with his thumb. It made me smile. I looked into his eyes, smiled, then placed my thumb firmly over the top of his to stop him from rubbing it raw. He smiled back.
As the the sealer talked, I remembered to take a moment to take everything in. I glanced around the room, making sure to remember everyone that was there. Our parents, Steve's sister Kay, extended family members, friends and best friends who cared and loved us. I had never felt the spirit so strong, in my entire life.
During the ceremony, there was one thing that the sealer said to us that I will never, ever forget. He said that we were in the right place, at the right time, with the right person. This is exactly how I felt. Steve and I were meant to be. We were meant to be at the very beginning and even thirteen years down the road. Our family was meant "to be" forever.
We were married. Husband and wife. I liked the sound of that.
After the ceremony we, walked through the lobby of the temple and then outside to meet our guests. We were floating on air with smiles, beaming. As we walked out of the temple doors, Steve let out a, "Wahoo!", followed by a rejoicing fist in the air, "we did it!" gesture.
As the photographer was preparing his equipment, I just realized that my new husband wasn't wearing a black tuxedo,as I had thought he had ordered.
"Your not wearing a black tuxedo!" I proclaimed.
"I know," he said.
Although Plumber Guy looked extremely handsome in the white tux, I couldn't help but wish he had picked the black tuxedo. My little fantasy, that included a little mixture of James Bond, Plumber Guy's broad shoulders and bulging pectoral muscles, was dashed.
After a chilly session of pictures, we headed towards our luncheon destination. It was an older restaurant with a large banquet room that was reserved for our wedding party. We ate a meal of roast beef, rolls, mashed potatoes, salad and chocolate mouse for desert. My best friend Christal hugged me and said, "The spirit was so strong in the temple as you two were getting married! Every one in that room knew that you and Steve are perfect for each other and there is no denying it!"
After the luncheon, the plan was to head back to our apartment, change, then head over to the church to finish last minute details before the reception. Plumber Guy sped the whole way to our home. At one point I thought to myself, "Why is he going so fast? He is going to wreck!" Then it hit me, "Oh, we're married now..." But his excitement was crushed when my family knocked on our apartment door, after we had arrived to our home. He conveniently forgot that my family was staying in our apartment.
Everyone changed into comfortable tee-shirts and jeans and made our way to the church. I frantically ran around, arranging wedding photos for display, fixing ivy garland, and placing the ivory roses and ivy on the cake. Oh, the cake. I was so appreciative to Plumber Guy's neighbor who made the cake for us as a wedding gift. However, it wasn't quite like the magazine picture that I had given her. There was no icing piped in a basket weave pattern and the cake stands that she constructed kinda resembled disco balls. There was nothing that I could do about it and started to place the ivy and roses on each cake. I had approximately thirty more minutes to construct my bouquet, the bridesmaids bouquets, and to put on my wedding dress. As I was putting flowers on the cake, guests started to arrive early. "What!" I yelped. "They're early!"
There I was in my jeans and a tee shirt, as the guests were arriving. I dropped what I was doing and went to the bathroom to put on my wedding dress. I put on my slip and then began to rummage for my white nylons. "Where are my nylons? Where are they!?!" I panicked. I threw everything out of my bag and they were no where to be found. I re-dressed into my jeans and tee shirt and ran out of the bathroom. I was freaking out. I didn't have nylons to wear, I still needed to arrange the bouquets, the cake was a little disappointing, and top everything off... the florists shorted me on ivory roses. It was right at that moment that I realized I had taken on too much. Shocker, huh? There I was hiding in a dark corner, near the coat racks, crying. My fully decked out husband, came around the corner.
"What's wrong?" he asked as he hugged me.
"I can't find my nylons, I don't have enough flowers for the bouquets, I still need to make the bouquets, and nothing is going right and people are already showing up! What's wrong with those people!!!!" I spurted off amongst tears and snot running down my face. I wiped my tears away and noticed the black smudges on my fingers. "Oh great!! Now I have to re-do my makeup!"
Plumber Guy held me in his arms and said, "You need to get a hold of yourself. Who cares about all of those things. Let me help you."
I took a deep breath in and let it out. I composed myself and began to laugh at how much of a bridezilla I had become at that moment. Then I did something, that can be difficult for me to do at times. I let my new husband help me.
He instructed one of my sister-in-law's to go to the store and buy me a pair of nylons. He helped me arrange the flowers the best that I could in the short amount of time that we had and with the extremely low inventory of ivory roses.
With in minutes my sister-in-law arrived with the much appreciated nylons and I quickly put on my wedding gown.
For the following two hours we hugged and kissed neighbors, friends, family, and total strangers.
When the reception was over and almost all of the guests had left, only a handful of our friends and family remained. We cut the cake and he fed me, kindly, and after much prodding from his sisters, I smashed it in his face. But, not too bad. I feared retaliation. The night had come to an end and everyone was exhausted.
It was time to say our sincere thank you's and goodbyes to our families and friends, and head off to our fantasy honeymoon of snowmobiling in West Yellowstone. We were going to stay in a cabin with a hot tub and a fireplace! I fantasized of us sitting in front of a roaring fire, snuggling into each other, sipping hot chocolate and talking about our future lives together.
We quickly changed back into our comfortable clothes, loaded the car with our luggage and Plumber Guy began to take off the tacky decor that his friends and family members decorated our car with. Some of which, was appalling to my Mother.
We were heading north in the dark night and heavy snow and decided to stop at a Burger King on the way to our hotel. With all of the excitement of the day, I didn't get to eat much. Even though, I was starving, I still found it hard to eat. Because this, was the night... In mere moments we were going to spend the night together and in the same bed.
We drove in silence for a little while. Both of our nerves were apparent and I just had to break the ice.
"So, where are we going to stay?" I asked excitedly. Believe it or not, we had never discussed this, except for when Plumber Guy would tease me about staying at a Motel 6 for our first night together, as husband and wife.
Plumber Guy couldn't contain his excitement and said, "There's a hotel just off of Riverdale!" he proclaimed with a devious grin.
We turn off of the free way to right and he then drove into the turning lane to turn left. And there it was... a large red, blue and white sign that read, "MOTEL 6"!
"Surely, he's kidding," I thought to myself. "Maybe there's a different hotel further up the road."
Plumber Guy then turned left, up the hill towards the MOTEL 6.
"No way!" I said. "I thought you were kidding this whole time?"
"Well, I was. But Dave said he's stayed here one time and said that some of the rooms were nice and even had a hot tub!" he said in his defense.
I could not believe it. I really could not believe it.
Plumber Guy then parked the car to front of the building and checked in. My mind turned from the disbelieve of spending my wedding night in a MOTEL 6 to what was about to occur. I was nervous.
Plumber Guy opened our hotel, I mean, motel door, and waited for my response. He had someone decorate the room earlier with rose petals, candles, and soft music.
That's my guy.
The rest of our honeymoon was shear bliss, spending every waking moment with my new husband. Plumber Guy made up for the MOTEL 6 fiasco with the rest of our stays in West Yellowstone and Jackson Hole. It was a dream come true.
Our one and only picture of the two of us on our honeymoon, in the "love cabin" in West Yellowstone. Nice foreheads.
These past thirteen years I often think of our story and how it came to be. I still tease my Plumber Guy about doing the Chinese splits on our third date, and beg him to demonstrate this amazing fete almost on a daily basis. He kindly demonstrated his talent, just the other day. It's a glorious thing.
Every time we drive by our beloved MOTEL 6, I giggle and tease him some more. He just laughs with me.
It's all of these landmarks and memories that remind me of just how much we have been through the past thirteen years, and of how much we mean to each other.
Our future together, that we so often dreamed about back in those days, has turned out to be some what different than what we imagined. But the one thing that has come true is that our love has never dwindled and continues to grow with each day.
I love you hubbin! I love you with all of my heart and I thank the Lord everyday for you...and your pectoral muscles.
Be still my heart, I married this body! I mean, this man.
Between the Chinese splits and these pictures, the deal was sealed.
Plumber Guy and I, at his birthday party when I met the whole fam damily for the first time.
This is a picture of us when I brought Plumber Guy to my home town for the first time, for the 4th of July. It was also the day after our love story almost ended.
Just engaged. November 8th, 1995. Man I'm white!
Also, the very couch where Plumber Guy professed his love to me.
The one and only "Pimp Ring" and the ring, Plumber Guy designed for me.
Our wedding invitation.
The dress that mi amigas helped pick out.