Lessons in love learned while falling in love
Michal-Lynn proposed on August 30, 2015 at Amy and John Nichols’ Home in St. Helena, CA. It was a beautiful night with Jaimee’s sister Jen as the surprise guest. Using a dinner party as the cover-up, Michal-Lynn and her planning committee (her dear friends she calls “The Power of Nine”) set-up a beautiful table at sunset. Then, each of her closest girlfriends read a card from 365 Gathered Truths, one of their traditions, and each quote centered on love. Then, from behind a Cypress Tree, Jaimee’s little sister and best friend Jen read her quote. Tears, tears, tears…Michal-Lynn was the last to read hers:
“From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.” -The Baal Shem Tov
Needless to say, Jaimee said “Yes.” Actually, she said “F*#K Yes!” More is more with her.
The rest of night was filled with poker games, karaoke from the movie “Annie,” romance and love as our close family and friends celebrated with us.
One of the best parts of the proposal was that Michal-Lynn asked Jaimee’s then 11-year son Cayden for his permission. He said yes, too.
Michal-Lynn’s the introverted athlete and I’m the verbose writer.
Michal-Lynn has more Puma clothes in her wardrobe than Sergio Aguero. I think Sergio Aguero is an Italian shoe brand. Michal-Lynn knows all the lyrics to every hip-hop song made since 1982. I know the chorus to one Taylor Swift song and sing that wrong.
You get the point-we’re night and day, but we’re not confined to these labels. We may be different on the outset, but the things that matter to us, matter to both of us. We want our wedding to reflect the most beautiful parts about us-our real, hard love for each other, our passions, and our deep gratitude for the people who make us better.
How it all started…
We have been together for 4 years, but we have been friends for almost 7. Michal-Lynn was my son Cayden’s PE teacher and we were enrolled in the same teaching credential program at High Tech High in San Diego, CA. (A cute aside: Cayden still calls her “Coach.”) We had classes together for 2 years; she thought I was a know-it-all (I am) and I thought she needed my guidance (she didn’t) so we “talked shop” in class-about the kids we taught, about Cayden’s smile and competitive nature, and about how much we love what we do and who we share our lives with.
Fast Forward to the week before Spring Break-March 17, 2012. Michal-Lynn-being the fierce Irish that she is, was gathering a group together to hang out for St. Patty’s day. I was in Japan with 18 students and got the text to hang out when I got back to the hotel. ML and I hadn’t talked in several months but I loved hearing from her. I told her she was in Japan and that they would hang out when she got back.
Something was about to change.
When I got back from Japan, Spring Break was starting and my son was with his dad. So…I texted ML to go out and we went to Redwing in North Park andspent the rest of Spring Break together…road-trippin, dancing to country music until 5am, and falling in love.
We will marry in a rustic ranch ceremony in San Diego on October 15, 2016.
Lessons we learned while falling in love:
1. MARRIAGE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT
2. TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED
3. KNOW WHAT YOU STAND FOR BEFORE YOU FALL FOR SOMEONE
4. LOVE ALWAYS WINS
Lesson #1 – MARRIAGE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT
We know we’re not married yet, but we have seen marriages thrive and fail. We often talk about our relationship and how it is a choice to be committed to our relationship…to remain open and honest, to give grace, to say sorry, to forgive, to come back when you are so angry. We know relationships take work, and need to be nurtured, and we know we define our marriage.
Lesson #2 – TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED
EO, Jaimee’s beloved uncle and Jaeman, ML’s cousin’s, deaths changed our lives. One was 87 and one was 15. We spent many nights talking about these two, and wishing they could have met the love of our lives.
Lesson #3 – KNOW WHAT YOU STAND FOR BEFORE YOU FALL FOR SOMEONE
We have the big things in common: our jobs are ones of service (Michal-Lynn is a soccer coach and Athletic Director, and Jaimee is a middle school teacher), we both want more kids (“It’s complicated” is an understatement!) , we share the same faith yet found it on our own, and we know communication and choices save relationships.
Lesson #4 – LOVE ALWAYS WINS
Our wedding will be a celebration of the humanness of love. Love Always Wins. We are truly proud that we can get married in all definitions of the word on October 15, 2016. True love, in our eyes, is a choice. It is an active choice that we have to make every day to honor each other and to give to each other without losing ourselves. Our wedding will celebrate the friends and family who have made our core values stronger. Our wedding would be a tribute to our core values, and to things we love to love. True Hospitality is when someone leaves you feeling better about themselves, not better about you. We want to inspire our guests at our wedding. There will be non-traditional components of our wedding that honor all of those who have helped us work in our relationship. True love is work, and we didn’t get here alone. Weddings should celebrate the love story of the human spirit, not just our love story. On October 15, 2016, we will marry the person who has expanded our definition of love.
Photographer: Heather Jasner Photography