Monday, February 4, 2008

Eight Years Under His Spell

Yes, yes, ANOTHER tag...bear with me (especially with the lengthy answers, but Brett and my kids are my favorite subjects, so you can't expect me to abbreviate anything about them!). Besides, I decided this was a good time to do this since Valentine's (and the anniversary of our first date, Feb. 5, is just around the corner)!

1. Where did you and your husband meet?

Brett and I met when I moved into his family's ward in West Bountiful. I noticed him right away, but I wasn't the only one. My mom had come up to help me move into my new apartment so she attended church with me my first week in the new ward. Brett sat with his family a couple rows up. Mom motioned to Brett and said, "He's really cute. What about him? He looks like a nice guy." "Moooooooom," I whined. "Look, he's got a girlfriend. She's scratching his back. They all have girlfriends!" (Later I found out the pretty blonde sitting next to him was his sister, Ashlee. Good. Now I didn't have to worry about how to dispose of her body should she have turned out to actually have been competition!) I noticed his smile right away (Brett has a beautiful smile). And in the Single Adults Sunday school class, I noticed that he laughed very easily. Being happy just comes naturally to him. Brett is the first guy I ever went out of my way to impress. I even went so far as to go out and buy a new dress, hoping to catch his eye. We spoke on several occasions (just your typical "hi" in the hallway) but he claims he doesn't recall any of it. I was in the ward only 2 months when I was called to be the Sunbeam teacher. I loved this calling, but since I did not like attending the Single Adult activities (I went through a brief period of being a severe introvert...yeah, weird, I know...), that meant that I rarely saw Brett at Sunday meetings. Around Christmas time of 1999, I began having this nagging feeling that I needed to be prepared to get married, that it would not be long before I would meet the man who would take me to the temple and that I needed to be sure I was worthy and ready. I know that sounds strange, but the feelings were strong and on several occasions undeniable. It was only a week later when the bishop called me into his office and scolded me for not attending Single Adult activities. He told me in a tone just short of commanding me that I needed to start attending, beginning with the activity that was taking place the very next day. It was watching a U of U game at Dave & Sheila McSwain's. I went right after work (still in my airline uniform) and was so nervous (remember, I was going through a shy phase) that I sat out in my car for a good five minutes debating how obedient I was going to be to the bishop's instructions. Deciding to go in, I don't remember if I was early or if everyone else was late, but the only other person there was...dun-dun-dun-dun!...Brett! And that's where it really began. We sat together that night and talked and talked. He was the easiest person to talk to. In fact, he has said what made him realize it could be serious between us was the fact that we didn't run out of things to talk about on the second date!

2. 1st thing said...

Hmmm...This is a tough one. The first thing he ever said to me was probably the week he introduced me in the Single Adults Sunday school class. Something to the effect of: "This is Hope Kremin and she just moved into the Carrington Apartments, so we'd like to welcome her." The first thing I ever said to him was probably "Hi". How boring. Maybe I should have started with, "Hey, my mom thinks you're cute..."

3. 1st date...

First of all, Brett needed a lot of encouragement to ask me out on our first date. The night we "connected" watching the U game at McSwain's I thought he'd for sure be calling me. Nope. So then I went with my friend Kristi Barfus to the church ball game. Brett came over and talked to us. he'll call me. Nope. (Turns out he thought that because I "worked for the airlines, lived by myself, got my nails done, and penciled in my eyebrows" I must be older than him and he did not want to date an older woman.) No, Brett didn't go out with me until I had Kristi set us up on a blind date, on the pretense that I did not know who I was going out with either. However, Brett knew that I knew it was him. But I did not know that he knew I knew. (Are we confused yet?) So I made a total jerk of myself when I got to his house and made this big scene about being surprised it was him! Just another notch on my mishap list. We went on a huge group date to TGIF's and dancing (that's right...dancing. Those that know Brett and I well are probably trying to pick their jaw off the floor about now.) There was one of those annoying balloon animal guys at TGIF's...I hate those things (not the guys, but the balloons). I'm always anticipating the balloon to pop as they twist it into a giraffe or flower. So the group (not us) waves him over and ask him to make a balloon animal. He does his balloon freak show (the entire time I'm cringing) and then nobody offers him a tip! I was so embarrassed that I threw a dollar his way begrudgingly. I didn't want his squeaky balloon act to begin with and now *I'm* the one tipping this clown? Thanks a lot, folks. Anyway, back to the date. After dinner we were walking to the car when I felt his fingers grasp for my hand. Smooth...very smooth! We met the rest of the group at the M.A.C. (Murray Arts Center) where they were teaching swing dancing and the fox trot. The people in our group were the only ones without a subscription to "AARP Magazine"! It was so cute to see these older couples making their way around the dance floor! Brett has two beautiful feet (seriously, doctors have commented on their attractiveness). Unfortunately, they are two LEFT feet! But he scored major points for trying!

4. 1st kiss...

As we were shuffling around, resembling a drunken version of Fred and Ginger, at one point we made eye contact, our faces coming closer due to the animal magnetism we both felt (hey, we gotta spice this up a bit). Before I knew what hit me, he kissed me, and all I can say is it's a good thing we were dancing and he had his arm around my waste, because my knees nearly buckled! He is a fanTABulous kisser and I remember thinking he had the softest lips. After that, we kissed a lot. A lot. Never inappropriately, but I'd be lying if I denied the frequency! We still kiss a lot, much to the disgust of our 6- and 3-year olds! We get "Ewwwwww!" sung to us on a daily basis at our house!

5. Long/Short Courtship or engagement...

Um, we're Mormons. From Utah. Of course it happened quickly!

We dated for 3 months and were engaged for 3 months. But when you know, you know! It's like Billy Crystal says on When Harry Met Sally: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible!" Why wait, right?

6. Where did you get engaged...

We got engaged behind the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, as we looked at the Salt Lake Temple. We went out to celebrate my birthday and let's just say I had a feeling it was coming (I got my nails done fresh that day so my hands would look real good! How could I be so confident, you ask? Well, we'd already reserved the temple, so...)
Brett had the cutest idea. He was so romantic. We started out the night going to a delicious (but overpriced) dinner at Tuscany. During dinner, Brett reached into his pockets (he had many...he was wearing these cargo pants with about a gazillion pockets...I found out later this served a purpose of hiding several gifts). As he reached into his pockets, my breath caught in my throat and I thought: "This is it! Make sure you look good! Make sure your reaction is classic!" He pulled out....his wallet to pay for the dinner. SIGH. After dinner, he wanted to take a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon. As he parked on the overlook, which we really couldn't see because it was dark, he got a look in his eye and I knew something was up. He reached in his pocket (a different one) and pulled out a jewelry box. Biting my lip, again I thought "Here we go--react memorably!" (I know, I'm a dork!) As he flipped the box open, it revealed...a lovely necklace (which conveniently worked for jewelry on my wedding day). "Happy birthday," he says. Then we drive to Temple Square and suddenly he is very nervous and on edge. I sit on a bench, thinking we'll just enjoy the ambience but he won't sit. He's practically pacing! He tells me he has one final gift for me. He leads me to a doorway behind the Joseph Smith building because it was lit and he said we'd need light. He pulls out a ring box. SIGH...FINALLY. I was ready for this moment. Brett says he could see my face change from excitement and anticipation to disappointment and confusion as he opened the ringbox and I saw the...CTR Ring. A few weeks earlier I had lost my CTR ring, so he thought he'd buy me a new one. Sweet, but wasn't quite the "bling" I had been hoping for! Trying to mask my disappointment (which I guess I did poorly) I pasted on a smile and put it on my finger.
Then he says, "I had your name engraved inside. Why don't you look at it?"
"It's pretty dark, I will when we get home."
"No, I bet you can see it. Why don't you try? I think you'll like it."


As I lean into the lit doorway, I spy the word "marry" inside the ring band. Suddenly, my own light came on and I knew. As I turned the ring to read the full inscription, I could see it said "Will You Marry Me?" (Needless to say, that engraved CTR ring means just as much to me as the engagement ring itself!)
I turned around in surprise to find Brett kneeling on one knee, holding the final (and most important) ring box. Inside was the most beautiful, princess-cut sparkling diamond ring. And then he did it (finally)! After taunting me all evening, which he thoroughly enjoyed, he proposed and I was so surprised and touched by the cute way he did it that I was speechless. Before I could say yes, all I could do was kiss him long and hard.
.....And then a man came out of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, throug the doorway we were sitting in. Yes, some church guy came out to find a couple making out on Temple Square! My parents were in town on business, so we stopped first at their hotel in Bountiful, where Shannon (my niece & dear friend) was also staying. It was after eleven, but we didn't care about waking them! The same way we didn't care about going to Brett's family's house to wake them up. Brett's dad said, "Where'd you get that prize? From a Cracker Jack box?"

7. Where were you married?...

We were married at the Salt Lake LDS Temple. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the ornate and castle-like appearance of this temple. When we got married, they were still doing construction on the reflection pond and all that jazz, so our photographer had to be creative as to avoid getting the construction cranes, etc. in the back ground. I was so happy that day, however, that I remember feeling like nothing could destroy my good mood. Nothing could ruin my day--Brett was mine and mine for good! (Insert Evil Laugh Here: Bu-Rah-Ha-Ha!)
8. How did the Reception go?

We had two receptions and they were both so beautiful and perfect. Our parents worked their tails off (and spent all their money!) to give us wonderful parties! Both receptions were in the back yards of the homes we grew up in. They were both so memorable and the people that mean the most to us were there, offering us their love and support.
My one complaint was that at the 2nd reception (foolishly held the day after our wedding night), I came sporting a lovely hickey on the right side of my neck that could not be hid! Even now when I talk to my Vernal friends that attended that reception, I still get razzed for my "love bruise". (Thanks, Brett. You'll never live it down. And although he's kind of annoyed at me for posting about it, I told him 90% of the people that read this already know it happened. Why deny it? Can't we laugh about it? After the initial shock, we laughed back then, so why not now?) As I said, we reached a point where nothing could be done but laugh. However, at first, it was nothing but a laughing matter! When I first realized what had happened (the morning of the 2nd reception) I tried for THREE HOURS to cover it with make-up. When I found out it was pointless and only made it worse, I called my mom crying. "I look like white trash! Every one will see it!!" I found out later that she pulled my joker brothers aside before we got there and threatened them all with their LIVES if any of them even hinted at my purple friend! They took her seriously--the only one that kind of teased us was Brett's normally conservative dad, who raised an eyebrow at his son (dare I say, almost proudly?) and said, "Way to go, Duder!"
9. Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Brett gave me the most romantic honeymoon. We packed our bags (including turtlenecks to hide the hickey. Just kidding. I only wish I could have gotten away with that in California. In July.) Anyway, he took me to a historic hotel I'd always wanted to stay at, ever since my Travel Agent days. We stayed on Coronado Island at the Hotel Del Coronado--Coronado is still one of our top places to visit. We love it there! We did late-night walks on the beach, lounged in the pool, ordered room service. He also pulled out all the stops, renting a convertible, which made drives along the ocean so fun!
Babe, it's simple: I love ya. Each year with you just gets better and better, and for me feels as exciting and romantic as the first. Happy "First-Date" Anniversary and Happy Valentines Day! You are my best friend. Nobody can make me smile or laugh like you can. Nobody but you could still make my stomach "flip" after eight beautiful years. Thanks for being a spectacular husband and stellar dad. The kids adore you--you are their world, their hero. And you know what? You're kinda mine, too. I've never met anyone so easy to get a long with. The first time you met my family I knew we were meant to be. It's like Peter Gallagher says on While You Were Sleeping : "My family loves you, I might as well love you!" We've been through highs and lows, but the best part is we've always come out on top, and more in love with each other than ever before.


Brandis said...

You crack me up. Reading all that stuff put a smile back on my face after what turned out to be a rough day. We found out today that some dear friends of ours probably will be separating, so reading about how much you and your husband love each other and all the cuteness of your courtship & everything made me feel better. (That is one of the cutest proposals I've ever heard of, by the way. And sorry Brett, but the hickey story is hilarious!)

Brett said...

Well it is officially Feb. 5th and that means it has been 8 wonderful years since my world became complete. Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. I love the way you describe our life together. You have an amazing way of describing the experience. You took some of the wind out of my sail by posting something already. But what could I expect from the Queen of Blog. Anyway I wanted to surprise you with special anniversary post letting you know how much I care for you and grateful to have such a wonderful partner who does a fabulous job raising our sweet chilren. They are such a reflection of the long hours of hard work and compassion that you share with them. You truly work tireless hours in the service of the kids and me. I look back over the last 8 years and think to myself, "Man How did we get here?" It seems like it was yesterday when we were leaving Coronado and realizing that now life begin and the fantasy is over. However after 8 years the fantasy continues and I feel luckier each and everyday to call you my wife and realize that I truly lucked out! I love you now and forever.


Wonderland Pearls & Purses said...

Well, Brett, that makes a tough act to follow.

Hope, you know what? Wow, I hate to get mushy but it seems to be the theme for the day. I'm too and soooo happy you married Brett! It's something I started worrying about right about the time you met Brett-given the string of "winners" right before him. Thank you Brett for being good to my sister. And big points for you for even reading your wife's blog. SOME people's husbands don't bother.

Did I catch that right?? First date? First kiss? Wow, in a hurry?

Ya and thanks for REMINDING me about the infamous hickey. Good times. I wouldnt' want to forget about that!

Love you love you love you both.

Tif said...

So cute and so sweet. Reading this really gets me in the mood for Valentine's Day! Thanks for sharing all your cute and sweet stories. I especially like the proposal one. How creative on Brett's part. You two are perfect for each other.

Lindsay Taft said...

What a fun read (and tribute to your sweetie!). I was telling Brett last night how impressed I was that: a) he reads your blog and b) he had planned on doing a post for you. I've enjoyed hearing you tell these stories before, but it was fun reading it this time around. Don't worry, Brett - I think we've all heard about the hickie (it's just too bad I wasn't in the family when it happened...)!

Annie said...

How cute! I loved reading about your relationship, what a cute proposal. Also, the hickie story is hillarious. Thanks for sharing!

Jenny said...

I really enjoyed reading about you love story! Very entertaining and funny, especially the hickie story--I remember it was the topic of conversation among all the cousins that night. Fun memories!

MissGlimpseBlogSpot said...

I love that I was around when all that happened. I can rememebr the single Hope:) It is crazy that it has been 8 years. Just think if we had not quit the airlines we woudl be that much closer to life time free flights:) CONGRATS!!!! Here is to 100 more:)

Barton Family said...

This was so fun to read about you and Brett beginning your lives together. So funny that he gave you a hickey!!Love it! I also love the proposal. Nice job Brett. Very nice. Great post!

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson