If you ask Jeff and I how we met, you will get a different story and a completely different year. Jeff will tell you that we met at the end of 9th grade when he moved to my home town and started attending the same church as me. He is technically right…We do have physical proof in photographs that we had met and attended the same youth group. However, if you ask me, I will tell you that we did not meet until the beginning of our Jr. Year of high school…Obviously one of us (me) was not so concerned about Jeff’s presence but Jeff will tell you that he liked me the moment he met me.
Apart from church, Jeff and I shared a photography class together, and that is where I got to know him. At first I did not think anything of him. But overtime a friendship grew, and one day while I was away visiting my grandparents in Arizona, I found myself anxious to find the perfect gift for him. All he said as I was leaving was “pick me up something while you are there”….but in a way where he did not expect to get anything. Yet there I was stressing out about what to get this boy that I was just getting to know. After my long search and internal conflict with myself “what does this mean? Do I like him? Why am I thinking about him? Stop caring so much Amanda and just pick something”, I settled on a motorcycle belt buckle. I knew he liked motorcycles because at the time he rode a black Yamaha V-Star Cruiser (Side Note: He still has that belt buckle and wore it on our wedding day). So when I returned from my trip of emotional and self discovery I presented him with his gift and his internal conflict began..”does this mean she likes me? I know I like her…should I pursue her? Like most high school relationships start, I told my girl friends, he told his guys friends, our friends talked, and they reported back to us. So high school right?
Our first date was a double date with two of our friends who had also just started dating. We went to see the movie Next with Nicolas Cage. During the movie Jeff and I looked straight forward and left the arm rest that was between us completely open. Who ever touched that arm rest was the one who was going to open the door to the possible next move of hand holding. Toward the end of the movie I was brave enough to slide my elbow up but was not quite ready to give the I want to hold hands gesture. You know what I am talking about right? The soft hand slightly turned at an angle so that it is easy and not awkward to reach for. By the time either one of us mustered up the courage the movie ended and it was time to go. After the movie we went to go get some Jamba Juice and go on a walk since it was nice outside. Our friends were walking ahead of us holding hands while Jeff and I tootled behind, walking just close enough to hold hands, but still working on the courage. Our friends noticed and turned around to tell us, “You know, all the cool kids hold hands”. They turned back around and Jeff and I looked at each other. He said “Amanda….do you want to be cool kids?” I blushed like the girl I am and quietly said “yes” and extended my hand.
From that point on we figured out what made the other tick, what our likes and dislikes were, we shared struggles and hardships, celebrated together, and began seeing what life together could be like. We both shared a passion for people and a passion for photography, so our photography adventures began even before we did and became one of our favorite pass times. Since we got started we have gone to prom, walked down the aisle at our high school graduation, walked down the aisle at our wedding, graduated college, and began a business together. I look forward to a lot more adventures and a lot more firsts as we continue life together.