The Story of Us

The story of us

This is one of my most treasured stories and I love telling it to anybody that will listen.  Rewind to the weekend of January 16, 2009. I was just a young girl at the time with crazy dreams of quitting my job, traveling the world and moving to Colorado with one of my best friends from nursing school {still a pretty awesome dream}.  Literally a few days prior to this weekend my friend and I had actually just purchased tickets to Paris so we could backpack around Europe for six weeks.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  Andrew was in the middle of his senior year at Texas A&M university.  As destiny, or fate, would have it Andrew and I ended up on the same cruise ship that chilly weekend in January.  It was the Carnival Ecstasy cruise liner; straight out of the 70’s with shag carpet and all.  I was there with some girlfriends from nursing school for a bachelorette party and Andrew was there with his family and large group of friends from his small home town.  Before we even had a chance to leave port, Andrew and I crossed paths.  It was a quick interaction of a girl falling in love at first sight.  I spotted him and he spotted me and we made the most intensely awkward eye contact.  A few more episodes of our paths crossing,  it was evident that somebody had to make a move.  Andrew did.  He popped around a corner and made my best friend and I blush (it was so obvious we were staring at them and had no idea he had left and was coming to us).  He introduced himself and gave me the “I hope I see you around later” line 🙂  He did – that night it all went down at the Stripes Disco.  After night of dancing at Stripes Disco and watching a beautiful sunrise from the boat deck made for the most magical and fun weekend.  It was pretty much a done deal.  Two days flew by and I told Andrew on our last day together that he would either the best thing that has ever happened to me or the biggest heartbreak of my life.  I was completely smitten.  We made it back to land and had our first land date which evolved into another whole weekend spent together.  We spent the remainder of Andrew’s semester at school traveling back and fourth at every free moment so that we could be together.  A whirlwind of eight months flew by filled with nothing but love, laughter and adventure.  It all came to the perfect ending with Andrew taking a knee asking me to be his wife.  Saying ‘YES’ was the best decision I have ever made in my life.  Saying Yes has blessed me with the 2 most beautiful boys.  It has been the best adventure of my lifetime so far and I can only imagine where we will end up.  Always and forever team Hooper.

From the moment I met Andrew he is always rhyming, singing, or writing poems.  It was so fitting that our rainy day bike ride 8 years ago today ended with this poem 🙂  Who would have thought a weekend cruise would be a defining moment in time in both of our lives.  9 years ago on January 16th we will have met, 8 years ago today we got engaged, 7 years ago October 2 we got married.  Here is to a lifetime together.

Cruise Girl

It all began on a Carnival Cruise 

For which I had went on to enjoy the booze 

And all of the sudden I saw a girl in the hall 

So beautiful, so stunning, so ridiculously tall 

She caught my eye, and took my breath away 

I thought to myself, could this be the one, could this be the day 

We met on and on, for the first few hours 

Though I never could shake that I was a coward 

So beautiful you stood, you were out of my league 

So I racked my brain, oh how may I intrigue 

With that white long sleeve shirt and that little black vest 

I could feel my heart racing, down deep in my chest 

So I drank up some drinks, to build up my courage 

And wandered around, like I was out on a forage 

I saw you in the middle, with a friend by your side 

Oh great there’s two, this will be an interesting ride 

I downed one more drink, and began walking your way 

I hoped I could do it, I didn’t know what to say 

We had our little convo, it went well so it seemed 

We said see ya around, I thought she is supreme 

 There was something special, something different for sure 

I said time will tell, if only I can endure 

That night at the club, with the dim and black lights 

We had a ball, the place was named stripes 

We partied a lot, and then walked around 

Till the wee hours in the morn, then I laid my head down 

I woke up that morning, thinking will I see her again 

Well duh, were on a ship, in the middle of the ocean 

As the cruise day went on, we talked and shared glances 

We met at stripes that night, and began doing dances 

Then all of the sudden, our lips met together 

Wow this is so awesome, so full of pleasure 

We met every day, and then every night 

Stayed up till the morning, everything felt so right 

Long story short, we then exchanged numbers 

The cruise was now over, and I began to wonder 

Will I met her again, was this just a fling 

I hoped more than ever, I’d hear my phone ring 

Kind of a different way, since on the cruise I didn’t have my phone 

So I sat in my room, waiting patiently alone 

Finally it came; we talked for minutes on end 

When can I see you I asked, well I’m free next weekend 

So I drove down to Houston, what the hell was I thinking 

 I met a girl on the cruise, while I was nonstop drinking 

Was I drunk, Is this real, Am I sure about this, 

I was, I realized, The truth was in the kiss 

The first weekend was great, and it grew more thereafter 

We sat and we smiled, both full of much laughter 

And then hit fast forward, till the time is now and here 

I wouldn’t change one thing, not the laughter or the tears 

JJ, the tall one with those great blue eyes, 

You make me the happiest human alive 

I can’t live without you, o where shall I begin 

 You are my rock, and undoubtedly my best friend 

So now here before you, I drop to one knee 

Janelle Elizabeth Jones, WILL YOU MARRY ME? 

our first “land” date
formal night on the cruise
fresh engagement, a few days after in the country
because it is not official until it is facebook official. I accepted his request 😉
cruise ships

XO,

j

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Five in Friday – It’s October!

Im super pumped that tomorrow starts October!  October is one of my favorite months for so many reasons!  Bring on the pumpkins, cooler temps, our wedding anniversary and holiday planning.  This Friday has me excited for all kinds of reasons.

{one}

Our wedding anniversary is Saturday October 2! (7 years!!!)  I love Andrew so much and each passing years brings new challenges and new joys.  It is so fun living life with him by my side.  We had a goof laugh the other night when I stumbled across that FB messenger had saved every message we exchanged from when we first met.  It was perfect timing to find that and we laughed so hard about so many of the messages.  My baby sister is also getting married this month so it is now extra special!

janelleandrew316

{two}

The county fair is going on and I plan on heading up there tonight (kid free)!  Andrew and some of his buddies are on a cook off team and the wives are heading up tonight to crash the party!  I’m so excited for an evening with some of my besties.

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{three}

Pumpkin patch time!  One of my longest and dearest friends Allison is coming over Saturday and we are taking the kiddos to the pumpkin patch! I love pumpkin season.  I love takin pictures in pumpkins.  I’m (PUMP)kined up!

pumpkins last year, can't wait to see how much they have grown this year and compare!
pumpkins last year, can’t wait to see how much they have grown this year and compare!

{four}

I have yet to convert to technology calendars for my life planning.  I LOVE a good paper planer with my life laid out in front of me.  I have been using May Designs for so many years now and I LOVE them!  I love customizing the design and the interior.  They are the best and SO affordable.  I can’t wait to order my 2017 planner (if I can ever decide on a design).

{five}

Halloween.  I love Halloween.  I love dressing up, I love seeing all the kiddos dressed up, I love trick or treating.  I love it all!  We have been doing family themed costumes since Corbin was born and it has been so much fun!  I wanted to do a Toy Story family this year but Corbin set me straight on our costume choices and has already picked out a costume for each of us – stay tuned!

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Happy friday friends.  ENJOY your weekend!

friday link up

xo,

j

 

two.

two weeks.  14 days.  We survived 14 days in the wilderness, er, our camper.  We had lots of laughs, made lots of memories, shed some tears, and are currently battling a poison ivy (or something of the sorts) outbreak on Corbin.  Are we scared of this lifestyle?  Not at all.  Are we excited?  Totally!  Are we doing this, like really uprooting our family and moving into a 300 square foot camper?  YES!  Our home officially listed on HAR yesterday and we had our first open house today….whoop!  So now we wait.  I am learning that I am much more impatient than I thought.  In my mind I was expecting our house to be scooped up off the market in 24 hours 😉  Reality check.  I’m partial and not everybody may think it is as quite of an awesome house as I do.  It is though.  It really is.  And the walls are filled with lots and lots of love and lots of good happy memories.  BUT I get it.  I must be patient.  God is training us in this area.  Today as we prepared for our open house was a true test of that.  We were having communication issues between our AC and our phones to verify that the temperature was cooling.  We packed our camper up and headed home early from our weekend on the lake to ensure the house would be nice and cool for the open house.  As we were racing the clock to make it home on time we had to stop 3 times to re-plug in the camper break lights that kept getting knocked loose (which has NEVER happened before) and then we got stuck behind a huge funeral procession that had traffic stopped.  We made it though and our house was cold…praise God!  We wished our realtor good luck and headed to the Kroger parking lot to “camp” during the open house.  Yep, you read that.  We were boondocking at Kroger.  We got the kids fed and got some grocery shopping done.  One stop shopping.  We briefly debated boondocking full time.  Parking lot hopping.  Walking distance to the grocery store one day academy the next.  Kidding.  kind of 😉  Best part? Our best friends and neighbors just happened to be grocery shopping during hour 2 of our little campout and spotted our camper in the back of the lot and started banging down our camper door.  It was so nice to have their unplanned visit and their little boy got a kick that we set up our camper in the parking lot.

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Looking over our two weeks I can easily say it flew by.  I am not surprised by this as I feel like life’s clock has exponentially gotten faster since we had children.  I wholeheartedly agree with the quote that the days are long but the years are short.  For this very reason I know that this goal of ours is within total reach.  The time in our camper before we find our next home is going to FLY by and I truly believe 10 years from now when we are looking back on our life and our marriage that this will become one of our favorite seasons.  Most likely one of the hardest, but often times those have a way of becoming the ones you look back on the most and treasure the closest.  I feel over these 2 weeks Andrew and I have become more of single unit as we have had to help each out more than normal.  We worked as a team and were very efficient.  Last Sunday, we purchased new landscaping to brighten up the front yard for photography for our listing and had it all planted watered and were back at the camper grilling within 2 hours.  We have had to learn how to conquer bed/bath time routines and how to childproof our camper.  A post on that coming soon.  We had to figure work schedules and how to manage alarms and get going in the morning without waking our sleeping dragons children.  We got through it together.  I could not and would not want to do it alone. Together we are stronger and I feel like these 2 weeks made that particular quality shine.  It is now out of our hands.  God’s plan will be shown over the next couple of weeks.  Our house must sell before we can officially start this crazy awesome adventure.  I have faith that if it is meant to be then everything will fall into place.  Until our answer is clear, I will sit back and be impatiently waiting.

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We had lots of inside time week 2 due to Corbin’s rash but we did manage to sneak out for milkshakes, haircuts and house prep for selling.

Here is exhibit “A” as to why during this stage in our life we need no more than 300 square feet 😉

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xo,

j