Thursday, June 21, 2012

The beginning

I never thought I would be blogging, not in a million!  However, I never thought I would find a man who exceeded my expectations and was more than the perfect guy I envisioned for myself. I am Jessica Michelle Cox but I am Jessica Michelle Hall now.
I met Travis T. Hall for the first time without even knowing it. Is that possible? We were both students at the University of Utah continuing our education. He currently still is a Student of Physical Therapy and at the time I was in my final year of my Masters in Speech Language Pathology. Our professions work very closely together, so our bright educators thought to give us an early start and let some of the PT and ST students work together in a little stroke clinic called the Wellness Clinic. I worked with the communication development and Travis worked with the physical development of our patients. We never worked hands on together, but each semester our my supervisor would hold an in-service for the ST and PT students to teach one another about our specialties and how we could each incorporate our clients physical/communication goals into our different sessions.

It was November 8, 2012. I showed up with my classmates to present a very condensed version of the last two years of my education to a group of PT students. I didn't think much of it, I was mostly worried about getting to my night class on time, seeing as the presentation was supposed to end 5 minutes before the class began and it was on the other side of campus. I chatted with my friends while the meeting was getting set up. We noticed some good looking PT boys, Travis being one of them, although, he to this DAY will still remind me that I noticed his Swave Zimbabwe friend Ben first. Then I remind him that it was because Ben was standing in front of me while Travis was standing behind me. Obviously I noticed Travis and he noticed me back. But he had different plans in that moment than I did. I was focused on my presentation and didn't think much of any of the PTs after that initial HELLO good looking moment. When the meeting ended I bounded for the door with all my classmates because our presentation went 10 minutes over. I was at the head of the line as we all walked up the stairs to reach the exit to the parking lot. I noticed Travis at the back of the line and though, boy he sure got out of there quick. He was striking up conversation with one of my classmates and I would be fibbing if I didn't say I got a little jealous:) Once we reached the parking lot he had caught up behind me and said, " How are you ladies getting to class?" I replied with the only answer that came to mind, "Oh we drove. See ya." I got in the car and didn't think much of it other than I just exchanged a few words with a nice looking boy. Little did I know that those few words, exchanged with that cute boy, would end up being my husband a short time later.

When I got in the car I didn't think about Travis for 3 weeks, I almost forgot that I had even seen him and talked to him that night because I was off on a ten day adventure to California and Boston after that evidently divine encounter. He on the other hand, did not forget. In fact the way he describes the time after our encounter makes it sound like he was on a full fledged army mission. And for those of you who know Travis and his determination can believe it. Unknown to me, Travis and his friend Ben were talking about me during the meeting. In fact his teacher had to shhh them! When he told me I was so embarrassed. I still get embarrassed! They hatched out a plan which had to end with Travis and me on a date. They spent the meeting trying to get the most valuable information, my name. How they did this I still don't know. God blessed Travis with eagle eye vision, it really is remarkable, and he lifted my name from my name tag that was no bigger than a standard credit card. So, when I left him that fateful night, all he knew was my name, that I was a SLP student who worked at the clinic, and that he wanted to take me on a date. His search began. He tried observing at the clinic to by chance "bump" into me, but I was in CA and Boston. So, he looked me up on the student web base, but he could not bring himself to be that drastic. In the end his comrade Ben hatched another plan with him, so that Travis could find me without seeming like a stalker. Ben could, but not Travis they decided, but Ben looked me up on the magical world of Facebook. Here they discovered I had friends in common with Travis. And one of those friends was a girl from Travis's undergrad who I had sat by in class almost everyday for the past year and a half (cue singing angels). Again, crazy should not happen I don't know how we got together divine chance. After some persuasion, Travis got my number from his old BYU chum. He called me that day and we arranged a casual dinner date for that coming Thursday night. He told me, "we'll do dinner so if you don't like me it's not like pulling teeth for hours, BUT if you do like me you will just get a taste and want more." Oh brother, but he wins me over with this cheesy stuff.

First date: Travis met me at the U of U institute building after I got off work.When I got to the building all of a sudden I was kinda nervous that I might not even know what he looked like! But I did know him. I couldn't have missed him. He was so cute, even if he did have a mullet (long story he says he cut it because I ran away from him and he needed to rebel against pleasing women). We walked to his car, he did a good job and still does at opening every door. I remembered thinking, "Gosh this kid's car is clean. I wouldn't have expected it." I don't know why I thought that. I think it's because I couldn't get a beat on Travis at first. I could tell he was chill and laid back, but he looked like a pretty boy at first. Little did I know he was just this little cowboy at heart who could give a darn about what shoes matched his outfit. He took me to an Italian Bistro in the avenues,the Cucina Deli. We talked, well I talked a lot and he listened. I was surprised by how much he listened. In fact, I still am surprised knowing how much he likes to talk and be vocal. He says he was trying to show me that he was a good listener because that is the best way to a girls heart. After dinner he took me back to his car and we talked for a few hours. The date was longer than we both anticipated, but I was pleasantly surprised by how drawn to him I was. I had been running a dating show for the past few months, dating lots of boys, but none of them had the vibe like Travis did.

Yes, mullet man
Dates 2 through "love struck": I got my taste and I did want more. We spent pretty much every day together after that. I didn't even realize how much time I was spending with him until we left for winter break. Our last night together, before he drove up to Colorado and I went to Oregon to see my brother, he gave me a little Christmas gift. It was a picture of me and him on one of our first dates. The card read something to the effect of, " Jessica, put this somewhere you will see it daily so you don't forget me and so all the other boys know I am around. Also, this is just to help further a long Occupy Jessica." Occupy Jessica was our running joke because he knew that if he had all my time, I wouldn't be giving it to anyone else and that he would be my number one man soon enough. It all worked! We didn't last 2 and half weeks apart before we joked about me flying to Colorado to drive home with him. Soon, the joke turned into something serious and the next thing I knew I was on a plane to Denver. It was the craziest thing I have ever done, but it had the most amazing and eternal consequences.

That's us over there with a little photo in Denver. We both had know idea where we were headed but we were sure having a lot of fun. Both of us didn't even really think about the fact that I would be meeting his whole family after only dating a very short time. We sure thought about it once we pulled up to the house though:) My fears left very quickly though after I met them. I seriously have the best in-laws. There is little drama and everyone just wants to have a good time. Travis's family sold me on the idea of marrying their son. They are much like my family and I knew I would be happy being a part of their family. I am so glad that Travis had similar experiences and thoughts about my family. Because of our families, Travis and I were able to grow close quickly. 

When we drove home from Lamar, CO (ahem 10 hour drive), the rest was history. Our little road trip helped seal the deal even more. I brought books to read and my laptop to work on to help fill up the long drive home. I didn't need any of it. Travis and I entertained one another the whole way back to Utah. The way we randomly fell into each others lives was not random at all because we fit together so perfectly. We were soon engaged on March 3, 2012

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