I Said Yes!!

Here we go...the proposal! Jared and I started dating on September 22nd, and Jared proposed on February 14th, so 4 months and 23 days we had been together.
We had been talking about marriage a lot, and the possibilities we had. We started throwing around the idea of getting married in May, because we did not want to wait until the end of July to be together, but that would mess up proposal plans he already had, so it was kind of left up in the air.
Valentines day came around, and it crossed my mind that Jared could propose on that day, it would be very romantic, but I thought it'd be too short notice. On the other hand, however, Jared was acting funny the whole weekend.
In the morning, before church, Jared came over to see me, and he started dancing with me in the kitchen, singing some song with lyrics he was making up on the spot. It was very cute, but he was acting so strange. I knew he had something planned for me that night, but I didn't know exactly, so after church I came home and just waited for him to come and get me. He came around seven o'clock, and was just glowing. We walked back to his apartment, and he opened the door, and I just gasped. He has a beautiful table set, with nice dishes, and the plates covered. He had hung up nice blankets to block the kitchen and to make it look nicer. He had dimmed lighting, it was just gorgeous. We sat down and Jared unveiled the steak he had marinated and cooked, and the baked potatoes, and there was french bread, and applesauce, and bottled Jones Cream soda, which we both love. The dinner was delicious, and I was choking up just thinking about the work he put into this dinner, it was so sweet.After dinner, Jared pulled out chocolate covered strawberries which he had dipped himself. They were absolutely delicious. When we were doing eating those, Jared said we were going on a walk. It was pretty cold, but we were just so happy and smiley. We walked to Porter Park, where we had our first date. The park was completely empty except for us, and it was so pretty. Jared was talking to me about our relationship, and about how far we've come, he was being so sweet.
We turned the corner and started walking towards "our" bench. This was where we sat and talked, and Jared gave me our first kiss. As we get closer I see there is a gorgeous bouquet waiting on the bench. We get up to it and I pick it up and see that its a bouquet of white tulips, with two tiger lilies in the middle, and Jared says "Its like you baby, out of all the tulips you are my lily". We sat down and kept talking about us. Jared was talking about how much he loved me, and just being so nice, and I was just grinning, when out of nowhere he says "that's why I'm going to do this."As he gets on one knee, cars parked in the lot in front of us, which I previously hadn't noticed, all flipped on their brights, Jared said it was so I could feel like I was in heaven, and man I was. The second he got on that knee I totally lost it and started crying hysterically. He pulled out the box, and opened it for me to see the absolutely perfect ring, which he picked out himself, and he took my hand and said "I love you so much, I want you to be the mother of my children, I want to spend forever with you, and I know that you're the one for me. Shannon Bunch will you marry me?"
As he was asking people were taking pictures, and I was just crying, and it was perfect, and of course I said yes. He came to hug me and we both just cried for a second, then I grabbed the box, looked at the ring and said "Holy cow can you put it on me??"I took my glove off and he slipped the ring on and it fit perfectly. I just couldn't stop looking at it, it was so perfect. Jared then yelled "She said yes!!" and all the cars started honking. It was amazing. He had champagne glasses hidden in the snow and martinelis for us to drink to celebrate. I found out Shawn had been taping the whole thing, Blair also left his car for us to drive back in and to talk. It was so romantic, and beautiful, and just perfect, I wouldn't ask for anything else. I got my dream proposal, I get my dream wedding date, and we don't have to wait that long, and above all, I get to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams, who I love more than anything in the whole world.

Jared Turns 22

On January 16th Jared turned 22. This was his first birthday since being back from his mission, and I wanted to make it really special for him. I ordered a nice American Eagle hoodie, and a nice sweater, and I made dinner, and the next night we went out to see a movie and get ice cream. It was so much fun. Jared kept saying it was the best birthday ever, and I just kept thinking about next year, when he turns 23, and how that's going to be like, and where we would be...
It was that night, when I was dozing, that Jared told me he wanted to marry me. At first I thought I had dreamed it, but the next night we started talking about it. Finally I could tell him about what I was thinking, and what I wanted. It was so nice sitting in the little pretzel and ice cream place, just thinking about what it would be like to be married. But we knew it owuld be a little ways off. Jared wasn't going to be out of school until July, and we didn't want to rush the wedding, so we started talking about the end of July as a possibility, this would have worked out well, since he could have proposed in April when I go out to North Carolina to meet his family. But the Lord definitely had other plans for us.

Christmas Spent Apart...

After Thanksgiving, Jared and I just kept growing closer. It was like all the walls came down and we were letting ourselves fall for each other. There were three weeks left in the semester and they were awesome. The last weekend before break we went sledding with all of Jared's roommates, and it was one of the funnest nights I'd had the whole semester. The next day we took the Salt Lake Express down to Utah, I said goodbye to Jared and got off at the airport, he would be flying to NC the next day. Going home, it was nice to see my family, but the longest Jared and I had been apart our whole relationship was two days, and the two weeks over Christmas felt like forever. Absence really made our hearts grow fonder.
Before break Jared wasn't really planning on spending a lot of time talking to me and texting me, but by the third day apart, we were talking more than we'd talked the whole time we had been together. I think he missed me =]. This was the first time the idea of marriage was actually thrown around. I remember vividly a text I got from Jared during church, telling me that he had seen a few newlywed couples with babies in his home ward, and could imagine that being us. When I read that I could barely breathe I was so ecstatic.
The last four days of the break I spent in West Jordan, Utah, with my grandparents. Even though I loved spending time with them, those were some of the longest days of my life. I would lay in bed crying, just missing Jared so badly. But all the hurt and missing him was completely worth it when I saw him.
My Grandpa and I went to the Salt Lake airport to pick Jared up, and sitting in the car waiting for that call to tell me he was there I could not sit still. When he called and said he was in the pickup lane, I jumped out of the car to find him. I ran down the sidewalk, and when I saw him I swear my heart stopped beating. He dropped his luggage and just sprinted towards me. It was like a movie, I jumped in his arms and just breathed him in, and it was perfect. We got into the car and sat in the back, and I didn't let him go for a second. We just kept smiling and giggling, I will never forget that feeling, being reunited with him, it felt like I was flying.
When we got to my grandparents house, I helped Jared take his luggage down to his room. He set it down, took my face in my hands and said "I didn't want to say it in front of everyone, but I wanted to tell you I love you, I love you so much". Saying "I love you too", I could barely talk and I just flung my arms around him. It was perfect, he was perfect.
I think we said "I love you" about a thousand times over the next 24 hours as we rode up to school and I got moved into my apartment. This new semester was going to be different, it was now kind of Me and Jared against the world, and there's no one else I would have rather been best friends with.

Thanksgiving in Colorado

Jared and I had been dating about a month when the idea of Thanksgiving came up. He was going to have to spend it in Rexburg all alone, so i threw out the idea of him coming home with me to Colorado. This was just going to be casual, nothing formal, more of just hanging out so he wouldn't have to spend Thanksgiving all alone. He ended up finding a plane ticket for $170 and got it, and it worked out really well.
Going home and meeting my family was...interesting. Firstly, I was broke (haha...was....more like am...) and I couldn't take Jared to do very much, so I'm sure he was bored out of his mind that week. Secondly, Jared had never really "met the parents" of any girl, so he didn't know exactly how it would go. And last, we had never had any of my boyfriends stay in my house before, nonetheless a return missionary. It was kind of a really weird situation and week for everyone, but it really brought me and Jared closer. We were able to just talk for long periods of time, and really get to know each other better. He was able to see how I interacted with my family, and I was able to see how he interacted with them as well. It was a really cool experience and I'm still so glad he could have come home with me that week.
The video below was a spoof music video Jared and I made with my siblings. Damon was DYING to make a video, so my mom begged us to make one with him...