Love makes you a better person, without changing you. -- Jessi from J&M North

This afternoon, we have a post from Jessi. Jessi is one of my best and dearest friends and my birthday twin! {remember this post? & her post for fourteen days last year?} I always tell her that I hope I can have a love like hers & Michael's. They don't have to announce it to everyone or tell everyone how great marriage is; you just know they have a very deep, honest, fairytale, true love. I'm grateful for their examples of working hard (and working through hard things) and their constant integrity. They both have become some of my closest friends over the past couple of years and I'm so happy I was part of their day last summer {watch their wedding video, because it is adorable & my claim to fame...catching the bouquet! Hahaha!}.
Thanks for taking the time to post, Jessi. She's an amazing writer, so go check out her blog and enjoy her post about how she met Michael!

For as long as I can remember I have grown up believing in the magic of love. You know the kind. The stop-you-in-your-tracks, makes-your-heart-beat-fast, weak-at-the-knees, makes-you-want-to-be-a-better-person, leaves-you-wanting-more kind of love. I along with every other girl in the world, dreamed about what it would be like when the day came that I would meet the man that would make me feel that way, the one that I would spend the rest of forever with. I didn’t know when or how it would happen, heck, when it actually did happen, the circumstance completely blew my mind; but two things I knew for sure. One: that when I did meet this boy, he would bring out the best in me in every situation and make me want to be a better person every day. Two: this boy would not try and change me into anything other than myself. He would love me completely for who I was, the genuine me.

I have known for quite some time that I am completely comfortable with who I am. I’m in no way saying I am perfect, that’s about as far from the truth as we can get- I have plenty of things to work on. But I am happy with who I am. I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would NEVER try to be someone that I’m not, and I would never let someone else, especially someone I dated, or a particular circumstance change me into someone I know full well is not the genuine me. If people like what they see and want to get to know me, great! And if not, that’s okay too! I’m not going to change who I am just to be able to say that I’m friends with more people in the world. That doesn’t matter to me. What really matters are those that love me for who I am.

On a warm August day in 2008, shortly after I had come to the conclusion about the things listed in the previous paragraph, I walked into Rice Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah to enjoy the first football game of the season with my family in our newly acquired season ticket seats. Upon entering the portal and looking for our row, a super cute, tall brown-haired boy caught my attention. He had glanced up at me from down an emptier row about three steps down from where we were standing. “This is it” I can remember my Mom saying. I proceeded to follow her until we found our seats…right next to the cute boy with the most gorgeous blue-green eyes I had ever seen.

We stole a couple glances at each other throughout that first game but my Mom was sitting in-between us so we never talked. At one point my Mom accidentally bumped into him and apologized. I just remember being so impressed with how polite he was in his reaction to that. After the game one of the first things my Mom said when we got back in the car was, “Jessi did you see that boy sitting next to us? He was REALLY cute!!! And he had the most beautiful eyes!”  Oh boy, I had seen him alright.

The next game I made a point to sit where my Mom had sat but then his Dad sat next to me so again, no talking. The third game was on a Saturday and so my little brother and I were the only two to go. We had to park a million miles away so we were a little late getting to the game. When we walked in the portal I noticed that the cute boy was sitting next to our seats this time. My heart literally started dancing in my chest. My little brother took the lead and went to sit down right next to the cute boy. Oh no, that wasn’t happening this time. I may have slightly pushed him into the next seat as he went to sit down. “But hey, my ticket says seat…” “It’s okay, that’s our seat too” I reassured him.

Half way into the first quarter cute boy was the first to say something and from that moment on, things just clicked for us. It was all so natural. We talked, laughed, cheered, and joked around throughout the entirety of every game after that. At the BYU UTAH game, the last game of that season he asked me out for the first time, I agreed to go to a Jazz game with him and from then on, until he left on his mission we were inseparable.

To make a long story short, we kept in touch while he was on his mission and when he got home things seemed to fall right back into place. This boy I had fallen in love with two years previously was now even more amazing than I remember him being before he left. He made me want to be a better person each and every day. He loved me for who I was. Soon I found myself unable to imagine going through life without him by my side.

Nine months after he got home, 3 years to the day of when he had first asked me out, and in the very same spot at Rice Eccles Stadium, he popped the question. I said yes. We were married this past June in the Salt Lake Temple.

I thought I knew what it meant to love him before June 14, 2012. But in all honesty, I had no idea. The love that filled our hearts, minds, and souls that day as we knelt across the alter from one another and made a promise that will last forever, is what true love feels like. It is the stop-you-in-your-tracks, makes-your-heart-beat-fast, weak-at-the-knees, makes-you-want-to-be-a-better-person, and leaves-you-wanting-more kind of love.

Since that day he has shown me, in a thousand different ways, what it means to truly love someone.

In those gorgeous blue-green eyes I find joy.

In his strong arms I find comfort & strength.

In the way he holds me close each night as I tell him about my day, my goals, my hopes & dreams, I find reassurance & peace.

In his laugh I find pure happiness.

In the way he sings and dances in the car with me I find myself laughing until tears stream down my face.

In the adorable way he talks out of the side of his mouth, my heart melts.

In the way he kisses my forehead and tells me how beautiful he thinks I am, my heart flutters.

In the words of the sweet notes he leaves me in the morning, I find myself smiling for the rest of the day.

In his casual weekend attire I find myself stopping dead in my tracks as he looks my way.

In the gentle way he takes my hand I remember why I fell in love with him.

By his side, I find the most beautiful & wonderful life I could have ever imagined.

He is my past, my present, my future…my everything.
I love him with all of my heart.


  1. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the sweet introduction Catherine. You are the cutest!! I'm so blessed to have you in my life. Haha I love how you mentioned your claim to fame. Having you catch the bouquet was the best:) love you tons girl!

  3. Thanks for the sweet introduction Catherine. You are the cutest!! I'm so blessed to have you in my life. Haha I love how you mentioned your claim to fame. Having you catch the bouquet was the best:) love you tons girl!


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