30 June 2009: Seriously consider canceling my upcoming trip to Dallas because of a bad attitude. For some reason, however, I had gotten an unreturnable ticket (I never do that!). Life would not be what it is now if I’d bought a refundable ticket.
08 July 2009: Dear Leslie picked me up from the airport (for those of you who don’t know her, she is my high-kickin’ mad-cookin’ wonderwoman of a friend) in the late afternoon. I was in Dallas for an annual Anglican conference. When she picked me up, we started chatting in the car. She happened to mention, among other things, that Jason Staniger was also staying with them for the conference;
“Jason Staniger, I’m sure you’ve heard about him”
“I don’t think so”
“Oh, well he’s kind of….unique” [laughter]
Obviously, my interest was peaked.
Standing by the wet bar of Chris & Leslie’s house, Chris walked in first and then what seemed like a handful of people all at once. We all started chatting about owls (a frequent topic of discussion with me) and about 5 minutes later the door opens again and in walks this tall, dark, and handsome man who seems to avoid my eye contact at all costs. Maybe he is unique in his bad attitude, I thought to myself.. Me being me, I stuck out my hand and introduced myself. It was the first time I saw his eyes, his countenance, his soul; gentle, this man is gentle. No time to linger, I was back on the owls.
The conference itself seemed inconsequential to me this year, but everything in the periphery was monumental. Leslie was asking a lot of questions. Questions about nursing school, questions about who I was and what I wanted to do. She asked about if I’d ever considered midwifery. Concurrently, because Jason was also staying with Chris & Les, we were talking. A lot. I was surprised, shocked, and at times confused as to why I was being so open with him.
My last evening in Dallas, Jason and I had offered to go get dinner rolls for Leslie. She sent a short list of items and told us where the nearest WalMart Grocery was (~2 miles away). But Jason had other plans, which I truly was ignorant to. We drove all around Dallas looking for Whole Foods because Jason won’t go into WalMart. He finally pulled into a WF and looked at the list we’d been given. There, next to “Cereal” were the clear instructions that we must “do a high kick in the cereal aisle” (you thought I was joking about Leslie being a high-kickin’ woman? Oh no, that’s VERY true). We laughingly did some pretty fantastic high kicks in the middle of the Store and proceeded home. How many hours had we been gone?!? There’s still discussion out on that, but it was somewhere around three hours.
16 July 2009: California. Work. Decisions to make about nursing school. Suffice it to say that the Lord flung doors open and shut them with more visible force than I’d ever seen before in my life. By Thursday, I knew that the decision had been made and confirmed ten times over for me to move to Dallas. My choice was to be faithful to the leading.
The fly-by: for the rest of the summer Jason & I were spending copious hours on the phone, I moved to Dallas in September, our official first date was to a U2 concert on 12 October, and were engaged on 12 January.
For those of you still with me, allow me a little more time to tell you about my fiancé, Jason Patrick Staniger:
He was born to two Croatian parents in Des Moines, though the ancestry seems to have been lost at Ellis Island. He thinks it’s strange and almost funny that that was my first sentence about him, but he shares an appreciation for history so he secretly likes that I introduce him as Croatian.
His countenance is filled with kindness but flushes with mischief when his jocular humor subtly seeps out, which often has that quality of dryness which leaves the listener unsure of the appropriate response.
He has a passion for the high liturgy and coffee (separately, of course). He loves hosting people in his home. He makes the best apple pie I’ve ever had, and makes a killer crust (which rates pretty highly in my book).
Given five adjectives for him, I would pick: Gentle, Sincere, Honest, Funny, and Eager. He makes me laugh, and amazingly, laughs at me. Which ends up equalling a lot of laughter.
He knows that some of the greatest music is on vinyl. He has the most carefully-chosen collection of films I’ve ever seen. He has an eye for cinematography and story that would weave the world into my favorite novel.
He takes his shirts to be professionally pressed because “no human can achieve the right amount of stiffness and shape” that he desires from his clothing. I find this quite amusing.
His aura is a mix of blueish-silver turning yellow-red. He thinks its ridiculous and kind of funny that I just mentioned his aura. He will also google those aura colors to figure out what I meant by them. With some amount of luck he might find a legitimate guide to read them by.
We are both pretty characteristic Geminis, so having done my research, here’s what our relationship looks like from astrology:
This relationship will never be boring and both partners will share an intellectual approach to life. Both will not only allow but also appreciate the freedom and variety of expression which is characteristic of Gemini. Both enjoy each other’s conversation and love to cultivate the art of discussion. Wit and curiosity make them a stunning and stimulating couple, entertaining each other and the people they socialize with. If they learn to cooperate, rather than compete, they will enjoy a happy relationship.
Whew! What a relief.
And that’s the beginning of who Jason is.
I am grateful to the faithful God for so ordering the lives of His people so that we might better serve Him. Every ounce of me looks forward to serving the Kingdom with Jason. I desire to follow him as He follows our Lord. I look forward to creating a home with him that is a haven for those in need.
I am thankful. I am in love.
(For his side of the story: The Cup of Silence)