Chris and I have known one another since middle school. We go as far back as 6th grade. I wasn't too fond of Chris in middle school. I was pretty awkward, (in a blue tights and thrift store t-shirt kind of way) and Chris and his friends were cooler than me (not saying much) and they knew it. Chris was rocking Science Olympiad competitions while I was creating Spice Girl music videos on the weekends with friends. Little did we know that someday we would be husband and wife.
Through high school we were in similar circles. Young Life was a significant part of our high school experience and foundational in both of our spiritual walks. We ran with mutual friends but did little mingling between one another. I was pretty good friends with Chris' brother, David, and spent time at the Jaeger household when I was hanging out with Dave. Here's a fun fact: I almost asked Chris to Sadie Hawkins our senior year. We were TAs together in a class and I thought he'd make a fun dance partner but opted instead to ask his best friend, Adam, instead. (Adam was a wonderful date, btw.)
College came and we ended up in the same dorm at the University of Missouri. Adam and Chris lived on the floor above me and we had a freshmen level psychology class together. I used to walk to psych class with Chris freshman year, having to knock on his door and wake him from his mid-afternoon nap in front of CMT (ah, college- glorious). We both led Young Life but at different high schools. We both served in the middle school ministry at our church and attended a weekly Bible study together.
Sophomore year of college I looked across the table at Lion's Choice and saw Chris for the first time. Like realized this gem of a man had been in my life all these years and it had never dawned on me what a fine catch he was. I went home and told my roommates I was going to marry Chris Jaeger. (I sound crazy, impulsive, and dang sure of myself, don't I?) I began privately (not so private if you asked my dear friends) swooning over Chris. I would take lots of time and care to look my very best when I knew I'd run into him. I offered rides home from leadership or Bible study, rides back to KC when we were both headed that direction. I tried to put out my lady tiger vibe and Chris was absolutely clueless.
After a year of hoping and praying this dude would wise up and ask me out I decided it was time to move on. Chris did not give any indication that he was interested and I wondered if my infatuation was completely one-sided.
Over Christmas break our junior year, I received a phone call out of the blue. It was Chris. He sounded nervous and he wondered if I'd want to go to the Nelson Atkins Art Museum with him. I remember sweating bullets as I took the phone call and told him, "yes, I'd love to go." I got off the phone and was so uncertain if this was a date or a friend thing. I did a celebratory dance and then got myself ready. He'd asked if I had wanted to go later that day. He was cute, but not date savvy- who asks a girl out for later that day? But I didn't care that he'd asked last minute, I'd waited an entire year for something to happen and I wasn't about to go all Emily Post on him.
After what I considered to be a successful first date he waited an entire MONTH to ask me out again. The agony. The uncertainty. The painfully slow process that he took. By the way, Chris is still much slower and thoughtful about big decisions. I have always been the one waiting on him to join the party. I have learned in marriage, though, to treasure this wisdom he has and to thank God I didn't marry someone as impulsive as me. The good Lord always knows what He's doing.
We dated two and half years before we got married in 2007.
I dug up some photos for a good laugh.