Thursday, August 30, 2007

Love Story

Can you handle another tag? Brooke tagged me, and I thought this was a fun one, especially since I don't think I've talked much about how Joel and I met and all that on this blog. I even decided to follow Brooke's example and add pictures. This meant getting out scrapbooks and scanning stuff, so you'd better appreciate it!

So, here goes....

1. Where did you meet your husband?

At BYU (Brigham Young University). To be more specific, in the HFAC (Harris Fine Arts Center) at "the slab." If you are a Cougar and spent very much time in the HFAC you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you don't, let me 'splain: On the main floor there is kind of a common area and at the bottom of both staircases, there was a marble slab surrounded by tables and benches. The one at the far end was the slab for the theater crowd, and the one closest to the front doors was where the music nerds hung out.

Not only is that where we met, but we pretty much had our entire relationship there. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but we did study and eat lunch and talk there pretty much daily for a really long time.

This is the best picture I can find in my scrapbooks of the slab. Me and a couple friends (hi, Annie!) sitting there.

2. What was the first thing you said to your husband?

Am I really expected to remember?

The funny thing, is we met at the slab twice. The first time was the week before I entered the MTC to go on my mission. I was carrying some balloons that had been given to me by the girls at the MOA (Museum of Art) where I worked. I ran into a friend who had graduated the year before and wasn't aware of my mission call, so I was explaining it to him. Joel was sitting at the slab studying and overheard my conversation. As soon as he heard me say I would be serving my mission in Romania, he turned around and told me that he had recently returned from his mission there. I asked him a few questions about it, but did nothing normal, like find out his name. So, I just always remembered the guy at the slab who had curly hair, glasses and a trumpet case. I heard of Elder Neves a lot on my mission (he was infamous for getting beaten up by gypsies!) but never really connected that he was the slab guy.

So, the next time I met Joel at the slab was about 20 months later. I had just gotten home from my mission. I was at the slab with a couple other former Romanian missionaries because we were going to sing colinde (Christmas Carols) for International Week and we needed to rehearse. We were still waiting for one or two people when Joel came up the stairs. I was kind of off to the side talking to a music friend for a second. Joel saw his buddies from the mish, and they began a lively conversation in Romanian. After my friend left, I joined in. Joel looked at me like I had three heads and said, "cine esti?" (who are you?) My answer, because I was so used to introducing myself that way in Romanian, was "Sora Preston!" He then told me that he had heard of me and we had a nice little conversation, sometime during which we both realized our prior meeting almost 2 years before. "You're the one with the balloons!" The curly hair, glasses and the trumpet case are what alerted me.

And I have no idea if that answers the question at hand, but there you go.
Picture of us on graduation day. Sculpture is outside of the HFAC near the MOA. We got engaged a couple weeks later.

Where was your first date?

Okay, so Joel and I had been talking a lot at the slab, but we didn't really see each other anywhere else. I mean, as music majors, the slab was pretty much it. No classes together or anything, though. But, he kept not asking me out even though I knew he wanted to and I knew I wanted him to. After 3 months, I finally invited him over to my house on a Sunday evening for sarmale. My dad was serving in a BYU bishopric at Deseret Towers (Do all of you non-Cougars hate me yet?) and 4 of the kids in his ward had been called to Romania! So we had invited them over to eat sarmale and to look at my pictures and ask questions and all that. Since only one of them was a sister, I thought it would be cool if Joel came to give an elder's perspective. And, also, I just wanted to spend time with him.

So, apparently, he had a meeting with his Stake President that day and he asked Joel if he was dating anyone. He said no. So he asked them if there was anyone he was interested in dating. He said me. So, his Stake President told him to eat lunch with me every day and committed him to ask me to the fireside that very night. So, I got a phone call asking me if I wanted to go to the fireside with him after the sarmale party.

We had to give my brother a ride down to campus, and he also came to Joel's house with us to eat ice cream after the fireside. Joel's brother also showed up to do laundry. So our little brothers crashed our first date. Funny.

Me, Joel and my dog Chrissy after my senior recital. Chrissy growled and screamed (literally!) at all guys I brought home. Except Joel. The first time she saw Joel she peed all over the place. For her, a sign of true love. Smart dog.

Where was your first kiss?

Our first kiss was in the driveway of my house.

I could leave it at that, or I could also tell you he was trying to break up with me at the same time. (Joel broke up with me 4 times before we finally got married.)

Needless to say, I was a tiny bit confused.
Scrapbook page of the summer before we got married...this is the summer we dated and broke up a lot.

Did you have a long or a short engagement?

Pretty short, by the world's standards. Pretty normal, I'd guess, by LDS standards.

We flirted for 3 months, dated for about 14 months and were engaged for 2.

Where did you get engaged?

In Joel's living room. He had picked me up with the idea of doing some elaborate treasure hunt, but he was so nervous, he scrapped it. Then he took me to a nice restaurant, fully intending to do it there, but chickened out. So, then we go back to his house.

I remember just sitting there watching him pace back and forth. Not saying anything. For a really long time. I knew he had the ring, I just wasn't sure if he had it with him or was planning to do it right then. Finally, he got down on one knee and proposed to me. I said yes.

Oh, and I did a cartwheel.
Our engagement picture. My brother carved the J+L in that tree for us up at Sundance. We've gone up to see it on our anniversary a couple of times.

Where were you married?

In the Jordan River Temple. I had wanted to get married in that temple since I was in high school. One nice thing about it was that since it wasn't the most popular spot to get married since the Mt. Timpanogos temple had been built, we were one of only about 4 weddings there that day, and we got married in June!

How was the reception?

Beautiful. Did it in my parents backyard. Joel's brothers catered it for us. Lots of people came. We stood in line forever. I was dying of hunger by the time we were done greeting everyone. My colors were red and white. My mom worked really hard.
The wedding party in my backyard just before the reception officially started. We had a ring ceremony first, since so many of our family couldn't come to the temple.

How was the honeymoon?

We went to Lake Tahoe for several days, then drove up to San Francisco for a day. Very fun. We love San Francisco! Lake Tahoe is lots of fun, too. We miniature golfed, hiked, swam, ate great food, took a cruise around the Lake and lots of other fun stuff.
Just please forgive my 1999 scrapping. Thanks.

Now to tag others: I want to hear from Hilary, Andrea and Ashley. And anyone else who feels like it.
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Did I mention I love hearing stories I didn't know about friends!

    Great story. I didn't mention in mine that Mike broke up with me twice before finally asking me to marry him. I like to think it's because he wanted to get married but was scared. . .

    Loved your wedding picture and I assume engagement picture. You looked GORGEOUS! Last remark WOW that was some BIG hair. . .you know which picture I am talking about!

  2. I feel I need to explain that picture...Joel grew his hair out for a few months that summer, and since it's so curly, when he straightened it he had a nice afro. He did it because he and his roommates were going to San Francisco for a Tower of Power concert. He was rewarded for his efforts when the lead singer pointed at him and said "nice afro!" The picture was taken the day he got home. I think he cut it later that day. Thankfully. :)

  3. Ah, I remember EVERY BIT of IT!! I love those wonderful memories. Remember when Joel proved he had that big hair to me?

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog and posting that wonderful comment. You made me feel so young, lol.
    Wow! that is a great story. You learn something new about people all the time. Love all the wonderful photos especially the wedding ones.

  5. I didn't know you got married in Jordan River....
    You music geeks,

  6. It is fun to recall the "good old days" before it became all about potty training, diapers and evenings when I crash at 9:00 p.m.

  7. What a fun meme. See, I recognize your friends in those pics. Lol! GO figure! And the slab - that great big slab... loved to lounge on it. :)

  8. How fun Lara! I knew most of the stuff about your guys' mission but I didn't have a clue that you guys had such an on again off again relationship! Great pictures too!

  9. What a great that you included pages from your scrapbooks!

  10. awwwwwwwww this was GREAT to read.. I LOVED IT.. you two are the CUTEST!!!!!

  11. I loved this, and the pictures. It's fun to learn more about you two.

    I'll get on it, but am out of town, so it may take a few days.

  12. This was really great, I loved it! Wonderful pictures. You two make a beautiful couple. :)

  13. Loved reading about your love story! So wonderful! It's fun to see the old scrapbook pages too!

  14. Awwwww! So sweet! I love recalling Joel and his tortured life decisions. (and might i add you were the only girl i wanted him to marry-I was going to name names, but realized some poor girl may find this blog)

    My favorite part is Joel's smooth "who are you?" line.

  15. I love hearing love stories, especially the ones that began in the HFAC! Very sweet.

  16. I know your husband!

    Well, I didn't really "know" him, but I recognize him from your pictures. It really a very small world, isn't it?

  17. I love reading love stories, how people met, their weddings, etc. Your story is great!!