I remember the first time I saw Joshua Jordan, and it’s not when I always say! You see, Josh and I both openly agree upon the fact that we first met each other one Sunday morning when I walked into children’s church.
In truth, I actually first saw Joshua one Saturday morning a few weeks earlier at the dojo. The church offered Rites of Passage on the weekends and one of the activities offered was ninjitsu. My mom had been coming to bible study at Joshua’s dad’s church and they had programs on the weekends so she brought my sister and I to check it out. That first day when we got there it seemed overwhelming, children and teens everywhere moving about and they all knew each other. Just me and my sister, April, looking like fish out of water. Who would have thought that 20 years later I would be in the thick of it?
Anyway, back to that day, I can remember walking into the dojo and in the chaos of all the children and teens sparring one stuck out to me, Joshua; he was flipping across the mats. I still love it when he flips!
We were only in the room for a few moments , but I couldn’t forget it. The next week when we came back I didn’t readily see the boy doing his impressive flips, but shortly after I would come to find out he was in the back getting in trouble for something or the other. Apparently this was a norm for Josh (smh).
A few months later I began to attend church at Zoe, Joshua’s father’s church. On that Sunday, I walked into children’s church and Joshua was already sitting down; I was walked to my seat, it was right in front of him. I was introduced to the girl next to me and of course we started to talk.
Within a few moments Joshua was behind me giving me the 1993 version of “what are those!??” I had on a pair of black patent leather alligator Mary Janes. So I turned around with my spicy self and said something about his “run down shoes” which were far from run down but I had to fight back. He began to explain his shoes and I knew at that moment I won that round, it would be the first of many.
By 8 or 9 years old I had my very first boyfriend , whatever that meant (mommy don’t be mad). I specifically remember it being when I was in the 3rd grade, Mrs Comanchero’s class. I got to school that Monday and was so excited. I was walking down the hall singing “the only one who could ever reach me, was the son of a preacher man…” (haha, don’t judge me, I think Dr. Pepper had a commercial using the hook at the time). I think he was required to like give me candy and pencils (I’ve always been a sucker for a good writing utensil). By the time we were 12 it escalated to teddy bears and by the time we were teens we kept the bears and added homemade cd’s.
From 9 to 12 Joshua and I would go back and forth with our childhood courtship. When I was 15 Joshua became my first legal boyfriend, he asked my parents and everything (might have been the only man that ever did)!
When I was 17 Joshua broke my heart (we are telling a happy story today so I will leave those stories for a subsequent post), and we broke up. I was a senior in high school. A few months later, in time for prom, Joshua and I were on good terms and he asked me to his prom. I didn’t ask him to mine, we weren’t THAT cool in my book!
I attended his prom and if you let him tell it I pouted half the time but he says I was beautiful that day anyway. Apparently that day I also let him know that he didn’t have a chance again with me unless he was serious. He held on to that for years, and would remind me of it down the line.
Side note: this blog post would be flooded with adolescent photos of my love and I, but teenagers in the midst of heartbreak can be dramatic…yea I threw them out!
Over the years, Joshua and I were always connected. Even though I went to college and moved across the country at one point, Joshua and I were still always connected. Every so often we’d have a conversation about a future but I’d let him know his next chance was his last (ha! I wasn’t the easiest apparently).
His parents had watched me grow from a child and my mom was still at the church. Joshua actually always called her mom, which was always odd when I would visit and bring the new boyfriend to church. Our circles intertwined; we had family members that dated and others that just swore we would get back together. His sisters called us Corey and Topanga (Boy Meets World reference) though I always saw us as a bit of a Kevin and Wendy (Wonder Years reference, yes I know I’m dating myself here).
Fast forward to just under a decade later, Joshua was finishing up his degree in Theology and he and I talked almost everyday about what he had been studying. I was a Political Science major in college and we often exchanged ideas. Now who says religion and politics don’t mix?
At first I was avoiding Joshua, I once asked him why did he return to “bust up my life”. Deep down I knew what being reconnected to him meant. Somewhere in all of our conversations I remembered why he was my first love. One day Joshua reminded me of what I told him back when we were teens, that if he came to me again he had to come correct because his next chance was his last.
We decided to get back together knowing that we would get married in a year. Somehow we decided to move in together first, and a year became two or so. Joshua and I are weren’t much for fanfare so we would keep the wedding plans simple and light. I didn’t even want a traditional engagement ring, but said if we did get one, I wanted a subtle solitaire ring, something chill like me. We decided that we would get married the summer of 2015 though originally it was like fall of 2014, then spring of 2015. What can I say, maybe sometimes we can both be too chill and laid back.
One day, on February 13, 2015 as we were out to a family dinner in Florida, it was time to order and Joshua was no where to be found. I was so annoyed. If you know me, then you know I get a little cranky when I don’t eat (not my fault my blood sugar gets low). I’m calling him and he’s not answering so I just ordered him some appetizers and kept it moving.
He came in a few minutes later happy and if I think back on it kind of nervous looking in the face. He got the attention of everyone at the table and pulled his chair out and dropped to one knee. I was still all confused at what was happening, meanwhile everyone else pulled out a phone.
Joshua grabbed my hand and asked me to marry him, and after staring blankly for a moment, I excitedly said yes and shoved my finger into the diamond ring I swore I didn’t want. I didn’t think it was possible to still surprise me with this marriage, but Joshua did it!
Fast forward just a few weeks and guess who is pregnant?!? This girl, that’s who! I guess we celebrated the official engagement a little too hard. I remember thinking, “Really Jess? You couldn’t wait just a few more months?” and “Thank God I didn’t put a down payment on that dress yet, it’s non refundable!!”.
I was the sickest pregnant woman ever. In fact, the day I found out I said to Josh, “Hey we should go to the emergency room or pharmacy because I’m either dying or pregnant!” I’m glad it was the latter of the two.
By month 3 of my pregnancy I was over it! Over being sick, over meeting with our not one but two wedding planners, over going back and forth about moving my wedding to a later date, over figuring out who “needed to be invited” and wondering if anyone was going to judge the pregnant bride and the eldest son of an Archbishop.
One frustrating day of trying to please too many people Joshua and I just decided that we would do something for ourselves. I was cranky about something, maybe even crying and Joshua was just like, “let’s just go and get married”. Of course I asked 50 questions around, it but I was excited and agreed. I asked when and he was like ASAP. We convinced ourselves that we would still do something for all our loved ones after but this would be for us.
I went online to do some research because of course we didn’t have a marriage license yet, but I was determined to find one and go to New York City Hall and get married (I’m a Sex and the City fan, Carrie and Big made it look cool). Well I wasn’t going to be able to get my paperwork in time and of course that’s like the most popular court to get married in NYC. My idea wasn’t original apparently.
Upon making some further calls, we discovered that in the small town where Joshua grew up they would be happy to accommodate us. The judge was out for the day but would be back on Monday and we could go and get our license and everything we needed the next day, Friday April 17th.
We immediately started sending texts that read something like , “what are you doing on Monday? We are getting married, want to come?” Definitely saved a bunch of money on invitations. And to think before we were discussing how evites to weddings were tacky, safe to say we topped it with a text!
Incidentally, that weekend my best friend and god son were coming to visit and Joshua was actually leaving to have a weekend in Miami with his brothers. I convinced my friend to stay for the wedding, it was perfect her and her husband ended up signing as our witnesses.
The morning of our wedding I was nauseous as usual and doing all I could not to get sick, but I put on my white dress, that felt like it got tighter in just two days, and laced up my fresh white leather chucks.
I looked outside and it was raining (cue Alanis Morrisette “It’s like rain”)! So of course I googled it and apparently rain on your wedding day is good, (“Siri play Summer Rain by Carl Thomas”).
When we got to the courthouse, it was great. Our loved ones were all there waiting for us, all of our parents made it! Some cousins, friends and some surprise guests were all piled in the court room. Judge Sandy let us know he doesn’t often see someone come to the court house for a wedding with all these guests.
On April 20, 2015, I became Mrs. Jessica Jordan. Best day ever!
Then I went back to my in-laws, changed into an all white sweat suit and ate leftovers to my hearts content.
We went home shortly after and had the best 4/20 celebration ever!
Getting married on 4/20 was a great decision. Not sure why but for some reason every anniversary even strangers get excited and celebrate!
We never did get around to that reception so all of our loved ones could celebrate with us. But hey, 2020 is just around the corner and we will be celebrating 5 years of marriage! Save the date: 4/20/20!