It all started as a joke. Jeff and Steph were part of the same friend group since eighth grade, but never really knew each other. It wasn't until their senior year of high school where the two finally really started their friendship, and it all started with a simple question: "Do you want to run for cutest couple?" Now this question requires a little context. You see, every year at our high school, the seniors got to vote for "The Best of the Best." Categories included best car, best hair, and best smile just to name a few. One of the categories happened to be cutest couple, and Steph thought it would be funny to attempt to run for this even though they weren't dating. Jeff agreed. They made t-shirts that said "Steph loves Jeff" and "Jeff loves Steph," they got their school pictures taken together, they even sang "Lucky" by Jason Mraz for the talent show. It couldn't be any more perfect. But there was one looming problem: that very next year, Jeff would go to school at The University of Kansas and Steph would go to Brigham Young University–Idaho. But there was still summer—still time.
Their friendship continued to grow, and their friends continued to get more impatient. Jeff knew what he had to do, but he didn't know how to do it. Small opportunities came and went, but then came the opportunity of a lifetime. Jeff acquired two great, free tickets to a Royals baseball game from a good friend, Jordan. On the day of the game however, the two were invited to go to Dave & Buster's with a group of friends. Enjoying their time before the baseball game, one of the friends, Micah, mentioned to Jeff that he should kiss Steph at the Royals game on the jumbotron. Jeff knew if anyone could make it happen, Micah could.
At the game, Jeff and Steph took their seats as Micah began his mission. He then found a camera operator for the game and using his charisma, explained the situation. The operator was sold. About midway through the game, the jumbotron started showing the fans. And low and behold, it wasn't long until the camera flashed to Jeff and Steph, and Steph started freaking out. But Jeff called to Steph, and as she turned toward him, Jeff kissed her. Their first kiss was shared with 20,000 other people and it could not have been more perfect.
Throughout the rest of the summer, Jeff and Steph had the time of their lives. They spent all the time they could together. But before they knew it, the dreaded day came. School was calling. When it was finally time to go, they kept reminding themselves that this wasn't goodbye. But it sure didn't feel that great. It was about as movie-esque as you can imagine.
They went on about their semester, texting and calling and skyping as often as they could. Neither of them really knew if this relationship would keep up or not. They both had fun at college, but they were always on each other's minds. December came, and it was finally time for Steph to go home. She was nervous about seeing Jeff, but mostly just excited. The two spent practically every moment together, and it didn't take long to dispel all the doubts that accumulated during the semester; they wanted to make this relationship work out, even if it meant sacrificing months apart.
Jeff and Steph would continue to be in a long distance relationship for the next three semesters. Steph would come home for breaks and Jeff would come and pick her up from school with their good friends Micah and Jordan. This time apart wasn't always easy—in fact it was some of the hardest months the two had really ever experienced so far in life. But they knew their relationship was worth it, and it made the time they had together all the more better.
Near the end of Steph's sophomore year of college, she had decided she would apply to the University of Kansas to finish out her college career. When she told Jeff the news, he smiled huge and was very excited. Steph got an apartment with Jordan, and Jeff continued to be an RA. The next two years of school together were some of the best years. When either of them were having a bad day, they could just go see each other instead of having to call. It was wonderful.
As graduation came and both were finally free from school, really only one thing remained. But Jeff wanted to wait for the perfect moment and to make it a surprise. It wasn't until mid-December where Jeff invited Steph onto the roof—a common place the two would talk to one another mainly through high school. Before the two departed there, Jeff listed all the wonderful things about Steph (which there are quite a few as you can imagine) and asked her in marriage. You could say the rest is history. Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years! It's been a fantastic journey and we look forward to the years to come!