Jana and Joseph

How We Met: Joseph & I went to high school together in Waco, TX. We were always really good friends but didn’t date through high school or college until my last semester. He played baseball at Texas State and I went to UMHB in Belton. In January 2011, I randomly sent him a text to see how he was doing & to get his schedule for baseball so I could go watch him pitch. We got on the topic of dating and I asked him “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?” & he said, “I haven’t found one I can stand to be around long enough.” I laughed because that is so something Joseph would say & I proceeded to say, “Why don’t we give us a shot?” He didn’t know if I was joking or serious so he was hesitant at first. He was shy & didn’t want to ruin our friendship. Once he figured out I was serious, we started dating and realized what a good fit we are together. We’ve been friends since we were 16 but it really is all about timing. The saying “when you know, you know” is so true!

How He Asked: Joseph was drafted to the Chicago White Sox in June 2011 after an amazing baseball season at Texas State. A couple days after he was drafted we found out he’d be leaving the next Monday to go to Great Falls, Montana for high Rookie ball for 3 months.

Fast forward to my birthday, July 15, I had been planning for a month to fly up to Montana to see him and was so excited to spend time with him. The plan was for my flight to leave Austin around 5:30 pm, I’d have a little over an hour layover in Minneapolis/St. Paul then I’d get on my connecting flight to Great Falls around 10:00 pm and I’d arrive in Montana just before midnight (mountain time). If you know me, you know I don’t always have the best luck so of course my mom and I get to the airport and my flight is delayed an hour. (All the meanwhile my mom & whole family knew Joseph was anxiously waiting for me to arrive in Montana so he could propose.)

We started scrambling to find out if I’d make my connecting flight and they said it is highly unlikely but there is a small chance I might make it. We went to every single airline in the Austin airport because I thought surely someone else was flying into Minneapolis. What a surprise — either there were NO seats open or NO ONE was flying to Minneapolis. We talked to the different airlines for about 45 minutes trying to find anyway to get me to Minneapolis by 10 or into Montana in general. While we were talking to the airlines, I had my sister-in-law and her friend, who used to be a travel agent, look for flights as well. Of course, they found out the same thing — there was nothing but the flight I was booked on that was delayed.

I start to realize there is a 40/60 chance, trying to stay positive, that I’d get to see Joseph tonight and of course start to tear up. It had been so long since I had seen him and I just wanted to be in Montana with him. My mom, still trying to hide that she knew anything — I’ll add that she did an AMAZING job of keeping a poker face, was very positive and said “I think you’re going to make it so lets switch your bags so you won’t have to check your bag, you can just carry them on.” So we switched my bags and I said goodbye to my mom, all I could do was hope we’d make up sometime in the air. I went through security, waited about 45 minutes in the terminal while looking up other flights on my phone and talking to the lady at the airline desk. She was nice enough to look up other flights from Minneapolis to anywhere close to Great Falls, Montana. She backed me up on two other flights, one around 11:00 pm and one the next morning out of Minneapolis. To recap — I was booked on three flights!

I boarded my flight to Minneapolis very stressed and hoping we’ll somehow make it there by 10:00 pm. I have family in Minnesota and have made this flight more times than I can remember so I knew it is almost a three hour flight. I do the math and realize there is about 10% chance unless a miracle happens that I’ll make my flight. We take off and I realize there is nothing I can do but sit back and try to relax, which of course I couldn’t do. I kept staring at my watch.

Once we get close to landing, I ask the flight attendant what gate the flight to Great Falls was taking off from and she said we were too low in the air for her to check. A nice man beside me looked it up on his phone and he said it was taking off from the gate NEXT to where we’d be landing. Once again, I rarely have luck like this so I almost screamed with excitement! The plane lands in Minneapolis and I asked everyone in front of me, “It’s my birthday and I really need to make this connecting flight, do you think I could grab my bags and run off the plane first?” and they were nice enough to let me.

I sprinted down the terminal and went to the next gate over where the desk was EMPTY and the boarding door was CLOSED but the plane was still there. Another family was waiting as well but no one would help us. Being the not so patient person I am I said, “I need to be on this plane and so do they, can you PLEASE open the door!” and no one said anything so I asked again but with no response, I was about to push the door open and get on the plane. A lady came to help us & said, “Ma’am if you open that door security will come and you definitely won’t make it on that plane.” So I stepped back, they scanned my boarding pass and I FINALLY got on the plane! I was the last person on and was SO relieved. I would FOR SURE see Joseph in two hours. I hurried to text my mom, sister-in-law and Joseph to say “I’m on the plane but have to turn my phone off. ON MY WAY TO MONTANA!”

Two hours later, I finally landed in “Big Sky Country” right at midnight. I had to wait until everyone got off the plane to get my bags and make my way to see Joseph. I walk off the plane to see some random guy with a video camera and people taking pictures. I had no idea what was going on and just wanted to see Joseph! Then I see him with three people holding signs saying “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANA !!!!!!” and he was smiling at me SO big. I’m still clueless here, I just thought he was excited about my birthday, too. Slowly they turned the signs over to say Will You Marry Me & I smiled SO BIG and was in SHOCK. He dropped the sign, picked me up and then got down on one knee. After a month of being in different states and this crazy 12 hour day on my birthday, the man of my dreams was asking me to be his wife. He said the sweetest things and said, “Will you marry me?” I nodded my head yes and he slid the most beautiful diamond ring on my finger. I gave him the biggest hug and still couldn’t believe all this was happening.

I am so blessed to call him my fiance and soon-to-be husband. If the day of him proposing is that crazy, I know our life will be nothing short of entertaining, interesting and always humorous. With him by side, it will be absolutely perfect!