Jenna and Steven
How We Met
I met Steven long before we had eyes for each other. We are from the same hometown, which is Deer Park, Texas. His little sister, Grace Tabuena was actually my best friend in high school, which meant I attended all of their family gatherings. This put me in the presence of Steven quite often. Steve and I did not have much of a relationship until about my senior year of high school. He was off at Texas A&M University for undergrad at the time.
Towards the end of my last semester of high school, I noticed he came home on the weekends more often than not, but I did not think too much about it. He started reaching out to me over the phone and somehow ending up at all of the same places as me the last few weekends before I graduated. This turned into him contacting me a week after my graduation asking me on a first date. I was extremely overwhelmed when he told me how he felt about me because his sister was my best friend. I got the approval to attend the first date, so I took a leap of faith and said yes. This first date led to a four year long distance relationship between us.
The four years were filled with many ups and downs, road trips to visit each other, facetime phone calls, letters, and much more. Even though long distance brought many frustrations, Steven pursued me relentlessly, which is why we are where we are today. We are so thankful that we get to continue to embark on this journey together, finally in the same place. The Lord has been so gracious to ordain our relationship, walking with us every day of the past four years. We are ecstatic to plan our wedding and say I DO!
How He Asked
It was actually just a Mom’s weekend for my gals and I as far as I knew, filled with so much laughter and fun. I could not have asked for anything more because my heart was full of the memories we were making with our Moms during our last couple of weeks before we graduated college. I did not think the weekend could have gotten any sweeter but it did!! Sunday, May 1st, everyone in our group was on board to hike Palo Duro Canyon at 7 a.m. in the morning, which was shocking to me. Not everyone enjoys hiking, and the weather was rainy and 40 degrees in the month of May. I thought for sure everyone would back down, but no one complained a peep. I was eager and excited to hike with some of my favorite people and little did I know that my engagement with Steven Tabuena was waiting halfway up the Rock Garden Trail.
My outfit, hair, conversations, and face when I saw my Dad and brother in the canyon reflects it all. I was completely surprised; my mind was a million miles away of thinking this was my engagement day. We began the trail and halfway up I rounded a corner to see my Dad and brother standing by a large rock waiting for me. It took a while for my thoughts to register, but I knew in that moment that Steve was somewhere in the canyon as well. I turned around, looked back at my friends and said, “Is it happening?” They affirmed me with a giant yes and gave me a little push forward.
As I got to my Dad and brother, they along with my Mom read me letters aloud. I then read a letter from Steve. My family and I shed joyful tears together and my Dad prayed over us before I headed to take the next step with Steve. That was a precious memory for me with my family. I am glad Steve made my family a part of it because I love them so much. We proceeded to hike .3 of a mile, and then I saw Steve looking so handsome.
At this point I was overwhelmed with excitement and when I thought it could not get better, it did. I rounded another corner and see Steven’s family along with so many other friends of mine who traveled long and short distances to be there. Truly it was everything I could have ever wanted. I knew I needed to go to Steve right away, which I did, but I wanted to hug every one of them on the neck. They were the absolute best for being there! The scene around me was beautiful, the canyon, friends, family, but especially Steve. I looked at him with happy content eyes and a happy heart. He asked me to marry him on one knee, and it was the easiest, most confident YES from me!
I love him and he loves me unconditionally. I know I am marrying a man that loves the Lord more than he loves me, and I trust him and the way he is going to live his days ahead as my husband. I am excited to join him in that!. Thank you to Caleb Fisher for filming this day for us. The video is pure talent. Thank you to Erin Wiese for capturing sweet moments of the day so perfectly. Thank you to every friend and family member for enduring the hike to be there. I cannot explain how happy seeing your faces made me. Thank you to Mom, Dad, and Jordan for being the first ones I saw. Thank you to Steven Tabuena for asking me to be your wife, orchestrating this whole thing. It was more than perfect and my cup was overflowed. Thank you for throwing me an engagement party as well. Thank you Jesus for giving me the best man for me and allowing me to have these family and friends. Thank you for giving me that day. Thank you to every person who helped make this day everything it was.