I was going through some old files saved on my computer, and I found the text I wrote back in 2009 for our wedding website telling “our story.” I realized what a great summary of me and Jon’s relationship it really is, and wanted to make sure I save it – so I figured I’d share it here. 🙂
Samantha was born in Houston, but moved around a lot growing up (Australia, Wyoming, and Tunisia being just a few of the places she lived before the age of 8). At the age of 9, her family moved to Katy, Texas where she started 4th grade. Except for a one year stint in Lafayette, LA (for 7th grade), Samantha remained in Katy through high school graduation, and the Stewarts still live there today.
After graduating high school, Samantha chose to attend The University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in Marketing (and minored in French and Accounting). Her favorite college memory is definitely the semester she spent studying abroad in Belgium – or as her father likes to say, “more like travelling abroad.”
After 4 years at UT, Samantha took a job with Dell in Round Rock (a suburb of Austin), where she has been for 2 years. While she feels very lucky to have had the opportunity to stay in Austin after graduating, she is pretty sure she can make the drive to Houston with her eyes closed at this point, and looks forward to the day she and Jon live in the same city – whatever city that may be!
Jon was born in Wyoming, and lived there for 9 years before moving to Katy, Texas at the age of 9, in time to start 4th grade (sound familiar?). Jon’s family stayed in Katy, and after graduating high school there he went off to The University of Miami (the U).
At the U, Jon majored in Finance and Economics and minored in Mathematics. He ran cross country and track for 4 years and lived with some teammates in a house with a pool. He misses racing (but not practicing), free Nike gear, naps and generally being lazy by the pool at the “track house.”
During the summer between Jon’s junior and senior year at Miami, he had a summer analyst job with Petrie Parkman & Co., a boutique oil and gas investment bank in Houston. He eventually got an offer to join the company full time after he graduated. Petrie Parkman was bought by Merrill Lynch before Jon started in 2007 and Merrill Lynch was bought by Bank of America at the end of 2008. Jon has worked for the group (now called Bank of America Merrill Lynch) for over 2 years now.
How we met
As you may have guessed by now, Jon and Samantha met in 4th grade. In fact, they were in the same 4th grade class. They stayed friends through elementary and junior high school, and in 8th grade, Samantha developed a pretty big crush on Jon. She conspired with her friends to convince Jon to ask her to the big 8th grade dance. He was smart enough to go along with the plan, and the rest is history… ok not quite. But they did have a great time at the dance, and later that summer they started “dating.” Which of course in 8th/9th grade meant talking on the phone most nights and acting extremely awkward and nervous around each other at school. This lasted about 7 months or so before they decided to just stay friends.
They went their separate ways after high school, keeping in touch occasionally through the next 5 years. Then, sometime in the spring of 2008, they reconnected online and realized they still had a lot in common. Samantha was in Katy visiting her family one weekend, and since Jon was living in Houston they decided to hang out. They went to dinner and a movie, had a much better time than either of them expected, and the rest is history… for real this time.
Our 3-hour ski trip
One of our favorite things to do is plan (and take) vacations. Since Jon is from Wyoming and still has some family up there, we decided to take a trip up last Christmas to go skiing. It was a disaster. Multiple flights were canceled, and it ended up taking us 30 hours to fly from Houston to Rock Springs, WY. By the time we got there we had already missed one day of skiing. When we got to the slopes the second day, there was an avalanche on the mountain, effectively closing it for the rest of our trip. We ended up skiing for only 3 hours at a smaller mountain that only had more difficult runs, and I spent most of the time falling down the mountain. Fast forward 8 months and, needless to say, it took a little convincing on Jon’s part and promises of much better weather for us to plan a return trip for the summer.
This time we flew into Boulder and spent a couple days there with Jon’s cousin Rex and his girlfriend Carolyn, who took us rock climbing. Then we all drove up to Rock Springs where Rex’s brother Ryan flew in to meet us. After a day in Rock Springs, we all went up to Pinedale, where Jon’s parents and sister, Bridget, were staying at their cabin. Our second day in Pinedale, Jon suggested we all go on a hike in the mountains, to an area called Sacred Rim. It was a beautiful sunny day, just cool enough for hiking. I may have complained a little on the way up (not much of a hiker) but everyone urged me on, saying the view from the top would be ‘worth it’ and ‘memorable’.
When we got to the top of the mountain, everyone suggested we go out onto ‘overlook rock’ – a ledge that jutted out over the valley of lakes below, with a beautiful view of mountains, trees and sky in the background. I walked out and took some pictures of the view, a little curious why Jon was following behind me alone while Rex, Ryan and Carolyn set up a tripod and cameras. When I turned around, Jon got down on one knee (luckily I didn’t jump too far backwards), pulled a ring out of his pocket (where did that come from??), and proposed. Of course I said YES! The guys pulled cans of Bud Light Lime out of their backpacks to toast with, and then we all headed back down to the cabin for more toasting with Jon’s parents and sister.
I said yes, and it started snowing. No, really.
As you can imagine, I had NO complaints about our second trip to Wyoming. ☺
Bud Light Lime, the champagne of Wyoming 🙂