June 30, 2011

in the words of mr. barlow ..

mr. barlow wrote out our little love story for his whole family.
i am kinda obsessed with reading it.
also i love seeing our story through his eyes!

i asked him i could post it on my blog.
he asked if it was blog worthy and i said of course!
most of you know this story.

here it is again ..
in the words of mr. barlow!

"I've been thinking for a while about writing this up for everyone to read, and I hope I get it right. Fiancé, feel free to correct me and make changes if I mess things up. If you're interested in just the proposal, feel free to skip down, I'll label it for you.

This tale begins once upon a time with Heidi and Greg while they were living in Madison, Wisconsin. Good Mormons that they are, they had the sister missionaries over for dinner one evening. Sister Warner and Sister Johnson ran into some snow troubles but were able to make it about an hour late.

Sister Warner and Heidi immediately made a connection when they both realized they were from the LA area (hopefully by Laker paraphernalia) and had some mutual friends. Sister Warner had extended her mission and would be going home in a few weeks’ time. She was transferred to Madison to close out her mission.

Soon after being transferred home, Heidi contacted Melanie to let her know that Greg had a cousin living at her house in Burbank and that they should date. During this same time, I was working for BYU-Idaho after graduation and Heidi told me about this really cute and fun sister missionary that she met and that recently returned home from her mission and was from Monrovia. And that I should look her up. Look her up I did and found her in some pictures with my friends.

In my mind I said "I call dibs. I will date this girl."

I added Melanie Warner on Facebook but we didn't really talk because... Let's face it, that's creepy. BYU-Idaho has about a 7-week break in between the Spring and Fall semesters, where they wouldn't be having me work. So I spent some time in Utah for a friend's wedding, and then the rest I spent at home, secretly plotting to meet this girl and woo her.

The first Sunday, I saw her there, in my Single's Ward. Success! We exchanged names, I made my presence known. She was gorgeous. Except for one thing, she had a lot of dude friends. Brandt, who was staying in our house, was a serious roadblock in my mental projection of the relationship. A friend from my mission, who also happened to be in our Singles' Ward, was also good friends with her. I left feeling a little defeated that day.

We had a YSA dance coming up, and I love to dance. And our ward throws a mean dance. Again I really hoped she might be there (I learned later that she almost wasn't) so I could show off my moves. She was. Sweaty as I was, I'm surprised she even agreed to dance with me. It was a slow dance, we waltzed. She didn't know how, but it was really good. Afterward I asked to see her phone, and I put my number in it. My thinking was that if she was interested, she would call or text me. If she wasn't, she didn't have to.

She liked that.

We texted a bit after that, and I invited her to come to have dinner in Downtown Disney with a bunch of friends before I went back to Idaho. We sat down to eat and there was some seat shuffling because some people wanted to be next to other people, and so she got sat right across from me. Jokingly, she said, "Great! Now Jacob and I can play footsies." But little did she know that Jacob doesn't play when it comes to footsies. He wins.

So we played footsies, or maybe it was more me playing, and her allowing it. Afterward she was talking to Brandt so I felt temporarily disheartened. But it's understandable. Why strike up a romance with someone that's driving three states away the next day?

We talked off and on a little more, and General Conference was fast approaching. She told me that she and her friends were flying up for it (and for her Mission Reunion) and renting a car. I drove down also. I developed a plan to take her on a date that weekend. I invited her and her friends to go dancing with me and my friends at one of the many General Conference dances they have going on. She decided against it because it was in Salt Lake.

I wanted to see her, and so she suggested Frozen Yogurt in Provo, between sessions. I show up, and she pulls up with two friends. Not the kind of date that I had in mind, but I could work with it. While there, she was quite a bit more touchy-feely... She was a little more active in this round of footsies than the first one. Here's a picture to illustrate that moment.

She and her friends left and I called her immediately. I wanted to ask her on a date, but not with her friends snooping. I asked her, and it would be a little tough but I said that we could even go on a walk if she wanted but I wanted to take her on a date. We tried to work things out, but in the end she said she just couldn't make it happen.

We met up once more at Conference after the last session and we stood closely for a picture and were a little more physical, but again I was leaving. I texted her on my way back and said that I was going to keep talking to her because she intrigued me.

I planned a flight home for a weekend on Allegiant Air (super cheap flights from Idaho Falls to Long Beach). I called and told her I was visiting my family and thought it would be cool if we could go on a date too. Really it was just for her. She agreed. I flew home, my dad picked me up, I changed, borrowed the car, drove and picked her up, and we drove to the Glendale Centre Theatre. We held hands. It was awesome. The rest of that weekend went really well, but I didn't kiss her because that's gross. Psych! No, because I thought it would be mean to kiss her and then leave again.

I flew back, and soon after she told me that since I flew down, she thought it would be cool if she flew up to Idaho to visit me. Suddenly there was a chorus around me and I thought, "Wow, this girl is awesome."

The plan was that she would fly up, I'd show her the ins and outs of Rexburg, and then we would drive home together for Thanksgiving. She did, I picked her up from the airport with some flowers and Diet Coke in a cooler, and we drove back to Rexburg to watch Harry Potter as it had just come out.

We kissed that night. It was incredible.

The drive home was also really good. We talked the entire time, and even when we didn't the silence wasn't uncomfortable. At this point we had to make some decisions and we decided to date each other exclusively, because nobody else interested us. 

I told her I loved her on Christmas evening, but I told her she couldn't say anything. Who wants a "Thank you," in return? She told me she loved me on New Years' Day. We both knew though during the Thanksgiving break.

We would take turns flying once a month, and talk, text, Skype, whatever we could do to further the relationship. We soon decided that I would move home at the end of the semester that I was interpreting for and keep this going. Soon after deciding that, Clark called and said that our cousin's company (Bradshaw side) had a position opening in Burbank. I applied, interviewed, got an offer on the drive back, and moved home a few months earlier than I expected.


I moved home and we had been dating for a couple months. Because she's a returned sister missionary, we get to go to the temple on dates. We've done that quite a bit. We decided we would start fasting and praying about getting married, for about 3 weeks, that would make it about 6 months of dating before making that kind of decision. I prayed once, twice, and then once again while we were in the temple together. Waiting 3 weeks no longer made any sense. We discussed it on the drive home and we both talked about what answers we received in the temple (we hadn't planned on specifically praying about this beforehand). We knew it was right.

There were a few people that I needed to talk to before I could propose. I needed to talk to her mom, her sisters, her uncle, her "papa," Monte who helped raise her in the gospel, who lives in Spanish Fork, her mission president, and... I think that was it. The plan was to talk to her mom, her uncle and her sisters, and then fly up to talk to Monte and her mission president.

I couldn't wait that long.

I bought a ring that was similar to my mom's ring, which Melanie said that she really liked. I went to a jewelry store that said that they had ring boxes that light up (I highly recommend it if anyone is in the market). While there I looked around and found a ring that I knew that she would love. Not a traditional wedding ring, but it was so her. I bought that one too and had an internal struggle for a couple days about which one to use. Everyone seemed to like the first one, it was very pretty, and it was more traditional. No. I knew she wanted the second one. It was her style.

So I sent the first one back.

I talked to her mom, we had dinner with her aunt and uncle and I talked to him, and then we had about a month until we were to fly up to Utah to talk to Monte and her mission president. What to do? I looked them up on the internet and called them right then without her knowing. I got their blessing after they grilled me for a good while. In the next couple of days we were planning to drive down together to pick up Clark and Holly from the airport in LAX. The day arrived and I had this ring in my pocket at all times. I was at work and I suddenly had an idea. I called her best friend and I asked her how soon she could be at the LA temple with her camera. She thankfully was free and she said she could be there whenever I needed.

Later that evening, Melanie showed up around dinner time, a little later than I had hoped for my plan, so I had to think fast as to how I could get her out the door without her suspecting anything. We were 3 hours early to pick Clark and Holly from the airport, and I knew there would be no traffic. I texted my dad and asked him to kindly ask us to get out of the house because we needed to pick Clark and Holly up. He did.

"Oh what time is the flight? Really? Oh you should probably leave, traffic is terrible this time of day."

She grabbed a piece of pizza and ate in the car while I drove. Predictably, we flew over the 405 into downtown LA, 20 minutes tops. We were getting close to my secret exit.

"Oh man... I really thought there would be more traffic than this... We have like an hour and a half to kill. Where are we at? Oh well, the exit to the temple is right here, do you want to go walk around for a while?"

She said she'd love to. I just want to share something that I love about her right here. She suspected nothing. She had no idea what I was doing. She felt so comfortable at the temple that a sudden detour there felt as natural as anything else.

We walked around for a bit and I led her to the front of the temple in front of the reflecting pool and got down on one knee. I could hear the faint snap of her best friend's camera hidden in the distance. I asked her if she would accompany me to the house of the Lord, and if she would marry me.

She said yes.

She loved the ring. I still light up ever time people tell her, "It's so you!"

She thought we had to wait at least another month. Her first thought was, "But my camera is in the car!" So, having her best friend there was such a blessing and a surprise.

We still have a few months to go and a lot left to plan, but she is amazing. So loving and giving, and so thoughtful. She loves those of you she's met, and we're looking forward to having her meet the rest of you. October 29, 2011!"


  1. I read, and drooled, over every word of this. Mr. Barlow just scored 100,000 points with every one of your girlfriends. And that picture of him on his knee is PRICELESS!!! Mel...couldn't be more happy for you!!! Eeehhh!!

  2. AEJ. i heart you!

    thank you dianne!

  3. this just melts my heart. you are more than blessed. i am so happy for you!!! i love you much.

  4. It's not creepy to meet people through mutual friends on Facebook! Lots of people do that.

  5. Love. I love love love it.