Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Emily and Jesse

Over this next week, in the spirit of Valentine's Day we'll be visiting with some of my favorite couples to hear their stories and some of their "secrets" to keeping their beautiful relationships going strong. I chose each of these couples because they are all so incredibly different, and so incredibly inspiring to me, so I thought it would be great to share this inspiration with you all. Each of these couples are friends of mine "in real life," and I have known all of them for a long, long time. Their stories are particularly special to me because I've seen a lot of them unfold, and nothing is better than seeing true love from its inception.

The first couple I am super excited about featuring is someone I've talked about before on this blog...my dear friend Emily, and her fiance Jesse. Emily and I have been friends for a long, long time and we have a very special bond. Throughout our many years of friendship, I've seen her fall more and more in love with the wonderful Jesse. This past summer I spent a week with the two of them in New York and got a chance to see them months before they got engaged. It was such a great time, and let me tell you...being around them is intoxicating. Because they've been together for so long, their love is everywhere, and so beautiful. It's a comfortable, beautiful, deep kind of love that is obvious to anyone who is around them. I feel so happy that my sweet Emily has someone so special in her life forever, and I love that I am able to share her story with all of you! Enjoy...

1) Names:

Emily Trujillo and Jesse Lindmar - http://smellmilly.blogspot.com

2) Years together and also years married (or time engaged):

8 years and 3 months together, engaged 2 months

3) How you met:

At 16 I helped run an animal rights organization based out of Phoenix. Because I was so young and inexperienced I enlisted the help of a blooming (at the time) animal rights group in Utah (UARC). They would help me find events, get materials and handle the media, if needed.

I traveled to Utah in November of 2000 to pick up materials for an upcoming event in Phoenix and also to help participate in "Fur Free Friday." After the event a big storm hit and I was unable to drive myself back to AZ for another day or two. UARC was hosting a "Thanksgiving/Tofurkey Day" celebration the next day so Crystal and I decided we would stay. Because it was snowing, my little Nissan Pulsar was not the ideal candidate to make the trek to Park City where the dinner was held. I asked around and there were 2 seats available in someone elses car--Yippee! So, Crystal and I met at the UARC office and waited. When the HUGE white truck pulled up we jumped in the backseat. Immediately I froze. Jesse was sitting in the front seat and I became EXTREMELY nervous. Crystal and I looked at each other and started giggling. We both thought he was the bee's knees.

Once we were in Park City I took to helping everyone put the last minute touches on our feast all while watching Jesse in the other room. He was quiet, anti-social and kept to hanging around the person who drove us to PC. When we sat for dinner around a very, very large table (about 30 of us) I sat made it a point to sit right next to Jesse. At this point we had maybe said 2 sentences to each other.

Then it came, word vomit. I started talking and couldn't stop. I wanted to know ALL about him and I was suddenly nervous and excited and continued with question after question. He didn't talk much, except to answer my questions and never really asked me anything, just kept to himself. I am a nervous eater so as soon as my plate was clear I started on his plate, and to this day I think it's hilarious that I ate his dinner and he just sat back and let me.

After dinner we stuck together like glue, again without him talking much and me talking too much. He stood outside with me in the cold winter snow while I smoked (gross, I know) and just listened to me blab on.

The evening fell quick and it was time for everyone to go. Crystal was kind of seeing someone at the party so we ended up staying the evening there. Jesse went home in the same truck we all came in and it was a very sad goodbye. We gave each other a huge hug and just stood there silent for a minute. We both knew we were young (I was 16, Jesse 17) and I lived in another state. So, I think we both chalked it up to a great evening with a wonderful new person.

On our drive back to AZ I told Crystal "There is something very special about that boy...I wish I got his phone number." She agreed and we went on with the drive.

The moment I got home I started looking for him. At the time the only social network type of place was www.makeoutclub.com, hahaha. So, I searched it...daily, sometimes twice a day looking for this special boy. I then remembered that he played in a friends band (Cherem) and started asking him little questions about Jesse. He didn't say much about him, and I started to think I was at a dead end.

I came back out to Utah for my great grandmother's birthday in Feb 2001. I still hadn't found Jesse online or heard much more about him. I strategically placed a phone call and visit to my friend's house that he played in the band with, and finagled my way into seeing Jesse. I still remember him walking into the house. His eyes met mine and we both instantly looked away. This time I was extremely shy too because I was a bit embarrassed with myself. I mean, I was essentially stalking this man and he had no idea. The night was awful. We didn't talk but 2 sentences, literally. I left the house and decided that was it.

A few months later I get an instant message via AIM:
him: "Umm.. hello?"
me: "umm. hi?"
him: "Is this the emily that is in AZ, friends with Bill and came to Utah for Thanksgiving?"
me: "why yes it is, who's this?"
him: "Jesse. I am the one you talked to that night.. I play bass in Cherem, I saw you in February"
me: ((shock)).. "HI!"

He went on to say how he was so sorry for not asking me for my number. That he was too nervous to talk to me in February. That he has been looking for me online and was too nervous to ask Bill for my info. I don't think I sent a message back for 5 minutes. I just stared at the IM. He was doing the exact same thing I was and we both had NO idea!

(thank you makeoutclub)

We continued to talk daily via AIM, started sending care packages with photo booth pictures and treats and eventually started conversations via the phone. At this point I was 17, had my GED and was starting to daydream the idea of me moving back to Utah.

A few months into our daily conversations we decided we would date. Yes, we were going to be in a committed relationship via the Internet until I could make the jump and move to Utah.

Exactly 1 year after we met at the Vegan Thanksgiving I moved to Utah. The first night he picked me up in an extremely bad snow storm we just held each other for hours. I was already in love and I just KNEW this was it.

8 years and 3 months later I can still say that he gives me butterflies. He brings so much light, love, inspiration and joy to my life. He is constantly showing me what it means to not only be a good person, but a good partner.

We are recently engaged and plan to marry sometime in the next few years (maybe at our 10 year?). I am so happy to have found my love at such a young age and to have the person I love the very most in the entire world, love me back at the exact same level. It's truly remarkable.

4) What would you say are the top 5 important things in keeping a relationship/marriage strong? Is there anything special you do for your partner/vice versa? What would you say your "keys to success" are in a healthy/fun/loving/etc. relationship?

Wow, top 5 things, eh? That's tough, but here are ours.

-Love without rules. What I mean is, you can't say you love someone but would leave them if they did "this" or "that." I'm not talking about cheating here, I'm talking about people evolving and learning new things, or gaining new beliefs. In our experience we have changed SO very much and are not even close to the people we once were. I hear my friends who are struggling in relationships say "they aren't the same, they have just changed." But, that is natural. We should change. How sad would it be to be the same people for our entire lives? Anyway. Acceptance to change is key for Jesse and I.

-Trust. I hate to say it, but I am a very jealous girl. I know how special Jesse is and I know that many ladies see it too. I had to learn to trust that he could have girl friends and he had to trust that I can have boy friends.

-Honesty. A lot of times relationships, especially in the "honeymoon phase" you tend to keep your true feelings at bay for fear of running the person away, or disagreeing. Jesse and I disagree on a lot of things, but we accept the differences, and are honest and true to our personal view. I am always honest with Jesse, even if I KNOW it's not what he wants to hear and even if I know it's going to make him upset/sad. He does the same. We tackle things head-on and know that the other person is only sharing and keeping the gates open for love and respect.

-"I Love You in the AM/PM". This sounds so funny, but I can't hear "I love you" too much. Both of us used to go on tour (him with bands, me with work) and we developed a routine of "I love yous." Each morning the first thing we would do was call the other person to say "I love you" and each night before bed we would call to say "I love you." Of course when we are together we also say it, constantly. We will be walking down the street and just randomly look over to tell the other person "Hey, guess what? I love you." I especially love it when we are disagreeing with each other... "So, I know we are upset right now, but I love you." I like this about us.

-Alone time. Yes, I said it. I NEED to be alone sometimes, and so does he. We have our own lives; some of our friends are mutual, some aren't. We enjoy time together and spend most of our nights in. But, we also enjoy nights solo. This could be something as simple as me laying in bed reading a book while he is out on the town, or even in the living room editing photos. He will also be HONEST with me and say "Babe, I need the apartment to myself tonight to concentrate on editing" and I will make plans to go out for a few hours to give him a quiet space.

5) What is your favorite part about being married/engaged?

I like the word "fiance"... "Hello, this is my fiance Jesse." I'm proud to display a symbol of our commitment and proud to show the world that we are SO in love that we are committing to each other for all eternity.

Feel free to include anything your partner would like to add here about ideas/tips or favorite part about being married/engaged.

My advice for couples is simple- "Storms bring rainbows." Stick with it, even when it rains. Yes, there are times when I want to throw things around the house and get SO angry I could explode. But guess what? It's not worth it.

Jesse and I developed a routine if we are upset. We are HONEST and say "I need 5-10 minutes to work this through and then I can talk." This works for us. It gives us time to calm down and chose our words in a respectful manner that will still come across with our true emotion, but without the hard edge arguing can bring.


  1. This was so fun to read! They are such a great couple! <33

    Excited to see all the couples you have lined up!!

  2. that is beautiful! absolutely amazing!

    let us all be lucky to find our soulmate.

  3. That was so beautiful! I love that they were looking for each other the same way! They also both gave excellent advice!

  4. Aww, thanks Dani! I have talked a lot about Jesse but I haven't relived our "start" in a long, long time. Thanks for featuring me and I look forward to the coming love stories!

  5. What a sweet idea and a great story!

  6. Great meeting story, so adorable. :)

    What a wonderful couple. <3

  7. What a wonderful couple! Congrats on the engagement and best of luck to you too!

    My husband and I got married on our 9 year anniversary. Everyone says we should have gotten married sooner but i think its so special to be together for so long beforehand. I think getting married after 10 years of dating is just so romantic <3

    Once again, CONGRATS!

  8. That was so cute. Thanks for posting this! I cant wait for more!

  9. That was so incredibly fun to read! I can't wait to read about more of your couples!

  10. this is fun. i like this!


    they are so lovely.

  11. this is precious, I love hearing about relationships from other people's perspectives.. I can't wait to read more!

  12. Oh my goodness, I absolutely adore this whole "concept". I know a lot of people that consider Valentine's Day to strictly be a consumers holiday. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people who treat it that way. I think we lose sight of how wonderful the day actually is; a whole day dedicated to celebrating the love of our life. I love that you are featuring stories like this because it proves that "true love" is really out there.

  13. this was really fun to read. in 2003, emily and i were employed by the same small business owner in salt lake city (i worked at his retail store, and she worked next door at his coffee shop). i was also dating one of jesse's good friends (coincidentally another jesse), and sometimes we would all hang out. they broke up for a bit, and i remember being so sooo sad about it, because i knew they were meant to be together. and i hoped so badly that they would make up and get back together... and just look at them now! i actually think i felt worse about their breakup, than i did when me and my jesse eventually broke up, haha! this brings back lots of old memories from back then. great post! <3

  14. love this concept! and what a cute story :)

  15. Yay, I love this feature already! I liked the advice that Emily has to offer :)

  16. What a great read!
    I'm looking forward to the other couples you have lined up!
    So inspiring!

  17. What a great series! It is always always wonderful to read about love.

  18. Great idea Danielle!
    And I really loved the advice she offered, definitely will help me in the future with my babe<3

  19. It's interesting to see just how permeant memory has become in our everyday lives. It seems like everywhere I turn, I see something with a card slot or USB port, lol. I guess it makes sense though, considering how much more afforable memory has become as of late...

    Gahhhh, I shouldn't be complaining. I can't get through a single day without my R4 / R4i!

    (Posted by ComP for R4i Nintendo DS.)

  20. I love this feature! Both of the couples so far have been quite inspiring

  21. OMG, such an awesome story!, so funny! love it! they irradiate love, all is full of love for them!