Our Story

Where to begin…

Our story is actually a fun one, or so we’re told. Not many people can say they came together quite like we can. However, in order to know a couple’s story, we think it best to start individually…

How We Got Here

Nichole wasn’t always in Joplin. Quite the opposite, Nichole grew up in San Diego, California. She grew up the oldest daughter of four, and has two brothers and one sister, whom she loves very much. Her family has always been very close and loving, with her parents setting a beautiful example of marriage as their 25 years of marriage and 36 years of friendship has attested to.Through high school she participated in cross country and track&field, and was very active in St. Gregory the Great’s Catholic Church. She attended California State University San Marcos and received her degree in Elementary Education. She had always known she wanted to leave California, and set out after graduation to explore. That exploration led her to Missouri State University to pursue her Master’s degree in Teaching, which eventually led her to me.

Nick grew up in Owasso, Oklahoma. He is the oldest of two sons and grew up with a very loving and affectionate family. His parents have been married for 30 years, and have set an amazing example for their son.  His mother, loving the arts and wanting to bring some culture into her kids, had Nick involved in music programs at a young age. Nick participated in Tulsa Youth  choir, band and even a few local musicals. Once he reached high school, he took band to a whole new level participating in Owasso high School’s nationally renowned music program and participating in several band camps, one of which was at the University of Arkansas, where he fell in love with the campus and the university. Four years later, he found himself an alumnus of Arkansas with a degree in Fine Arts.  A few years ago, he was offered a position working as the National Publications Manager and Multimedia designer for his fraternity, which led him back to the city of Stillwater to his parents’ Alma Mater, Oklahoma State University. It was this move that led Nick to me.

How We Met

We met in the most mundane way, but God’s plans always seem to have some humor in them. Nichole had been in Stillwater visiting an old friend from the military in San Diego. Thank goodness she was trusted with the burger run. The magazine rack at the Food Pyramid will always hold a special place in our hearts.  I will never remember exactly what was said, or exactly how it started, all I knew is that there was something special about the girl who was obviously not from around here.

We had started out slowly. Having exchanged names and numbers in a grocery store, I wasn’t even sure he would call me. I’ll thank God everyday I was wrong. He found me on Facebook shortly after our meeting, and we started the conversation there. We began sending Facebook messages back and forth, getting to know each other and feeling things out. This quickly led to phone calls, and progressed into Skype dates that lasted until 4 in the morning. Living so far apart, scheduling our first date took some maneuvering. He  wanted to be a gentlemen and come up to Joplin to take me out. I have never been more nervous in my life. I had only met him once for a brief hour in a store, our conversations had made me feel as though I’d known him forever, but I was still on edge. I realized nothing in my closet was pretty enough to impress. I had to go out and buy an entirely new outfit – which I never do! I spent hours upon hours getting ready, which is something that I rarely do. Everything had to be perfect. However, the minute I opened the door it didn’t matter anymore.  All I could do was focus on him. I could take you through the entire night – the awkward/creepy chapel we had visited that had bonded us in mutual weirdness, the changing of the gps, the dinner where we couldn’t get close enough, and on and on. But the only thing that really matters, the most important part, was the moment he kissed me. I had gone to the store to get burgers, and God had given me my husband. It’s amazing how one, small kiss can change your entire world. Everything in my entire life made sense.

Now, a lot can happen in one year, and the year since our first encounter was packed with just about everything you could imagine. In my humble opinion, we mastered the long distance relationship. Every weekend was another chance to find the excuses to travel to each other. If one of us (usually me) had to travel for work, I would find a way to either bring her with me or make Joplin a way-point to my destination. Every time I had vacation, she would be with me, even if it meant scrounging around on StubHub for Indy500 tickets until 2am five nights a week. We had to be together – pure and simple. During this time, she had spent countless hours with my family since Owasso just happened to be in the middle of our two cities almost perfectly, and meeting in the middle just made sense. My family loved her immediately. My mom had found a kindred spirit, a fellow wine lover who wanted to be a teacher, and my dad found a girl who he felt could take care of me and who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in AND more importantly someone who treated his son as lovingly and passionately as my mother treated my father. But – I had yet to meet her family outside of one chance meeting with her father when he came to visit. Speaking of which, meeting the father has always been a point of anxiety for me (as I am sure it is with most every man), but the first time I met her father it was like seeing a west coast version of my own father. When I finally got the chance to get time off for a vacation, her family brought me out because “they just HAVE to meet you”. Instantly, upon Sue and Trevor picking us up at the airport, I was one of the family. One trip to Trader Joe’s (which I also instantly fell in love with) and we were at the house eating cheese, drinking wine, and I was initiated into the Paquet clan. Everything was perfect, for both of our families!

The Engagement

So, the part most people are interested in. Once November had rolled around, our families loved both of us and Nichole and I knew from the beginning we were destined to be together – the past year only cemented that fact. I was looking to propose soon (I had a personal check list of things I needed to get done first) and so I had Nichole show me some  jewelry she was interested. The style struck me because it wasn’t your traditional wedding/engagement style with a big rock and a band. She loved the different styles with filigree and things that were more intricately designed as well as more unique than what you would find in stores around the area. Knowing this, I called up one of the jewelers she had mentioned (who just happened to be in Pennsylvania) and found that one of her favorites was still available. Learning that it was utterly and completely unique – handmade and the jeweler’s design with only twenty in existence, and each one a little bit different I immediately purchased it. Once it arrived (early December) I proceeded to act as if I had no clue when I might want to get married and that I wasn’t even sure I could get a ring. Oddly enough, being the paranoid person I am, I actually carried the ring in my coat pocket for a full month, often times with Nichole on a date having absolutely no clue I had it. When Christmas rolled along, she spent it with her family, and again her family asked to send me out again for New Years so that we could be together for part of the holiday season. Once there I began work on the last/most important part of my check list – the conversation with her father. Once he and I had a chance to chat, I knew what I wanted to do. However, you know what they say about best laid plans…

On New Years Eve, Nichole and I had a wonderful night playing games and chatting with Nichole’s sister and Jay, her sister’s boyfriend. We went to bed (Nichole, I think was a little miffed she had stayed up and I hadn’t proposed at midnight) after having a wonderful night with no eventful sendoff. However, I made sure I was up EARLY, around 5:00am, and proceeded to put my plan into action. I had wanted to slip the engagement ring on her finger while she slept (something her father had done as an anniversary present for his wife), but when I went into her room, she was rolled up in a ball, and there was no way I could move her hand without waking her up. I sat there for an hour contemplating what to do, hoping she would move so I could follow through with my plan. No luck. She woke up with me sitting on her bed smiling at her. First words out of her mouth? “Are you okay?” When I assured her I was, she asked why I was smiling like that. I told her I was happy. She proceeded to tell me I was being a “creeper”. I asked her if she would be happy if she woke up next to me every morning. I think she got the hint then. She smiled and said yes. I showed her the ring, and she put it on. I asked her to marry me and she said yes.

The ring was so amazingly beautiful! It was 6am and I went through the house, first jumping on my sisters bed and then on my parents bed, waking everyone up to show them that we had made things official. I’m sure they appreciated that. One of my happiest days thus far.

God is Great!

God has blessed us in so many ways. We are so thankful for our amazing families, and for our incredible friends. We hope you all know how thankful we are for your love and support, and how very excited we are that we get to share our special day with you. Above all, we give thanks and praise to our Lord, Jesus Christ. His plans for us have surprised us and delighted us over and over again, and we cannot express our gratitude enough.