It all began 3 or more years before this picture was taken...We were 15... well, Merrill was 16. Joe (my brother) and Jackie (Merrill's sister), were dating. His family invited my family up for a barbecue and to swim. Jackie had mentioned a couple of times that she had a brother my age who was pretty cute. We should date when I turned 16. The night of the barbecue was the first time I ever saw him. After that, I couldn't stop thinking about him! I could even tell you what he was wearing... and I took extra time getting ready that day too. I did have a "boyfriend" at the time, and I still had Merrill on the brain.
We both dated, had relationships, but still kept tabs on the other. He would come over to my house occasionally with Joe to mess around... I would find a reason to go to Joe's room... wow.. he (Merrill, not Joe!) was (is) hot...
September 1996, Joe and Jackie got married. Here was our first real conversation. We took Kaitlyn and MiKell to McDonald's in the ZCMI center to get some fries while the endless photo shoot was going on. He really didn't talk much. I thought it was because he wasn't interested in me. He says he was shy, he really liked me. I didn't believe him until we watched home video of the wedding after we began dating, only to find him checking out my butt...
We still would ask about each other, and Joe and Jackie (but I think more Joe) began hinting to Merrill that he should break up my engagement, apparently, no body seemed to care for my doofy fiancee (including me). So Merrill said he'd do it.
August 1998, I was supposed to be getting married, but didn't want to (too long a story...) and Jackie knew I needed a break. She invited me to go to Lake Powell with her family. My payment: help to cook and to care for Kaitlyn and MiKell, going into 1st grade and Kindergarten (and now they are Lakette and Cheer captain? Where has time gone?!) I was game, and I left my engagement ring at home, I didn't want it to get lost...;)
Many prayers later... there was Merrill. We talked A LOT.
We hit it off. He was so sweet!
He kissed me.
We fell in love.
He rescued me. I broke off my engagement the day I got home.
Lake Powell is a sacred place to us.