The Story of Us

Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary. Woohoo! Josh is my teenage dream come true! I had the biggest crush on him when I was 17 years old. I hope you enjoy my attempt to document how we started dating. 

The Prequel

It can be hard sometimes to determine where the beginning of a story should start. I first noticed my future husband the summer before my senior year of high school. I was 17 years old and lifeguarding at Kiwanis Wave Pool and immediately developed a school girl crush on him.

This guy, who I would quickly learn was named Josh, was walking across the pool deck wearing a Tennessee Titans hat and a shirt that indicated he was a pool manager at another city pool. I honestly didn’t think it would EVER be a possibility that I would date Josh because I knew he had to be in college, if not graduated, but I still joked with my friends at work over the summer that I was going to marry him one day and have his babies.I was able to get scheduled twice that summer at the outdoor pool while Josh was managing. I don’t think he spoke to me directly that day.

The summer ended, high school resumed, then it was summer again. I lifeguarded and taught swim lessons over the summer before attending Arizona State University and continued working in this capacity all throughout college.

Sometime between my freshman and sophomore year at ASU I got booted off my parents family membership at Lifetime Fitness. I decided that this would be the perfect time to join the YMCA. And why the YMCA you ask? Well it was a fairly easy choice on what gym to join. The price was right, it was close to home, and I almost Josh also worked there. On one occasion my mom was using a guest pass and I can remember pointing out Josh to her as he walked down the hallway. I told her how he also worked for the City of Tempe, was from Tennessee, wanted to be a firefighter, and probably a few more random facts about a person I had never talked with.

During my junior year in college I overheard at work that Josh had been hired as a firefighter and was moving to Tennessee. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that my position that upcoming summer would be working alongside Josh as his assistant manager at an outdoor pool. Josh had moved to Arizona from Tennessee specifically with the goal to get hired as a firefighter in this state. At this point he had been testing for a little over 6 years when he decided to go back to Tennessee to see if he could get hired.

If you are unfamiliar with the hiring process for the Fire Department it is brutal. There are usually over a thousand applicants for just a handful of positions. It is uncommon, but does happen, where positions can be offered and then revoked for various reasons. In Josh’s case he had already been fitted for his uniform when he discovered he would no longer be hired.

In life we sometimes have the opportunity to look back on challenging seasons and see how God was at work. For some of us, it is easy to see how something better was waiting in the months or years ahead, and for others of us, we may never get the answer on this side of eternity. Fast forward our story two years and Josh and I would be on our honeymoon when he would learn he had been hired to a local Fire Department.

The Story

In March of 2005 we had a staff training and because Josh and I knew we were going to be working together all summer we sat next to each other and had our first real conversation. I also found out he was 10 years older then me. We left the training walking to our cars together and I can remember telling him that we were going to be best friends by the end of the summer. I am pretty sure he didn’t believe me. This is our first ever picture together. I was thrilled. In case you are curious, I am 21 years old in this picture and Josh had just turned 32.

I really didn’t see Josh very much the majority of the summer. I saw him when he would come in to work, but then I would leave, and I also saw him for two hours each week at inservice training. You can learn a lot about a person in a work environment. I got to see how Josh treated others, his leadership skills, work ethic, his lighthearted attitude towards life, and the way he valued my ideas and opinions. It wasn’t until the end of the summer, on the night of our staff awards banquet, that we actually spent time together not getting paid. I am pretty sure he fell for me that night or if could have been a slow build up of spending short snippets of time together over the summer.

As the summer season wrapped up, we slowly began spending more time together away from work. We would meet up for a movie or to grab a bite to eat and easily spend hours talking on the phone. Over the course of the next two months Josh would try to hold my hand at the movie theater and I would pull it away. It might sound silly but once I knew there was a 10 year age difference between us I wanted to make clear, I was a girl worth pursuing and also respecting. Not that I think holding hands is in anyway disrespectful but I just needed to know, that he knew, I was worth the wait.

I knew that things might be moving from friends to potentially something more when Josh offered to go trail running with me at South Mountain. I was fairly confident that he must like me more than a friend because Josh was not a runner. We did my 5 mile loop and he jokes that his knees haven’t been the same since. Shortly after this my hand became quite comfortable tucked securely in Josh’s hand.

The majority of the time we spent together was at my parents house because I still lived at home. We would typically eat dinner with my family, which I am beyond grateful for, because Josh really got to know my parents and brother and they really got to know him. After every meal he ate with us he always volunteered to do the dishes and my mom grinned and graciously allowed him to clean her kitchen.

One night after dinner we went for a walk in the neighborhood. I need to preface this by saying that up until this point we had not let anyone at work know we were dating. We were holding hands and suddenly heard our names questioningly being called from behind. As we turned we could see Kyle Perkins, a lifeguard who worked at our pool over the summer, and Kyle if you happen to be reading please know that we still laugh about this, with what could only be described as a jaw dropping expression on his face as he rode by on his bicycle. And after that it quickly became known that Josh and I were dating.

How We Became Us

I am not really sure when our friendship turned into something more because it was this slow crescendo that built up over time. We began looking for a church to attend together and found our church home that we still attend to this day. Josh was baptized there when we were dating, we were married there, and all of our children have been dedicated there.

We quickly fell into an easy routine of spending time together and with my family, going to church, Josh writing me love letters, and talking on the phone before falling asleep at night. Josh told me that he wanted to marry me shortly after we started dating.

I didn’t have any clue that he was saving for a ring, or even how much a ring cost, or how nice of ring he wanted to give me. Finally after what felt like forever, when in reality it had been a year, he asked me to marry him. You can read more about his proposal HERE and see my ring HERE.

This post could continue to go on and on forever but because I know it is getting long I am going to wrap it up. The past 10 years have been mixed with joy and heartbreak, sickness and health3 babies, 2 vasectomies, and much more in between. I would be lying if I said I had this whole marriage thing figured out. I don’t. But what I do know is that marriage is a commitment and one that is not always easy. Josh has been my faithful friend for the last 12 years and the passage below sums up my feelings towards him and our relationship.

In the year 1846 Rev. Richard Baxter wrote…

It is a mercy to have a faithful friend, that loveth you entirely, and is as true to you as yourself, to whom you may open your mind and communicate your affairs, and who would be ready to strengthen you, and divide the cares of your affairs and family with you, and help you to bear your burdens, and comfort you in your sorrows, and be the daily companion of your lives, and partaker of your joys and sorrows. And it is a mercy to have so near a friend to be a helper to your soul; to join with you in prayer and other holy exercises; to watch over you and tell you of your sins and dangers, and to stir up in you the grace of God, and remember to you of the life to come, and cheerfully accompany you in the ways of holiness.

I am grateful for our marriage, for the joy and heartaches that have continually brought us back to Jesus, for God’s grace, and for the blessings of our children. This is our story and I hope you have enjoyed this ever so small snippet of our beginning.

PS…Special shout out to our boss Pat for placing us at the same pool together that summer :). It was great running into you at Costco a few weeks ago.


How to Find a Lost Diamond

I NEVER thought I would have a lost diamond story and I really never thought I would be typing up this post to tell you that I found my original diamond! Yes, you read that correctly. I found my diamond. I cannot even begin to tell you how ecstatic I was or how many times I prayed aloud “thank you Jesus”. Read my previous post if you missed it for all the details.

How to Find a Lost Diamond

This miraculous event happened the day after I picked up my ring with the replacement diamond from Shane Co.. Since I wasn’t entirely sure where I had lost the diamond it was difficult to go back and retrace my steps to a exact location of where it might be. I searched a parking lot, the car, a purse, and the house. Like a mentioned in my previous post, trying to find a lost diamond is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It felt utterly hopeless.

The day after picking up my ring from Shane Co. I was still searching the house to see if I could locate my lost diamond. I had come to the conclusion that if I was meant to get my diamond back it would truly take a miracle. While cleaning the house again I decided to give it another last ditch effort, even though I was convinced that there was no possible way I lost the diamond in the house. I decided to empty the vacuum canister room by room into a bowl and sift through the gunk.

While vacuuming the third room I heard a clink as something hard hit the inside of the canister. Thinking there was no possible way that sound could have been made by my diamond I continued vacuuming the room. Once finished, I emptied the canister and there inside the bowl I saw it. My diamond. My diamond was in the house the entire time.

I am seriously still in shock as I type this and glance at my ring with the original diamond now back where it belongs. After the initial shock wore off that I had found my diamond my first concern was that I had damaged it somehow while vacuuming. I called Shane Co. and explained what had happened and let them know I would be coming in later that day with my original stone.

How I Found My Lost Diamond


To make this long story short, I returned the replacement diamond to Shane Co. and had my original no longer lost diamond inspected for damage (there was none thankfully) and reset in my ring. The staff at Shane Co. was again so amazing and very kind and kept thanking me for bringing back the replacement diamond. While the paperwork was being sorted out I kept singing the company’s praises to other costumers in the store who had overheard what had happened.

In case you are reading this and find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of having lost your diamond here are a few of my tips on how to go about possibly finding it.

  1. Pray and pray some more. I am a huge believer in the power of prayer.
  2. Write down everything you have done that day. Where have you gone? What have you done? List anything and everything.
  3. Grab a flashlight. Shine it across your floors, in your car, and every other possible space you have the ability to search. Pay attention to anything that reflects the light or sparkles.
  4. Time to vacuum your carpet. In order to not damage your diamond turn off the bristles. I wish I had thought of this after the fact but thankfully my lost diamond was not damaged. Vacuum the carpet in both directions to ensure you are covering the entire surface area of your floor. Empty the canister into a bowl and have it. It will probably be the only time in your life that you are eager to get your hands dirty from the gunk that you just removed from your carpet.
  5. Check the sinks and drains.
  6. If none of these suggestions worked don’t give up. It may take several attempts to find it in your house. I am a perfect example!
  7. If you believe the lost diamond happened while away from the house notify the management of any store, restaurant, gym, coffee shop, or school you visited.
  8. Check with your jeweler. Some stores like Shane Co. offer lifetime replacement on lost stones as long as the maintenance has been kept up on the ring. This leads to my next point…
  1. Take your ring into a reputable jeweler for bi-annual inspections.
  2. Remove your rings when performing heavy activities like lifting weights or doing yard work.
  3. Between visits to your jeweler look at your ring more often. I know you probably look at your ring already but really look at. Inspect the prongs and make sure they are touching your diamond. If something doesn’t look right take it to your jeweler.

But in all seriousness I hope if you have lost your diamond that you are able to find it.

Have you ever lost your diamond? Were you able to find it? Let me know. If you have any other tips on how to find a lost diamond I would love to hear them.


My Diamond Fell Out of My Ring and Why I Love Shane Co.

Yesterday while driving home with my mother-in-law and Caden in the car I went to play with my wedding rings and instantly something felt different. I had a time-stood-still-moment as I lifted my hand into view and saw this….

My Diamond Fell Out of My Engagement Ring

The diamond in my engagement band was MIA. I had to do a double take and check again one more time but alas it was still missing. I knew when I had felt the pokey prongs with my fingers before bringing my hand into view that the diamond was no longer there but I still could not believe it.

Have you ever heard the phrase “finding a needle in a haystack”? That is seriously how it felt trying to search for my diamond. After coming to terms that the diamond was indeed gone and it would be a miracle if I EVER got it back, I called our friends at the Scottsdale Shane Co. where Josh purchased my rings. I say friends in the best way possible and after the AMAZING customer service I received yesterday at Shane Co. they are more like family.

This is not a product promotion or sponsored post but I am a true believer when you receive excellent customer service you need to shoutout about it. There is so much negativity in the world that when something positive happens we should brag on it for a few moments.

You might be wondering why I ever called Shane Co. in the first place after I discovered my diamond was missing. Shane Co. has a free lifetime warranty policy. The details on this warranty are below.

What’s free for life:

  • Free Maintenance/Repair Work*
  • Free Resizing*
  • Free Cleaning and Polishing*
  • Free Inspections*
  • Free Lost Stone Replacement*

*To keep your Lifetime Warranty active, please visit us for a cleaning and inspection every 6 months. We will inspect, clean, polish and maintain your jewelry for free for as long as you own it. Cleaning ensures that your fine jewelry is always looking exceptional and inspection ensures your jewelry is protected and ready for everyday wear.

Shane Co guarantees:

  • All-metal jewelry made entirely of gold, platinum or silver
  • All merchandise made of gold platinum or silver that contains diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and semiprecious gemstones
  • All merchandise containing cultured pearls
  • All wedding bands made of cobalt and titanium

When family heirlooms purchased from Shane Co. are passed along within a family, the jewelry continues to be guaranteed under the warranty under the standard guidelines.

In case you missed it Shane Co. offers free lost stone replacement under their lifetime warranty policy. I honestly wasn’t entirely sure what to expect walking into the Scottsdale Shane Co. store yesterday afternoon with my mother-in-law and engagement ring sans diamond. I didn’t know how I would be treated or if I would even be able to get a replacement stone. On a sidetone, thank you to Josh’s mom for going with me after just getting off an airplane.

Upon entering the store we were greeted by Brandy who was so empathic to what had happened. She inspected my ring to ensure it had not been tampered with, pulled up my account, and confirmed the amount Josh had paid for the stone. We were then handed over to Ron who continued to work with us for the next two hours. I was treated just like any other customer walking into the store making a purchase.

Shane Co Diamond Education The Four Cs

My mother-in-law and I were educated on the color and clarity of diamonds and shown how to inspect the diamonds. It gave me a new appreciation for the process Josh went through when he purchased my diamond and ring. My ring is truly a one of a kind and it means the world to me that Josh selected it by himself.

The entire staff was so gracious to us and the not so great experience of losing my diamond turned into a positive one for me and my husband. While I could never replace the sentimental value of my original diamond the loss of it was greatly reduced by being able to have it replaced with a diamond of similar quality.

I also want to add in that at the time of our visit Rordan Shane, Tom Shane’s son, was visiting the Scottsdale store. He noticed I was talking to my mother-in-law about the remodel of the store and how nice it looked and walked over to us and spoke with us. He was super friendly and we had no idea who he was at the time. I think we both just thought he was a very friendly employee. Later Ron told us that Rordan was the president of the company and that he was visiting the store. I made a point to find him again and let him know how appreciative, amazed, grateful, and thankful I was to have experienced the best customer service at the Scottsdale Shane Co.

Before leaving I gave hugs to Ron and Rordan. I could not speak more highly of this company. I hope that if anyone is considering buying jewelry this holiday season or in the future and you have a Shane Co. in your area you make your purchase there. You will not be disappointed with the selection, quality, and education of the staff. Thank you Shane Co. for being my friend in the diamond business.

I will update this post next week once I pick up my ring from the store. Before I end this post I also wanted to give a shoutout to Josh’s friend JD who recommended Josh go to Shane Co. to get my ring. Thank you JD a million times over!

Shane Co. Replacement Diamond

UPDATE: I picked up my beautiful replacement ring and the next day something amazing happened. I found my lost diamond.