Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Stories of Jeff Excell - St. George Temple Trip

Many people have asked me why I chose to get married in the St. George Temple. Here is my answer in probably too many details:
It was the day of our ward temple trip and I was pacing around my apartment the hour before it was time to go. I was not too big on attending ward events without my roommates and none of them could make it that day. I finally decided to be brave and I drove over to the church to gather with the rest of the ward.

Jeff had told me he would be there, but he was no where in sight. I kept my eye on each car that pulled up. I saw Tanner pull in and knew it would be an interesting night. At this point I was sure Tanner and I were completely over. I was fixed on Jeff. Even though I never told Tanner my feelings, I assumed he knew. I soon found out boys are really bad at reading girls' minds. As Tanner approached, I hid behind a corner next to Jeff's brother in hopes to stay out of Tanner's view.

"Hey Bryan...I thought Jeff was coming tonight." I said trying not to be too obvious.
"He is. He had to work late tonight but he's going to hurry over as soon as he's done."

Hallelujah. My brave venture out alone would not be in vain.

Jeff pulled up as we were making carpool arrangements. Cars were filling up quick so Bryan followed me to my car. Just as we were getting ready to invite Jeff in, Tanner piped up, "Hey Sarah, there's one more seat in this car."


Moments after, Kami offered Jeff and Bryan the last two seats in her car.

Double blast. Jeff and I exchanged looks of discouragement and we split ways.

It was tradition in that ward to eat at a cute little restaurant called Mongolian Barbeque on every temple trip. We went there first. I was more concerned about my company than my food so I snagged a spot next to Jeff. Tanner snagged a spot next to me. I could deal with that.

It was a few weeks before Christmas so I asked our end of the table what everyone's all time favorite Christmas present was. Tanner answered first and shared a spiritual gift he got on his mission. It was a little deeper than what I was going for. The all too familiar singles ward awkwardness began to loom. Jeff broke the silence, "My favorite present was my Super Nintendo. Remember that, Bryan?"

Jeff and Bryan reminisced as I nudged Jeff for a high five under the table. The waitress brought us fortune cookies as we finished our meals. I wished for another one because they were so good. We laughed at the fortunes and then wandered back to our unfortunate carpool situation.

Jeff stopped me on the way out to slip a fortune cookie in my hand, "You said you wanted another one, right?" Perhaps my mention of wanting another fortune cookie in the restaurant was my subconscious testing my male company to see if one would attempt to woo me. While my subconscious was being wooed, my conscious was in complete shock that my frivolous wish had been granted.

I felt like Cinderella and that fortune cookie was my missing glass slipper. Jeff was nothing short of Prince Charming that night. If I wasn't falling for him before, the suave fortune cookie move certainly did the trick.

We hopped back into our cars and made our way to the temple. I smiled the whole way there. Not because I was sitting next to Tanner, but because I was holding a very special fortune in my hand.

I was one of the first people to be done at the temple. I sat down and calculated the many hours I would still be there as I saw all the people who still needed to go. I had a lot of homework that night. I became overwhelmed. Until Jeff Excell came to keep me company.

My piles of homework drifted from my mind as Jeff and I whispered and giggled for about an hour and a half. We chatted about our current failing relationships with Kami and Tanner. We talked about our Christmas traditions. By the end of our wait he suggested we sneak off to get married. He sounded genuinely disappointed as he realized we probably couldn't get married without an appointment.

We walked outside and made fun of the couples walking hand-in-hand outside the temple. I think we were really just wishing our ward wasn't watching so we could join in on the hand holding fun. We parted ways for the night.

I didn't say much on that car ride home from St. George. I lingered for an acceptable amount of time back at the church in a desperate hope to "accidentally" run into my Fortune Cookie Prince one last time. No such luck. I drove home with butterflies as I remembered the night. When I got home I noticed a goodnight text from Jeff. As I fell asleep that night, I couldn't help but envision entering that temple with him again.


Nat and Charles said...

You guys are so awesome. I love that you're documenting all of this, your kids are so lucky! Charles is not a "blogger" so I give him some highlights every once in a while :)

MJMSmith said...


Anonymous said...

so cute.

Kim said...

It's so fun to relive your falling in love with Jeff Excell. Sweet story. That Jeff is a keeper!!

The Stevens Family said...

That was so suave for Jeff to get you another fortune cookie! I love the story!

Rebecca said...


Am I the only one who's dying to know that?

Surely it said something to foreshadow the nuptials that would soon be occurring, right?

Glen said...

I agree Rebecca. I kept waiting for what the fortune cookie said. But alas, the mystery is not solved.

skinners said...

your jeff excell posts are my favorite. period. i LOVE hearing about how you two ended up together and you tell it so eloquently! so fun!

sarah said...

Ugh. I was hoping the details of Jeff's charm would distract you from what the fortune actually said. For some reason I don't remember what the fortune said and I didn't keep the paper! I'm so disappointed in myself.